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Parent's PC is bugged out; need anti-virus software suggestions

MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I finally got it to run in safemode, and am downloading Spybot which, for whatever reason, they stopped using and then deleted after I moved out. Oh, and their two current levels of protection, SUPERAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes, seem ineffective at best and the first seems possibly illegitimate. Regardless, whatever free trail they had going of those is expired, so they are gone. I try to tell my parents you can have a guarded computer for free, they don't believe me. So, besides Spybot and another lecture / demonstration (mostly aimed at my little brother and his internet 'shenanigans'), what other free softwares should I be using to keep this PC clean?

Oh, uh, Windows XP, if it's relevant.

E: I'm not sure what kind of malware or virus or whathave you is on this computer now, but whatever it is keeps me from opening multiple system files, and also blocks access to the internet. It doesn't redirect, it just won't load. On that note, the SUPERAntiSpyware quickrun icon looks like the normal Vista shield, but unlike Vista's warnings, this was popping up non-microsoft windows last night, all of which told me to scan for things and ultimately wanted to redirect me to a website to purchase their product. Ehem sounded a tad shady.

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Posts

  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Regarding non-functioning internet browsing:
    Even after you've scanned, check to make sure your browser isn't set to use a proxy (Internet Options->Connections tab->LAN Settings for IE). Switch it back over to your normal settings (probably automatically detect settings) or fill your own proxy info back in.


    Malware Bytes is my new AdAware (in that it's simple, free and updates frequently). AdAware has sucked pretty hard for the last few years and MBAM seems to have taken up the slack....but then you generally need two programs to catch everything in all situations. MBAM tends to do decently with things that worm their way into your registry and try to redirect your browser or file extensions.

    And remember, if you can't open any exe fies, try to get into regedit and fix your exe extension link first (i.e like http://filext.com/faq/broken_exe_association.php).


    The best defense is always a well-educated user.

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  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited July 2010
    SUPERAntiSpyware is legit. It works ok. I've never used it for protection, I only use it to supplement more effective programs. I have never seen it throw up lots of popups and the quicklaunch icon shouldn't look like the Vista shield. The popups are probably coming from the virus, not Super.

    MalwareBytes AntiMalware is the best spyware removal program, but it doesn't provide any protection (unless you pay for it).

    For active protection, I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. Avast is decent if you don't like MSE.

    If you run updated versions of MBAM and MSE and it still appears to have viruses, then run Combofix.

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  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Obligatory nuke and pave advice. Running free malware scanners in a compromised OS will not remove any but the most harmless malware. Unless you are an expert, you may easily leave a keylogger. If your parents don't have backups, now is the time to make them anyway.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You can try a system restore in the meantime, though it's a quick fix at best.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Boatrower-Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Fire up the orbital laser grid and take this sucker down to bedrock.

    Cleaning it wouldn't help- if your little brother's been surfing teh pr0ns, gods only know how big the infection is. I'd bet real money on there being a few rootkits on that thing. Just nuke it, re-install everything, put in some antivirals that update automatically, and then based on if your little bro's been a pain in your butt lately, give him up to the parents for surfing porn sites.

    I really hope your parents don't use their credit card on that computer...

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Nuke it from orbit.

    Then install firefox/chrome (I prefer chrome).

    Find every reference you can to Internet explorer and delete it from the start bar and subsequent directories. Make the other browser the default and make sure that if they do manage to start up Internet explorer by some fluke it wont give them an option as if they want it to be the default browser.

    Then make a bunch of shortcuts for the other browser and Name them internet explorer and put them where you deleted the shortcuts. If you tell them to "use this" they wont, they will forget what it is called and use internet explorer. It WILL happen.

    Tell them that it looks different because it is the "safe version" that you have installed. It might not be true, but they wont be able to tell the difference.

    I use MSE and have yet to have a problem.

  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SUPERAntiSpyware sucks balls.

    Microsoft Security Essentials works pretty great, and doesn't use much resources. I put that, and AVG Free, on everything.

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Nuke it from orbit, its easier and safer than trying to remove an infection.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    +1 to nuke it from orbit.

  • VikingToTheMaxVikingToTheMax Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I have seen similar things pop up to what you described. Once in safe mode try right clicking on the icon it has on the desktop and go to properties and see where the files are located at. Once you have that go delete the listed folder. (note you may have to run msconfig to stop if from starting on bootup but try to delete it first)

    Spybot and Malwarebytes are great for a free anti-virus I suggest grabbing avast

    http://www.avast.com/index

  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    AVG Free has a lot of popups and slowdown these days. MSE is recommended by a lot of people, seems to be pretty good. You also need MalwareBytes (As this is free, not a trial, and awesome) and you can also try ComboFix though it's a bit more complicated, but in the IT Office where I work (At the University of TN) it's like our steel wool of antivirus.

    But yes, definitely nuke it and start over. It's too infected at this point to ever be really clean without a format. And I would recommend getting them to upgrade to Windows 7. It lets you uninstall IE!

    98% of the "YOUR COMPUTER HAS VIRUS. WE FIX?" ads you see on the internet are FAKE anti-virus programs. People fall for these all of the damn time.

    Also, give everyone a user account instead of an administrator account. This can help tremendously.

    Also, you should never, ever, pay for antivirus. The free alternatives are just as good and often better than the pay stuff, like Norton. Norton, by the way, is absolutely awful. Pains me whenever students are all "So I bought Norton, but my computer has a virus!"

    What Blake T suggested is good, but people really need to learn how to use their computers too. If you format it (Which you should do) make sure you update it immediatly. And try to format it with a SP3 disc, as computers that are updating newly formatted can be infected without even accessing the internet before you can even get it updated all the way. Yes, it's ridiculous.

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  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Dumping IE will not stop people from downloading and doing stupid things. He asked for solutions to a virus problem, not a browser problem.

    If the issues with little brother are really that significant, the Op should set up a secure partition/drive that gets scanned every night, and set the rest of the OS to be restored every reboot. I forget what its called, but basically restores it to what you designate a default setting.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Dumping IE will not stop people from downloading and doing stupid things. He asked for solutions to a virus problem, not a browser problem.

    If the issues with little brother are really that significant, the Op should set up a secure partition/drive that gets scanned every night, and set the rest of the OS to be restored every reboot. I forget what its called, but basically restores it to what you designate a default setting.

    Not using IE helps people not download stupid crap that gets through the zillion security holes.

    It's also slower and has less features. It's a giant bloated crap browser that people only use because it has the word "Internet" in it, and people think it is the internet. Most don't realize what a "browser" actually is.

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  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Dumping IE will not stop people from downloading and doing stupid things. He asked for solutions to a virus problem, not a browser problem.

    If the issues with little brother are really that significant, the Op should set up a secure partition/drive that gets scanned every night, and set the rest of the OS to be restored every reboot. I forget what its called, but basically restores it to what you designate a default setting.

    Not using IE helps people not download stupid crap that gets through the zillion security holes.

    It's also slower and has less features. It's a giant bloated crap browser that people only use because it has the word "Internet" in it, and people think it is the internet. Most don't realize what a "browser" actually is.

    I get it now, you are one of those militant browser people. Moving on.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, one of those dreadful IT people that dislikes awful, awful browsers. It's like jumping into the ocean with an inflatable raft rather than a cruise ship.

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  • PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I've seen this a hundred times this year alone. The other posters are correct when they say that the best course of action is to wipe it clean. It'll take you days to get it mostly working again, some things still won't work right and in the end, you'll never be sure you got it all. Just go ahead and back up and reload.

    Is this a name brand PC? Most of them have the ability to format and reinstall to factory from a recovery partition.

    I know that this is a help thread but I'd like to address some of the other comments in this thread just to help with any confusion:
    Oh, and their two current levels of protection, SUPERAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes, seem ineffective at best and the first seems possibly illegitimate. Regardless, whatever free trail they had going of those is expired, so they are gone.

    SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes work very well as a supplement to your active real-time anti-virus protection. I prefer Malwarebytes myself, just run a full scan with it every once in a while. Like someone else said earlier; Malwarebytes is the new AdAware.
    I try to tell my parents you can have a guarded computer for free, they don't believe me.

    That's because it's not true. AVG Free, Avira, and any other free anti-virus solutions out there are ineffective as a primary line of defense. They MAY have their uses as some form of supplement to a real anti-virus such as Norton or Webroot, but on the whole free anti-virus programs just don't work.

    I know I'm going to catch some flack from people for what I just said, maybe even the OP, but I'm perfectly willing to debate the issue.
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Dumping IE will not stop people from downloading and doing stupid things. He asked for solutions to a virus problem, not a browser problem.

    If the issues with little brother are really that significant, the Op should set up a secure partition/drive that gets scanned every night, and set the rest of the OS to be restored every reboot. I forget what its called, but basically restores it to what you designate a default setting.

    It's called DriveShield. It's made by the same company that used to make an incredibly cool piece of hardware called Centurion Guard. It was basically a hardware version of the software you're talking about.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Not using IE helps people not download stupid crap that gets through the zillion security holes.

    Nowadays Firefox and Chrome are just as vulnerable as Internet Explorer. Maybe when they were new they were safer, but the more mainstream a browser becomes, the more focused on exploiting it the virus makers will become. Nothing is bulletproof and Microsoft has been spending a lot of time and money on security lately. They're about even now.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    It's also slower and has less features. It's a giant bloated crap browser

    I hear this a lot and the truth is: Firefox loads much slower by comparison. The reason is Internet Explorer uses parts of the operating system that are already loaded into memory. Also, Firefox checks for updates every time it's launched and IE updates are checked for by the operating system. These things combine to make Firefox load significantly slower than IE when initially launched.

    Any difference in browsing speed is because, in Firefox, you're probably using add-ons that block ads, scripts and unwanted flash elements. Without these add-ons they would browse at the same speed.

    Now, it bears mentioning that using these add-ons protects you from viruses far more than just relying on anti-virus alone. And for that reason only is it worth switching to Firefox.

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I found Avast to be a good bit of software since AVG started to suck. Malwarebytes is also good, you should keep it. I kind of think of Avast being my preventitive mesure and Malwarebytes being capible of handling any minor threads that get through.

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  • bloodatonementbloodatonement Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I've had a similar bug. My fix was a combo of Kaspersky Rescue Disc and MBAM. KRD is a bootable cd with linux based anti-virus, pretty good and getting tough bugs out.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Uh, Primes. Your bit about antivirus that are free being bad is a load of hooey. Every single antivirus test I have ever seen has put Norton near the bottom as far as effectiveness AND performance hit. On this campus the scanner we use to detect if you have antivirus installed doesn't even recognize Norton half the time. Saying that Norton is better than AVG because Norton is a "real" antivirus is just ridiculous. For the love of god, do not buy Norton. And I am 100% certain that paying for an antivirus program is a waste of money. Your computer will be worse off because of it.

    AVG, Avira, Avast all have much better records. As does Microsoft Security Essentials. And all of them are free.

    I wouldn't recommend this SUPERAntiSpyware thing simply because I've never ever heard of it. In the software area, if it's something that quite a bit of people have never heard of you probably don't want it.

    You also can't use JUST MalwareBytes. You need that AND an antivirus. AV and AntiSpyware programs don't overlap very well. Gotta use both to get everything.

    Also, IE8 has a lot more problems. When I say "speed" I don't mean "how fast does the program start." No one cares about that typically. It's performance in the browser. IE8 is far slower than Firefox. IE is also notoriously bad at web standards. It has a lot of holes with java and things that make it easier to infect than something like Firefox or Chrome. In addition to being targeted more. Regardless of Microsoft's efforts to make it better, they are way behind the game.

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  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just adding some opinions here, feel free to take the following advice with as much NaCl as you wish.
    • Add another recommendation to reformat and reinstall. The reasons offered are good ones. It's not worth it, and very difficult, to try to fix an infected machine. Even when you do, you can never be sure you got it all if a rootkit was involved.

    • SUPERAntiSpyware is a legitimate AntiMalware tool. It may not be the best one, but it's nothing to fear. Lots of people use it, and plenty recommend it.

    • Malwarebytes AntiMalware is top-dog at removing AV rogues. The real-time protection needs to be paid for, but the on-demand scanner is free, and always should remain so. MBAM will never hit you with a nag screen. I recommend keeping it around for weekly scans, at minimum.

    • Paid Antivirus packages can be very good. NOD32 is a really excellent and lightweight package that updates frequently and has good detection rates. Free Antivirus packages can be very good. Microsoft Security Essentials is a really excellent and lightweight package that updates frequently and has good detection rates. There's no single 'Best' Antivirus package out there. Find the one that works best for you and your system.

    • After reformatting, look into a sandboxing solution. Seriously, it will save you this headache in the future. Since you're working with a system on XP, I'm going to recommend Windows Steady State.

    • In terms of security, browser choice isn't nearly as important as how you secure that browser. An unprotected Firefox installation is going to be much more vulnerable than a tightened up IE8 installation. Choose whichever browser fits your preferences, and then take measures to increase the security by limiting javascript, flash, and plugins, and removing any PDF viewing capacity. Then, activate any sandboxing of the browser, if available.

    • For the love of Niels Bohr, make sure Windows stays updated regularly. Particularly with XP. All the security in the world won't save you if you're unpatched. This is also true of your applications.

    • Edit: Until Adobe gets their act together (which they look like they will be), I recommend that you DON'T install Acrobat or Reader for PDF viewing. There are many alternatives that aren't as full of vulnerabilities. This may change in the future, but currently Adobe Acrobat and Reader remain some of the largest vectors for infection.

    Also, because I'm shameless, I'm going to put a link to the Security thread here. We've got some good lists running that include other options not discussed here. Further discussion is welcome too, as always.

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  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Please do not listen to Primes.

    Here are benchmarks for AV performance; Norton hit 87%, compared to Avira's 98% (free) and AVG's 97% (free).

    http://www.virus.gr/portal/en/content/2009-08,-10-august-05-september

    These are slightly dated, but I don't know of a more recent source for AV benchmarks- I'd be curious to see how MSE performs.

    Also, if Firefox takes longer to load than IE you are doing something very wrong.

  • PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Uh, Primes. Your bit about antivirus that are free being bad is a load of hooey. Every single antivirus test I have ever seen has put Norton near the bottom as far as effectiveness AND performance hit.

    What tests are you talking about? Where are these tests? If you ask ten different experts, you will get ten different answers as to which is "the best". There are no standardized tests for this sort of thing because all of the software is basically the same. They hook into the operating systems the same way and the only real way they differ is in their virus definitions.

    Most of the evidence out there is anecdotal, plain and simple. It's someone's personal experience or "they heard it from this guy that they trust". My personal experience tells me that out of all the infected computers that I've worked on, and there have been MANY, the ones running a free anti-virus were in far worse shape than the ones running a name-brand paid-for AV system such as Webroot, Norton or McAfee.

    Now, I understand that your opinion may be different, and you're welcome to have your opinion, just don't call someone else's opinion "hooey" unless you're ready to present some facts.

    As for your reference to a performance hit, that's patently false. Norton, AVG, Avira...they all use the same, or very nearly the same, resources. They're anti-virus programs! They hook into the operating system and run real-time heuristic scans of everything your computer is doing. This takes resources! And, frankly, I'd be suspicious of the effectiveness of an AV program that advertised that it used very little resources.

    To be honest though, the sheer power of processors and the massive amounts of memory that go into computers today makes resource concerns almost laughable. Nowadays the only real concern is how effective the software is.

    PS: Just for the record, I'm sitting here looking at a Dell computer that I need to wipe out and reload for a customer when I'm done writing this. Why do I need to do this? Well, he was using Microsoft Security Essentials along with Spybot for protection...and his computer won't run anything because it so badly infected.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    On this campus the scanner we use to detect if you have antivirus installed doesn't even recognize Norton half the time.

    Then I would say that there's something wrong with your "Scanner". I'm not sure why you'd be scanning computers to see if they have antivirus instead of just looking but OK, I'll go with it.

    Why would a program, designed to detect the presence of anti-virus software, not be able to detect an anti-virus system that's one of the most used anti-virus systems in the world? Symantec has been one of the top names in anti-virus since viruses were invented! I still have my box from the very first copy I bought back in the 80's, it's got a picture of Peter Norton on it and it's called "THE Norton's Anti-virus".

    Gonna restate it one more time for emphasis: You have a program, designed to detect the presence of anti-virus software, and it can't detect the most recognizable piece of anti-virus software in the history of viruses...and you blame Norton?
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Saying that Norton is better than AVG because Norton is a "real" antivirus is just ridiculous.

    I didn't say that. I said that Norton is better than AVG because it's better. It's definitions are better, Norton has been around longer and have more experience. They have a much larger research budget and response teams. These are just a few of the reasons that they're better, but for me, they're enough.

    For the record, it's not just Norton. McAfee, Webroot and TrendMicro are also better, as are many others.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    For the love of god, do not buy Norton. And I am 100% certain that paying for an antivirus program is a waste of money. Your computer will be worse off because of it.

    Well, I'm 100% certain that paying for an anti-virus isn't a waste of money and that your computer will be better off because of it. I guess we're at an impasse.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    You also can't use JUST MalwareBytes. You need that AND an antivirus. AV and AntiSpyware programs don't overlap very well. Gotta use both to get everything.

    Yeah, I said that earlier.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Also, IE8 has a lot more problems. When I say "speed" I don't mean "how fast does the program start." No one cares about that typically.

    Really? Talk to someone running an older Pentium 4 with 512MB or less of memory. It matters very much to them.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    IE8 is far slower than Firefox.

    No it's not. Go into firefox and disable the ad-blocker, script blocker and flash blockers. They load pages at about the same speeds. The real difference is that with these ad-ons all the extra junk from sites is blocked from loading. THIS is what speeds up browsing and, incidentally, makes you much safer.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    IE is also notoriously bad at web standards.

    I don't know what this means.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    It has a lot of holes with java and things that make it easier to infect than something like Firefox or Chrome.

    See, the holes are actually in Java and Flash, not Internet Explorer. It's up to Adobe and Sun to fix these issues, not Microsoft. These security issues are present in ANY browser that displays Flash or Java, you just have ad-blocker set to block them so you don't see them.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Regardless of Microsoft's efforts to make it better, they are way behind the game.

    I find it funny that in one sentence earlier you claimed that Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the better security software solutions available and then say that they are way behind in the area of security.

    Look, I get that you prefer Firefox or Chrome over IE. To be honest, so do I! The problem is that the reasons you list for switching are just wrong. Maybe some of your claims USED to be correct but Microsoft has actually made several leaps in browser security and have nullified several of your arguments.

    In the future, when you want to convince someone to switch, just copy and paste my last two responses to your quotes. They're much more convincing than "It's just bloated crap!" and they have the added benefit of being true.

  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010

    As for your reference to a performance hit, that's patently false. Norton, AVG, Avira...they all use the same, or very nearly the same, resources. They're anti-virus programs! They hook into the operating system and run real-time heuristic scans of everything your computer is doing. This takes resources! And, frankly, I'd be suspicious of the effectiveness of an AV program that advertised that it used very little resources.

    To be honest though, the sheer power of processors and the massive amounts of memory that go into computers today makes resource concerns almost laughable. Nowadays the only real concern is how effective the software is.

    Just to make your post even funnier.

    http://www.anti-malware-test.com/?q=node/167

    Admittedly, the recent versions of Norton are significantly less bloated than earlier versions.

  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    No Antivirus solution is ever, ever going to be 100% effective. Even with heuristics detections, any Antivirus scanner is going to let some percentage of the newest threats slip through. New malware variants that have been tweaked to evade current AV detections are released by the hour, and even the best AV software only sees updates twice or thrice daily.

    Remember, if a piece of malware executes - for whatever reason - it has the potential to hose whatever AV software is running. Doesn't matter if that's through a browser exploit, unpatched OS flaw, or because someone just plain double-clicked NastyMalware.exe. Malware is designed to cripple AV, and it's an arms race. Sometimes the AV wins, sometimes the malware does.

    That's why layered security is really important. Having a good AV suite installed is critical to catching a lot of the known stuff that's floating around, but it should never be the sole line of defense. Operating from a Limited User Account, securing the browser effectively, sandboxing, and running a Software Restriction Policy are all invaluable layers that one can add to AV.

    In the end, arguing over which AV is best isn't going to get anyone anywhere. Each user has a different experience, and that relates to detections, resources (YES it tends to be a big deal for some people, and not all Antivirus packages are made equal), and ease of use. MSE is typically regarded as lightweight, but a few weeks ago we had a forum user complaining about how it was positively devastating his system. It varies from system to system.

    Find what works best, integrate it into a layered security approach, and make backups.

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  • FifthSurpriseFifthSurprise Registered User new member
    edited July 2010
    An alternative suggestion is to load a usb stick with Ubuntu and then boot from that. Install a virus scanner on the thumbstick and then proceed to scan your parents computer. At that point, google the viruses that get popped up for removal advice. It has the benefit of not relying on a potentially buggered system to do work. On the other hand, it requires you to be a bit more technologically adept.

  • PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Lykouragh wrote: »
    Please do not listen to Primes.

    Here are benchmarks for AV performance; Norton hit 87%, compared to Avira's 98% (free) and AVG's 97% (free).

    http://www.virus.gr/portal/en/content/2009-08,-10-august-05-september

    These are slightly dated, but I don't know of a more recent source for AV benchmarks- I'd be curious to see how MSE performs.

    Also, if Firefox takes longer to load than IE you are doing something very wrong.

    The problem I have with that page is this quote:
    The default settings of each program were not used, in order for each program to achieve its maximum detection rate.

    See, this means that those tests are skewed. What a lot of people like yourself tend to forget is that the people asking for advice are NOT tech experts. If they were experts, they wouldn't be asking for advice.

    This means that they are not going to be tweaking anti-virus settings in order to "achieve maximum detection rate". They are going to download, install and update. That's it.
    Lykouragh wrote: »
    Just to make your post even funnier.

    http://www.anti-malware-test.com/?q=node/167

    Admittedly, the recent versions of Norton are significantly less bloated than earlier versions.

    Where do you keep getting these sites from. I did some digging around and couldn't find who they were affiliated with or any documentation whatsoever that pointed to them being legitimate. From what I can tell, it's just some guy that started his own website.

    In fact, on the first one the author flat out says it at the bottom of his site.
    I am not a professional but this does not mean that the results of the test do not reflect the detection ratio of the antivirus software tested.
    In the end, arguing over which AV is best isn't going to get anyone anywhere. Each user has a different experience, and that relates to detections, resources (YES it tends to be a big deal for some people, and not all Antivirus packages are made equal), and ease of use. MSE is typically regarded as lightweight, but a few weeks ago we had a forum user complaining about how it was positively devastating his system. It varies from system to system.

    Find what works best, integrate it into a layered security approach, and make backups.

    I think this sums it up best, arguing over the Internet is kinda pointless and there really isn't any kind of Consumer Reports for anti-virus solutions. The only real benchmark is "What's worked for me in the past".

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    IMO, the newest IE is vastly improved over the older versions.


    Hell no I wouldn't take it over Firefox, but it's not a death trap anymore either.


    If you turn off cookies and make it so that you have to approve EVERY SINGLE ONE, you'll find your computer is a lot safer.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Primes, the vast majority of my last post was not directed towards you, so I don't know why you decided to do a sentence by sentence go through.

    And yes, given that people are going to install, update, and use, instead of tweaking, i'd 100% recommend Firefox over IE. You seriously wouldn't?

    Also, no, antivirus programs don't all "work the same." They very clearly have different features, scan in different ways, etc. Norton spends quite a bit of time using up pointless resources looking for viruses even when you're not doing anything. It's wasteful. Far more so than other antivirus programs.

    And our "scanner", some thing by Bradford security doesn't pick it up sometimes because it's a terrible terrible antivirus. Bradford runs a scan on everyone's computer making sure they're up to date and have antivirus protection. Norton is so bad at it it isn't picked up sometimes. I assume this has something to do with how weirdly modular it is. Sure it's partially the student's fault too, but I've never seen it happen with anything non-norton. Symantec and Norton have a history of being terrible, yes, even with your shiny "THE" box. I'm not just making this up dude.

    Also, if you don't know about web standards, yet are trying to argue in favor of Internet Explorer, I have a hard time taking your arguments seriously. Oh, and McAfee isn't great either.

    Oh, and a default installation of Firefox and IE8 will have Firefox load faster, unless something is terribly off with your system. The default installation is more secure as well.

    Seriously, aside from "It's already on my system" there's really no reason to use it over anything else.

    Also, for a decent source to all of these claims, peruse This Week In Tech for a while. I listen to their podcast and many of their software recommendations/condemnations echo mine.


    Plus, for some anecdotal fun, the vast majority of infected computers that students bring into our IT office have Norton on them.

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Because Norton's included on dang near everything, and anyone with some sense will tell those consumers to drop it like a bad habit.

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Puerly anecdotal I'll admit but both norton and McAfee are TERRIBLE virus protection. It's not even that they they fail at what they do so much as they make a complete meal of doing it. They slowed my computer down horribly and were generally an inefficiant interfereing pain in the ass.

    Free antivirus on the other has been both simple and effective. Honestly I have no loyalty to any particular viewpoint here so I'm not placing myself in either paid or free fanboy camp. This is just my personal experience and the general experience of most people I've talked to about the issue.

    With antivirus programs sometimes costing as much as £60 (or more) even if they were slightly better than the free ones I wouldn't consider it worth it. I don't know about you but I can think of better ways to spend the money.


    EDIT: The best version of Norton costs $99.99. D:

    You would actually need to have some masochistic dislike of money to spend that much on AV.

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  • runethomasrunethomas Registered User
    edited July 2010
    What works for me is booting into safemode with networking, go download combofix from bleepingcomputer.com and run it, after go back into safemode with networking and download malwarebytes from malwarebytes.org run fullscan IN SAFEMODE, after boot into windows and run another scan to double check viruses. Don't forget to check the proxy settings afterwards.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    Puerly anecdotal I'll admit but both norton and McAfee are TERRIBLE virus protection. It's not even that they they fail at what they do so much as they make a complete meal of doing it. They slowed my computer down horribly and were generally an inefficiant interfereing pain in the ass.

    Free antivirus on the other has been both simple and effective. Honestly I have no loyalty to any particular viewpoint here so I'm not placing myself in either paid or free fanboy camp. This is just my personal experience and the general experience of most people I've talked to about the issue.

    With antivirus programs sometimes costing as much as £60 (or more) even if they were slightly better than the free ones I wouldn't consider it worth it. I don't know about you but I can think of better ways to spend the money.


    EDIT: The best version of Norton costs $99.99. D:

    You would actually need to have some masochistic dislike of money to spend that much on AV.

    You think that's bad? Geek Squad charges $199.99 for anti-virus removal.

    And people pay it. Ah, sheeple.

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