What is the best antivirus software?

What is the best antivirus software for windows7?
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Calebs_DadConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you are wanting free I would suggest Microsoft Security Essentials.

If this is for a business network with many workstations I would need to know more about your setup.

Good Luck!
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I can answer that as soon as you can tell me the best, factually speaking, flavor of Ice Cream.

That said, here's my opinion on several products.

There is the product ClamAV - which I think is a HORRIBLE idea.  It does not offer any kind of "on-access" scanning capability.  So you can install it, but if you YOU don't run it (or run it frequently), you'll never know if you've been infected!

The product I recommend is VIPRE by Sunbelt Software (now GFI).  I've been putting this in at all my clients and it's been very well received and we've (myself and my clients) find it to be quite effective (nothing is perfect or close to it these days).  

And I've tried many (not all - there are WAY too many to try all) products, including:

    * NOD32 (too aggressive in some cases, identifying legitimate security tools as viruses, to too ineffective others, like letting an older version of Antivirus 2009 infect different PCs over several months time from drive-by web site infections).
    * Kaspersky - only installed at one client of 4 computers... so far, so good... but it's a small sample.
    * Symantec - absolutely HORRIBLE program.  Programmers are arrogant and the code produced often ends up causing problems with the system which they then blame Microsoft or other products on.  Not to mention that every major virus outbreak I've had to spend HOURS cleaning up was protected by some combination of Symantec products
    * McAfee - Bloated and has become more ineffective over time (I used to like them very much).
    * AVG - When we replaced a client's install of AVG with VIPRE, the client was pleased and reported that VIPRE found several things AVG had missed.
    * Trend - haven't tried personally, and I know a lot of well respected consultants use it... but I've also had consultants I know tell me that recent design changes have caused them problems and they are switching their clients to VIPRE (mostly).  Also been causing one of my colleagues some serious problems with Servers communicating with each other properly.
    * Avira - Had one home user client on this who ended up losing internet access due to some bug with it.  Really not sure how effective it is nowadays.

And I don't trust free stuff in general.  When it's free, it's usually leaving out key/important features that other paid products include.  Just compare the feature list of a free product to the feature list of the free product's paid alternative.  The one exception to this, for me, tends to be Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) - which does not run on Server - because there is no paid version and the product is intended to protect Windows and is made by the company who makes Windows, I consider it reasonably likely that MSE is reasonably reliable.  Still, I don't think I'd rely on it for high-risk computers (like those of a teenager).
I would recommend to go for NOD32 version 4 which is the latest version. It is an award winning anitivirus software which is very light on your system and doesn't hogs up the system resources like Norton, Mcafee.

The best thing about NOD32 is that its source code is still written in assembly language which makes it extremely fast and less resource consuming. I have been using NOD32 from quite a time and it is going well beyond my expectations after trying Mcafee,Norton and Avira also.
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phototropicConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You should al;so consider a Cloud-based av software.  I have used Panda Cloud from Trend and it works well: small (tiny) footprint and minimal user-input:


I have also heard about Immunet, another cloud based av, although I have not used this app, it looks interesting:


Cloud-based av programs are fast, light on resources and can access several data bases for more up to date security.

younghvConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"...tell me the best, factually speaking, flavor of Ice Cream."

Jamocha Almond Fudge.

As mentioned above, I've been using MSE for my (and my customer's) computers - combining it with the paid for version of Malwarebytes.

None of my customers have brought back any infected computers since I started doing this, and I definitely have some of those "high risk" users who go places on the Internet they shouldn't be going.

Keep away from BitDefender, there is to many problems with it & the support is terrible.
BullGuard is stable & does a good job easy to use.
Karerasky is also another well worth looking at.

Freebies Avast & AVG are fine
Jerry LCommented:
Phototropic, or anyone - Do you have an update on your assessment of Cloud Anti-Virus programs such as the two mentioned above, Panda and Immunet?
Panda Cloud is running right now on four of our home pcs, and we have had no problems with it - it is light on resources and unobtrusive.

Immunet I have not used.
Jerry LCommented:
If one's internet connection is down or disabled can a cloud AV such as Panda still perform the scan and repair? Or, does it require an active online connection at all times?
Panda will complainh if thyere is no network access - whether it will run or not I don't know.  It's never come up.

I suggest you join the Panda support forum and ask a question there:


Good luck!!!
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