Is free AV and Firewall software really OK?

  Pineman100 14:50 19 Aug 2006

My antivirus and firewall suite subscription is going to be up for renewal soon (I won't tell you which one, but I bet you can guess!).

I regularly read suggestions from contributors to this forum that people should use AVG for antivirus and Zonealarm for a firewall - both of which I understand are free.

Are these packages really as effective as paid-for software? And can they be set to update regularly and automatically?

I'm prepared to pay if I know that the level of protection I get will be better, but if I can get top-notch protection for free...!

Incidentally, I also use Windows Defender, Spybot S & D and Adaware.

What do you think?

  SB23 15:02 19 Aug 2006

I run ZA, and avast with no problem. There is an issue that avast and ZA have, but your asked about that when installing then together.
Considering that they are free, they are both very good, and I'm sure others will agree.
If your looking at running Avg and ZA, that will be fine, I used to, but I prefer Avast.

  Fingees 15:02 19 Aug 2006

I have used both for years.

Never had any problem.

Just keep them updated.

I also use adaware, and defender.

I would also recommend a visit to

click here

Occasoinally. It keeps a good check on things (Free)

  dms05 15:26 19 Aug 2006

I use Comodo Products free Firewall and A/V. In the past I've used Sygate and AVG. I even tried Kerio and Avast. All worked well. All were free. I've used various free products since about 2003 without any problems.

  Belatucadrus 15:35 19 Aug 2006

My favourite combination is avast! click here anti virus and Kerio click here firewall, both are excellent products that fund the free version with sales of the full Pro licence to commercial users who aren't eligible for the free one. Kept my system clear for years.
Are they really OK ? Yes, but you've already read the other postings and remain unconvinced. All I can say is that peace of mind is priceless and if you feel you have to buy a pro license then go for it.
But there really is no other reason to pay.

  anskyber 15:36 19 Aug 2006

Whilst not claiming to be an expert on these things the main difference between the paid for and the free tends to be some extra "bolt on" goodies and in particular automatic updates. As far as I am aware the "signatures" of the nasties we are being protected from are the same free or pay. Some free I think can be configured for auto. If you look at the AdAware you have installed there are a number of features which can only be used if you pay.

The bigger question is can we identify a performance difference between the different products irrespective of whether you pay or not? That leads us into testing by mags and the like. My own choice is ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite (paid for) which is reviewed in the October PCA and comes out as "OK" (there has been an upgrade to the product since the review however) PC Pro on the other hand in its Sept issue gives it top billing and rated "A" List. Make of that what you want. I find ZA to be excellent and effective as well as being easy to use, but then my surfing habits do not take me near the sites most often associated with danger.

  golfpro 15:50 19 Aug 2006

My old AV ( I think the same one as yours) ran out and was not supported anymore, so I switched to AVG free. It has proved to be an excellent choice.
I did once last year install ZA but had a lot of problems with it, whether it was to do with the old AV or not I don't know, but I have never found it necessary to have a fire wall anyway.

  palinka 15:03 20 Aug 2006

I use AVG. I tried Avast, found it equally effective, but preferred AVG so returned to it.
I used ZA, but some time ago found a sudden conflict between ZA and AVG (never really worked out why) so I switched to Sygate firewall (also free) and have had no problems.
No need to pay for AVs or firewalls - the free stuff is equally good and AVG will do auto-updates if you set the time you want it done, etc,(via Control center>scheduler)

  johnnyrocker 15:07 20 Aug 2006

AVG and SYGATE for me.


  grizzley 15:21 20 Aug 2006

i use AVG free edition antivirus which is updated regular and have not had any problems.
as for firewalls i use mcafee firewall as part of a package of internet security suites and find the firewall excellent i test it regularly and find that it is secure according to hackerwatch this is used with my windows firewall for added security i even get to trace an attack on my computer using the mcafee software,there might be firewalls out there that have the same results and not cost you a penny,try microsoft down load page for ideas.

  Totally-braindead 16:01 20 Aug 2006

Is free AV and Firewall software really OK?


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