best antivirus software?

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best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 9:48 pm

The 'must have programs' pages being seriously rusty, I wonder what you find optimal in AV programs.

I run ESET (which I am happy with) and Avast on another box (don't like the interface and sluggish updates).

Also - I've forgotten the name of the site that runs quality non-commercial tests of these programs? Google gives me pages of sponsored junk - was no help. Thanks.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 9:59 pm

Microsoft security essentials has been good for me, unobtrusive and fairly minimalist. gets the job done
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 10:09 pm

ditto for M.S.E.

I also purchased a few copies of Malwarebytes pro for a few family members, apparently its good for life.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6832562001

I got it for 12 bucks, worth every cent.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 10:12 pm

Another for MSE. I used to use ESET, and before that Kaspersky. However, for a few years now I have found MSE to be more than adequate for my needs. I've never once had a problem related to malicious software while using MSE - although I am usually pretty careful.

Edit:
PS: av-test.org? I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, but it may be.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 10:44 pm

MSE and Malwarebytes.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 10:52 pm

Another vote for both Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:21 pm

I've previously run Avast for years without any (detected) problem, and would feel OK recommending it.
I've been running MSE as of last year, though.
This month, I got hit with Safe Fortress 2012. FWIW, I was in Opera on Windows Vista Home 32bit.
I ended up using Malwarebytes to remove it.
Can't say I'm very pleased with MSE but I still run it for now.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:30 pm

I use a combo of avira and spybot. Avast and avg are bloated, slow, have lower detection rates, and avg often gets disabled by viruses. Super for backup, but I've not had a need for it.
https://www.pcworld.com/reviews/collect ... tware.html
http://www.freewaregenius.com/2009/04/0 ... omparison/
Antivir in fact has the best detection of any program free or paid according to AV-comparatives.org’s numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avira
AV-Comparatives awarded Avira AntiVir Premium with the highest score, the "Advanced+" distinction, in February, May, and August 2008, earning it the 2008 "AV Product of the Year" award. This large-scale comparative test saw Avira achieve an "excellent" score for its proactive detection performance. In the "Speed" category, Avira made it to the winner’s podium. In the "Summary Report 2010" it received the Silver award for 99.5% detection rate.[8]

In January 2008, Avira AntiVir was given a rating of 6.5 out of 8 in tests for detection and removal of rootkits and 71% for proactive virus detection by Anti-Malware Test Lab; both scores qualified for "gold" status, the highest award.[9] Avira achieved the highest Malware Detection rate, along with G-DATA Antivirus, 98%, and was one of five products that achieved a 90% or higher spyware detection rate in the latest AV-Test performed in February 2010.[10] AV-Comparatives also awarded Avira with an Advanced+ rating (the highest) in their latest test.[11] Avira had the highest signature and proactive detection rates in all major independent antivirus tests.[when?] In April 2009, PC Pro awarded Avira Premium Security Suite 9 six out of six stars and a place on its A-list for Internet security software.[12] In August 2009, Avira AntiVir Personal Antivirus achieved a 98.9% percent overall malware detection rate, and was the fastest for both on-demand scans and on-access scans conducted by PC World, who ranked it first on its website.[13] Neil J. Rubenking from PC Magazine gave version 10 3.5 out of 5 stars.[14]

Avira was among the first companies to receive OESIS OK Gold Certification.[15] This shows that both the antispyware and antivirus components of several of their products have achieved the maximum compatibility score with widespread network technologies (like SSL/TLS VPN and Network Access Control) from Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems, SonicWALL and others.

Avira has also received VB100 awards,[16] the most recent in April 2011 (Avira AntiVir Personal).


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Last edited by l33t-g4m3r on Fri May 25, 2012 12:45 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:37 pm

Another vote for M.S.E.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:27 am

ordskiweicz wrote:Also - I've forgotten the name of the site that runs quality non-commercial tests of these programs? Google gives me pages of sponsored junk - was no help. Thanks.

http://www.av-comparatives.org/

Personally I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials as free antivirus for last year or so - it is extremely unobtrusive and maintenance-free. I've used AVIRA's antivirus before and I know that objectively (according to Av-Comparatives and my own tests :wink: ) AVIRA's antivirus (including free one) has overall better detection rates, but it also finds a lot of "false positives" and free version displays the Ad windows at random times, which is all kinda annoying, and it (as well as EVERY other antivirus program) still misses plenty of crap like "fake antivirus" programs (which can always be easily cleaned by free versions of MalwareBytes program and/or "ComboFix" progam), so I don't really see the point in using it anymore...
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:08 am

JohnC wrote:Personally I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials as free antivirus for last year or so - it is extremely unobtrusive and maintenance-free. I've used AVIRA's antivirus before and I know that objectively (according to Av-Comparatives and my own tests :wink: ) AVIRA's antivirus (including free one) has overall better detection rates, but it also finds a lot of "false positives" and free version displays the Ad windows at random times, which is all kinda annoying, and it (as well as EVERY other antivirus program) still misses plenty of crap like "fake antivirus" programs (which can always be easily cleaned by free versions of MalwareBytes program and/or "ComboFix" progam), so I don't really see the point in using it anymore...

A lot of it is personal opinion. MSE is pretty unobtrusive, free, and generically works, so that's why it get's recommended a lot. However, it doesn't have the greatest detection rate, scan speed, and still will pick up the occasional false positive. Nothing's immune to that. IMO, Avira is pretty average for FP, and I've seen a lot worse. The popups can also be disabled with some tweaking. Spyware detection I leave up to spybot and preventative measures. I also don't like how MSE spies on your computer by continually checking whether or not you have a "genuine" copy of windows. I do have a legit copy, but have had several issues with the phone-home spyware. Kind of like how steam will have the occasional glitch, but you really don't want your AV to glitch out like that. Of course I haven't used MSE for a while so it may work better than when I first tried it, but I still don't like the concept that it phones home. Ironically, if I have to install AV on somebody else's computer, it's usually going to be MSE, or AVG. They do seem to be better designed for casual users.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:39 am

Skullzer wrote:MSE and Malwarebytes.


I am using this combination, this setup will do much better, if you have the protection mode on, on Malwarebytes.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 am

I've been using Avast! (Free Version)...so far so good :)
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 5:20 am

I don't run Windows at home but at work I'm responsible for the Anti-Virus solution and we've just switched to the corporate version of MSE, Forefront Endpoint Protection which is more or less the same thing, just with a central management options and a different skin.

I find it refreshing because it's just a virus scanner without all the usual firewalls, plugins and god knows what else other AV vendors seem to push on you these days. Before, we were using Kaspersky which had eight separate modules, five of which we disabled. MSE and FEP are lightweight and so far seem secure enough. Nothing is infallible and as long as it protects against the most common stuff out there I'm happy enough with it.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 6:47 am

l33t-g4m3r wrote: I also don't like how MSE spies on your computer by continually checking whether or not you have a "genuine" copy of windows.


Do you have a source for this? I know for sure MSE checks that you have a genuine copy of windows when you install it but never heard about it doing it after it is installed.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 7:40 am

I used to have MSE on all the computers in the house, but for some reason it just wouldn't update automatically on all the Vista systems (worked on my XP computer). I finally switched to Avast Free on all computers, and it has worked fine thus far. It has blocked some downloads and drive by's on all the kids' systems and keeps itself updated.

Just my personal experience, everyone's mileage varies. :P
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 7:55 am

I've recently converted back to Avira after its free version destroyed most paid AV in detection and system usage comparisons. I later decided to shell out for it to support what imo is the provider of the best free AV.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 7:58 am

Ryhadar wrote:
l33t-g4m3r wrote: I also don't like how MSE spies on your computer by continually checking whether or not you have a "genuine" copy of windows.


Do you have a source for this? I know for sure MSE checks that you have a genuine copy of windows when you install it but never heard about it doing it after it is installed.

There are multiple sources, including Microsoft.
http://bit.ly/LhpFxw
Microsoft Security Essentials checks for validity of the operating system during and after installation. If the operating system is not found to be genuine, Microsoft Security Essentials will notify the user of the issue, and may cease to operate after a period of time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Genuine_Advantage
The WGA Validation Library is also included in the Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0

MSE is WGA 2.0. People didn't take too kindly to WGA and many just disabled the useless service, so Microsoft found another way to foist WGA onto you. Kind of like how Steam hides DRM with services. Make no mistake, MSE is a constant validation check, as that is it's primary function. AV is secondary, and it shows.

Also:
However, the validation by Microsoft Security Essentials can be erroneous, and inaccurate. For example, a genuine system can be incorrectly marked as non-genuine due to validation error by the MSE, yet on other Microsoft’s validation channels, such as web validation, the system is determined to be genuine.

I've personally experienced small glitches with MSE, off and on validation and poor av detection, so it doesn't get installed on my pc. I don't really care otherwise, since I will install MSE for casual users, and even recommend it to some. It's free, and easy to use. So if you don't care that Microsoft has tricked you into running a constant validation check, by all means install and use MSE.
kvndoom wrote:I used to have MSE on all the computers in the house, but for some reason it just wouldn't update automatically on all the Vista systems (worked on my XP computer). I finally switched to Avast Free on all computers, and it has worked fine thus far. It has blocked some downloads and drive by's on all the kids' systems and keeps itself updated.

Just my personal experience, everyone's mileage varies. :P

Could be something with Vista, since that's what I'm still using. I did have a 7 drive, but that ended up as yet another dead WD. 100% failure rate.
Last edited by l33t-g4m3r on Fri May 25, 2012 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 8:00 am

Please explain to me why someone running a valid copy of Windows cares if that validity is continually confirmed? Sorry, but the paranoia doesn't work for me.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 8:10 am

Captain Ned wrote:Please explain to me why someone running a valid copy of Windows cares if that validity is continually confirmed? Sorry, but the paranoia doesn't work for me.

Well, you have 2 people claiming issues with Vista here in this forum, there is also several websites acknowledging that MSE has issues, and I quoted one. Paranoia? You're looking at Mr. Paranoia for the sake of Paranoia, whether or not there currently is a problem. Anything that can go bad, will, and it usually does. I did validation upon installing the OS, so it doesn't need to be done again every time the AV updates. Now that's real paranoia. Microsoft is that paranoid of it's paying customers, and I take offense to it, although MSE isn't nearly as bad as WGA because that wasn't meant to be optional. Nothing worse than having a killswitch embedded into your OS.
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some of the things WGA spies on:
Windows Genuine Advantage checks the following components:[14][15]

Computer make and model
BIOS checksum.
MAC address.
A unique number assigned to the user's computer by the tools (Globally Unique Identifier or GUID)
Hard drive serial number.
Region and language settings of the operating system.
Operating system version.
PC BIOS information (make, version, date).
PC manufacturer.
User locale setting.
Validation and installation results.
Windows or Office product key.
Windows product ID.

Microsoft "refused to comment on the rate of pure false positives" beyond saying it was "under 1%" (or as stated, at most around 5 million users affected).

On August 25, 2007, the Microsoft WGA servers suffered an outage, resulting in many legitimate copies of Windows XP and Vista being marked as counterfeit.[41] The issue was solved about twelve hours later. According to Microsoft, "fewer than 12,000 systems were affected worldwide."[42]

Depending on how MSE implements validation checks (which isn't bad now), virus makers could have a field day, considering many target and disable common av software. Perhaps that's why MSE hasn't been turned into crippleware, aside from disabling itself.
Last edited by l33t-g4m3r on Fri May 25, 2012 9:07 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 8:13 am

Captain Ned wrote:Please explain to me why someone running a valid copy of Windows cares if that validity is continually confirmed? Sorry, but the paranoia doesn't work for me.


Yours or theirs?
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:49 am

l33t-g4m3r wrote:
Ryhadar wrote:
l33t-g4m3r wrote: I also don't like how MSE spies on your computer by continually checking whether or not you have a "genuine" copy of windows.


Do you have a source for this? I know for sure MSE checks that you have a genuine copy of windows when you install it but never heard about it doing it after it is installed.

There are multiple sources, including Microsoft.
http://bit.ly/LhpFxw
Microsoft Security Essentials checks for validity of the operating system during and after installation. If the operating system is not found to be genuine, Microsoft Security Essentials will notify the user of the issue, and may cease to operate after a period of time

The WGA Validation Library is also included in the Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0

MSE is WGA 2.0. People didn't take too kindly to WGA and many just disabled the useless service, so Microsoft found another way to foist WGA onto you. Kind of like how Steam hides DRM with services. Make no mistake, MSE is a constant validation check, as that is it's primary function. AV is secondary, and it shows.

So the first one is from the wikipedia article. I cannot find the 2nd statement in the same article, not even the linked license agreement on Microsoft's website. Wikipedia is not always correct when it comes to the minor details? Will need more link. I found one that mentioned after a hardware change WGA got triggered yes. But that check does not phone home. Hardware change and the rechecking of the hash is a local function. There should not be any data going back to the hive. Not sure if they do remote key revocation yet, ala Bluray.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:55 am

Still using Avast, here. It's gotten more bloated with time but still works well enough to recommend. Gave up on AVG a long time ago, when it went from being a fast, unobtrusive, lightweight, effective AV program to being the exact opposite on all four of those counts.

I've previously used Avira on an XP-based netbook precisely because it was effective but light-footed, but nothing recently.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I use MSE on some of my systems and Norton on others. For those that upgrade Norton Internet Security and shop sales it basically costs a stamp per year for 3 systems. It had gotten bloated in the past, but is fast and lightweight these days. Its idle time scans actually impact the computer less than MSE. And it does have a firewall that does a remarkably good job of configuring itself (to the point that I basically forget that it is there -- far better than the Windows firewall).
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 12:30 pm

I went from using Kaspersky to Avast. I like Avast better though i never had any problems with either, Kaspersky was just a bit too much of a resource hog for me.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 12:33 pm

ordskiweicz wrote:The 'must have programs' pages being seriously rusty, I wonder what you find optimal in AV programs.



Check here: http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/marapr-2012/

AVG probably the best freebie. Norton(Symantec) & Bitdefender are probably the best overall IMO.

MSE gets a lot of hype, but that's usually from people that are not that knowledgeable about AV software. It isn't that great, and also only updates once per day. Most AV programs update throughout the day to better protect you from zero-day threats.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:04 pm

I personally use no AV software on my laptop because I don't like the resource drain that it causes, and I use other monitoring software to make sure I don't have any rouge software on my computer.

On my desktop that browses the web frequently and gets a lot of use, I have Avast on it because it has one of the fastest scan speeds.

But MSE and avira are both very good options.

But overall, the importance of antivirus software is overrated for users that know how to keep their computer free of malware.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:05 pm



I'm wondering why they show results for MSE version 2.1 when the current one is 4.0. Nothing has been changed?
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:12 pm

Another vote for MSE and MalwareBytes.
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Re: best antivirus software?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:15 pm

Flying Fox wrote: I cannot find the 2nd statement in the same article

That's because it's in the WGA article. Protip: you can select a line of text, right click, and click search google for ".....".
Flying Fox wrote:I found one that mentioned after a hardware change WGA got triggered yes. But that check does not phone home. Hardware change and the rechecking of the hash is a local function. There should not be any data going back to the hive. Not sure if they do remote key revocation yet, ala Bluray.

That's probably not correct. Hardware changes trigger your activation, and WGA is somewhat separate from activation. Now if WGA determines your copy is illegitimate, then I believe it can reset your activation. WGA is a constant check of your "genuine" status, among other details, which used to be pretty close to a kill-switch.

On Windows Vista RTM, WGA validation failure has a greater impact. In addition to persistent notification and the disabling of non-critical updates, WGA also disables Windows Aero, Windows Defender, and Windows ReadyBoost. The user is given a grace period in which to then pass validation, after which most of the operating system is disabled and Windows reverts to reduced functionality mode. This behavior however has been removed in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista in favor of prominent notices on systems believed unlicensed.

Microsoft has recently made some changes with a WGA update for Windows XP Professional, Vista Business and Windows 7 Ultimate as well that result in not just a pop-up balloon, but instead the wallpaper changes to black, and there will be a translucent notice in the lower right-hand section of the screen that the user cannot get rid of. However, the user can still interact with things placed behind it. There will also be a notification at the login screen. The user can change the desktop wallpaper to whatever they like, but the notifications will remain, and every 60 minutes it will revert back to the black screen. However, this will only happen to the first user in the computer where you log on to, so if you choose a different user, it will not turn black, and your wallpaper will remain.

some people compare WGA to time bomb software.

I don't believe building kill-switches or backdoors into your OS is ethical, or safe for consumers. If anyone remembers, the virus that shut down Iran's nuclear program was a US-Israeli joint effort, which took advantage of a windows backdoor/"zero day exploit". Don't ask me why they weren't using linux. Microsoft has all sorts of holes in it's OS, and IMO some of it's on purpose.

Back to AV alternatives, I recently found an on-access scanner for clamwin, which is also a good choice if you wan AV, but not a real time scanner. http://clamsentinel.sourceforge.net/Sen ... Guide.html
My overall favorite is avira, but avast is good too. (aside from registration.) MSE and AVG is just stuff I foist off on people so that they have something that's easy to use. I also acknowledge MSE has added a few more features since it's initial release, and probably does work half-decent now. I just don't like using it myself, mostly because it phone's home. Actually, I might consider using MSE, but only if they change to a single activation check per install.
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