If u are a heavy internet user -downloads,torrent,e-Shop,banking, don't use a free antivirus. Get a good one for 30-40$ at year. Is not too much. Free antivirus have an average of 60%-70% successful protection, a good paid one give always 96%-98% protection, some do even a goodly 99,6%. I clean every week a good number of computers "protected" by free antiviruses, especially Avast and AVG. Is your choice..this is my advice. Edit: surf always with caution and don't download any crap.
I've used Norton 360 and Avira. The Norton subscription cost ~$60 per year. Avira is free. I'm not sure about the virus scanner, as I don't use Avira's for the most part. But Avira has better internet security protection than Norton 360.
User education is definitely a more effective method of protection than any Antivirus program will ever be, but you're fighting a very steep uphill battle with that one.
Now if the user is educated on what is ok and what isn't on the web, they don't need a paid AV client - a free one will do just fine. Based on the original post, we can't really tell where the OP's level of computer education is at. He/She is simply asking for recommendations for a free antivirus client for 64 bit Windows 7.
Download & Install the following 3 freewares. It forms a free complete security suite for your system!
1. Avira Anvivir - http://www.free-av.com/en/download/index.html .
Avira has very good internet security, real time updates, great overall protection.
I just dumped Kaspersky (which is great security-wise but really bogged down my PC) and I tried the following:
MSE - installs great, performs great and doesn't slow down my machine. However, configuration is limited, especially when it comes to scheduling custom scanning.
Avira - one of the top rated free scanners. The downside I had was the free version had no e-mail scanning. Otherwise, another fine choice. Again, light on resources.
Avast - another great choice that is light on PC resources. What sold me was even the free version didn't have nagging screens, it did email scanning, etc. In fact, after running this for awhile, I decided to just get the Internet Security Suite from them and I love it.
Kaspersky, as great as it was security-wise (and sometimes, it was TOO good that it blocked legit sites and I could NEVER get it to allow them through no matter how much tinkering I did with rules, etc) just slowed down my system. Boot up and login times were increased by 15+ seconds. It also affect the launching of applications, like Firefox, by causing them to take 10+ seconds to launch.
Once I removed Kaspersky and installed Avast, my system responded SO much better.
If you would've read that, that's for the AntiVir ProActiv.
Quote from PDF of AVIRA:
"Reference: Configuration options
The option does not include any shortcuts, but refers exclusively to symbolic links
(generated by mklink.exe) or Junction Points (generated by junction.exe) which are
transparent in the file system.
Search for Rootkits before scan
If this option is enabled and a scan is started, the scanner scans the Windows system
directory for active rootkits in a so-called shortcut. This process does not scan your
computer for active rootkits as comprehensively as the scan profile Scan for rootkits,
but it is significantly quicker to perform. Important
The rootkit scan is not available for Windows XP 64 bit !"
Free? The free versions won't help you much if a real threat comes along. They're lightweight. But you do have an x64 OS, so security isn't such an issue as with an x86 one. If you really want free (and legally so of course), I would say Microsoft Security Essentials + keeping Windows Defender on real-time alert for spyware. If you wanna pay, I like AVG or Panda (yeah it was a joke but now it's great); they're both very vigilant and light on the system (unlike Norton, McAffee etc.).
If you wanna pay, I like AVG or Panda (yeah it was a joke but now it's great); they're both very vigilant and light on the system (unlike Norton, McAffee etc.).
I feel the need to dispel to rumor that Norton products are still resource hungry. They are not. After having beta tested, and then using the final versions of both the 2009 and 2010 consumer oriented Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security, these 2 programs are no where near what they used to be like on system resources. Symantec really cleaned up their act after their 2008 products shipped. There was a lot of criticism over the resource usage (actually there had been a lot of criticism ever since their 2005 products appeared) and they finally decided to do something about it.
And do something they did. 2009 was like night and day compared to how resource hungry 2008 and previous was. Not perfect by any means, but a huge step in the right direction. And when 2010 appeared, it was just as good. The folks at Symantec have really gotten it through their heads that a program that bogs down the system only makes their customers want to look elsewhere. So next time you want to make a comment like that, please make sure you know what you are talking about first.