Kaspersky AV vs. freeware options... which way to go?


I would like your honest opinions on what I should do… My Kaspersky renewal is in a week, and I’m leaning on not renewing it. I don’t feel like it’s worth the money, especially when I have heard such good things about the free anti-virus software is out there. However, as far as I know, I’ve never had a virus actually infect my computer, so maybe Kaspersky is running just fine, and I have no idea how lucky I am to have it.
So, what would you do? Stay with Kaspersky, or go the free route? If you are suggesting I go the free route, what programs should I use as a minimum? What are the must-have programs for a kaspersky-like security blanket?

I am running windows 7, and have been told the security on windows 7 is very good. To the point where Kaspersky or Norton is redundant. I find this hard to believe, but what do I know? Clearly, not much.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and, IMO, good enough. It’s not intrusive or memory-intensive.

Seconded on MSSE. It’s quiet, as in it doesn’t pop up every five seconds to say I’M PROTECTING YOU! AREN’T YOU PROUD I’M PROTECTING YOU?

I keep hearing this, but I must say I’m skeptical. When has MS ever created a product that behaves in a way that makes users happy? :stuck_out_tongue:

Still, the first two replies to this thread went to MSSE, so perhaps it’s time to use the software.

Do I need to turn it on somehow, is it already running but Kaspersky shoves it in the background or what? I’m assuming Kaspersky doesn’t permit it to start or perhaps shuts it down before the computer boots up completely?

Also, if I get rid of Kaspersky, is it an easy clean up on the system?

MSSE +3.

If you install it, firstly uninstall Kaspersky.

I’ve been a Microsoft cynic for years but I have now removed AVG, Avast, Spybot, Super Antispyware, Adaware etc from my three pcs and simply use MSSE. I only made that decsion after watching comments from geeks over two years and they (almost) all recommended MSSE.

Another ‘Me Too’ for MSSE. All the other products (free or paid) seem to go through alternating phases of being quite good, then being useless and bloated. MSSE hasn’t done this yet.

Another satisfied user of MSSE.
I also run Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware and the Windows Firewall.

Combine with Firefox extensions AdblockPlus and NoScript.

OK. I think I’m convinced. I can give MSSE a try.

How do I install it? My computer came with MS7 already installed, so I only have the disks I created when I first opened up the computer and created the recovery disks that needed to be made in case of a system crash.
Is it bundled within 7 somewhere, or can I download it from the MS website?


The last stor on this I read in Consumers Reports also said that the free programs were quite good enough for the average user, and there was no need to spend money buying the paid software.

I use Avast and it’s great. Windows Defender runs in the background too.


Antivirus is a commodity. This means that they are all equally effective. And with any commodity, you purchase based upon lowest price. MSSE is free; Kapersky is not.

Avast and AVG Free (assuming they haven’t discontinued) are fine, though they use more resources than MSSE.

Not all antivirus is the same. They’re not necessary equally effective, but MSSE is good enough.*

I use Avast on my personal PC because I’m used to it and trust it, but I put MSSE on all the work computers that I manage because it doesn’t have as many annoying popups and warnings to manually disable. By default, Avast even talks to you (as in through your speakers)… THAT’s annoying.

*That said, I don’t think any of the paid products are worth the money. More effective in some limited circumstances, perhaps, but generally just more bloated and slower.

They bought it and rebranded it.

Another happy MSSE customer. Pretty much have set it and forgot it for the past two years now. My laptop still boots up lightning quick.

I have MSSE and Avast (on different computers) and they both seem to be about the same as far as what viruses they catch, I can’t say one is better than the other. Neither seems particularly bloated.

AVG in my experience is also good, but in recent years has gotten bloated and caused too much of a slowdown on my systems, so I got rid of it.

Avast by default likes to ANNOUNCE REALLY REALLY LOUD EVERY TIME IT DOES SOMETHING (even if it is just downloading a new database, which it seems to do about once a day). I find its popup notices to be really freaking annoying. Put it into silent mode though and it’s fine (IMHO).

If you want to complain about Microsoft bloat, though, Microsoft Forefront, which we use at work (and is not free), makes my work computer often perform like a snail on sedatives. As far as I can tell it’s never caught anything that the other antivirus programs have missed.

Another MS skeptic who runs MSSE and W7 firewall. Decided to give it a try after reading the reviews and it’s worked great on our websurfer.

I do run spybot and adaware occasionally to clean up cookies & spyware.

This is demonstrably false. Each AV manufacturer has their own algorithms and detection modules, and some work very differently. Some, for example, rely solely on tested blacklists. Others actually run suspicious code in a sandboxed environment to see if it exhibits malicious behavior, and thus can detect viruses on your PC before the back-end is aware that it exists.

That said, MSE is my personal recommendation for home users.

ANOTHER vote for MSSE. Over the years I’ve used a lot of different ones, some free and some commercial. Usually after a few months I get tired of the bloat, slowdowns, and intrusive messages and go to a different one. About a year ago I switched to MSSE, and have had no issues with it. And no viruses, either.

It seems to work well-bt it warns me about everything (even the local newspaper website). Have newspaper websites ever been infected with viruses?