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Free, Open Source, High Quality Anti-Virus Program

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:16 pm
by runewulf
For those of you who can't afford or don't want to spend the money on a good anti-virus program, and at this point, coming from an IT Executive, I'd have to say the only decent commercial one is Nortan/Symantec Antivirus, as Macaffee not only causes too many program and software issues, but it misses way too many viruses and malware, there is a wonderful alternative available which is free.

The alternative is called ClamAV and there are ports of it available for any operating system (more or less) out there, be it Windows, Mac OS X, Linux or BSD. You can get it here

This is actually comparable with Symantec's product. I'm using it in parts of our corporate environment for things like e-mail virus scanning, server scanning, etc... as well as on some of our employees personal computers when they ask for what to run that's not expensive, runs well and won't interfere with their other software.

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:38 pm
by Graver
AVG Free is another quality free software. I always wear out my McAfee subscription, then use AVG until I get a new computer.

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:21 pm
by runewulf
Nice addition... Thanks for adding that. Security is so important these days, more so than most people realise, however, it can get pricey and the average user has no clue about which software they should choose, more less what inexpensive or even better, free software is of good quality.


Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:37 pm
by Kitsune
I use Avast! which is free for home use. Hell, when I start doing my company online, I'll probally get there business service, just because I like them so much.

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:19 pm
by runewulf
Avast actually just got a very good rating today, well above par. Blew away McAffee and most other commercial AVs. It was ranked up there with Symantec/Nortan as far as what it catches and overall effectiveness. Good product, to say the least.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:07 am
by iriseyes
runewulf wrote:Avast actually just got a very good rating today, well above par. Blew away McAffee and most other commercial AVs. It was ranked up there with Symantec/Nortan as far as what it catches and overall effectiveness. Good product, to say the least.
I used to use that program.. Avast kicked bugs booty. Now I have one that comes with my internet subscription. (F-Secure). Seems to work good.. I haven't had any problems, I was going to use Avast with it but decided not to.. I hear you can have problems using multiple virus protection programs Is that true???

I have also noticed when I quit using Explorer and switched to Firefox, I do not get the lock ups either..

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:23 am
by runewulf
oui, c'est vrai... it's true, using more than one anti-virus program at the same time can wreak all kinds of havok on your computer... well, it can if you're running a windows operating system, which most folks are.

As far as F-Secure goes, as long as you're up to date and keep it dat way, you should be pretty good with it, that program. It rated in the top 6.5% in a huge test the other day.

Amazing rating when all is said and done, actually.

Another program to watch for will be the next version of Spyware Doctor. The current version is actually wonderful, but there are some bugs where over time it causes problems with the operating system and needs to be removed, but while it is running, it really rocks. I can't wait to see what they do with version 5.

We had some major problems with infection on a development server at my company as it is an outdated box all around we're just keeping going for legacy code until my programmers and myself get all of our systems re-programmed and redeployed in .Net 2.0 and it got hit hard enough it was almost unsalvagable. Spyware doctor managed to clean up everything that all the other programs couldn't find or touch in the arena of spyware, trojans and malware. In the end, it took care of about 90% to 95% of the infections. I then used a very advanced, hard core geek tool called Hijack This to kill most of the rest (if you don't know your system really well, don't play with Hijack This, because it lists anything that *could possibly* be malware, including vital software components). Then I spent 18 hours tracking down a few trojans and botnets that are unknown to any software out there 1 tiny piece at a time and removing those by hand.

Moral of that story comes in a few pieces.

1) Keep your security up to date, always. We hadn't been using that box very much at all, so I had neglected it pretty severely and ended up paying the price in severe stress and a horrible amount of time invested in salvaging it. About 96 hours in all, from start to finish.

2) Spyware Doctor is probably the best malware cleaner out there to complement a good anti-virus program.

3) There are a ton of major idiots who have nothing better to do with their time than cobble together little bits of software to infect peoples systems for various reason and we need to be aware of that and be proactive about keeping our computers clean and safe.

4) Don't go with a piece of software just because of it's "brand name", because a lot of "brand names" quite honestly et tres mal... they bite. Two quick examples are McAffee and Microsoft's OneCare, which totally bombed the last 3 tests it's been put through.

5) If someone ever admits to you that they write viruses and trojans and malware and release them onto the web, beat the crap out of them, run them over with your car, set them on fire, throw them off a bridge or rooftop, etc. :evil: :axe: :angryfire: :axe: :evil:

I'll post a lil about security and what it means in the real world with a very recent example a lil later for y'all.


Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:07 pm
by davisherm
I'm late, but just adding my two cents.

Avast and AVG are great. Mostly because they're free, but they also work. And I've never had a problem with either one. I cannot say the same for McAffee. I won't touch Norton personally, but we use it at the office and it is effective.

One thing you might bump into though, no matter what antivirus you chose to use, is one that slips through the cracks in between virus update definitions. In that event, some virii are actually designed to hide once they've infected you. At that point, you need a program that exists outside your computer so it's not affected by the virus. A great site that I recommend almost every day is Works wonders.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:33 pm
by Lotus
Right now, I have Trend Micro anti-virus......which, sucks. I tried to get nortion and had to return it because it was causing too many problems. Like not allowing me to delete viruses that it quarentined.
I also have spysweeper which, is doing nothing.

There is a virus on my computer that my current program will not remove.....TSPY_WOWCRAFT.BL.

Will this other program remove it and do I have to remove my other anti-virus program first?


Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:32 pm
by forgotten oceans
Is Spybot any good? It's what I'm using now, but I was wondering if there was anything better.

Hijack This is awesome!!!! But only if you have the cheat sheets of what NOT to delete.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:42 pm
by runewulf
Spybot is So So, they've started actually dosing you wit their own spyware, lol... but they do manage to get a fair amonut off... Adaware is also pretty good, but does the same thing. About the overall best performer I've found is mentioned above, Spyware Doctor, just don't let it run in auto-protect mode, just run it yourself regularly.

As far as trend goes, oui, their desktop client bites, but their remote housecall can come in handy sometimes.

Norton actually is the best coprorate/commercial AV, whether Nortan 2007 or the Symantec Corperate Version, just disable everything except for Antivirus and autoprotect. Don't let it scan your e-mail or anything else. Only use the Anti-virus, not their firewall, etc. That solves most of the issues that revolve around that.

Oui Davish, mon ami, MacAffee totally bites. Probably the worst out there except for MS OneCare.

One of the best right now that isn't getting a lot of press because it's neither commercial nor "freeware/shareware", but is actually OSS (open source software) is ClamAV. I've got it harnessed into several of my corporate servers and it hasn't allowed one single virus through e-mail in either direction, anything to get onto any of our servers or onto any of our non-MS Windoze boxes. Amazing lil thing.

The really scarry things out there right now are the botnets... maudit those things are nasty, especially the few developers of them that have figured out the true stealth delivery methods. What scares me even more is if that girl from eastern europe ever gets hacked and the source code for her "Blue Pill" proof of concept virtualization malware ever gets out into the public domain. That would be a catastrophe, that.

Beannachta mes amis

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:49 am
by iriseyes
My F-secure has spyware cleaner in it do I need additional?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:26 pm
by runewulf
It's always good to have additional spyware/malware cleaners... none of them catch it all.

Re: Free, Open Source, High Quality Anti-Virus Program

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:19 pm
by runewulf
For you windows users (I am sorry that you live in the MS world), the best, and for home use it's free, anti-virus is Avast after installing go through the free online registration and they'll send you a serial number. I have, of course being an IT exec and security expert I am always evaluating and dealing with malware programs, been using Avast on all my remote employees machines for about 18 months. Avast catches a lot of malware that slips past the other programs, tends to get their definitions updated faster when new threats are found and also include e-mail, IM and web shielding, as well as general anti-virus stuff... and again, it's free... can't knock that.