November 25, 2020

Looking for a Free AV to Replace Norton 360

For years now my Xfinity plan included a free version of Norton 360 Security Suite which has served as my mainstay background real-time AV, whilst having the Malwarebytes Free Version as the manual use backup. For the most part, I’ve used it in a set-and-forget mentality. Unfortunately, in its infinite wisdom, Comcast has decided to discontinue this beginning in 2021.

Therefore, I’ve been looking into a free AV to adequately take its place, but can’t quite come up with a solid replacement. The top two contenders so far are Bitdefender and Kaspersky, but I keep getting conflicting reports on them. So far as I can tell, they’re both supposed to be good, but depending on where I go, I keep seeing reports of Bitdefender slowing down browser response, reboot times, using large amounts of RAM, or pc responsiveness significantly; alternatively, Kaspersky has been reported to randomly/repeatedly spike CPU usage, slow pc responsiveness, delete random files without warning, acts like malware itself in one’s inability to remove or alter it, and/or has been the source of a pc’s infection (the last one is particularly worrisome for me, as it happened to me when I used Avast some years ago). And those are just some of the more common items.

As a person who isn’t particularly IT experienced, I want to know which free AV would be best as a rough substitute for the Norton 360 Security Suite I currently get through Comcast that won’t choke my system of resources, endlessly nag me (too much/intrusively, anyway), or require me to have to babysit my computer (as it is, Norton may or may not have some sort of nonpaged and/or paged pool leak that is as of yet unresolved).



Well, the best thing to do is to test them yourself. They are free, after all. Every system is different.

I’ve had good experience with Bitdefender Free. Kaspersky Cloud Free was in my experience little bit heavier on CPU, but it is known that Kaspersky needs more time to calm down on fresh install.

If you are using Windows 10, there’s no need to use any of these AVs tho.

Microsoft Defender came a long way and currently is one of the best AVs on the market. It has also minimal impact on system.


Windows Defender is all you need, you can use ConfigureDefender to get the most out of it.

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