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I recently got a virus on my computer and was able to clean it up no problem with Avast. But I got to thinking about proper security and my computer. I talked to some people I know in IT and one guy insisted that a free antivirus program from a reputable company is all I need for home use. Another guy told me that anymore you really pay for a program and the you need the extra protection that comes with subscription antivirus programs because malware is getting more prevalent and sophisticated all the time and the annual subscription is a small price to pay for the added security.

Any thoughts on the matter? Is a paid Anti-Virus program like fire insurance, something I will most likely not need but, on the off chance I do it is worth the cost? Or is it an unnecessary expense for a single home computer.
I use free but I don't have an email account which makes my risk levels a lot lower.
Post edited May 22, 2015 by tinyE
In my experience you get what you pay for.
I use Security Essentials ever since it exists. And common sense.
Just use Malware Bytes and AdwCleaner and keep your system spanking clean.

Just not real time though, but you aren't visiting dubious sites, right?
I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. It's non-intrusive, made by Microsoft for Windows, and free.
Post edited May 22, 2015 by jcosmocohen
Free anti-virus and the aforementioned common sense.

And MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

And www.virustotal.com for 'consensus' scans of smaller files

And I like this online tool if you think you have something that your regular scanner may have missed:

http://eset-online-scanner.en.softonic.com/

And that's about it.
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Zookie: I recently got a virus on my computer and was able to clean it up no problem with Avast. But I got to thinking about proper security and my computer. I talked to some people I know in IT and one guy insisted that a free antivirus program from a reputable company is all I need for home use. Another guy told me that anymore you really pay for a program and the you need the extra protection that comes with subscription antivirus programs because malware is getting more prevalent and sophisticated all the time and the annual subscription is a small price to pay for the added security.

Any thoughts on the matter? Is a paid Anti-Virus program like fire insurance, something I will most likely not need but, on the off chance I do it is worth the cost? Or is it an unnecessary expense for a single home computer.
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jcosmocohen: I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. It's non-intrusive, made by Microsoft for Windows, and free.
Yeah we use that on the B&B Computer which really needs a good AV and it works great.
Kaspersky for the win, i pay less than 30€ a year and i can visit all those weird fetish porn sites full of virus and stuff.
Common sense practices and free av will protect you from most anything out there. I've never paid for av in my life and have never had an infection, but I also don't open e-mail attachments, only use plain text (not HTML) e-mail, use ad and script blockers in my browser, never download from sketchy sites, etc.
With very few excepctions, (I've known a few javascript worms that install themselves silently) common sense is usually the best antivirus.

No wonder there are so many infected computers.
Post edited May 22, 2015 by j0ekerr
MSE is decent enough but do run a scan with malware bytes once in a while just to be safe , avoid avg at all costs specially for games it has a tendency to wipe off the game executables as false positives
I use microsoft security and malwarebytes for secondary and rootkit by malwarebytes , Till today I think they do a better job than norton and all those other costly anti virus programs.
I wouldn't say that. The false positive rate is way higher on a free product, and there is some newer stuff that a free AV can't stop. Plus a paid AV has a tons of things that add to protection.

But...There is a but, of course. You can achieve a paid like functionality if you do your homework. Malwarebytes Free helps against malware/spyware/trojans. Adwcleaner can help against adware. Zone Alarm, Comodo Free Firewall or Private Firewall can be used for blocking various attacks (first two requires a tad more knowledge, while the last one is ideal for the average user). Best thing: only the firewall need to be on all the time, the other programs can be used only when the need rise and when you want to update them.

Here is a sensible article on the matter.

http://www.northamptoncomputerrepair.com/noho-pcs-blog/pros-cons-of-free-vs-paid-antivirus-software

P.S. Avira and Bit Defender seems to still dominate the free antiviruses, with Avira winning the battle for the first place. Hope it helps a bit.
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tinyE: I use free but I don't have an email account which makes my risk levels a lot lower.
How did you sign up with GOG?