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After many years of using various versions of AVG Anti Virus Free, and much to my chagrin, support for AVG Free 7.5 (both virus and program updates) officially ended on April 30, 2009.

However, due to my own experiences and the number of other complaints I have read about the bloat and slowness of AVG Free 8.0/8.5, I am now looking for new free anti-virus software for my XP Home SP3 machine. So far I have it down to either Avast! Home Edition Free or Avira AntiVir Personal Free and I am looking for any feedback from or experiences (both positive and negative) of anyone here who may be using either of them.

As always, thanks in advance for any and all assistance.
 

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Both are good for virus detection and removal. Avast requires a yearly renewal (free - but annoying) or it stops getting updates and AntiVir has a nag screen that pops up daily after downloading updates (easily disabled). I have personally moved from Avast to AntiVir since its is basically set and forget, other than the initial disabling of the nag screen.
 

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I have been using Avast! for a few years on several different systems, without incident. A once-a-year nag is not too much to handle for using a very good free AV program.
 

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I too recently dumped AVG 8.0 and installed Avast! home edition because of some major webroot problems. My guru suggested that AVG had been causing some problems but none ever came to my attention. Avast! is not as user friendly as I would like and I have not found a way to shut the darn thing up when exiting some web sites. I just went to the Bloomberg web site to check the current price of a bbl of oil. No kiddy porn there that I am aware of but something is bugging Avast!. This is what I get for example: a popup that is headed Avast! Behavior Blocker Event. Delete File ...C:\CACPIRO9.com and there are 3 check boxes to click on as follows Allow.... Allow All.... Deny... Is it asking me if it should delete that url or should it allow it to bury itself in my computer or should it NOT let it in my system? It sounds simple but who the heck knows what it is really asking and why does it keep bugging me? If I hit Allow All you might think that all future requests would be allowed but not so.
Anyone? sailmaker
 

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I too recently dumped AVG 8.0 and installed Avast! home edition because of some major webroot problems. My guru suggested that AVG had been causing some problems but none ever came to my attention. Avast! is not as user friendly as I would like and I have not found a way to shut the darn thing up when exiting some web sites. I just went to the Bloomberg web site to check the current price of a bbl of oil. No kiddy porn there that I am aware of but something is bugging Avast!. This is what I get for example: a popup that is headed Avast! Behavior Blocker Event. Delete File ...C:\CACPIRO9.com and there are 3 check boxes to click on as follows Allow.... Allow All.... Deny... Is it asking me if it should delete that url or should it allow it to bury itself in my computer or should it NOT let it in my system? It sounds simple but who the heck knows what it is really asking and why does it keep bugging me? If I hit Allow All you might think that all future requests would be allowed but not so.
Anyone? sailmaker
Try to use MalWareBytes
http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebyt...022_4-10804572.html?tag=mncol&cdlPid=10896905
Download and update and then scan. Scan takes about 3 to 5 minutes on the quick scan setting.
To scan your system for bugs living in it that get triggered by certain webpages(ad's). Foxnews had a major bug for a couple of weeks in their page. Put bugs in to peoples systems. http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3140

To adjust Avast right click the little globe A and then program settings.


I've been using Avast for a couple of years now. Works great. and AVG was getting so bloated. And AVG still has the free 8.0 versions. Just have to look. They are moving people, who don't read the pages, to a pay for use model...
 

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I've been using Avast Home Edition since it first came out and have never looked elsewhere.

Wise Choice = Avast Home Edition!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Try to use MalWareBytes
http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebyt...022_4-10804572.html?tag=mncol&cdlPid=10896905
Download and update and then scan. Scan takes about 3 to 5 minutes on the quick scan setting.
I started using this software after dumping Ad-Aware Free and it rocks. Small footprint and much faster for both the quick and full scans. Highly recommended.

AVG was getting so bloated. And AVG still has the free 8.0 versions. Just have to look. They are moving people, who don't read the pages, to a pay for use model...
You're right about that. Here's the link if anyone's interested. Of the three choices, just make sure to select the option on the far left. :)

Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So Far, So Good

I just finished installing Avast! Home Edition Free and it seems to be running smoothly.

Some quick questions:

1. I installed this program with only the Standard Shield Resident Protection as that's all I really wanted anyway. It seems to me that based on the all the other various software and hardware configurations I have on my XP Home SP3 system as well as the fact that I don't use Outlook, Outlook Express, IM, P2P, the other Avast Resident Shields seem redundant. Good idea or bad?

2. Is the Avast VRDB Generator really necessary or is it safe to turn off? It says in the Help files that if you disable this option, it will not be possible to repair virus infected files in the future. Is this a feature that is unique to Avast or do all AV programs inherently have this capability? (Forgive me if that's a ridiculous question.)
 

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Things are a'changin'

As per my posting earlier in this "blog" I dumped AVG 8.0 for the same basic reasons as others have stated. It was a good program at one time but got far too big in its own mind and became a bit of a bully so to speak. At the urging of a moderator on another help site I switched to Avast! about 3 weeks ago. I tried different program setups but it is like a new puppy, it never shuts up so yesterday I dumped it and installed Avira. I had googled "avast vs avira" and time after time Avira came out on top. So the testing begins. It is NOT comforting to know that a lot of others are going thru much of the same exercise. This stuff should not be this hard ... to paraphrase Shakespeare "first, let's kill all the hackers". sailmaker
 

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Check your ISP for a solution!!!

I also used to us AVG and switched to the Spy ware/Anti Virus provided by my ISP. I use Shaw it is called Shaw Secure and it is a branded program provided by a European provider called F-Secure which is based in Helsinki, Finland.

Seems to work very well and it has stopped and found some port scans and other potential threats.

Check out your ISP for free solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At the urging of a moderator on another help site I switched to Avast! about 3 weeks ago. I tried different program setups but it is like a new puppy, it never shuts up so yesterday I dumped it and installed Avira. I had googled "avast vs avira" and time after time Avira came out on top. So the testing begins. It is NOT comforting to know that a lot of others are going thru much of the same exercise. This stuff should not be this hard ...
I agree.

I haven't received any sort of "complaints" from Avast as of yet, but as I mentioned above, I only installed the Standard Shield Resident Protection. It sounds like your grief was being caused by the either the Network Shield or Web Shield components or a combination of both. If you really didn't need either of these installed based on your current system's hardware and/or software configurations, I wonder how Avast would have performed then?

In any case, I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences with Avira since making the switch.
 

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My Avast has not complained other than when I have hit an infected site via Google searches. And then it just shuts down access to the webpage. And turning off the voice warning of infections is a bonus to avoid getting the crap scared out of someone(especially if you crank up the speakers). Right click the 'A' globe and then program settings and then sounds.


And the "Avast VRDB Generator" is apparently going to be phased out in the version 5 release. It was just a way to rebuild your system after an infection messing things up.


With the ISP based anti-virus/ firewall products. You really need to be sure that you are getting a version that is not updated via the ISP rules, instead of being updated as a standalone F-Secure product(or whoevers product it is). Many people on Telus's version of protection(not sure if it is a Quebec company that provides it) have been bitten by bugs for thinking that the program was actually working properly and getting updates on a daily basis, when it was partly disabled by itself or a bug.
 

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Looks OK so far

After dumping Avast! and installing Aviva about 5 days ago I find that Aviva is much more mature in its handling of problems and since my internet wanderings and daily returns to same web sites has not caused further problems I must assume Aviva is doing what it is supposed to do. Avast! was like a child always craving attention "arewethereyetarewethereyetarewethereyet?" Avast! asked permission each and every time for each and every temporary url or cookie whether it could or should delete it with pop up windows blanking as much as a 1/5 of the screen. What part of temporary do you not understand Avast!? They disappear or are dumped when the computer shuts down. Duh!! And yes I did read as much as I had time for in Avast! trying to stop these annoying and totally unnecessary requests and no matter which box I checked off or left checked nothing changed. Score Aviva an 8 out of 10 and Avast! a 1. sailmaker
 

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Avast! asked permission each and every time for each and every temporary url or cookie whether it could or should delete it with pop up windows blanking as much as a 1/5 of the screen.
Weird, I've never seen that with my Avast! set-up. In fact, the only pop-up I get is the "database has been updated" window; otherwise, Avast! hums along quite nicely in the background. Well, at least you found something that suits your needs. :)
 

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Yes, I've been using Avast since running away from AVG, and it runs quietly in the background as someone else stated. If you're getting constant popups, your settings are probably too high.
 

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Apparently Avast does not care about cookies and does nothing with them.

The network shield blocks attempts to connect to sites with known malicious content


Maybe an infection is on the machine or at the visited websites content. And Internet Explorer is wandering the Internet loading up with cookies and junk, that is triggering the warnings for the infected "Ad URL's" that Avast sees.
 

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Useful thread, thanks for the info. I am going to remove AVG from 2 Vista and an XP computer. Any advice on donig this? Would you recommend shutting down the internet connection while removing AVG and installing either Avira or Avast? One of the Vista computers is our main one and the only one I really don't want to mess things up with.
 

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Speaking of DUH!

I just noticed that I have been typing Aviva instead of Avira. Either none noticed or you turned a blind eye to this yahoo. Thanx either way. ;) sailmaker
 
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