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Author Topic: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!  (Read 6622 times)

Stephen66515

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Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« on: September 21, 2014, 03:57:17 AM »
I had McAffee pre-installed on the new laptops and now they have run out of their free trial...so I have uninstalled them because I don't have the funds to pay for it...so I am looking for a good free alternative...I used to swear by AVG but not sure if it is still worth it!

So...What do you guys think?  I currently have no AV installed, but do have MalwareBytes installed on both laptops and am using Windows Firewall for both in the meantime (As well as a router level firewall).


Ath

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 04:07:48 AM »
AVG, Avast or Avira should do fine. Have only used Avast on a regular basis but I've read good reviews of all three.

Avira used to have auto-update issues when behind a proxy (like I am connected most of the time), but haven't re-tested that lately.
AVG has had some security issues (with their forum, IIRC) in the recent years, that's why I didn't bother to switch, but they are my next candidate :)
Avast I've seen some app-update issues in their latest release that I didn't get around to investigate thoroughly yet.

Stephen66515

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 04:14:30 AM »
Never used Avira, so will take a looksie at that!  Didn't know about the AVG security issue o.O - Although, I spent pretty much July 2013 to July 2014 offline so may have missed it.

Shades

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 05:25:33 AM »
BitDefender has a decent AV-solution if you aren't the only one strapped for resources...

IainB

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 05:54:41 AM »
New laptops? If they are using the Win8 or 8.1 OS, then Windows Defender includes Firewall and MS Security Essentials (already fully integrated and at no extra charge). You just need to enable it after expunging McAffee.
See also: Experiences of using Win8-64, updating to Win8.1, then upgrading to Win8.1 PRO.

Otherwise, if Win7, then download MS Security Essentials by itself from MS website, for $FREE. It's sort of a no-brainer really.

Ath

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 06:09:57 AM »
It's sort of a no-brainer really.
In several magazine-comparisons of commercial and free contenders over the last couple of years, MSE seems to be quite a no-brainer, indeed..., in this case meaning 'without a proper brain' :o
Hitrate of MSE being 70-75% where the other free solutions all catch 90-95% of stuff to catch. And even the best paid solutions only catch 95-98%, and the worst commercial ones catch well below these free solutions.

Forgot to mention earlier that I used AVG before switching to Avast, but ditched it when it took too much resources from the PC. Boot-time went down from ~5 minutes to ~60 seconds on older WinXP PC's after removing AVG, and up to ~90 seconds after adding Avast :tellme:
These resources issues seem to be resolved with the current AVG versions, but I still have to re-evaluate AVG.

x16wda

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 07:31:36 AM »
Here's another vote to skip MSE. Its corporate clone, System Center Endpoint Protection, is in my experience garbage - it lets too much stuff through and is apparently easy to make non-operative. Too bad its license cost is included in the Core Cal... bean counters don't want to pay extra for something that actually works well...
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

MilesAhead

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 11:22:31 AM »
I don't use a real-time shield.  I do regularly scan with Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware.  I do have to say though, my scans since installing Privacy Badger in Cyberfox have been extremely clean.  I think in the last month SAS has only reported one item.  Before Privacy Badger SAS regularly reported over 50 tracking cookies.  A vast difference(pun.. I plead guilty.)

IainB

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 02:29:53 AM »
The OP (opening post) says: (my emphasis)
I had McAffee pre-installed on the new laptops and now they have run out of their free trial...so I have uninstalled them because I don't have the funds to pay for it...so I am looking for a good free alternative...I used to swear by AVG but not sure if it is still worth it!
So...What do you guys think?  I currently have no AV installed, but do have MalwareBytes installed on both laptops and am using Windows Firewall for both in the meantime (As well as a router level firewall).

My general thoughts are these:
  • There are several possible and perfectly good alternatives for $FREE AV (Anti-Virus) products in the market.
  • I have probably trialled approx. 80% of what is available in that regard, and they all have their good and bad points.
  • The OP seems to be asking for advice as to what to do in a specific situation where a $FREE AV is required for new laptops, and where the OEM installed AV had been McAffee (now at end of free trial).
  • What is "good" or "bad" about AV software product alternatives is not necessarily an advantage or criticism of the AV software per se, since it will generally depend on one's individual requirements criteria and the extent to which the AV software meets those requirements.
  • One generally does not know what one's requirements for AV are until one has had the experience of a "suck-it-and-see" of some of the alternatives, which helps one to formulate one's requirements.
  • From experience, there seems to be no definitively "best" AV product, since (as above) the requirements criteria would generally need to be used to establish suitability and fitness-for-purpose in any given case.
  • The case for AV requirements will tend to differ not only between large organisational networks (e.g., corporate WANs), but also between smaller user-group networks.
  • Win8 OEM installs generally include a third-party proprietary AV product on "limited free trial", because the OEM gets a $commission for doing so.
  • This is despite the fact that Win8 comes with a Firewall (the Microsoft Firewall) and AV (MSE - Microsoft Security Essentials) already bundled as discrete, integrated components, consolidated into the Microsoft Windows Defender product.
  • The AV bundled in the OEM install takes priority in the system and the MSE product is necessarily disabled. This is not done for the advantage of the user/buyer of the laptop, but (as above) for financial gain - $commission - for the OEM.
  • Not having an AV product running on a laptop or other computer that is likely to be connected to the Internet (or to other computers that may or may not be so connected), opens up one's system to potentially serious, but largely avoidable risk of computer virus infection.
  • This risk will generally be  time-related - i.e., the longer the risk is there (the longer the window of opportunity for a virus threat is left open), the greater the chance of the potential risk occurring.

This is not a time to procrastinate. As a paranoid, I would therefore strongly recommend that, if you do not have an AV product on the laptops, then install any one of the more popular $FREE products ASAP, and worry about whether it is the "best" one for you at some later point - when you are (say) better able to define/articulate your requirements criteria.

The reason I described MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) as a "no-brainer" is that, in Win8, once you have expunged McAffee/Norton/Symantec or whatever was in the OEM install, it will not take more than 30 seconds to go to Defender via the Control Panel, enable the AV component (MSE), and for MSE to set about updating itself (the AV "engine") and downloading the latest virus signature database. From memory, this may not even require a restart of the PC/laptop.
The important thing is to close the risk "window" ASAP. The quickest route to there in Win8 is to enable MSE, as described. Any other approach is likely to take longer and thus prolong the risk exposure - a risk which I was acutely aware of in my own situation (similar to the OP).

Whatever $FREE AV you end up using, do make sure that the OEM installed AV is expunged first though, as it may otherwise leave hooks deeply embedded in the OS and Registry, which could interfere with another AV product's successful installation/operation (QED). This seems to be especially so in the case of Norton/Symantec (for which there is even a special removal tool, discussed elsewhere in this Forum - since the AV product is highly tenacious and persistent, almost like a malware/adware/virus in itself).    :mad:

For expunging:
In the link I gave in a comment above, I used RevoUninstaller on setting 4 or 5 to scrub Norton/Symantec from the system, and then CCleaner to delete all the obsolete references to Norton/Symantec in the Registry, and search Everything to locate and delete all residual files/folders relating to Norton/Symantec in the file system.

After this you can trial $FREE MSE and all the other $FREE alternative AVs to your heart's content. Sorry I cannot suggest which might be "the best" though, and I don't engage in "pissing contests" about AV or other software. It is a pointless exercise since we all have different (and often unspoken/unarticulated) requirements criteria. "One man's meat is another man's poison".    :-[

Hope this helps or is of use.    :)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 03:33:35 AM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections. »

x16wda

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 05:31:44 AM »
My general thoughts are these:

I have to agree with Iain on these points. Turn on Defender at least for now, and worry about specifics later.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

anandcoral

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 05:39:26 AM »
Have been using AVG free since Xp, now in Win8.

Though requirement may vary, I am quite satisfied with it.

Regards,

Anand

mouser

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 12:28:35 PM »
I've been using AVG for the last 6 months (combined with their Firewall), and I've been very pleased with it.

IainB

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 07:47:54 AM »
Ah, here it is. I knew I'd seen something that had already been way down this path before: GEGeek - a whole new IT category index discovered in The Library of Utopia

The relevant link is in the GEGeek section You're Infected ?: Antivirusā„Mal ware. A veritable mine of information at that link.

Sorry for not coughing this up sooner, but I got sidetracked and have been rather preoccupied with some urgent work.

IainB

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2014, 08:11:27 AM »
I have to agree with Iain on these points. Turn on Defender at least for now, and worry about specifics later.
To be more specific, I think the user of a new Win8 laptop will find that Windows Defender is "On" by default, but the AV component (formerly MSE) is what seems to get fully disabled by the OEM AV proggy install, leaving just the Windows Defender Firewall component enabled.

This confused me greatly at first, as I was previously unaware that Defender had been made a consolidation of the two components in Win8.    :-[

What I noticed in my case was that whilst Norton/Symantec AV was persistently nagging (nagware) the user to buy the software as it was "at the end of trial period", the user was blocked from enabling the Windows Defender AV component, until the OEM AV product was completely uninstalled/expunged. That would be unlikely to have been accidental. I consider it to be sharp practice. That sort of thing really gets my goat and is just one more reason for my loathing Norton/Symantec AV - which otherwise is an excellent AV ($PAID) product, as far as I am aware.

Janeldgrs67

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2014, 08:29:44 AM »
I had McAffee pre-installed on the new laptops and now they have run out of their free trial...so I have uninstalled them because I don't have the funds to pay for it...so I am looking for a good free alternative...I used to swear by AVG but not sure if it is still worth it!

So...What do you guys think?  I currently have no AV installed, but do have MalwareBytes installed on both laptops and am using Windows Firewall for both in the meantime (As well as a router level firewall).



I recommend 360 total security.  I've used avg before but now more of their features aren't free.  The last AV I've used was MSE until somehow my pc got infected and couldn't remove the virus.  Tried 360 and was able to free my pc from infection.  

Innuendo

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2014, 10:36:11 AM »
Please, do NOT rely on Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your PC. Most independent AV testing organizations are even starting to drop it from their regular testing because it can't compete with even the worst freeware AV solutions. Microsoft has let it languish on the vine far too long. It will let all sorts of nasty stuff install on your system while it obliviously studies its shoe laces.

If we're talking free AV solutions, there are a lot of choices out there and most of them are not bad at all. Right now, the one that is considered to be the best free solution is BitDefender Free:

http://www.bitdefend.../solutions/free.html

I've never used it, but it gets great reviews and always scores extremely well in independent tests. When someone asks me for something free to install I've been pointing them in BitDefender Free's direction & I haven't had anyone come back and complain yet.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2014, 11:15:34 AM »
Please, do NOT rely on Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your PC. Most independent AV testing organizations are even starting to drop it from their regular testing because it can't compete with even the worst freeware AV solutions. Microsoft has let it languish on the vine far too long. It will let all sorts of nasty stuff install on your system while it obliviously studies its shoe laces.

My comp knowledge is a little erratic, so forgive the newb-ish question, but didn't MSE *used* to be considered good at one point? A ways back the IT guy at my old job seemed to think it was fine.

I can totally see MS doing something like dropping the ball so it "stopped being good", but wasn't it (sorta) good once?

Meanwhile I'll try to remember this thread because I've been idly meaning to switch out of MSE for a long time, and I just didn't manage to put together a research campaign.


MerleOne

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2014, 06:15:08 AM »
IMHO Avast Free is excellent.  I however use WebRoot Internet Security; which is light but tends to give a bunch of false positives, though they can be excluded easily.  I had a license through a rebate offer.  I also saw a huge discount recently for BullGuard, supposedly a variant of BitDefender.  I tried that latter one but uninstalled it, sorry can't remember why.
.merle1.

ilikefree09

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2014, 08:46:15 AM »
I would use Avira Antivir (free)
Use a host file
Block third party cookies
Install Better Privacy (Free)
Regularly scan with MalwareBytes Free version
I also use Ghostry which even blocks the tracking cookie from this site (Google Analytics)
shit doesn't just happen there's always an arsehole involved

40hz

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2014, 12:05:05 PM »
My current favorite is BitDefender. Either the "free for personal" or paid-for Pro.

I use the pro version myself, supplemented by occasional on-demand scans with Malwarebytes Antimalware and/or Super Antimalware.

This trio (along with staying current with Windows Update) seems to catch everything that's catch-able so far (knock wood).


superboyac

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2014, 01:24:57 PM »
My current favorite is BitDefender. Either the "free for personal" or paid-for Pro.

I use the pro version myself, supplemented by occasional on-demand scans with Malwarebytes Antimalware and/or Super Antimalware.

This trio (along with staying current with Windows Update) seems to catch everything that's catch-able so far (knock wood).
I've been using the bitdefender version based on your recommendation for a couple of months now.  It's good.  My only complaints so far have been:
--you must give a *working* email for the program to not nag you; even the paid-for version.
--it's chinese
--sometimes it can be a little too simplistic.  as in, in their effort to make it very easy to use, some of the more powerful options are in odd places.

but so far so good.  I can't think of another av program I prefer at this point.  I used to be a kaspersky guy years ago, but fell out of favor quickly.

40hz

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2014, 02:02:39 PM »
I've been using the bitdefender version based on your recommendation for a couple of months now.  It's good.  My only complaints so far have been:
--you must give a *working* email for the program to not nag you; even the paid-for version.

Do what I do. Set up an @live or @gmail account purely for all those pesky people that insist on a valid e-mail address. Open it at least once a month to keep it active. Periodically trash everything in it except for registration acknowledgements, license keys, and other genuinely useful messages. End of problem. No worries.

--it's chinese

Is it really any more dangerous coming from a non-American developer than an un-American ;) one? Or really any other nationality these days? They all seem to be in bed with their respective government's spy & surveillance agencies - with our own biggies leading the stampede.

 
--sometimes it can be a little too simplistic.  as in, in their effort to make it very easy to use, some of the more powerful options are in odd places.

Good point. The pro version has a more traditional dashboard like all the other majors do. The freebie control panel is rather simplistic. But you can still get to pretty much anything you need if you have to.

 :) :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: Looking for a new Anti-Virus and need you guys to help!
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2014, 02:53:51 PM »
I've been using the bitdefender version based on your recommendation for a couple of months now.  It's good.  My only complaints so far have been:
--you must give a *working* email for the program to not nag you; even the paid-for version.

Do what I do. Set up an @live or @gmail account purely for all those pesky people that insist on a valid e-mail address. Open it at least once a month to keep it active. Periodically trash everything in it except for registration acknowledgements, license keys, and other genuinely useful messages. End of problem. No worries.

--it's chinese

Is it really any more dangerous coming from a non-American developer than an un-American ;) one? Or really any other nationality these days? They all seem to be in bed with their respective government's spy & surveillance agencies - with our own biggies leading the stampede.

 
--sometimes it can be a little too simplistic.  as in, in their effort to make it very easy to use, some of the more powerful options are in odd places.

Good point. The pro version has a more traditional dashboard like all the other majors do. The freebie control panel is rather simplistic. But you can still get to pretty much anything you need if you have to.

 :) :Thmbsup:
agreed.  good point on the non-american stuff.  I used to be a little more convicted about such things.  then i learned.