5 votes

Seeking good anti-malware to replace AVG Free

Hi. AVG's been bugging me with reminders to renew my subscription recently, but I don't have the money for that. I've been using AVG Free for years, but each time I trial the full edition it seems to install as a separate program, and then I have to manually revert back to the free version once the trial's up. The only other anti-malware I use is MalwareBytes (free again).

I'm not too worried about using a VPN, and have been advised to avoid the free ones anyway. I'd really just like a decent alternative to AVG Free that won't mess with my Steam games or pester me to upgrade several times a day. I have almost no experience with other anti-malware programs, so I'd rather ask people in the know for advice than just install something straight away and find out that it does one of the aforementioned annoying things.

...Should I use a free VPN? I'm trying to save as much of my scant moolah as I can, and I do occasionally torrent things, but the free ones are allegedly a little shady.

10 comments

  1. [5]
    synergy-unsterile
    Link
    Keep your anti-virus and VPN separate. They are completely different Use the one that Microsoft bundles with Windows. Microsoft has no incentive to push ridiculous "addons" like VPNs (that aren't...
    1. Keep your anti-virus and VPN separate. They are completely different
    2. Use the one that Microsoft bundles with Windows. Microsoft has no incentive to push ridiculous "addons" like VPNs (that aren't even secure) and every incentive to make sure the antivirus works right.

    VPNs just shift the trust from your internet provider to the VPN provider. Therefore any "free" VPN provider is probably doing something shady. A lot of the paid ones are pretty shady too since "privacy" and "security" are marketing buzzwords that make it easier to appeal to clueless consumers. If you simply want to avoid threatening letters or ISP strike notices then rolling your own VPS/proxy is a decent option.

    23 votes
    1. [2]
      FishFingus
      Link Parent
      Rolling my own VPS sounds a tad complicated, but I'll look into it. Thanks to you and all the others who responded! I didn't realize Windows Defender had gotten so good.

      Rolling my own VPS sounds a tad complicated, but I'll look into it. Thanks to you and all the others who responded! I didn't realize Windows Defender had gotten so good.

      4 votes
      1. ruspaceni
        Link Parent
        Many VPS hosts like DigitalOcean or even a €3 a month one from scaleway have a "1-click-app" thing where its basically already set up. The only thing left for you to do is read the docs and figure...

        Many VPS hosts like DigitalOcean or even a €3 a month one from scaleway have a "1-click-app" thing where its basically already set up. The only thing left for you to do is read the docs and figure out what small changes, if any, you want to do.

        I set mine up and made a bunch of keys for friends and family, and then just forgot about it in all honesty. I can fit maybe 5-6 peoples residential internet through it comfortably (including some 100mpbs+ connections) so I haven't needed to be strict about usage either.

        The only headache is that you only ever have the 1 IP. Mine is in france and apparently a lot of music labels hate the french as much as we do in britain.. so there's at least one disadvantage to rolling your own vpn. But imo its the best way to have peace of mind.

        1 vote
    2. dblohm7
      Link Parent
      Yes, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just use Windows Defender! The developers of your web browser will thank you!

      Yes, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just use Windows Defender! The developers of your web browser will thank you!

      4 votes
    3. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      I quit Avast! After paying for years because it was still advertising to me. Best practices and Defender should be enough for anybody.

      I quit Avast! After paying for years because it was still advertising to me. Best practices and Defender should be enough for anybody.

      3 votes
  2. babypuncher
    Link
    As long as you're not a complete idiot, Windows Defender (which comes built into Windows) should be plenty adequate. Also, VPNs are overrated unless you are downloading copyrighted materials on...

    As long as you're not a complete idiot, Windows Defender (which comes built into Windows) should be plenty adequate.

    Also, VPNs are overrated unless you are downloading copyrighted materials on file sharing networks like Bittorrent. There are better ways to manage your online privacy than routing all your traffic through someone elses computer.

    6 votes
  3. Pistos
    Link
    In my opinion, antivirus is for people who are not even moderately proficient at using computers. I think anyone on Tildes is above that threshold, by virtue of being on a site like Tildes....

    In my opinion, antivirus is for people who are not even moderately proficient at using computers. I think anyone on Tildes is above that threshold, by virtue of being on a site like Tildes.

    Something else to think about: Most antivirus software is closed-source, proprietary and for-profit. To me, it seems dangerous to install such a thing, considering you grant it very broad and deep powers over your daily computing (scan every file, scan memory, control OS processes, control your network traffic).

    It's been double digit years since I last kept anti-virus software running on any computer of mine. Just be smart about the usual things like phishing, email attachments, shady websites, and downloads from suspect websites, and you'll be fine.

    6 votes
  4. stu2b50
    Link
    Er, why do you want or need a VPN? After reading that I can't really see a reason. I wrote a blog post on this https://stu2b50.dev/posts/using-a-vpn-may09f83 But the main reasons why you'd want...

    Should I use a free VPN? I'm trying to save as much of my scant moolah as I can, and I do occasionally torrent things, but the free ones are allegedly a little shady.

    Er, why do you want or need a VPN? After reading that I can't really see a reason.

    I wrote a blog post on this https://stu2b50.dev/posts/using-a-vpn-may09f83

    But the main reasons why you'd want one revolve around mildly breaking the law (circumventing geolocking or torrenting without ocassional angry ISP emails)

    HTTPS + DnS over HTTPS already does what most people want.

    3 votes
  5. rmgr
    Link
    I usually recommend Malwarebytes Anti Malware if you want something other than just Windows Defender

    I usually recommend Malwarebytes Anti Malware if you want something other than just Windows Defender

    1 vote