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Ask HN: Options for Antivirus on Windows?

Hello HN

I used to have Windows Defender on my old laptop and it worked fine for years.

I bought a new Lenovo Laptop (Windows) and it came with McAfee antiviurs with 30 day trial. The 30 day period has elapsed and it is asking me to upgrade.

I haven't shopped any antivirus for years and don't have the information on various software available in the market.

Do you guys buy or prefer any Antivirus or happy with default Windows security?

Do you guys even use any antivirus at all?

Would like to know your opinion from HN community.

  • 10 points
  • β€’ 11 days ago

  • @rasikjain
  • Created a post

Ask HN: Options for Antivirus on Windows?

@trentthethief β€’ 11 days

Replying to @rasikjain πŸŽ™

β€œAntivirus” software is the most lucrative malware to ever exist.


@rasikjain β€’ 10 days

Thank you HN.

I have uninstalled McAfee and using the default Windows security.


@Numeral4072 β€’ 11 days

In my experience antivirus software is not worth the cost of system resources. AV that tries to actively mitigate threats can really bog down your system.

Definitely purge McAfee as soon as possible.

Like the others have said, as long as you don't frequent sketchy websites, you will be just fine with Windows Defender.

Also, if your Windows Defender ever detects something you may want to run an additional scan with Malwarebytes just to cover your bases.


@AnimalMuppet β€’ 11 days

If you're going to put another AV on there, get rid of McAfee. Multiple AVs don't play well together.

"Getting rid of McAfee" at least used to be rather hard. IIRC, it took more than just uninstall. I don't remember the details, though I had to do it a few times on different machines.

I've done OK with the free version of Avast. Others say Windows Defender alone is enough; I won't claim that Avast is necessary, only that it seems to be sufficient.


@xanthine β€’ 11 days

While I don't use Windows as my daily driver, I've let Windows Defender (or whatever they call the default these days) run on my Windows installations. It works pretty good (as long as you don't, like, actively download and run shady stuff from the Internet), and very likely consumes less resources than most commercial ones out there.


@Orionos β€’ 11 days

For everyday use Windows Defender is fine to me. If I'm ever doing something risky, I'll have a one time VM (probably still not bullet proof).

My gut feeling is that antivirus companies selling solutions to the average customer are scams since Windows Defender does the work 99% of the time. Plus their "selling" techniques are often limited to forgetting a checked box and annoying popups 30 days after that.

In a company setup / or if you're at risk (journalism, politics or preferring tabs over spaces) it probably makes sense to have an antivirus.

Feel free to uninstall the McAfee malware.


@smt88 β€’ 11 days

Antivirus software from McAfee/Norton/others is (at best) a placebo, at worst malware. Purge it from your computer as soon as possible. Don't buy or download anything new.

On Windows, you only need built-in malware protection (i.e. Windows Defender).


@rg111 β€’ 11 days

I don't know how tech savvy or experienced you are as an internet user.

If you keep your activity limited to legit, known sites, and even well-known, reputed "illegal" sites, you don't need a Windows antivirus in 2022. Has been the case since late 2019/early 2020 or even earlier.

Use good browsers (FF for e.g.) and uBlock Origin while browsing.

Do not plug in storage drives outside of your family or ones belonging to really malware-aware person.

Use common sense. And you know something is wrong when something is way too cheap in an ad or there are too many women with horn in your area.

(If you absolutely want to spend some money then get Quick Heal. Or get MalwareBytes.)

Windows Defender is enough. Enable recommended settings.

(I use Windows only when I need PowerPoint. But I do (free) IT of some people that have Windows.)


@elahd β€’ 11 days

I use ESET NOD32 and am happy with it. It does its job with "dignity" (no Norton-style hyperbolic popups), consumes little resources, and is inexpensive. It does a great job blocking malware and has a nice blocker for "potentially unwanted applications" (https://help.eset.com/glossary/en-US/unwanted_application.ht...).

The cheapest licenses are available on Amazon. Either NOD32 or Smart Security do the job -- I buy whatever is cheapest when the licenses expire.

I'm the family IT guy for my immediate family. Around five years ago, after fixing the nth malware infection on family computers, I bit the bullet and bought a few multi-seat ESET licenses for my parents, siblings, and their families. I haven't had to fix a virus/malware issue since then. Prior to this, they were all just using Windows Defender. I used one of the licenses on my own computers, so I have direct experience with the software, as well.

I install Unchecky (https://unchecky.com/) along with NOD32. This is a free tool that provides a second layer of protection against drive-by toolbar installs.


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