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What is the best FREE antivirus and computer cleaner?

by ckssbrown / November 14, 2011 2:11 AM PST

I know i am cheep, but I also know that there are good free antivirus and computer cleaners out there. I have windows XP. I have tried a few and wanted to know if anyone had advise before I change or try something different?

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All Answers

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Forget Cleaners
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 14, 2011 2:18 AM PST

Forget Registry Cleaners and other Optimizers. They can do more damage than good. The only cleaner we would recommend is CCleaner from and only use that with it's default settings to clean out temporary files and temporary internet files. It has a registry cleaner, but it is not necessary to use that.

As to free anti-virus scanners, most of the big named Anti-Virus utilities have free options and they all work, so asking which is best is difficult to answer. You will get as many different answers as replies. We suggest using an AV and also a couple of stand-alone manual anti-malware scanners that do not run in the background, like MalwareByte's Anti-malware and SUPERAntispyware.

What are you using now, and why do you want to change?


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by ckssbrown / November 14, 2011 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: Forget Cleaners

I am using Panda for my antivirus, and Advanced System Care for my Cleaner. It seems when I put a new one on the computer it works great for a couple of months then things start slowing down again. I should say that I have an older computer and should upgrade but it is not in the budget right now. I appreciate the advice and I will look up what you mentioned.


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Computer slowing down.
by mwooge / November 18, 2011 10:15 PM PST
In reply to: Cleaners

You're looking for antivirus and computer cleaners because your computer is slowing down? Viruses and clutter won't do that unless your computer habits are horrendous. Using a new cleaner isn't fixing any problem the old one doesn't.

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With Mark . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 14, 2011 4:24 AM PST

Registry/computer cleaners can break more than they fix. I'll echo the CCleaner as I use it at use the default settings. It's good for cleaning some clutter and clearing cookies and temp files.

I've used free AVG and Avira for AV programs. The latest results from PCWorld and PCMag testing have shown that Avira is a little better. I've been using it for about a year and am completely happy. I also use MalwareBytes and Super Anti-spyware.


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by KenHusveg / November 17, 2011 4:49 AM PST
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Re: What is the best FREE antivirus and computer cleaner?
by pablonyc / November 17, 2011 10:43 AM PST

I don't use a free anti-virus program for my PCs, but I am avid user and supporter of Advanced System Care. I was so pleased with its performance, I made the one-time affordable investment to get the full suite of ASC programs.

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what i use
by educer74 / November 17, 2011 11:01 AM PST

I use comodo and am perfectly happy with it ...
and advanced system care
never had a problem with them

but i don't know anyone else who uses Comodo Internet Security ...
Does anyone else use it?
Care to share opinions about it??

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(NT) YES tried them all sticking comodo I security w/firewall
by THEUFOKID / April 4, 2012 7:31 PM PDT
In reply to: what i use
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by p51driver / November 17, 2011 9:55 PM PST

I am surprised that no one (so far) has answered with Microsoft Security Essentials which is getting very good reviews.

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computer cleaner
by gabsta1959 / November 18, 2011 9:34 AM PST
In reply to: Surprised...

Oh yes MSE is great, love it. I wont use anything else. Have you ever had it fail you?

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Good but...
by Zouch / November 18, 2011 9:51 PM PST
In reply to: computer cleaner

MSE does have some very good reviews and works well, as far as I've seen on newer machines. However, I did try it on an older and so not very powerful machine by today's standards and the overhead on the machine was too heavy. Since the poster says he has an older computer and is concerned with performance, that may limit his options. I reverted to Avast Free and the performance picked up dramatically. For reference, I use ZoneAlarm Free firewall and Windows Defender on this older machine to complete the MSE Equivalent set.

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by mrufhayes / November 17, 2011 10:09 PM PST

Good spyware and antivirus cleanup.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 18, 2011 5:31 AM PST
In reply to: Malwarebytes

is not an anti-virus scanner and should not be used as such.

However, it is a good compliment to your anti-virus scanning utility.


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The best is called ...
by richteral / November 18, 2011 4:23 PM PST

Linux. Get rid of XP if you can.
Windows 7 will do a good job too, but it does not come free and your computer may not be up to it.

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by educer74 / November 19, 2011 1:23 AM PST
In reply to: The best is called ...

This reply doesn't answer the question. This should go into one of those linux forums. Linux is quite cool. I have used it and liked it. But the original question is about free antivirus, not alternate operative systems.

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You need to
by richteral / November 19, 2011 3:35 AM PST
In reply to: linux?

read past the first word before replying.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 19, 2011 3:39 AM PST
In reply to: You need to

if the OP had wanted to try a different OS I am sure they would have asked that question.

Since they didn't, may be you should have read the OP's post before replying. This was not a Windows vs "Any Other" question.


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Reading & Comprehension
by richteral / November 19, 2011 3:46 PM PST
In reply to: Well,

If someone runs XP, it is the question. Maybe you should try to comprehend more before you become sure.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 19, 2011 9:04 PM PST

but since I also use Linux I have no need for added comprehension.

I just try to help the users who post here.


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Another cheapo here.......
by MeanDonnaJean / November 19, 2011 6:26 AM PST the ONLY items I've EVER used are all freebies, but I swear by 'em all (and have recommended as well). Since my very first computer system waaaay back in the day (I think I'm probably on number 4 or 5 by now) I've always installed:

AVG Free
Spybot Search & Destroy
Lavasoft's Ad-Aware
Javacool's Spywareblaster
Piriform's CCleaner

ZoneAlarm Free, and last but not least,
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

I update all at LEAST once a week (my usual routine is to manually update a couple of 'em every Wednesday and Saturday...and the rest are scheduled to automatically update on alternate days durin' the week) and I faithfully run each weekly except for CCleaner which I run daily to clear out all the crap that my son's surfin' may leave behind.

And there ya have it.

Now everyone knows all about MDJ's computer habits.

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Free AND Automatic??
by SN000PY / July 28, 2012 12:07 PM PDT

I wonder what free versions provide scheduled scanning??

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All the big names do
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 28, 2012 8:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Free AND Automatic??

even with their free versions.

And that list just above your post, there are only two anti-virus scanners there, AVG Free and ZoneAlarm Free.

The rest are not anti-virus although I note that Lavasoft's AdAware does now include and anti-virus in their anti-adaware utility.


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Small correction
by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 28, 2012 9:07 PM PDT
In reply to: All the big names do

ZoneAlarm Free is only a firewall. Antivirus (and more protection) only comes with the paid version.


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Now I thought about that
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 28, 2012 9:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Small correction

but I thought I had read where Endpoint had now included anti-virus into their free version recently.

I don't mind being proved wrong! Happy


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Best Free Stuff
by ghost7772 / April 6, 2012 2:08 PM PDT

I've used AVGFree for years. the same goes for spyware programs Safer Networking's Spybot S&D is one if if not the best spyware program in the world, and it is FREE. About the only real difference between free software and the paid version is that most free software are usually manually controlled, and the paid version is automatically controlled, and the paid version might have more features included, but why pay for something that you might not ever use, if you only are going to use the parts you can get for free?

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by Apnic-Solutions / April 7, 2012 1:04 AM PDT

I am using AVG since 3 years - It is working best and I never had viruses in my computer Happy

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eset not32 antivirus
by rennagentry / July 18, 2012 6:58 PM PDT

i am using eset not32 antivirus whiten 1 year and never need anything ales.

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So this is the 64 bit version?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2012 2:55 AM PDT
In reply to: eset not32 antivirus
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ESET NOD32 Antivirus
by rennagentry / July 18, 2012 7:03 PM PDT

I am using ESET NOD32 Antivirus from 1 year with no problume

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The Topic Is "Free" AV's.. I've Not Heard Of Free NOD32
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 20, 2012 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: ESET NOD32 Antivirus

Other than a short trial version, I've not heard of a free version of ESET's program.. Have you found something we haven't?

Hope this helps.


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