11 November 2006

Free Anti-Virus


Damn, I wake up this morning and switch on the computer to discover that AVG are discontinuing the free edition of their anti-virus suite as of January 2007.

Well, the message as it turns out was a bit misleading. They are discontinuing 7.1 free edition and are advising the users to update to 7.5 which is still free. Click the link in the first paragraph to download - incidentally it uses wxWidgets for its user interface.

It has been a fairly decent product, especially for the price, and has meant that I don't have to install one of the myriad of Norton Security packages that I own (normally given away free with computer parts). I suppose I could go and install those, but I am not really pleased with the software when I have used it. Mainly due to Firefox AVG Free Edition has only spotted one virus attempting to get on my PC in the past few years - and this is definitely not from being a poor anti-virus.

Anyway here is a list of free alternatives for all of you in the same position:
  • It seems Avast is the most fully featured and professional program you could choose.
  • Avira AntiVir is also a well respected free anti-virus alternative.
  • And now an open-source alternative:
  • Clamwin - A free open-source anti-virus engine. It is a static scanner... but pair it up with...
  • WinPooch is a dynamic monitoring engine that you can use with ClamWin which gives you all the benefits of dynamic monitoring.

Well, that is at least a list to be getting on with. Or you could believe Microsoft's Jim Allchin that you do not need Anti-virus in Windows Vista...