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Reader Poll: Which Antivirus Utility Do You Use?

If you’re a Windows user, then you know the importance of having a quality Antivirus program to compliment your security strategy. There’s a plethora of them out there, Commercial — which you pay for and free antivirus utilities too.

Photo Credit: Austin Krause

There are effective commercial programs like ESET’s NOD32, McAfee and Norton Antivirus. However, some of the commercial programs can bog down system resources. Especially if you get a full feature commercial program that includes a Firewall, Spyware and Internet browsing protection. Some of them can be more annoying than actually getting a virus.

On the other hand, free programs like groovyPost’s favorite Microsoft Security Essentials are just as effective, light on system resources and free.

What we want to know is — which antivirus utility do you use? Do you go for the full feature expensive commercial utility? Or do you keep it free and simple with a free antivirus utility? We can’t include them all in our poll, so if you use something not on the list, click Other and tell us about it.

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34 Responses to Reader Poll: Which Antivirus Utility Do You Use?

  1. Brian Burgess March 14, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    Well, as you know, my favorite that I have been using since it came out is Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s the first thing I install on a fresh installation of Windows.

    MS finally has done something right!

  2. Josh Windisch March 14, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    Shoot, I haven’t used antivirus in years! I’m on the Mac, but in the next version of OS X I’ll have Gatekeeper so I guess I’ll be using that. I’m not one to really get all arrogant and say “pfft, since I have a Mac I’ll never have to worry”, but it hasn’t been a big priority.

  3. Ant Pruitt March 14, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    When I build pc’s, i install Comodo’s package. I trust them because we get our certs from them. And even better, the package is FREE.

    -RAP, II

  4. Allen March 14, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    I wasn’t asked which “other” I was using but I thought I’d let you know anyway. I’m running the free version of Avast. It’s been so long I’ve forgotten why I chose it over some of the others you have on the poll. I do remember that I had become disenchanted with Norton and wanted to get away from it.

    • NaeNae March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      Ohh, I used to use Avast before I bought my Mac. I liked that one…much better than Norton or McAfee.

  5. NaeNae March 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I don’t use an AV on my home computer because I use OS X; have never had the need for one. At work though, I prefer Microsoft Security Essentials.

  6. Ziggy March 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Microsoft Security Essentials for my Laptop – it’s one of the few freebies that doesn’t slow down the computer. Previously used Kaspersky paid version, but it took a heavy toll on performance.

    As supplements to MSE I use MalwareBytes Free, SuperAntiSpyware Free and Microsoft’s msert. Spybot portable is also part of my cache, but all are used infrequently.

    Would like to see a similar survey for what readers use as their firewall…

  7. Austin Krause March 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    MSE for me. I know it isn’t the greatest, but it works good enough. Honestly though, common sense and safe habits work best.

    – If I need to download something I don’t trust, I first run it in a virtualized sandbox.
    – Keep everything updated, especially Windows and Web Browsers.
    – Don’t use IE…
    – Run Ghostery and Noscript

  8. Brian Burgess March 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    True. Nothing beats old fashioned common sense, but I would never go without some type of protection. MSE is fabulous imo.

    @Ziggy: You have a solid security strategy there! Nice work.

    I use SAS portable in SafeMode to remove infections from people’s infected systems I work on. Does a stellar job.

  9. VOXPOP March 15, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Avast free..auto updates and the female voice is nice..that’s the important part.

  10. Jamie Cheslo March 15, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    We use Avast Pro in our household. It has all the bells and whistles, including Sandbox which is really cool, and it is definitely NOT a systems resource hog.
    Highly recommended! Hope this helps.

  11. Paul March 15, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Norton 360 is my chose, to combat the internet and fill transfer. I have used other antivirus, spyware, spam blockers and firewalls commercial as well as free. I have disabled Norton and ran others for comparison and always enabled Norton. Although it dose slow me down I find Norton catches more than all other I have tried. Especially when surfing and unwanted sites popup, I find them notorious for virus attacks.

    • Brian Burgess March 16, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      @Paul — actually the last version of Norton I tested out actually ran well, a lot more snappy than previous versions and didn’t bog down my test system as much.

      If I were protecting Grandma’s or a teenager’s computer I would lock it down with Norton.

  12. Coen de Milander March 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I’ve been using Comodo on a couple of my desktops and is very happy with it. It also comes for free which is a great benefit.

  13. S3curityPlu5 March 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I use eset smartsecurity and I have tried all those & have the following comments. Since I have lots of security tools, false positives is my main concern and avast has the most in my tests. Microsoft takes too long to scan my system, and in my tests, i have been able to exploit those both rather easily. Eset in my studies has done the best job of identifying intrusion attempts but it also has a comprehensive host ops in the smart security paid version.

    • Brian Burgess March 16, 2012 at 8:42 am #

      I used to use ESET NOD 32 wasn’t intrusive and did a great job.

  14. Chris March 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Been using free AVG for years with no problems. Got most of my family and friends using it as well with no complaints.

  15. Mat March 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I always go with Avast if the computer can handle it, or AVG on slower machines. I honestly don’t think they do much if you are smart enough not to go through your spam folder and randomly click links. Heuristics and definitions can only go so far.

  16. deepeetonee March 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    AVAST – has all the essentails and for low cost entry (not the free version) I get all of the protection I need

  17. Johnny March 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Avast Pro & Malwarebytes. I’ve used both for years. Will continue to use for many years to come. First thing I install on customers machines. Never had “false positives” except key gens & certain shareware. It’s the program doing it’s job, telling you something is awry.

  18. Ross March 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    I use Norton Security Suite since it comes free with my Comcast service (business class, so it allows me up to 25 machines on the license). I am a firm believer that the most important thing you can do as a Windows user is to have security software in the first place and to keep it updated religiously. Any product you use will have some holes, so as always being conscious of what you do and where you go is just as important as having good security software.

  19. Steve Krause March 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m using Microsoft Security Essentials on all my home PC’s and at work we use McAfee.

    Overall at home, I’ve never had a problem and you just can’t argue with Free.

  20. Ziggy March 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    More food for thought – check this link: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1514320&postcount=1

  21. Redearl March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    I use Vipre, and have been very happy with it.

  22. Zeljko March 16, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    I have been using Trend Micro and it has been working ok for me.

    • Brian Burgess March 16, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      @Zeljiko: When I worked in IT at an electric cooperative we used Trend Micro Enterprise. It works great in a large network configuration, we had awesome support and a lot of great features too.

  23. Ziggy March 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    For those who run MSE I’ve also found that Trend Micro House Call is an excellent tool to keep in your cache – and it’s FREE…

  24. Nino March 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I went with Bitdefender 2012 total security I wanted to try something different this year.
    So far I Am happy with it. 3PCs 2 Years protection. no System overload.

  25. Christian O March 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    was using Panda (seemed to be fairly light on system resources since it’s cloud based).. but can’t remember why I switched to the currently being used Lavasoft’s Ad-Adware which I’ve been happy with so far. Also on a regular basis, I run manual maintenance scans of Spybot, SuperSpyware & MalwareBytes. Perhaps overkill? Not sure if all that is necessary or not. Open to suggestions or criticism ;)

  26. Uzziah Gonzales April 4, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I use Avira Free Anti-virus. Probably the most popular here in the Philippines..
    Its very effective, I got so many detections ever since I first used it to protect my pc.
    You wouldnt believe this but, the total detections that I got ammounted to 2000 trojan droppers.. 500 Meredrops, ….50 Salitys with their autoruns and a dozen different worms.. all of them coming from usb flashdrives from infected computers… It did so well in protecting my pc at home that I recommend it to my friends…

  27. SyawaL April 22, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I’ve been usinng the ESET Smart Security for a long time (since their NOD32 AV) and it seems to done well; protecting my notebook as I’m surfing the net everyday + it remains low on resources and does not interfere with my hardcore-gaming habit too as users can easily activate the Gaming Mode profile. The scanning time is also reliable for users as it one of the fastest AV machine out there.

    1300 Droppers blocked, 75643 trojans blocked and dozens more blocked. All thanks to ESET team.

    ESET regular cosumer :)
    Malaysia

  28. Bob February 13, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I use Malwarebytes with AVG

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