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I intend to install a new anti-virus package.

I want to choose between Avast Free Anti-Virus, Microsoft Security Essentials or Panda Cloud.

Any opinions on this matter?

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I personally use Panda Free Antivirus (it's no longer called Panda Cloud Antivirus), was previously using Avira Free Antivirus but the updates don't work in it.

 

Can't comment on the other two you mention they won't work on my PC, Avast is incompatible with a DRM'd software driver on my system and has been for years, and MSE no longer supports XP.

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Avast free here.  Works great for my needs.  

Norton has improved they say, not as cumbersome as it was.  

Several of my friends who have business data to protect use it, just set it and forget it.  

Not free, though, & I haven't used it in years.  

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I want to choose between Avast Free Anti-Virus, Microsoft Security Essentials or Panda Cloud.

 

Since you are after a free one, I would also include in that list AVG Free Edition.

I've personally used Avast and AVG in the past and have found them both excellent.

MSE, on almost every site, review and comparison I have seen rates it the worst of all security programs, but there are members on this forum who swear by it.

 

If there was any sort of negatives with Avast and AVG it would be they are getting more 'annoying' in their nag screens, or in their 'advertising' pop-ups, but they are free, and have to generate a revenue stream somehow, so they are what they are.

 

Having very recently switched over to Norton's Internet Security (due to reviews of NIS haven gotten better and AVG IS performance gotten worse) I can attest to the fact that it has returned to its roots and more importantly, has no perceived effect on PC performance.  Yes, it's not free, but it's a one-stop-shop.  They do a 60 (or maybe 30?) day trail package but if you get it off a motherboard driver CD, that version is a 90 day trial.

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Forgot to say, using win xp here. 

Only popups I have seen from Avast free say there is a newer version, install it now. 

That newer version is also available free. 

 

@mta, does the latest Avast free generate ads or popups?  I have not used it. 

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@mta, does the latest Avast free generate ads or popups?  I have not used it. 

 

Can't remember exactly and to be honest I may be getting my wires crossed with AVG, but I'm pretty sure Avast pops up these annoying "look what I can do?" or "did you know we also offer this product?" sort of messages.  I know it pops up monthly reports which can be turned off.

 

I seem to recall it also saying "We see you are using the basic protection, would you like to upgrade?" thought bubbles as well.

 

I tend to recommend AVG first, and only Avast if AVG doesn't work/install for whatever reason (which it does occasionally for some reason).

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Yes, thats all still true.  I had just stopped paying attention to those popups.  

There is one more thing.  Avast sends a lot of data out to Avast servers when you first connect to the net.

TCPView shows it.  Don't know if they all do that.  No problem here, but I do wonder what all that is.  

Never bothered to inspect those packets, just too lazy I guess.  

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Avast sends a lot of data out to Avast servers when you first connect to the net.

TCPView shows it.  Don't know if they all do that.  No problem here, but I do wonder what all that is.

 

Some (well those who are up front what they're sending back to themselves) are going to want statistics such as the OS, hardware, other running software, the installed software, and the amount of files scanned, etc. If infections were found what the infection was, where the infection was at (folder path, and file name), and if the infection was successfully neutralized.

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Keep Windows Defender. It works well and it's really free and nag-free (also slimmer than the rest although not by much). Then, protect your browsers by running AdFender or some extension like AdBlockPlus (Firefox, Chrome) or uBlock (Chrome). Webmail ad blocker is also available for both Firefox and Chrome.

 

And talking about AdFender. The neat thing is that is not an extension but a standalone program. It will work for all browsers (well, almost all) and messaging apps too. It shares the same lists as AdBlockPlus and, as such, you can add the same user filtering rules. Latest version is 1.83

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