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AntiVirus Solutions -64 bit and Cost Challenged Users

By George Margolin, Editor,

There are a plethera of antivirus and firewall solutions out there. Some include sypware scanners, and some do not. What you are looking for is a anti-virus program that will update automatically, have the latest virus definitions before the virus hits the mass market, a firewall program and several spyware checkers.

There have been many reviews of all of the above, but 2 things lately we have noticed are:

1. 64 bit processor anti-virus solutions are pretty non-existent.

2. For some of our users, cost is an issue.

64 bit Processors

After building several 64 bit machines and using Windows XP Professional 64 bit edition and Windows 2003 Server 64 bit edition, I noticed that the anti-virus vendors were not addressing this market space yet.  Only the Enterprise versions of Symantec and MacAfee will work (not cheap). Trend Micro has their 2006 product which may work but has not been released yet. There is a company called which does have a free version to check 64 bit machines that you may want to try as an interim solution. According to one Symantec rep I talked to, they are waiting and gearing up for Vista/Longhorn instead.

Antivirus Cost

For some of our users, cost is an issue. Or they happen to be a friend's house and they tell you their computer is "Running Slow". This  usually means that they have a virus and have never updated their software. At that point, I tell people, if they can still connect to the Internet, to run Housecall by TrendMicro. This is a free checker, but it will only check at one point in time, it does not protect you for future outbreaks.

Go to, click free scan (Housecall) to scan using Trend Micro. Running this on your own computer is  also a good second check on your own current anti-virus tool.

One virus checker many have been using with success is the AVG product, which is free for home users.

AVG -  





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