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30 Days till infection. Looking for Anti-Virus

InvisibleInkInvisibleInk Registered User regular
In less than a month my subscription with AVG Internet Security will expire. I'm wondering if I should renew or not.

I've read posts here recently talking about AVG being a little out of date and a little to much of a burden on the system. But its always been pretty much good enough for me, I like having the Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall and a few other things all in one.
I'd rather not install 3 or 4 different programs to cover this one, but I also don't want to weigh down my computer when there are lighter but equally effective options.
I mostly just use this PC for web surfing, I don't even download things very often, so i'm not sure how much protection I really even need.
But of course I'm not gonna take any chances.

So, suggestions! Please. Thank you.

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Posts

  • PaleCommanderPaleCommander Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I'm going to assume you've already had a look through this, a few threads down from here:

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=108166

    Personally, I've found Microsoft Security Essentials to be unobtrusive and (so far) effective. Depending on what operating system you're using, Windows Defender may or may not already be installed.

    PaleCommander on
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  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I am an unpaid evangelist for Norton Internet Security. You can almost always find a free-after-rebate version somewhere on slickdeals.net or somewhere like it. I think I paid negative five dollars for a 3-license copy last year. Norton is as passive or aggressive as you choose. I'm a big fan. It can protect PCs from the world, and my wife's browsing habits, which is aces in my book.

    I can suggest that you stay away from Mcafee based on my calamitous experience with their 2006 product, which was simultaneously intrusive, resource-hogging, and ineffective.

    LaPuzza on
    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Do not use Norton or McAfee.

    Do not use Norton or McAfee.

    Ever.

    Use Avast! It is totally free and still not bloated as some other free av programs have become. Microsoft Security Essentials is another great choice.

    For a firewall I suggest Comodo.

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Norton's more recent stuff (2008+) are much better than their older stuff ('98-'07) but while they're not as disastrously bad as they used to be, they can still be a bit of a hog. Symantec has been working pretty hard to recover from the bad rep they've gotten (deservedly so) and have made significant strides, but still aren't there yet.

    If you must get a paid solution, I recommend NOD32.

    Avast is great, and I hear good things about MSE as well.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • ZampanovZampanov You May Not Go Home Until Tonight Has Been MagicalRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yeah as far as free stuff goes I like Avast and Antivir. I've heard good things about MSE too.

    For pay stuff, I liked BitDefender a lot when I had it. I've also heard consistently good things about NOD32 and Kaspersky.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm going to assume you've already had a look through this, a few threads down from here:

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=108166

    Personally, I've found Microsoft Security Essentials to be unobtrusive and (so far) effective. Depending on what operating system you're using, Windows Defender may or may not already be installed.

    I'm using MSE on my install of Windows 7 and am very happy with it.

    Heir on
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  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I have 6 months with Norton that came with my new computer. Im currently testing it and so far it seems much less of a hog than it was last time I used it. And it seems effective as well. Now I havent tried to infect my machine or anything on purpose but it did catch one of those stupid Ad infections that you can randomly get from even "safe" sites. I dont have numbers on memory footprint etc as I am at work but I do idle at a very reasonable number.

    I will probably swap to MSE when the free subscription lapses.

    Jubal77 on
  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited February 2010
    With Avira, keep in mind that it'll show you a big popup ad for it's paid version two or three times a day. That's what's making me say go to Avast, which doesn't, or MSE, which also doesn't pop up anything

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MSE is very light on resource usage and nag free. It also has a great scanning engine.

    Dark Shroud on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    NIS is still garbage. Any AV that constantly requires resetting the firewall (and theychange the location of the reset button every year) is junk. It's especially bad if the trial runs out or it corrupts itself after the firewall decides to block all http traffic. Symantec Norton removal tool should be on everyone's usb stick...

    MSE is a bit of a ram hog. It uses less than most of the free competition out there, but still too much for my liking. I wouldn't recommend it for older machines or machines with less than 1GB of memory. For older machines or people who want to buy a product, I pretty much always recommend Nod32. It's light, unobtrusive, and generally keeps its ui the same. It is incompatible with a few network based apps though, causing slowdowns and strange behavior.

    stigweard on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I've been incredibly happy with Microsoft Security Essentials. I've used Avast and AVG, I'll never go back. MSE is easily the least obtrusive, least annoying AV I've used. From what I've read, it's the bee's knees as far as actually doing its job as well.

    As someone mentioned in another thread, thanks to the amazing ninite.com, MSE is now always a part of my system setups.

    Michael H on
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I don't have much to add to the A/V debate that hasn't already been said, but I will say this much: Anti-Virus should be part of a layered security approach. I don't care which suite you're using, MSE, NOD, AVG, Avast! or any of the others. They are all good and necessary, and no one should be without them. They will keep you safe from a good number of threats, but no one should believe that they are completely 100% effective at stopping all intrusions. Every single one of these programs can be bypassed, and regularly are by 0day rogues. There's always that first person infected before the definitions are updated - even for cloud based scanners.

    Ensuring you have a decent firewall (believe it or not the windows one is fine), updated patches (for the OS and all third party software) and a securely configured browser (sandboxed/virtualized, blocking scripts and flash) are just as important as A/V. And of course, keep regular backups. [/soapbox]

    TetraNitroCubane on
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  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited February 2010
    ^ Having a decent malware program is always good, too.

    Michael H on
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I use Kaspersky Internet Security and Malware Bytes. I like Kaspersky a lot, I was using Avast before I switched over and Kaspersky found things that Avast had missed.

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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    There's a way to turn off the Avira nagscreen, by making a file read-only or somesuch. Google it.
    The only downside to Avira is that it seems to produce false positives rarely. This really got me paranoid the first time it happened.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Someone mentioned NOD32, now while I personally haven't used it, just last week I went to an office to give some maintenance to their computers, which were all infected with hundreds of virus files, broken windows installations (Because of the virii) and such.

    They were all running NOD32 up-to-date, and it was doing nothing to stop the virii. One USB drive had the .exe files that infect everything, I told NOD32 to scan the USB drive, and it reported it as clean.

    Satsumomo on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, nothing's perfect, but NOD32 has pretty much the best rep of the for-pay solutions among IT professionals.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    NOD32 has been slipping a little bit in recent years from the 'golden days' of v2.7, I'll admit. It seems to allow most rogue right on through, from what I've seen around, but in those cases I'm pretty sure just about every A/V drops the ball. I use NOD, myself, and from what I've seen it takes a little tinkering to ensure that it's protecting correctly. There are separate settings for disallowing 'Potentially Unwanted Programs' that are off by default, which should be always on. Additionally, advanced heuristics really should be running, too.

    That said, I've never found a decent way to gauge quality of an A/V other than shady probably-advertisement reviews, and gobs of anecdotal evidence.

    Any office-computer situation, though, should be running with limited user accounts and software restriction policies, ideally.

    TetraNitroCubane on
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  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    SanderJK wrote: »
    There's a way to turn off the Avira nagscreen, by making a file read-only or somesuch. Google it.
    The only downside to Avira is that it seems to produce false positives rarely. This really got me paranoid the first time it happened.

    i'm using Avira now and have had two false positive instances in the last year. in some way, it's a bit comforting seeing the AV's heuristics working in some manner. but i'm with you on the paranoia.

    for what it's worth, PC World's reviews seem to favor Avira and (oddly enough) Microsoft Security Essentials as free AV options.

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  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I use MSE on my Windows partition. I used to use Avast before I had dropped Windows entirely (new computer, didn't play MMOs anymore so no need for Windows).

    I also used to install Avast on client's computers whenever someone hosed their computer enough that they needed to pay someone to work it, but these days I go with MSE because Avast's on-access scanner is noticeably slower on old computers (generally having a processor as old as a P4/AthlonXP or older and 512 MB of RAM). There's also the issue that said clients are retarded enough to have an expired copy of Norton or McAfee, and if they're repeat customers from back when I always installed Avast I end up learning that they are also too dumb to fill out the form for a free license every 14 months despite giving them instructions verbally, in print, and by e-mail.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    NOD32 has been slipping a little bit in recent years from the 'golden days' of v2.7, I'll admit. It seems to allow most rogue right on through, from what I've seen around, but in those cases I'm pretty sure just about every A/V drops the ball. I use NOD, myself, and from what I've seen it takes a little tinkering to ensure that it's protecting correctly. There are separate settings for disallowing 'Potentially Unwanted Programs' that are off by default, which should be always on. Additionally, advanced heuristics really should be running, too.

    That said, I've never found a decent way to gauge quality of an A/V other than shady probably-advertisement reviews, and gobs of anecdotal evidence.

    Any office-computer situation, though, should be running with limited user accounts and software restriction policies, ideally.

    This is most probably the case with the office I was at, people must have just allowed these programs to run, because I was certainly appalled at how infected these machines were, since I had always considered NOD32 to be a good solution.

    Satsumomo on
  • InvisibleInkInvisibleInk Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Thank you everyone for your advice.
    I'm on a new computer which came with Windows 7 so I went with Microsoft Security Essentials.
    and the Windows Firewall, which should be ok?

    I guess I'll check back in another 2 or 3 years to see what changes I'll have to make.

    InvisibleInk on
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  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I've never found MSE to be that much of a ram hog. When its not actively scanning, it uses about 68 MB of RAM.

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  • ObsidianiObsidiani __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    I have avast! but I never know if it's really working

    I see the icon in the system tray, but if I right click it there's an option that says "Start avast! Antivirus"

    what the hell, isn't it always on automatically?

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Obsidiani wrote: »
    I have avast! but I never know if it's really working

    I see the icon in the system tray, but if I right click it there's an option that says "Start avast! Antivirus"

    what the hell, isn't it always on automatically?

    I would suggest ditching Avast & install MSE. Do a full security scan because there is a chance you might have an infection messing with Avast.

    Dark Shroud on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Obsidiani wrote: »
    I have avast! but I never know if it's really working

    I see the icon in the system tray, but if I right click it there's an option that says "Start avast! Antivirus"

    what the hell, isn't it always on automatically?

    I would suggest ditching Avast & install MSE. Do a full security scan because there is a chance you might have an infection messing with Avast.

    Actually, Avast!'s GUI (on both settings) is a little bit clumsy and can, if you're in a rush, be confused for something actually going wrong.

    I recently switched to MSE from Avast!, and was very pleased with the result. It also tends to work better with Windows Vista/7 integration.

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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'll just fifth, sixth or seventh MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials).

    Rook on
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