avast! Home or AVG Free Antivirus? which’s BETTER to Protect Windows XP, Vista

You must already know that I use two AntiVirus programs, AVG Free Edition & avast! Home Edition. Yeah, I love both. Sometimes when one doesn’t recognize any trojans, another supports the hole. As you know, in the last post, i do not recommend you to use two or more same programs, because not only will they eat your memory resources but sometimes will also generate some conflicts between each other. Actually, You can use only one which’s better (according to you) and it really fits your needs. or maybe you want both, like me too? it’s up 2 you

Is it avast! or AVG Antivirus? Let’s review both of them.

> What’s Antivirus?
Antivirus tools are essential in protecting the host client from a multitude of viral, Trojan, and rootkit Internet threats. They also can also stop virus infestation from cross media file sharing. Antivirus is also essential as a secondary preventative Internet security solution beyond a firewall

If you are looking for the best possible protection my top recommendation is either AVG Antivirus Free Edition or the Avast! scanner. They are both come with more complete products and less intrusive in use than other ‘limited feature’ products.

>>AVG AntiVirus Free Edition

AVG AntiVirus provides a free for personal use virus scanner under a business model of prevention being key to protection and selling more advanced features and services. This virus protection is basic under the free model, the Pro version adds high speed downloads and Multiple Languages; and the internet security version adds Anti-Spam, Spyware and firewall to its abilities.

This antiviral program offers rock-solid protection for no financial commitment. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition provides all the necessities, including a tool for scanning your hard drive and e-mail, as well as a real-time shield to prevent infections. By default, the application is set to search for new virus definitions daily, but you always can use the scheduling tool to change this. Should a virus create serious system problems, AVG creates a rescue disk to scan your computer in MS-DOS mode. The program doesn’t tax your system when scanning or when running in the background and always proved effective in many tests.

--> AVG Anti Virus Free Specifications:

License: Freeware
Version :7.5.516
(Version 7.5.516 features improvements in Resident Shield scanning and adds small improvements in installation process.)
Author: Grisoft
Date: 25 Jan 2008
Download File size: 31.5MB
Operating systems supported:windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no
Website: http://free.grisoft.com/

--> Avast! Anti Virus Home Edition (Free)

avast! Home Edition Free provides a free for personal use virus scanner under a business model of prevention being key to protection. The site requires you to register (no spam, tested) for each year you use it and the software provides the same protection as most other virus software on the market, including: Anti-Virus, Script Blocking, Firewall protection, Malware and Spyware detection. The software is somewhat limited in its disinfection abilities and has a slower download on updates than paying customers (advertised, arguably crippleware). This software is also one of the few to support older operating systems such as Windows 95, 98, and NT.

Avast Home Edition guards your PC and the network with multiple shields that scan executables and files. You can select parameters for scanning, and even choose wildcards to exclude specific file types. You can adjust the sensitivity level for the program’s detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and a host of P2Ps. Its efficient interface opens up window after window to tweak its settings to your liking, for novice to advanced level protection. This impressive software provides the same steadfast protection of well-known antivirus program, yet it’s surprisingly free.

>- avast! Anti Virus Home Edition (Free) Features:

~~Full on-access scanning – which scans files as you access them, to make sure they are safe from infection
~~Full on-access scanning – which scans files as you access them, to make sure they are safe from infection virus definitions
~~Virus Chest – a safe storage place for infected or suspected files, where they cannot harm your system
~~On-demand scanning – for scheduled or ad-hoc scans of your system volumes
~~Full scanner preference control – set avast! to work in the way you want
~~Integrates seemlessly with the WHS Console
~~Allows for easy management of all avast! installations running on your home network

>-avast! Anti Virus Home Edition (Free) Specifications:
..Version: 4.7
..Author: Alwil Software
..Date: 01/12/2008
..Download File size:18.0MB
..Operating systems supported: windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
..64 Bit Capable: yes
..Portable version available: no
..Other languages supported: yes
..Additional Software Required: no
..Website: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

Which is BETTER? avast! vs AVG ?

Fight Virusses
Both these two, are best of the best when it comes to AntiVirus tools. They are up there with the expensive ones.
+ Real Time Protection
Real time protection, is the automatic protection you get while you are working. When I was downloading a trojan in Opera, Avast caught it before it even finished the download, which was amazing. I just clicked download, and bam. AVG actually took some time, I had to go to the downloads folder, and that is when it caught it. That proves the two have different protection approaches. Both acted the same way when I tested with the malware CDs. No lag at all.
+ Treatment
Both have similar ways of dealing with viruses and malware. Quarantine, delete, and heal. But one thing I noticed about AVG, is that sometimes it just gives up. If there is something stubborn in it’s way, sometimes it just leaves it alone. Avast on the other hand, has some advanced stuff. Move/Rename, and most importantly schedule deletion. Also in Avast, there is VRDB, Virus Recovery Database, which helps recovering the files to their exact original state after treatment. Something not available in AVG.
+ Resources Usage And Speed
In RAM consumption, both consume around 16 MBs, which is pretty light on the system. But, the boot up time of windows was a bit slower when AVG was on deck. And a significant improvement in boot speed was visible when Avast was the subject. This was measured in seconds, I actually sat down and used a stopwatch.
+ Updates
In updates, AVG was a bit faster than Avast, but on the downside, lately, in AVG it says you have got to reboot after each update, it gives you this “items inactive” message. That is not the case with Avast.
+ Scan Speed
Lastly about the scanning speeds. Both were pretty much the same. Except when Avast is on a thorough scan mode, it took a hell amount of time compared to AVG. But that maybe due to the fact that AVG doesn’t have that kind of mode.

> Final Conclusion
AVG Free has been continuously refined since it was first released in 1991 and the latest version V7.5 makes further improvements to an already solid product. Additionally, it’s relatively small, light on resources, has regular automatic updates, and handles email scanning. There is a free and a pro version; the only difference being that the free version has a few non critical features disabled and has no technical support other than a free user forum.

Equally effective is the free Avast scanner although its funky media player style interface is not to everyone’s taste. Avast also required periodic re-registration while AVG does not. However, Avast does not seem to suffer the signature file update problems that plague some AVG users. AVG and Avast are excellent free products that will meet the needs of most users, however, none of these offer the best malware detection available. That title belongs to commercial products like NOD32, F Secure, the full versions of AntiVir, Kaspersky AV and others. They are however capable packages that offer the financially challenged a real alternative to the major anti virus suites.

However, if you use AVG or Avast in conjunction with a sandbox for surfing, and an anti spyware product, you can achieve a level of protection approaching that offered by the best commercial AV products. Further improvement is possible running regular on demand scans with a different anti virus product. On demand scans should be run regularly, at least weekly, to check for viruses and other malware that may have been missed by your main scanner. (http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm#2)

What To Do If Your PC Is Infected With A Virus

If you're system is infected with a virus, you should install anti-virus software to rid it of the intruder, if the anti-virus software can't clean the system, you may have to delete the infected files from your system and restore from backups.

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to reformat your hard drive, destroying all of the data on it. Then you'll have to reinstall your software and data, assuming you have the original software disks and clean backups of your files.
In this case, it's a good idea to install your virus protection software right after installing your operating system (like Windows), so that the integrity of your backup files and original software can be verified.

You might also want to contact all the people that you've recently exchanged information with -- via floppy disks, e-mail attachments, Zip disks -- and let them know your system's been infected and theirs may be infected as well. You'`d want to advise them to check their system for the appropriate virus or symptoms.

How Does A Virus Infect Your PC

Years ago, only certain types of files (generally executable files like program files) could be carriers of a virus, however with the invention of macro languages in programs like Microsoft Word or Excel, and the use of Javascript in web page building, almost any type of data could theoretically carry a virus. The most common way a computer is infected with a virus today is through the use of a floppy disk containing data from another computer, or through the use of the Internet with email, IRC, or other online communication.

Because viruses are becoming more clever, no one should be using a computer that does not have anti-virus software running on it. The more you use a computer, the more likely it is you will encounter a virus.

Some common symptoms that could indicate your system's been infected are:

* Computer slows down without reason
* Unusual messages or displays on your monitor
* Unusual sounds or music played at random times
* Your system has less available memory than it should
* A disk or volume name has been changed
* Programs or files are suddenly missing
* Unknown programs or files have been created
* Some of your files become corrupted or suddenly don't work properly

What Are Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are software programs that invade a computer system to wreck havoc with computer files or the computer users themselves. Some are benign causing nothing more than a nuisance while others can delete files or even destroy computer hardware. Typically viruses are programmed to reproduce themselves and spread from one computer system to another, just like a normal human virus spreads via human contact throughout the population. Computer viruses can be spread via diskettes or other removable media, by way of email attachments, or in some cases simply by being connected to the Internet and not protected.

Type Of Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are categorized into four main types: boot sector, file or program, macro, and multipartite viruses.
Boot sector viruses are usually transmitted when an infected floppy disk is left in the drive and the system is rebooted. The virus is read from the infected boot sector of the floppy disk and transferred to the master boot record of the system's hard drive. Then, whenever the computer is booted up, the virus will be loaded into the system's memory. Any floppy disk formatted as a bootable disk in the infected machine would contain the virus and spread itself to other machines.

Program or file viruses are software programs that attach themselves to executable programs. Once the infected program is run, the virus is transferred to your system's memory and may replicate itself further. It may spread to all the files on a hard drive or to files of a specific type. Common viruses such as Happy99, PrettyPark,and the ILOVEYOU worm can be classified as this type.

Macro viruses are currently the most commonly found viruses. They infect files run by application that use macro languages, like Microsoft Word or Excel. The virus looks like a macro in the file, and when the file is opened, the virus can execute commands understood by the application's macro language. The infamous Melissa virus is a macro virus as well as the common Laroux Excel spreadsheet virus.

Multipartite viruses have characteristics of both boot sector viruses and file viruses
. They may start out in the boot sector and spread to applications, or vice versa

Antivirus software

Antivirus (or anti-virus) software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including computer-viruses, worms, and trojan horses. Such programs may also prevent and remove adware, spyware, and other forms of malware.

A variety of strategies are typically employed. Signature-based detection involves searching for known malicious patterns in executable code. However, it is possible for a user to be infected with new malware in which no signature exists yet. To counter such so-called zero-day threats, can be used. One type of heuristic approach, generic signatures, can identify new viruses or variants of existing viruses by looking for known malicious code (or slight variations of such code) in files. Some antivirus software can also predict what a file will do if opened/run by emulating it in a sandbox and analyzing what it does to see if it performs any malicious actions. If it does, this could mean the file is malicious.

However, no matter how useful antivirus software is, it can sometimes have drawbacks. Antivirus software can degrade computer performance if it is not designed efficiently. Inexperienced users may have trouble understanding the prompts and decisions that antivirus software presents them with. An incorrect decision may lead to a security breach. If the antivirus software employs heuristic detection (of any kind), success depends on achieving the right balance between false positives and false negatives. False positives can be as destructive as false negatives. In one case, a faulty virus signature issued by Symantec mistakenly removed essential operating system files, leaving thousands of PCs unable to boot. Finally, antivirus software generally runs at the highly trusted kernel level of the operating system, creating a potential avenue of attack.

In addition to the drawbacks mentioned above, the effectiveness of antivirus software has also been researched and debated. One study found that the detection success of major antivirus software dropped over a one-year period

History of Antivirus

There are competing claims for the innovator of the first antivirus product. Possibly the first publicly documented removal of a computer virus in the wild was performed by Bernt Fix in 1987

Before Internet connectivity was widespread, viruses were typically spread by infected floppy disks. Antivirus software came into use, but was updated relatively infrequently. During this time, virus checkers essentially had to check executable files and the boot sectors of floppy and hard disks. However, as internet usage became common, initially through the use of modems, viruses spread throughout the Internet

Powerful macros used in word processor applications, such as Microsoft Word, presented a further risk. Virus writers started using the macros to write viruses embedded within documents. This meant that computers could now also be at risk from infection by documents with hidden attached macros as programs

Later email programs, in particular Microsoft Outlook Express and Outlook, were vulnerable to viruses embedded in the email body itself. Now, a user's computer could be infected by just opening or previewing a message. This meant that virus checkers had to check many more types of files. As always-on broadband connections became the norm and more and more viruses were released, it became essential to update virus checkers more and more frequently. Even then, a new zero-day virus could become widespread before antivirus companies released an update to protect against it

Identification methods of virus

There are several methods which antivirus software can use to identify malware.

Signature based detection is the most common method. To identify viruses and other malware, antivirus software compares the contents of a file to a dictionary of virus signatures. Because viruses can embed themselves in existing files, the entire file is searched, not just as a whole, but also in pieces

Heuristic-based detection, like malicious activity detection, can be used to identify unknown viruses.

File emulation is another heuristic approach. File emulation involves executing a program in a virtual environment and logging what actions the program performs. Depending on the actions logged, the antivirus software can determine if the program is malicious or not and then carry out the appropriate disinfection actions

Signature based detection

Traditionally, antivirus software heavily relied upon signatures to identify malware. This can be very effective, but cannot defend against malware unless samples have already been obtained and signatures created. Because of this, signature-based approaches are not effective against new, unknown viruses.

Because new viruses are being created each day, the signature-based detection approach requires frequent updates of the virus signature dictionary. To assist the antivirus software companies, the software may allow the user to upload new viruses or variants to the company, allowing the virus to be analyzed and the signature added to the dictionary

Although the signature-based approach can effectively contain virus outbreaks, virus authors have tried to stay a step ahead of such software by writing "oligomorphic", "polymorphic" and, more recently, "metamorphic" viruses, which encrypt parts of themselves or otherwise modify themselves as a method of disguise, so as to not match virus signatures in the dictionary


Some more sophisticated antivirus software uses heuristic analysis to identify new malware or variants of known malware.

Many viruses start as a single infection and through either mutation or refinements by other attackers, can grow into dozens of slightly different strains, called variants. Generic detection refers to the detection and removal of multiple threats using a single virus definition.

For example, the Vundo trojan has several family members, depending on the antivirus vendor's classification. Symantec classifies members of the Vundo family into two distinct members, Trojan.Vundo and Trojan.Vundo.B

While it may be advantageous to identify a specific virus, it can be quicker to detect a virus family through a generic signature or through an inexact match to an existing signature. Virus researchers find common areas that all viruses in a family share uniquely and can thus create a single generic signature. These signatures often contain non-contiguous code, using wildcard characters where differences lie. These wildcards allow the scanner to detect viruses even if they are padded with extra, meaningless code

Padded code is used to confuse the scanner so it can't recognize the threat.

A detection that uses this method is said to be "heuristic detection."

Why Buy Antivirus Software?

Today, an unprotected computer isn’t just vulnerable, it’s probably already infected. New viruses, spyware, trojans, worms, and other malware are created every day. New threats are disguised to bypass other security measures, and specifically designed to catch you and your PC off guard.

The virus landscape has also changed; viruses that used to be annoying pranks have evolved into pernicious threats capable of not only destroying your computer, but stealing your information and identity.

The benefits of installing a basic security solution on your PC are obvious, but the cost in system slowdown used to make it tough to bear. Luckily, modern antivirus software haven’t just improved their level of protection, they’ve significantly improved resource efficiency and overall speed. You can have ultimate protection without giving up your resources. With advanced technologies and straightforward usability, antivirus software is more effective than ever, and doesn’t require constant maintenance from you. Say goodbye to annoying security warnings and noticeable slowdown; current antivirus programs deliver constant protection and can actually speed up your computer.

The last generation of antivirus software brought advanced heuristic detection into the mix. Continuing to improve, the 2010 lineup of antivirus products often incorporate further developed proactive protection with better behavior checking and even file reputation analysis. Several of the software incorporate ‘in the cloud’ security and other advanced technologies to increase safety and convenience. From gamer modes, to battery saving settings, to integrated web link scanners; antivirus applications are more versatile and have upped the ante for features and functionality.

On this site you’ll find a side-by-side comparison of the best antivirus software, helpful articles, security tips and tricks, buying guides, videos, and comprehensive reviews to help you make an informed decision on which security software is right for you.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

What to Look for in Antivirus Software

All security software is not created equal. Like all consumer products, antivirus software has the good, the bad, and the mediocre. The choices for antivirus protection are many and varied. Although we haven’t reviewed each and every product available, we feature the absolute best antivirus software available today from a number of providers (including big-hitters, lesser-knowns, and new-comers), and compare them so you can match your needs with the right software.

Remember when it really comes down to it, effectiveness and usability can either make or break antivirus software. Security programs are only as good as their level of protection, and if you can’t figure it out how to use it, you won’t. Our top-ranked antivirus software combine optimal security with user-friendly features and tools.

Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS uses to evaluate and compare antivirus software:

Scope of Protection
While most security solutions tout “multi-layered” protection, “360 degree” defense and/or even “100%” security, some are certainly more thorough than others. The best antivirus solutions will include traditional protection from viruses, worms, Trojans and spyware, but should also include defense from keyloggers, phishing scams, email-borne threats and rootkits. While antivirus programs are by no means full-blown internet security suites, they should protect from as many threats on as many fronts as they can.

Antivirus is specifically designed to protect your computer, so if it doesn’t do that well, what good is it? All the features, bells and whistles, or sleek interface can’t make up for poor performance. We look at results from the industry-standard security software testers and professional security organizations to find the most effective software available and evaluate overall effectiveness. In general, our highest ranked programs are also the most effective.

Ease of Installation and Setup
Security software shouldn’t be a chore to install, and should have you protected as soon as possible. From download to install, to the first scan; implementing antivirus software should be quick and easy.

Ease of Use
Antivirus software is complex stuff, but shouldn’t require a degree in computer security. The best security programs have all the features security experts want, but are just as easily used by a beginner. Everyday computer users want a security solution that they can install and forget about; software that doesn’t require constant maintenance or have annoying interruptions. The best antivirus software is flexible enough to do exactly what you want to (even if that means running by itself).

A well-rounded feature set takes a security solution from good to great. More than bells and whistles, added features provide security, usability and performance benefits.

Security software is only as good as its latest update. Viruses are being identified and added to signature databases all the time, so it’s important that your virus definition list updates accordingly. Modern antivirus software are equipped with automatic updates that perform regularly enough that you get faster updates that don’t slow down your system. The best security providers even “push” updates to you as soon as they’re available.

Help & Support
The best software doesn’t require reading an in-depth manual to use, but still has one available. For specific questions, troubleshooting, and additional help, the best antivirus manufacturers provide superior product support online and off. Additional support for software may come in the form of assistance over the phone, email, live chat, or through a number of additional resources (knowledgebase, FAQs, tutorials).

A well-balanced antivirus solution is effective, efficient, and easy to use. Combining all the right features with a usable interface; our top antivirus software choices deliver the best security and usability without a serious investment in time, money, or system resources.

List of The Best of Antiviruses

They Are :

1.Kaspersky Antivirus
2.Avast 4.8 Antivirus
3.Bit Defender Antivirus
4.Norton Antivirus
5.Avira Antivirus
6.PC Media Antivirus
7.AVG Antivirus
8.Symantec Antivirus
9.Ansav Antivirus
10.Smadav Antivirus

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