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Recommendation of Antivirus software for Personal Use

Please advise on the subject matter.

Give resaons and supporting references.
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Assuming you are running a contemporary Microsoft operating system, nothing.

Windows XP and up include Defender. It is nothing special, but unobtrusive, free, and catches most nasties.

In addition to antivirus, ensure you make regular backups, and be careful with what unknown software you choose to run. I would also recommend creation of a non admin account for each user, particularly kids. This limits what a virus can do.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019


Please be specific for recommendation, not ask for best practices.

The client is willing to pay and I do not have enough time to do research.
For anyone running contemporary Microsoft operating systems, in a non managed environment, I would still recommend just configuring Defender.
Jackie Man security starts with the user and how they use the internet.
They need to have to understanding of the dangers what to do what not to do to be safe.
Just like real life.
All viruses can only enter the computer if and when the user clicks on a suspicious link or opens a bad website or opens an email that they do not know who it is from and open an attachment or link in said email.
No antivirus software can fully prevent installation of malware if the users install download nasties and run it.
All the security tools can do is warn, to prevent  malicious installations  the software must have new definitions updated daily.
With that in mind I have always used AVG combined with MS windows Malicious Software remover, downloaded with windows updates.
Malware Bytes and few others combined with safe internet activity keep up to date with the risks from Ransomware and hacks.

There are many antivirus security protection tools and the Norton System Works is the most restrictive since the design is to take away the responsibility of the user to be safe on their own recognizance. Gathered from EE questions help with Norton restrictions over the years.

However this why windows 10 is more secure and MS updates are now out of the hands of the user and installed automatically in windows 10.
So gauge your client's PC and internet experience and base your decisions to assist on that.
The best I found and use
AVG used for 15 years or more
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
Eset includes a free online scanner
Trend Micro Maximum Security
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016. Free to try.
Microsoft Security Essentials
I recommend these as I have used them and the reason I like them
(1) they provide very good cover
(2) do not restrict my use of the computer
(3) simple to use
(4) Do not consume too much ram or cpu
(5) do not mess with MS inbuilt firewall and inbuilt securities in windows 10 and windows 7
Hope this  helps

Most Valuable Expert 2015

The best one in my point of view is Panda free Antivirus. I've been using it for many years and never had a problem with it. I used to use Avast! free before that, but Avast! was a resource hog and in some situations it caused BSOD's. with Panda I never had such problems. It is very light on the resources it uses, stays unobtrusive if setup properly. I have never been hit with a Virus using Panda. It certainly is better than crap like Symantec (Norton) stuff.
MBAM pro - been using it for years.  It is not an AV, but rather an AM.  Use an AV as well - what ever you like.  On top put a basic free app like immunet.

Read my article on multilayered security.

Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019


Thanks all for the feedback.

The list of software below have been reviewed by Consumer Council of Hong Kong in April 2016 and my client
 likely to go with one of them. Please give your feedback in relation to your support experience. Thanks!

1)BullGuard Internet Security 2016;
2)G Data Internet Security 2016
3)ZoneAlarm Pro Antiviru & Firewall 2016;
4)ESET Smart Security 9
5)Kaspersy Internet Security 2016;
6)AVG Internet Security 2016
7)Avira Antivirus Pro 2016;
8)F-Secure Internet Security 2016
9)Bitdefender Internet Security 2016;
10)Trend Micro Antivirus Plus 2016
11)Norton by Symantec Norton Security Standard 2016;
12)Avast! Internet Security 2016
13)Panda Security Antivirus Pro 2016;
14)McAfee AntiVirus 2016
15)Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium;
16)AVG AntiVirus Free 2016
17)Avira Free Antivirus 2016;
18)Avast! Free Antivirus 2016
19)Microsoft Windows 10 - Windows Defender
ESET - put too many hooks into the system and was next to impossible to remove - ended up using system restore

AVG - earlier versions causes blue screens, at least for me, on upgrades

F-Secure - seems good, but it makes me feel like it isn't really doing anything when it finishes a full scan in a few minutes

Symantec Endpoint Protection  (I don't have any experience with other Symantec endpoint products) - is no longer a resource hog and can be locked down to protect against virtually anything, even ransomware

MBAM - is excellent although you do need to configure it to scan for rootkits as that is turned off by default.  It is also an antimalware product, not an AV product.

AVG and other free offerings - IMHO, you get what you pay for.  cost if one gets any malware is far higher than the cost of a good endpoint solution

Windows defender - I use and support Windows 10 machines and would not depend on built in security.
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations Manager


As stated above, Security greatly depends on the habit of the end user.
For strict security: Norton (Manages resources properly, easy to use, install it forget it)
For nominal security: Keep Using Windows Defender / Security Essentials (protects from majority of known viruses)
Protect yourself from internet junk and attacks: Malwarebytes
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations Manager
and honestly I have bad experiences with other AVs excluding Norton and Bitdefender, and I prefer Norton because its less resource hungry
Most Valuable Expert 2015
For private users free antivirus is by far the best, at least if you go for Panda. You only need payed products if the PC's are used within companies, as the free products (apart from m$ defender) aren't available then. As your Question is "for personal use" it means that free products is what you need.  The payed for products generally come with too much bloatware, like firewall, which just isn't necessary as all current OS's have a built-in firewall which is more than adequate. Besides, the routers with which you connect to the outside themselves have firewalls built-in too.

M$ defender has become less and less reliable, so that is one free product I no longer recommend.

The AV engines and signatures used by the free versions of a product are basically the same as of the payed product of the same company, so the protection you get is the same. It isn't "what you pay is what you get" at all.

Another advantage of panda free is very important too, you don't have to renew your subscription every year, it just keeps on running and updating. With other products you have to remember to renew the subscription on time, or you risk not being protected when it expires. I've for example seen many users of Avast! not renewing their subscription, even for the free version, and then they got viruses because it expired. With Panda free it just basically is install and forget.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019


The task given is to buy antivirus software for a longer period, say three years as the client is just too busy for trying freeware.

The current antivirus software is a trial of McAfee Internet Security 2015 for a term of one year which has been expired in July 2016.
I have used McAfee in the past - I was never impressed with it. I used to use free AVG, but found it too restrictive.

I have been using Norton 360 and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium for the past 4 or 5 years and am very satisfied.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019


I go with Symantec and have purchased NORTON SECURITY STANDARD for a three-year licence.

Thanks all for your valuable comments.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019


My major concern is the ability to block links which is directing the client's computer to malicious websites and it is the basic step taken to prevent ransomware.
There are several steps to blocking redirects.  Not in any order.

Install a local alternate hosts file from MVPS.  

Install, either as part of the security suite or as an extra, a Browser Helper Object (BHO) that evaluates websites before the user lands on them.  Chrome does this well already, but you can add Web of Trust (mywot.com), which uses users' appraisals of sites as a basis for their ratings.

Block some of these websites at the perimeter.
Norton 360 and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium also do a very good job identifying malicious websites  in real-time.
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations Manager

I'll second Paul's suggestion. Malware bytes is quite helpful. When I was a novice user, I used AdBlock Plus plugin in Mozilla for cleaner browsing experience.
MBAM is excellent - I bought several copies of the pro version when it was on sale.  There is no doubt in my mind that everyone who needs to troubleshoot computers should have MBAM as one of their tools.  That said, it should only be one of the tools you use.  As an AV for endpoints, it isn't really an AV, it's an Anti-Malware solution.  MBAM works well with your current AV as long as only one program is doing on-access scanning (I prefer MBAM do this).