Computer Security & Viruses/AVG or Avast


I have a new laptop with windows 7, and I have heard that both AVG and Avast are good, free antivirus softwares. The guy I took my last computer too told me that the Norton I was using was a waste of space and money. Do you know which of the above two is best?

I can tell you they are different and that neither is better.  There isn't a "best".  In my opinion, none of them will detect 75% of today's malware.  Some articles say 25%-45% can be detected, another said 30%-50%.   Do your own test; here's how:

First, make sure scripting is disabled in your email reader. Then find a couple of spam messages that have an attachment.  Go to and upload the attachments.  Virustotal runs several packages (30+ the last time I did this). Results may surprise you.

Then consider using ClamWin which is free open source software.  I use it on Windows boxes and I use the original clamav on linux boxes.  (Mac users should also consider it).  I discourage the use of a fee-based product on home computers since there isn't a "best".  It's safe to assume that the bigger names are bigger targets.  This doesn't make the lesser-known ones a better buy though.

Hope this helps.
- John

Computer Security & Viruses

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John Crout


Linux, Windows, Open/Free BSD, OSX. Embedded MMU-less (firmware) devt.


Securing systems since 1982. Tip: Switching from a system that is (statistically) more prevalent to one that is less prevalent will help.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Auxiliary), ACM

Student Doctor Magazine EE Times Network World blog Navy CIO blog RTCA/DO-178B, "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification", (member of SC-167), RTCA/DO-160C, "Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment", (member of SC-135)

Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Computer Engineering Option) Digital Forensics Basics, Texas Engineering Extension Secure Software, Texas Engineering Extension Network Security, Texas Engineering Extension Infosec Basics, Texas Engineering Extension Information Assurance Awareness, Department of Defense Information Systems Security, United States Coast Guard Online safety for parents and children, Fort Collins Police Department Spear Phishing, Defense Information Security Agency, DISA Spear Phishing, United States Coast Guard, USCG Meeting the Media, Testifying, Presentations, Arch Lustberg FEMA (ICS-100, -200, -210, -700, 800) United States Coast Guard Defense Information Systems Agency United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Crosby Quality Workgroup Facilitator Trainer Crosby Quality Education System Wisconsin University

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