How-To

Reader Poll: Which Antivirus Utility Do You Use?

There are a lot of different Antivirus utilities available. Both commercial and free. We’d like to know if you use free antivirus software or the commercial utilities.

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.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Brian Burgess  

    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  

    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. 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  

    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  

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

  5. NaeNae  

    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  

    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. 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  

    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  

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

  10. Jamie Cheslo  

    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  

    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  

      @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  

    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  

    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  

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

  14. Chris  

    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  

    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  

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

  17. Johnny  

    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  

    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. 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  

  21. Redearl  

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

  22. Zeljko  

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

    • Brian Burgess  

      @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  

    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  

    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  

    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. 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. 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  

    I use Malwarebytes with AVG

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