Can't find your answer? That's what you say. Antivirus is essential my friend. Especially if you go with a free one. I worked on one machine, maybe similar to arges86's friend's machine, an xp laptop, no antivirus ever installed in a few years from what I could tell.

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They just wanted a tuneup. But I think I removed about different things from that machine. So even if malware is not causing noticeable trouble, if you are connecting to the web, I say antivirus is essential, especially when you can get antivirus for free. I use Avast for Antivirus in conjunction with this free firewall http: Granted Windows does have built in firewall which is fine for most people, but nice thing on this one, you have to teach it. It seems decent at detecting if things are trying to go in or out of your pc to and from the web, and allows you to block or allow them.

But still stay away from unknown sites. Avira seems to be the less intrusive in terms of slowing down performance, but that's just my observation.

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Yeah, I would never put a system into use without installing an updated AV of some nature. Be kind of difficult to maintain an important machine without the ability to run through all this software each day and kick out the trach. As you probably know, recent versions of Avast create Group Policy registry keys to prevent you from turning Windows Defender back on, which is a good idea in my opinion.

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  8. Windows Defender definitely caused false positives from both AVG and Panda while I was using those dreadful programs on Vista in the past, and Defender never successfully defended me from anything. Posted 13 March - It seems to be working well enough, though perhaps my internet usage is too tame and too limited to expose me to much risk.

    And I'm a tad annoyed by BitDefender's view of obscure utility programs and ISOs as threats which need to be Quarantined, but not enough to search for something better.

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    That's not what their website says https: How long ago did you install Bitdefender? If you don't mind using a really old client version, I believe Security Essentials 4.

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    I didn't get a response as quickly as I had hoped as I posted late at night and wanted to get my machine useable, so downloaded Bitdefender and have it running with Malwarebytes but only seemed to be able to get a trial version, so that will run out soon and Defender. Thank you for your suggestions. Posted 14 March - If you want to install Malwarebytes Free, you must deselect the trial of Malwarebytes Premium during the final step of installation unless they have changed something recently. Internet Explorer 10 or higher.

    Posted 18 March - I have to admit I have no idea what version of BitDefender is on my system. That's not quite true, but It;s a MB program with version number 1,0. Which is the same version number I see when I click on the BitDefender icon on my toolbar.

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    When I bring up, as I just did, Bitdefender assures me I am logged in to their system, that the system is working, and that it updated today, about an hour ago. Not exactly that new! Do that, and you'll go to a website suggesting you obtain a Bitdefender subscription -- buy something, in other words -- and then change your suscription info from say a Win 10 user to a Vista user.

    You're following all this? I can't go any further experimenting myself because the next thing it wants to do on my system is uninstall my current Bitdefender setup, and I think that leads to more work than I want to do. But I think it gives you a shot at a decent for free version of Bitdefender, and bringing it up to date is straightforward. See my note to DwarvenDawn about Bitdefender. SE no long downloads update files on a Vista machine. Thus my resorting to 3rd-party antivirus products. Which is basically an antimalware program, somewhat dated, but which continues to accept MS updates.

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    It's a scanner, rather than a real-time system, but much better than nothing. Since the free version of that is also a scanner, the two programs don't come into conflict. I suppose I still have ransomeware to worry about, but to be honest, anyone after me for substantial sums has more to worry about than I do