Thursday, April 01, 2010

Free anti-virus for Microsoft Windows 7

Screen shot 2010-04-02 at 10.01.08 AM.pngI've been assisting with and working with Windows 7 a bit lately. It's pretty good, they're really working to catch up with Ubuntu although there's a way to go yet.

On my little dual boot $400 netbook:

Windows 7
  • boot to login prompt in 34 seconds

  • login to desktop ready 11 seconds (a bit hard to say)

  • Cold launch of Chrome 5 seconds

  • Shutdown is 16 seconds



Ubuntu 10.04 (pre-release)
  • boot to login prompt in 25 seconds

  • login to desktop ready 12 seconds

  • Cold launch of Chrome 5 seconds

  • Shutdown is 5 seconds



Here's a chart I carved out of marble tablets to illustrate that (for real carving work, I use a Mac).

graph.png


Smaller is better.

Installing Windows is scary, it warns the user about things a lot, presumably with good reason. Right out of the gate it warns you that you need virus protection and directs you to a web page with lots of options.

When I ask long-time Windows users about what anti-virus software they use the answers are either that their employer pays for a commercial solution or that they use AVG-Free.

It turns out that there is a free solution from Microsoft that does the job. Microsoft Security Essentials seems to be good.

Presumably to avoid accusations of anti-competitive behaviour, Microsoft rather down plays their own product and lets the other vendors have a good go at selling their products.

My view is that we shouldn't have to pay extra for something the operating system should take care of.

Has anyone noticed how many Macs you see at conferences these days? Here's a shot from a PyCon 2010 conference video:

Screen shot 2010-04-02 at 9.56.47 AM.png


I doubt any of them are running a virus scanner, let alone a free one.

6 comments:

Alex YL3BU said...

Hello Peter!

I use AntiVir Free Version, together with Win7 for about 4 month. Works well and stable. I think that this product may also be recommended for use. But on the official Win7 website no information about this antivirus.

GL and 73!
de Alex YL3BU

Alex YL3BU said...

Hello Peter!

I use AntiVir Free Version, together with Win7 for about 4 month. Works well and stable. I think that this product may also be recommended for use. But on the official Win7 website no information about this antivirus.

GL and 73!
de Alex YL3BU

VK2BLQ said...

HI Peter,
Microsoft has it's downfalls, but at least upgrading from even DOS 6 to DOS 6.2 was possible unlike trying to upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.1.

best 73

Stephen VK2BLQ

Peter B Marks said...

Hi Stephen,

I'm surprised an Ubuntu version upgrade didn't work, I've done them on several occasions.

What went wrong?

Peter VK2TPM

Jim said...

Hi Peter,
I'm not sure if its the same Microsoft anti-virus but there is one you can install using the Windows "Live" installer (the one that lets you install Mail, Messenger and a bunch of other stuff).
This anti-virus greatly slowed down a laptop I was given to fix. It took over half an hour to boot up. I don't recommend it.

I think Avast also provide a free anti virus scanner.

I don't use anti virus on my Vista computer. Most performance affecting viruses I have found come through exploits in IE and Outlook. Some come through flash exploits so keeping flash up to date is a must (or use a flash blocker).

Regards,
Jim Tink

Anonymous said...

I like the guy in the middle right praying that his Macs battery doesn't explode or his screen shatter into his face!
Luckily, Macs don't need virus scanners as the three applications written for them have been thoroughly hardened.
Just tongue in cheek, long live SUSE.