cosmos

Level 1
First, let me thank you for some very quality responses.

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.

Dead right, that's what my very first sentence in my first post was:
My job involves supporting around a 100 users. For those I've got a corporate/endpoint suite that I'm using.

Someone also mentioned Panda Cloud, for its lightness. It was light some 5 years ago, but tried it last year and seemed quite heavy. If possible confirm if it is still a good AV.

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.

I Always install ublock origin on the browser, used to modify DNS as well (inserting the Norton ones usually) but had some issues there. I see that a lot of people recommend defender with configuration/hardening tools. I'm a bit against the latter ones, don't know what might break on the users, especially considering that they will not contact me (read: I want to avoid receiving calls "why doesn't this/that work anymore"). There's always the time cost: time needed to install all this stuff and configure it. Furthermore, other free AV packages can be configured to have more aggressive checking enabled, usually with a large performance cost. What is the actual advantage of setting WD to high and configuring specific settings, compared to doing the same thing with Kaspersky free or another free product? Remember that I want to keep some good performance and that my users are not high-risk/high-impact ones.

Bottomline: please try to think of single products, to avoid the time needed to install and configure a multitude of apps. Best free rock-steady, very good AV effectiveness and performance.
 

cosmos

Level 1
Just read this: Performance Test October 2019 | AV-Comparatives

McAfee second in performance? :D Really shocked here, that would be a sight to see. Defender comes with a very large performance difference. I must confess, I don't really trust av-comparatives, always take their results with some grains of salt. Or any other results for that matter, due to the so called performance measurements which do not correlate with my own (subjective of course) evaluations...

Bottomline is that Kaspersky (not the free version though) seems pretty decent. Avast pretty good too.
 

RoboMan

Level 32
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
Bottomline: please try to think of single products, to avoid the time needed to install and configure a multitude of apps. Best free rock-steady, very good AV effectiveness and performance.
I'm sorry but I don't think there's such thing as a complete security suite than cames pre-configured for best protection and is totally free. I believe Windows Defender is the most complete antivirus, which I'd actually call a suite (the fact that it comes pre-installed comes with some responsability from Microsoft). You don't usually find folder protection, exploit protection, application control, core isolation, and parental control, in free antivirus software. I can guarantee no other provider will offer such protection for free. And WD even includes greater protection but needs to be configured with policies or regedit, that's why with ConfigureDefender you can just click "HIGH SETTINGS" button and reboot and you don't have to do anything more at all.

You cna then look for Kaspersky Free Security Cloud, Avast, Avira, BitDefender free.. Many will have good signatures, but none will offer such complete protection. The rest is up to you. Average Joe's will ALWAYS find a way to outsmart free antiviruses.
 

oldschool

Level 57
Verified
@Gandalf_The_Grey @Robbie

Indeed, but these still require configuration. Either K or Bitdefender Free. It has one setting: Protection On/Off.

To the OP: I fail to see why using WD, installing ConfigureDefender with one simple setting > High, is not a set and forget solution for friends and family. Frankly speaking, even WD @ default is advised to noobs on TenForums, BleepingComputer, etc.*

*but of course not here on MT. We are all either hyper-vigilant or paranoids! :LOL:
 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
Like many suggested, WD with ConfigureDefender is the best choice here. Firstly, you don't have to install an AV at all, it's already there. Then it only takes 5 clicks and 5 seconds to setup ConfigureDefender. Just check out ConfigureDefender and you'll see what everyone is talking about.
 
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Tiamati

Level 8
Verified
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.
. You don't usually find folder protection, exploit protection, application control, core isolation, and parental control, in free antivirus software. I can guarantee no other provider will offer such protection for free

@Robbie i tried Kaspersky free and internet security solutions and made some comparisons. The main difference was the firewall and a few non essential extra services (privacy cleaning, app monitoring, webcam, ad block, etc), but as far as i know, all the major protection modules are all present on the free version... Do you know wich options the free version lacks and why it's really important?


the only real free and very secure option left is Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
@Gandalf_The_Grey I agree that kaspersky free is the main free secure solution! But i tried Bitdefender free too for a few years, and despite it lacks the options to control and configure all modules, it has all the necessary modules for protection (rasomware protection, webprotection, BB, antipishing, etc). You can correct if i'm wrong, pls.


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.
In my experience helping beginners-average users, teaching the golden rule is usually ineffective. They tend to allow everything or to block what they shouldn't (without realizing they blocked something by themselves)

We are all either hyper-vigilant or paranoids! :LOL:

Completely agree, but it's funny haha

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

@cosmos in my opinion the only free options i would consider are Kaspersky free, Bitdefender free and Windows Defender. In my opinion Bitdefender is the best "set and forget" option. I never had problems with it in any PC. But as you had, i would hear @oldschool advice and get windows defender. I believe that for the average facebook/email/youtube user there is no need to implement anything else. If you really want, you could try configure defender. I never tried it so idk if it could cause any problems that the user should know how to interfere properly. @oldschool is a very racional user here, so if he says it won't cause problem, i would believe in him.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
I'm also "hansome and brilliant" according to reknowned @Hindenburg !!! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
old.gif
 
(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.

It won't work. Just look at @Evjl's Rain 's results with it. Sorry, but any product that requires a user to respond to any notification is going to result in the wrong decisions being made across that user-group.
 

oldschool

Level 57
Verified
It won't work. Just look at @Evjl's Rain 's results with it. Sorry, but any product that requires a user to respond to any notification is going to result in the wrong decisions being made across that user-group.

It's beside the point > OP only wants a single free AV for his friends and family as shown below:

Bottomline: please try to think of single products, to avoid the time needed to install and configure a multitude of apps. Best free rock-steady, very good AV effectiveness and performance.
 
It's beside the point > OP only wants a single free AV for his friends and family as shown below:

But VS isn't free AV. It is an anti-executable.

And besides, whomever the OP is, if they install VS on all those systems then they will be getting phone calls from friends & family about all the problems that VS causes. It's a product that is completely inappropriate for anyone other than security geeks.

It's just like recommending Hard Configurator... a true freeware utility that is entirely inappropriate for anyone other than a security geek.

Typical users cannot handle anti-executables nor software restriction policies. Default deny doesn't work for them. Only default allow does. If a user is inclined to use default deny, then they often find their way to places such as MT and then learn the ropes.
 
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TairikuOkami

Level 29
Verified
Content Creator
Kaspersky seems a bit heavy.
Just to make sure, have you tried Kaspersky Cloud Free not Kaspersky Free?

Someone also mentioned Panda Cloud, for its lightness. It was light some 5 years ago, but tried it last year and seemed quite heavy.
It needs to be customized a bit and it is not exactly top-notch, but it should do, if you have fairly-safe users as you have mentioned.
Code:
Uncheck Install Panda Safe Web
Settings - General - Disable Panda news / Antivirus - Block files for 10 seconds/Disable show warning/Process Monitor - Disable both

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.
1. CleanbrowsingDNS Security - it blocks ~90% known phishing/malware domains, alternatively you can use UltraDNS Threat + Netcraft
2. Kaspersky Cloud Free - do not install Password Manager, uninstall Kaspersky Secure Connection afterwards and disable Web-Protection

Kaspersky web-protection can cause serious slow-downs and problems with certificates it replaces, see screenshot.
EDIT: Optionally you can install anti-malware extensions, like Emsisoft Browser Security, Malwarebytes Browser Guard or Bitdefender Traffic Light.
 

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RoboMan

Level 32
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
@Robbie i tried Kaspersky free and internet security solutions and made some comparisons. The main difference was the firewall and a few non essential extra services (privacy cleaning, app monitoring, webcam, ad block, etc), but as far as i know, all the major protection modules are all present on the free version... Do you know wich options the free version lacks and why it's really important?
TAM, Application Control... Without Application Control I would use Kaspersky.. That's just System Watcher and signatures... WD offers a more complex solution...
 
F

ForgottenSeer 823865

People, you forgot to read the requirements: noob + no so click happy users + not regular...
So since they are noob, I will never recommend any default-deny solution whatever user-friendly they pretend to be... no Comodo, no VS, no SRP.
Stick with simple scanners (like WD) they requires little input from the users and create no much issues.
Instead give them a checklist of what they shouldn't do.
Also put them on Standard User Account.
It is better than installing any apps, and you won't have to follow up.
 

Local Host

Level 23
Verified
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.
Kaspersky will do what you set it to do, is not smart to expect Kaspersky to do stuff without consent by default (the majorly of AVs don't).
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

Those are not setups for casual users, unless you like getting calls and e-mails regarding support every hour.
 

Tiamati

Level 8
Verified
TAM, Application Control... Without Application Control I would use Kaspersky.. That's just System Watcher and signatures... WD offers a more complex solution...

Ty for answering. Idk a lot about TAM. But if i'm not wrong, it's turned off by default in KIS isn't? if so, it means most of tests consider it turned off. And even without that Kaspersky has one the best results on almost every test i've seem. So, i believe it's safe to say it's not an essential module. Despite that, i agree it's is a great bonus. Anyway, i'll take a deeper look into TAM and AppCt features. I'll welcome any opinion you may have.

Cya!
 
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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.

  • Kaspersky Free
  • WiseVector AI

stay away from any anti-executable, software restriction policy, system hardening, or other default deny