So, I'm sure this has been asked a million times, but I can't find a useful forum search tool here so I must ask.
I believe a big part of what killed my last rig, which was 4 years old, was it got an MBR rootkit virus. After years of perhaps risky internetting it caught up with me and really burnt me. That being said, I'd rather not spend money (recently laid-off) if there's any open source or freeware stuff out there that can do a decent job of screening trojans, malware, spyware etc.
I currently have AVG, and am wondering if anyone can recommend anything a little bit beefier? Firewalls, MBR specific scanners, anything you can recommend to get my new rig secure.
I have had the best security with several applications I found on Download.com. I used AVG Free for a few years, but had issues with viruses, several conflicts with other programs, and it didn't support 64-bit when I went 64-bit.
For a good antivirus, I would recommend Avast! which has a good user interface, stays current on virus definition, works with every software program I have ever used, and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit environments for Vista and Windows 7 (32-bit only for 2000 Pro and XP).
I also run Ad-Aware which is an active anti-malware program, also available from download.com. The newest version also includes anti-rootkit, as does Avast from what I understand.
I also have Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and Windows Defender installed which are nice because they use very little resources and I am not left completely unprotected if I want to kill my antivirus or anti-malware scanner processes for any reason.
In the past, my biggest complaint is that the active processes for Avast, Ad-Aware, and Windows Defender uses over 150MB of RAM. This has not been a huge issue for me as I typically have over 2GB on any system I have so the performance loss has not been significant. It appears with the latest versions (which I just downloaded and installed), Avast has greatly decreased memory usage bringing it closed to 40MB. Nice!
If RAM is in short supply, I might also suggest Panda Cloud antivirus. Although I have not done as much testing, I have found it to be acceptable protection for older laptops or computers running 512 MB of RAM. Although mostly good, I did have troubles when upgrading from the Beta. It did work great with Ad-Aware.
I also keep a current MalwareBytes and run it every month or so. It has very rarely found anything that I had not already neutralized with Avast or Ad-Aware, but it is a fantastic clean-up tool.
I have also used Avira and found it to be a good antivirus, but the free version has irritating pop-ups that led me to finally remove it.
All these programs are available free of charge at download.com, which is a reputable CNET site.
avira free ,pctools firewall plus free,malwarebytes free!
I asked this question on another thread so sorry in advance if you see this post again... you mentioned 3 great programs (pctools firewall, avira, malwarebytes), but here's a question for you. 3 diff programs running at once. Is that overkill? Would it just be easier and less resource hungry just to buy a security suite that has all 3?
You will find a security suite will be more resource hungry and less effective than a custom made one.
Choosing which particular applications you include in your own custom suite also gives you room for movement. For example if you are dissatisfied with your software firewall you can uninstall it and select another.