cosmos

Level 1
My job involves supporting around a 100 users. For those I've got a corporate/endpoint suite that I'm using.

Due to my line of work, a lot of systems belonging to family/friends pass through my hands. Back in the pre-Windows 8 days I used to install a number of (mainly) free AV solutions. Continuing to do up to this day, even though the free defender has raised the level a lot.

Bottomline, there are still a lot of free AVs out there, and I'd like your opinion. My basic criteria are rock-level stability, detection and performance on low-to-medium risk users (ie not downloading illegal stuff, might visiting some porn etc). They are mainly laptop users, some with underpowered systems, therefore I would not mind losing some detection, in order to gain performance.

I've used avast, AVG, avira, bitdefender, kaspersky and obviously windows defender.

* From everything that I've used so far, I think Bitdefender was the lightest of them all. However my experiences with Bitdefender over the last 15 years have all failed miserably one way or another, even with paid products. Used to have firewall problems, with the program blocking internet access (critical) or the antivirus turned off and could not turn on (ditto). Today was my last attempt to use this software. Next time I'll try will be in 2030, wasted too much time with it....

* I don't feel avast is very low on resources nowadays. And I don't like the nagware plus all the modules loaded (which I de-select during installation) are too much a fuss

* Kaspersky seems a bit heavy. I really can't understand how the heck the av-comparatives present it as a low-resource app. I've used all home/endpoint and free versions and they all were heavy (free seemed to be a little on the light side). The endpoint products were a hell to upgrade. The home/SOHO products though were/are as sturdy as it goes! Home the free product follows on the same genre.

* Avira: Seems excellent regarding detection, but also seems very heavy on resources

* AVG: did not like it for some reason, have not used it for 10 years or so

So far, if I had to choose one from the products mentioned above, I'd go with Kaspersky free. But I don't have any information regarding other solutions. Is there an EMSIsoft free antivirus product available (have never used EMSI)? What about the free Sophos home?

Again, criteria are rock-solid stability, excellent performance without sacrificing much on av detection, for users with fairly-safe habits and low-to-medium powered rigs.
 

Umbra

Level 25
Verified
Is there an EMSIsoft free antivirus product available (have never used EMSI)? What about the free Sophos home?
no, Emsisoft is paid only.
Are you a MSP?
- if yes, Emsisoft has a program with preferential prices for MSPs.
- if not, if you plan to buy a big number of licenses, you can contact directly the sales team and ask for a "personalized" price (Say Umbra sent you, it may help :p )
 

cosmos

Level 1
No, Emsisoft is paid only.
So EMSISoft is not-an-option here, pity

Are you a MSP?
- if not, if you plan to buy a big number of licenses, you can contact directly the sales team and ask for a "personalized" price (Say Umbra sent you, it may help :p )
Would prefer to stick to free products for a number of reasons. The most obvious being that ppl do not want to pay (explicitly) upfront (although they might pay up later on to recover). Plus these free users are persons that I might see once and not again, so I can't afford to hunt them yearly to install a new license etc (yeah, I know that there are a zillion cloud-based consoles to ease license management; I'd like to avoid that).

Any experience/words of wisdom regarding the products I've mentioned above (plus anything else that fits the bill)?
 

amico81

Level 17
Verified
If you wanna try some light solutions, just take a look for some combos...free av with signature detection + syshardener or
OSArmor for anti-exploit.

for example: Panda Antivirus free + Voodooshield free or
Immunet + OSArmor

 

Atlas147

Level 30
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
If you're looking for something for people of the older generation and who might not have the technical know how of dealing with the popups that AVs show when detecting something, I would probably not go with kaspersky. Many times I have had to click block when kaspersky detects something, it does not automatically quarantine it which is a bit unfortunate.

From my memory, I think only Bitdefender has an autopilot function that deals with everything itself without fuss. But since you don't really like bitdefender free either I think the only other option where users are not prompted to make an action is avast.
 

harlan4096

Moderator
Verified
Staff member
Malware Hunter
@Atlas147:
Many times I have had to click block when kaspersky detects something, it does not automatically quarantine it which is a bit unfortunate.
Hum are You sure? :unsure: Kaspersky in Auto Mode (by default, not Interactive) usually auto quarantine all malicious files except those that are PUP detections (in orange colour, and let the user to decide), anyway You may setup the product to try to disinfect and if not possible delete (take to Quarantine the file).

Of course if You are in Interactive Mode, Kaspersky will ask, but even in Interactive Mode You may setup to try to disinfect and if not possible delete (take to Quarantine the file).
 

Atlas147

Level 30
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
@Atlas147:

Hum are You sure? :unsure: Kaspersky in Auto Mode (by default, not Interactive) usually auto quarantine all malicious files except those that are PUP detections (in orange colour, and let the user to decide), anyway You may setup the product to try to disinfect and if not possible delete (take to Quarantine the file).

Of course if You are in Interactive Mode, Kaspersky will ask, but even in Interactive Mode You may setup to try to disinfect and if not possible delete (take to Quarantine the file).
How do you check if you are in auto mode because I'm pretty sure I haven't toggled any settings
 

cosmos

Level 1
If you use a free av more than likely youre the product, not the customer.
If you are not stating in this in the context of marketing data used, then no offiense but I whole-heartidly do not agree with this statement, even though I do not use free products myself. I install them for others. Even so, I (alone) could live on Defender. I elect not to do so, mainly due to performance reasons and false positives. Free products are pretty good for home users and there are good products out there. OTOH (and OT a bit) business users are a different story.

If, however, you stated this in a context of personal privacy, I could agree. Still, users decided to have facebook. Privacy gone...

If you're looking for something for people of the older generation and who might not have the technical know how of dealing with the popups that AVs show when detecting something, I would probably not go with kaspersky. Many times I have had to click block when kaspersky detects something, it does not automatically quarantine it which is a bit unfortunate.
That's funny, I don't recall something like that happening with my older KES and KAV installations. Isn't the free version configurable in the sense that a policy of infected file can be defined right after installation? If what you're describing is true, then yeah, Kaspersky is definitely out of the picture.

From my memory, I think only Bitdefender has an autopilot function that deals with everything itself without fuss. But since you don't really like bitdefender free either I think the only other option where users are not prompted to make an action is avast.
Stability wise Bitdefender is definitely not going to be included in my upcoming plans, no matter how many rewards they get. Reminds me of some Panda corporate AVs some ten years ago, that simply decided to stop working (even though the adminsecure console showed them just fine). What a nightmare!

So things are getting back to Avast? Pity....

Here's a site from someone with experience
decentsecurity.com/
Thanks for the link mate, nice reading.
 

Robbie

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
No free antivirus will give you a top level solid protection. Most free AVs are just signature engines and some modules, but lack good protection against ransomware, folder protection, application control, HIPS, etc.

If you want software to install to home users, then my suggestion would be: stay with Windows Defender, add ConfigureDefender (AndyFul) and harden the system with SysHardener. Add an adbocker to their browser and maybe UnChecky. I hardly doubt they will infect that.

If you manage users in an enterprise level (for example you're CSO or IT responsible of security) you can in no way trust free antivirus or free solutions. You should be looking for enterprise oriented software, and further beyond than regular 1st gen antivirus.
 

Atlas147

Level 30
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
@Atlas147: by default In Auto Mode:

In File AV Module & in Scan settings, You can change Action on Threat detection to:



I have the exact same setting as you, and I realize what I am seeing now. I used the EICAR test file to see what it would do and sure enough the detection remained there for a bit as seen by this screenshot

1581087777062.png



However after a bit the detection resolves itself and is deleted.

That was what I was seeing from Kaspersky the other time. It seems that it takes a bit for kaspersky to decide that the file cannot be disinfected and proceeds to delete it.
 

Umbra

Level 25
Verified
The most obvious being that ppl do not want to pay (explicitly) upfront (although they might pay up later on to recover). Plus these free users are persons that I might see once and not again, so I can't afford to hunt them yearly to install a new license etc (yeah, I know that there are a zillion cloud-based consoles to ease license management; I'd like to avoid that).
So just let them with Windows Defender, don't even bother with anything else. Just harden the OS here and there.
 
My job involves supporting around a 100 users. For those I've got a corporate/endpoint suite that I'm using.

Due to my line of work, a lot of systems belonging to family/friends pass through my hands. Back in the pre-Windows 8 days I used to install a number of (mainly) free AV solutions. Continuing to do up to this day, even though the free defender has raised the level a lot.

Bottomline, there are still a lot of free AVs out there, and I'd like your opinion. My basic criteria are rock-level stability, detection and performance on low-to-medium risk users (ie not downloading illegal stuff, might visiting some porn etc). They are mainly laptop users, some with underpowered systems, therefore I would not mind losing some detection, in order to gain performance.

I've used avast, AVG, avira, bitdefender, kaspersky and obviously windows defender.

* From everything that I've used so far, I think Bitdefender was the lightest of them all. However my experiences with Bitdefender over the last 15 years have all failed miserably one way or another, even with paid products. Used to have firewall problems, with the program blocking internet access (critical) or the antivirus turned off and could not turn on (ditto). Today was my last attempt to use this software. Next time I'll try will be in 2030, wasted too much time with it....

* I don't feel avast is very low on resources nowadays. And I don't like the nagware plus all the modules loaded (which I de-select during installation) are too much a fuss

* Kaspersky seems a bit heavy. I really can't understand how the heck the av-comparatives present it as a low-resource app. I've used all home/endpoint and free versions and they all were heavy (free seemed to be a little on the light side). The endpoint products were a hell to upgrade. The home/SOHO products though were/are as sturdy as it goes! Home the free product follows on the same genre.

* Avira: Seems excellent regarding detection, but also seems very heavy on resources

* AVG: did not like it for some reason, have not used it for 10 years or so

So far, if I had to choose one from the products mentioned above, I'd go with Kaspersky free. But I don't have any information regarding other solutions. Is there an EMSIsoft free antivirus product available (have never used EMSI)? What about the free Sophos home?

Again, criteria are rock-solid stability, excellent performance without sacrificing much on av detection, for users with fairly-safe habits and low-to-medium powered rigs.
rock-level stability = Windows Defender, but there are no guarantees
 

oldschool

Level 42
Verified
My basic criteria are rock-level stability, detection and performance on low-to-medium risk users (ie not downloading illegal stuff, might visiting some porn etc).
Windows Defender with configure Defender
Definitely. WD set on HIGH should do the trick for a simple configuration that will work for all users. MAX depending on how much configuration, number of laptops, installed 3rd party apps, etc.


Completely optional: If you want added protection, and since your users are low-medium risk (and presumably above-average intelligence!), maybe add VoodooShield free. Set it on Autopilot and teach them the Golden Rule: If VS blocks something you ARE intending to run, then allow it. It's no more complicated than this.