Help Me Decide Bitdefender Free vs. Avast Free vs AVG Free vs Panda Free

Efficient and Light AV

  • Bitdefender Free

    Votes: 33 24.1%
  • AVAST Free

    Votes: 65 47.4%
  • AVG Free

    Votes: 2 1.5%
  • Panda Free

    Votes: 14 10.2%
  • Others - Pls specify

    Votes: 23 16.8%

  • Total voters
    137
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
11
#81
True, though malicious scrips and such would still be an issue, no?

The last couple of years I ran windows, I also didn't run any real-time protections, and did what you state kinda i.e. after doing a full scan, then I uninstalled the AV and just uploaded any new exe's to virustotal.com before running them, and as I didn't visit any strange sites and used common sense in general, though today I don't really think that would cut it because of the issue of scripts and phishing etc. I did that as preferred running as lightweight as possible for performance issues with e.g. nLited win2k/XP installs and such :) It's such a joy for me running arch-linux now where I am in total control of every single component of the OS and if wanting it installed/runned or not + not needing a resource-hungry real-time scanner running always :) Sorry for off-topicness here btw...
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
223
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#82
True, though malicious scrips and such would still be an issue, no?

The last couple of years I ran windows, I also didn't run any real-time protections, and did what you state kinda i.e. after doing a full scan, then I uninstalled the AV and just uploaded any new exe's to virustotal.com before running them, and as I didn't visit any strange sites and used common sense in general, though today I don't really think that would cut it because of the issue of scripts and phishing etc. I did that as preferred running as lightweight as possible for performance issues with e.g. nLited win2k/XP installs and such :) It's such a joy for me running arch-linux now where I am in total control of every single component of the OS and if wanting it installed/runned or not + not needing a resource-hungry real-time scanner running always :) Sorry for off-topicness here btw...
I'm thinking that even if malicious scripts could run, and successfully download a malware payload, the payload itself could not execute unless it was already in the whitelist. I'm not an expert in this area, so maybe there is still a risk from something malicious being able to hijack a running process. Perhaps behavior blockers that can mitigate code and memory exploits, and/or browser extensions, could deal with threats at this level.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
11
#83
Yeah, there are probably still cases where it wouldn't cut it, but after posting I was actually also thinking the exact same thing to myself i.e. that i'd guess usually the script would download an exe or try to infect an exe, which then correctly would get cought as you state.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
223
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#84
i'd guess usually the script would download an exe or try to infect an exe,
That's the part that would still worry me. If the infected exe was in the whitelist, would that be a problem? Unless the file hash was constantly monitored, it could be. Full disclosure: I always run either HitmanPro.Alert, or Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, in addition to, or in absence of a signature based AV scanner. The latest version of MalwareBytes has incorporated the anti-exploit tech into their premium product. The free version is still available as a perpetual beta.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
11
#85
Yeah, a currently running exe, I think like you the whitelist method wouldn't cut it, and a BB, hips or other exploit-inhibitor(like you run) would be needed presumably.

Not related, but I currently run avast on the windows systems, and the installed folder is 690mb's... A custom install with only 3 things installed i.e. file, web and behaviour shields, just cuts 50MB off of that size. Yeah, it's only hdd space wasted, I know, but still counts when making backup images and such and with copying them over network, USB or clouds. This isn't just an avast issue of course and is an issue of multiple apps gone in that same direction, but damn, I wish the devs would stop this trend of bloating up stuff like this - I remember the complete office suite of ms-office-2003, the last version I had installed of it and before they changed the GUI needlessly, was 370mb "only"...

Ohh, just checked a day later now after the reinstall of avast and now it's 850mb's! I thought that was crazy and considered bitdefender instead, but that I see now is 1GB, so same story there!
 
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Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
223
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#86
Bottom line, I would recommend these free products, according to the intended use:

1. Avast Free for users who just want to use one general AV program. It seems to offer the best overall free protection, in one product, out of the box.

2. Avira Free for those users who just want a strong AV to layer with other security products of their choice, such as behavior blockers, anti-exe's, firewalls, etc.

3. Bitdefender Free for computers mostly used for games and entertainment. Effective, light, and unobtrusive, but does not have many option settings, such as for exclusions, etc.

I use #1 on a VM based system. I use #2 in my main system. I use #3 on my home entertainment PC.

No matter what AV you use, get Macrium Reflect Free and a cheap external drive and start imaging your system. Then if you get hit, you can wipe your drive, and be back up and running in minutes! No malware cleanup or clean Windows installs needed. :cool:
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
11
#87
Great post above sir! :) That last part indeed is crucial for proper maintenance/security and much more important that which AV to use(as stated above). Use whatever imaging app you like, just use one, that's key, and there are several free available. I started with norton ghost from a boot floppy back in the day and later went to acronis and then explored free ones like clonezilla etc. Today, I don't bother imaging my own system(linux) and just have everything important as two copies on two different free cloud accounts, as I have nothing to hide and so not paranoid, and I can reinstall in minuttes and have the OS and apps installed + fully customized from an unattended shell-script I made, but for most I would say imaging is the easy and best way to go and I use for the windows systems of family members. I'll check that macrium reflect free out also, thanks.(Edit: That's one impressive app that seems to be, thanks man - i'm a little behind the times honestly on what's going on currently in terms of windows and it's apps, so appreciated!) Things like ransomware and such, who cares, just wipe the drive, restore and move on with your day :)

Sorry for blabbing on and just wanted to say great post above indeed! :)
 
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Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
9
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Comodo
#89
I think Avast free is best among them, It has on demand scan, Boot time scan, Full scan, File Shield, Web Shield, Beheviour Shield, Mail Shield etc. And other components you can manually select or remove such as Password manager, Game mode etc..Its lightweight and offers too many way for customisation... which is not for kids ;) Advanced user can unselect the data Shring mode in settings.. which will secure your privacy... frequent updates and best solution for zero day threats.For better detention you can use malwarebytes free and for shield no doubt Avast free.
Avast free+ Malwarebytes free = Best free Protection
Bitdefender is also good but dont have Silent mode like Avast, also heavier than Avast.But not much Customisation it offers,no settings.Its update failed notifications are also annoying.Not great web protection, exclusion system is not much good, it just seems an incomplete project.
Kaspersky free dont have Beheviour detection, so PC may suffer from zero day threats = big big drawback it is.
360 security is not good. bad detection rate. Not much protection even if 3 engines are on. Ads ads everywhere.
Panda has more false positive. Web protection is nice but overall fails to provide protection againts major threats and zero day threats.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
2
#90
Using Free Bitdefender 2018 (BD) with Voodoo Shield PRO (VD) ... latter is anti-executable
- using VD for past 13 months
- using free BD for past 13 months too (I used BD-Int.Sec for about 5 years before that)

Free BD (and their PRO range) are unpredictable ... false positives, deleting some whitelisted EXEs,
Current BD compare free/pro table states, no ransom ware capture, Free Antivirus Software - Download Bitdefender Free Edition
- very odd because VD was first to react to ransom and BD took a while to wake up to the ransom attack, 7 months ago
- I suspect BD had to phone-home to make a decision

I have just analysed the past 12 months of Free BD quarantine + whitelist
- 12 months ago there was no whitelist feature, so I didn't know it was there :confused: added with an update ? (free BD updates daily)
- auto whitelist is very minimalistic, how files were listed I don/t know
- the white list is not auto cleaned of missing files
- Quarantine ... not all quarantined were reported, some quarantined progs were white-listed so why were they Q'd ?

This thread has givenh me a lot to think about. Thanks to all for your inputs
 

MikeV

Level 17
Verified
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
836
OS
Windows 7
Antivirus
ESET
#91
Use whatever free AV makes you feel safe. Try them and decide.
Leave avast last as latest versions are problematic (such as UI failed to load, pc freezes, black screen on windows start up, behavior shield inactive, and more....)
From my experience and many others in avast forum, Avast seems to have serious problems with the latest versions and there is no an official fix yet from the avast team.

These days Kaspersky free seems to be the best solution.
 

Deletedmessiah

Level 20
Verified
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
991
OS
Windows 8.1
#92
Use whatever free AV makes you feel safe. Try them and decide.
Leave avast last as latest versions are problematic (such as UI failed to load, pc freezes, black screen on windows start up, behavior shield inactive, and more....)
From my experience and many others in avast forum, Avast seems to have serious problems with the latest versions and there is no an official fix yet from the avast team.

These days Kaspersky free seems to be the best solution.
I use Kaspersky free and I agree its great. Light on resources as well.
 

LDogg

Level 13
Verified
Joined
May 4, 2018
Messages
616
#93
I don't use an AV. I personally feel being an advanced user I do not need something that simply filters through things whilst draining out CPU & Memory, I prefer a lockdown approach with VoodooShield & OSArmor.

This doesn't have to copied at all, as this is what I use personally, but it's definitely something you could try within a VM to see if you like it before using on the main system.

~LDogg