Windows

10 antivirus programs for Windows 7

Windows 7 offers some new security features, but a good antivirus program can provide additional protection. Greg Shultz put together a list of 10 solid Windows 7-compatible choices.

Windows 7 offers some new security features, but a good antivirus program can provide additional protection. Greg Shultz put together a list of 10 solid Windows 7-compatible choices.


Now that Windows 7 is out, chances are that evildoers the world over are busily scheming and dreaming up new and horrendous malware to target the new operating system in yet an another attempt to bring the computing world to its knees.

Of course, one could say that Windows 7 is probably one of the most secure operating systems ever to come out of Redmond; however, that doesn't mean that Windows 7 doesn't need the extra protection provided by an antivirus program. And due to the success of the Windows Ecosystem Readiness Program, a lot of programs are vying for the opportunity to protect Windows 7. Here are 10 antivirus programs that have earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: AVG

AVG just released several editions of its version 9.0 product line: AVG Antivirus Free (Figure A) and the regular yearly subscription editions, AVG Antivirus, AVG Internet Security, and AVG Internet Security Business Edition (which provides various size site license packages). The Free edition offers basic antivirus and anti-spyware protection but lacks automatic updating -- you are notified when new virus definitions and other updates are available, but you must manually click the update button. The Subscription editions provide the same protection as the Free edition and adds several other features, such as phishing protection and anti-rootkit protection. AVG Internet Security adds anti-spam and a firewall to the mix.

Figure A

The AVG 9.0 Free edition offers basic antivirus and anti-spyware protection.

2: avast!

The avast! product line, which is now at version 4.8 (version 5 right around the corner), includes a free Home Edition and a subscription-based Professional Edition, as well as a variety of business and enterprise level packages. The Home Edition, which is designated for noncommercial home use only, provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection, anti-rootkit protection, and automatic updates. The Professional Edition provides antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit, and much more.

3: McAfee

McAfee's 2010 product line provides three home and home office editions: VirusScan Plus, Internet Security, and Total Protection, along with a host of business and enterprise packages. Each edition provides antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and firewall protection. Each successive edition adds more security features.

4: Norton

Norton claims that its 2010 versions, Internet Security and AntiVirus, were built from the ground up for Windows 7. Both products block viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, and rootkits. The Internet Security package adds a two-way firewall and a host of other security features.

5: Kaspersky

Kaspersky's antivirus 2010 and Internet Security 2010 products are available for download with a 30-day trial. Both offer protection against viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, and bots as well as providing phishing and identity theft defense features. Internet Security includes advanced features, such as Safe Run, which lets you run applications and browsers in an isolated mode that prevents access to private data or computer resources, and Security Analyzer, which scans all applications to ensure that you're running the latest and safest versions.

Figure B

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 provides protection against viruses and spyware and includes additional security tools.

6: Trend Micro

Trend Micro offers a multitude of product packages, ranging from home to enterprise. The three main Trend Micro products are Antivirus + Antispyware, Internet Security, and Internet Security Pro, all of which offer a free trial. Each product provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection. Internet Security adds Web, email, and parental protection, and Internet Security Pro adds online commerce and advanced threat protection as well as performance features, just to name a few.

7: Panda Security

The Panda 2010 products, Antivirus Pro, Internet Security, and Global Protection, offer antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and firewall protection. The Internet Security package adds anti-spam, parental controls, and backup, while Global Protection adds premium backup and PC tune-up features.

8: PC Tools

Spyware Doctor with Antivirus 2010 can detect, block, and remove viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, keyloggers, and host of other types of threats. The Internet Security 2010 package adds a firewall, spam protection, and more.

9: Sunbelt Software

Sunbelt Software's VIPRE (Virus Intrusion Protection Remediation Engine) Antivirus + Antispyware product is compatible with Windows 7. If you are planning to use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7, you'll want to investigate this security package, as the product description asserts that it is also compatible with XP Mode and that no extra license is needed for it.

10: Microsoft Security Essentials

The new kid on the block, Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download that offers protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, such as rootkits and Trojans. Security Essentials provides real-time scans of downloads and attachments, monitors suspicious file and program activity, runs unattended scans, and will automatically download virus and spyware definitions.

Figure C

Of course, Microsoft Security Essentials is compatible with Windows 7.

Bonus

If you visit the Consumer Security Software Providers page on Microsoft's Windows site and use the linked logos at the bottom of the page, you'll discover that many of the companies are offering special pricing to visitors who arrive via these links. You'll also discover that while I've covered 10 security products in my list, 10 more appear on the Consumer Security Software Providers page. (Keep in mind that not all of the packages listed on the page have the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.)


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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

58 comments
Dee101
Dee101

I've been really happy with VIPRE from Sunbelt Software, too. It has CNet awards and the firewall, if someone gets the suite version that includes it, is easy to train.

Techknowledgie
Techknowledgie

My gosh! No mention of NOD32? No credibility here, I'm afraid.

Techknowledgie
Techknowledgie

My gosh! No mention of NOD32? No credibility here, I'm afraid.

mark.naylor
mark.naylor

Why is Sophos never on these antivirus reviews. I have used within the education and commercial environments and have been pleased with it's non-resource hogging design. Also has the complete endpoint solution for Windows 7

susantabeura
susantabeura

A nice list. Happy to see avast in the list. My vote is for avast. I am using avast since last five years. I also made a review on avast in my blog http://www.itestsg.org

PoppaTab
PoppaTab

Hmmm, I read the article and never once assumed it was about top rated AV. I did find the article was about who had a compatible with Win 7 logo. I even noticed that the blog did not include AV that works with Win 7. It seems to be about who earned the MS logo.

SKK
SKK

Why isn't ZoneAlarm listed

cyberfox67
cyberfox67

Where's Avira's AntiVir? It's an excellent program that has rated higher than most of these on recent tests. I have been using this program for years.

joy64
joy64

Stopped running AVG because it would bog down the computer so much. I now run ESET Smart Security that runs in the background with nary a hitch and so smooth you never know it's there until the balloon pops up with info. I ran it on my Vista 32-bit machine and downloaded the 64-bit version for the Windows 7 machine I recently purchased. Still runs in the background with no sluggish behaviors.

btompkins
btompkins

How much these types of programs effect performance has been talked about in the past, is that becoming less of an issue with Windows 7, 64bit OS's and 4gigs and more of memory? Thanks Bob T

Pure_Guava
Pure_Guava

Are there any true 64-bit solutions out there? I have AVG and it runs in x86 mode. Would there be any performance advantage in running in true x64 mode?

Admin_surfer
Admin_surfer

Is there still a need to run Windows Defender?

SijbrandvdS
SijbrandvdS

I'm using Avira, great free anti-virus software. In a lot of tests Avira is the winner.

l_creech
l_creech

Vipre does indeed run in an XP Mode VM, and takes very little system resources compared to many other products I have run in the past. The newest rendition of Norton is better than it used to be, but still a dog in my opinion, and McAfee isn't much better. I have been testing the Microsoft Security Essentials product and found it to be less intrusive than AVG or Avast, that said however; I still don't know how well it performs with threats, just doing the wait and see with it against my test stations. These are 4 boxes sitting with no passwords on an open public network that I use for comparative tsting before I'm willing to recommend anything to anyone.

sankarhari
sankarhari

1) spersky 2) AVG 3) Norton 4) Panda 5) Trend

akfaka
akfaka

Norton and McAfee? Both are the biggest piece of crap!!! The Windows' world is disgusting!!!

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

While currently it is available for use, the free version expires and will not be replaced with an alternative free version sometime in December. While I have a paid version for home use on XP, I was surprised that my test Win7 system received these notices with AVG free ed.

Rizwan ud Dean
Rizwan ud Dean

Even McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.7i will work. If you're currently using it and have UPGRADED to Windows 7, you will find that the services will not start until you completely uninstall the application then reinstall it. This will get the services going again.

Spenda
Spenda

Yes, I too use Avira and is frequently rated in the top 5 in most tests against the very best, ahead of all of those listed here. However, this list is not a rating list, which Greg has explained in several posts. It is a list of AV software which has been given the Microsoft compatible-with-Windows 7 badge. In his post at top of of this topic Greg suggests Avira will probably earn a place on the list in time because it was certified as compatible with Vista by Microsoft. Hope it makes it, for Avira is an excellent defence with a light footprint and not resource hungry.

strawhat
strawhat

I'm use NOD32 all going well, very nice.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...does indeed expire in December and if your are running an older version of AVG on your system you will see a warning message saying it will expire. But, there is indeed a free edition of a version 9. Just point your browser to http://free.avg.com

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...the AV program earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo, then that indicates complete support, for both 32-bit and 64-bit. If you are interested, you can download and read the Windows 7 logo requirements from the Windows 7 Logo Program page: https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=831 and read the section on 64-bit support.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I went from Vista Enterprise running 8.7i with the anti-spyware plug-in to W7 Enterprise as an upgrade. McAfee didn't hiccup.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.7i doesn't have the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.

V.H. Scarpacci
V.H. Scarpacci

Whether or not a piece of software has the logo/badge/emblem if it is only 75-85% effective in catching an infection and less than that in removing all of the effects of the infection it should not rate a certification just because it runs on a particular OS. Malware writers are very clever. So anti-malware writers have to be even more clever. All that being said whether or not an infection gets through the security barriers in large part is dependent on the knowledge of the user. Most users, however, don't understand that when a window pops up and tells them they have a virus that when they agree to install something from that pop-up they have just become infected. Why is it that with or without antimalware protection some users browse for years without collecting even one virus and others can get through the week without picking up at least one infection.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...this is not a top ten list. This is 10 antivirus programs that have earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo list.

Hyperion1961
Hyperion1961

Eset NOD32 is a definite number one on my list too. Disappointing to see it didn't make this list. It's an excellent product.

marvin.novello
marvin.novello

I'm also running NOD32 from ESET on 5 machines with Windows 7. Both the 64bit and the 32bit versions. Can't fault it. Very good at protecting my precious stuff - very small footprint - very quick at scanning. Previously used McAfee. Although McAfee kept me 100% uninfected for many years it also got very resource hungry and led to performance hits. Is NOD32 missing from the list for a reason - or is it just that your list is only 10 items long?

michael_carr
michael_carr

According to your article AVG Free does not automatically update. I thought it did and check the features list on AVG website for the Free version of AVG 9.0 and it lists auto-updating as a feature. Do you know something I don't? ( about AVG - that is!)

martin.77084
martin.77084

I wouldn't admit it in front of this group.

Spenda
Spenda

With all due respect I must question the value of this article? You could have simply 'pointed' readers to this page - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/windows-7.aspx - and then added Tech rep's 'considered' top 10 tested/rated AV's with relevant commentary on each. Instead, because many less-than-careful readers persistently 'mis-read', many have mistaken the list as a Tech Rep endorsed list of the top ten, rather than simply AV's certified by and compatible with MS. Which brings me to the very valid and perceptive remarks of: Kirkhuffm - "Whether or not a piece of software has the logo/badge/emblem [of Microsoft], if it is only 75-85% effective in catching an infection and less than that in removing all of the effects of the infection it should not rate a certification just because it runs on a particular OS" ... and the equally valid remarks of: Palmetto - "I'm not sure I want MS determining the 'quality' of an application. Who is to say the features of one app qualify it for certification, but the differing features of a competing product do not?" Would Tech Rep be prepared to run its own tests on say 20 Antivirus programs and pick its 'considered' view of those it believes are worthwhile endorsing as its choice of the top ten? Perhaps ask your readers to submit the names of their preferred AV software for testing? To kick it off, I would love to know your opinion of Avast, Avira, Bullguard and GData, for example. I personally run Avira and would never consider anything else, because not only is it consistently rated among the top 3 in the world, but it has such a light footprint by comparison with the system-crashing, memory-hogging junk bloatware of McCrapee and 'Abortin' Norton'! Why do respected Tech sites even waste space mentioning these two? They should be dirty words in IT pages. Perhaps TR would be also interested in running a similar project for maintenance/utility software and likewise ask readers to submit the names of their preferred utility suites for Tech Rep to test and appraise? I personally don't think you can go past IObit - http://www.iobit.com/ - which also has a light footprint, but is a powerful and very comprehensive program, with all the tools, defence functions, & much much more wrapped in one suite - (currently selling for less than half price, $25, if you buy the suite.) However IObit offers free versions with unlimited time and no expiry date, equally as effective as paid versions but with no bells and whistles.

Rizwan ud Dean
Rizwan ud Dean

Thats almost like saying a Rolls-Royce without its badge is not a Rolls-Royce ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

should be raised with Microsoft. You raise the issue of users who cannot go a week without getting infected. This is most often due to ignorance of safe web surfing procedures. Likewise, many are unaware that an MS certification on an app is not a statement of product quality, only of the app's compatibility with an operating system. I'm not sure I want MS determining the 'quality' of an application. Who is to say the features of one app qualify it for certification, but the differing features of a competing product do not?

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...it's just that they haven't earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo. Lot's of text on the site about working with Windows 7, but no logo... I see that they had previously earned the Works with Vista logo, so one might assume that they will eventually get the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.

Spenda
Spenda

LOL! You must be going into zombie mode re-typing this answer so many times, Greg! Maybe a re-phrasing of the topic title to include Windows 7 AV Compatible List might work!

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...doesn't mean that it is not a good AV program and Eset does appear to work in Windows 7. It's just that Eset doesn't have the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...it has not earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo. This is not a top ten list. This is 10 antivirus programs that have earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo list.

Doogle268
Doogle268

I've used AVG since 7.0 - now using 9.0 with Windows 7 - all have supported automatic updates. Cheers.

l_creech
l_creech

Actually AVG Free has supported auto-update for quite a long time now. First version I played with was version 7 and auto-update was working then. BitDefender in the past at least has required manual update of their free version, and disabled auto-protect features as well making it worthless for anything preventitive. They may have changed this in more recent times, but I haven't checked on it since version 8.

michael_carr
michael_carr

I have been using on my home machines and 8.5 and 9.0 both have supported automatic updates in actual use as well. I have been running on Win 7 for about 6 weeks with no issues with updting. FYI

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...in the features list. I'll have to check version 9 to make sure, but previous editions of the free edition require you manually accept updates.

ibmtech
ibmtech

I am using AVG 9 Free on 3 computers and it auto updates every day.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You've posted eight times in the last two years (three not counting today) and suddenly you're an expert on 'this group'. When I want your opinion on what I should post, I'll ask for it and then do the opposite. Call back when you can string together more than two sentences. Until then, go back to the card table and play nice with your cousins; the adults are talking.

martin.77084
martin.77084

if it doesn't have the Rolls-Royce badge, there is no assurance that it is a Rolls-Royce. If you are unable to comprehend the meaning of Gregg's article, you should go back to grammar school instead of advertising your ignorance.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...just trying to keep the Compatible with Windows 7 logo in the forefront - especially when it comes to something as important as anti-virus.

abrown
abrown

My apologies, I was mistaken!

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...keep in mind that the process of earning the Compatible with Windows 7 logo is ongoing. Since the time that I wrote this article, 2 more products have been added to the list. While it may seem odd, Microsoft Security Essentials was not on that page at the time. So that is a new product on the list. The other new product added to the list sine I wrote the article is Zone Alarm Antivirus 2010. There are other AV products out there, so it is entirely possible that we will see others added to the Compatible with Windows 7 list as time goes on.

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