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Online Simon

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free antivirus comparisons
« on: June 09, 2012, 07:15:34 am »
I have always used AVIRA as my free antivirus, it's always worked and is not "bloated" I did try AVG once but actually found it would not update itself and got fed up with it always making a fuss about itself like appearing all over google results pages saying it had scanned all the,links bla bla bla. What I do know about Avira though is that at least the old versions would delete the infected file not clean it.

I have been given a computer by a friend for me to sort out for him, started with him having trouble changing the processor but I might as well give it the "once over" and this seems to be coming down to reformatting it as it's in a mess and he has not got antivirus on it (and been on plenty of porn I find) so I'm expecting it to be well riddled. Now I want to connect his hard drive to my PC and save his data before I proceed but I don't want to get infected myself and I want to make sure I'm cleaning infected files and not deleting them.

Any suggestions ? does avira now do cleaning or are there others that will ?
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Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 07:48:36 am »
Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm serious, it's pretty good (assuming your machine was clean to begin with).
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 08:10:07 am »
Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm serious, it's pretty good (assuming your machine was clean to begin with).

I was a long tie user of Avast or AVG, but I also now use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Regards
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Offline amspire

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 08:14:41 am »
Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm serious, it's pretty good (assuming your machine was clean to begin with).
Another thumbs up for Microsoft Security Essentials.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

Every now and then you can run the Microsoft Malicious software Removal Tool in full scan mode (type "mrt" in the run menu on any XP/Vista/Win7 system that is up to date with the Windows Updates.) "mrt" runs regularly in the background after a standard Windows update, but only in a fast mode rather then the full mode.

If you need to do an offline sweep for rootkits and other tougher viruses, you can get Microsoft "Windows Defender Offline", burn it to a disk, and then boot off the disk. This scans without running any program on the hard disk, so a rootkit cannot hide itself the way it can under Windows.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline.

If you find you cannot do Windows Updates, you cannot run "mrt" and Security Essentials does not seem to run properly, then your computer is almost certainly infected with viruses. Windows Defender Offline will always run, no matter how many viruses are affecting the computer.

Back when I was using AVG, I was regularly annoyed by the way they kept updating the versions so you had to download and install the new version as a separate task, and each time, they tried to hide the free version to get people to go to the paid version instead. If you are looking after a number of PC's, it is just annoying that the standard update does not keep you updated to the latest version.

Richard.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 08:22:44 am by amspire »
 

Offline Barryg41

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 08:26:22 am »
Same here for Microsoft Security Essentials. Been using it since it came out.
 

HLA-27b

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 08:53:06 am »
Comodo Internet Security

This is antivirus and excellent firewall put together. It has sort of a "manual" feel to it as it is very configurable. It allows you to control what each file can do on your system. Certain cure for all "phone home" type crap.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 08:58:17 am »
My favourite is Malwarebytes.

I've tried the memory resident scanners such as AVG and the like but don't like them because they're too resource hungry. I'd rather not have AV running in the background, not visit dodgy Internet sites and manually scan removable media and everything I download.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 02:18:12 pm »
I do not use anything now but i used to use CA ( that's pretty old already but it isn't a resource hog, it's not free but my dad got it free while working for another company )

AVG is crap.
Want to open a program with 2000+ loaded files? Prepare to restart your computer
Want to watch youtube? Prepare to wait 'till the video completes loading
Want to scan files? Prepare to wait a day
Want to surf the net? Watch your CPU state shoot up to 50%


 

Offline Psi

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 02:25:42 pm »
i'm using Avast

As long as you turn off the voice sounds it's perfectly fine.

Otherwise you keep getting "The virus database has been updated"  hehe
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Offline FenderBender

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 02:32:33 pm »
Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm serious, it's pretty good (assuming your machine was clean to begin with).

Agreed. Yes. Microsoft actually did something right here.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 03:29:46 pm »
Best antivirus os a hot-melt glue-gun.... Simply squirt it in all the usb , serial and ethernet / modem connectors, the floppy drive , cd drive and any cardreaders installed.

Let them try to get in then.. Oh, forgot this : if its a laptop : cut the antenna wires of the wifi.
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Offline G7PSK

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 03:34:37 pm »
I used to use AVG then I tried Microsoft security essentials I have now got Norton 360 which I have used for the past 2 years. I got it as my wife wanted to use Facebook and she hasn't a clue about not clicking on every link sent to her which eventually led to her getting something that trashed her hard drive, so I got Norton and as it was for 3 computers I decided to use it as well. I know it used to be resource hungry but it is very good now spending most of its time just chugging away in the background. I use Malwarebytes once a week 
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 03:57:54 pm »
I put Norton 360 way down the list. Compared to most modern Antivirus apps out there, Norton falls behind the eight ball.

There are plenty of free Antivirus out there that perform better.

Regards
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Online Fraser

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 04:19:29 pm »
Interesting comments regarding AVG. 

I have used AVG for years but like many such utilities, it seems to have evolved into a bit of a monster these days. It used to be a very lean and mean AV, doing a great job with little overhead. Having read the comment in this thread, I now understand why my brand new Win 7 Dell PC still behaves like a Dog on occasions, such as loading You Tube videos. I shall try the Microsift offering.

Aurora

 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 07:21:49 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 05:05:40 pm »
I'd add my 2c for Microsoft Security Essentials.  Its everything the old AV used to be, lean, mean and fast.  I've used many of the old guard, and watch them become bloatware: Norton, AVG, Comodo, McAffe, AVAST, BitDefender, and was very surprised by how well SE works.

If you'd like to try your AV, there are test payloads here:

http://www.eicar.org/86-0-Intended-use.html
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 07:00:48 pm »
For balance, here's what Wikipedia says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Security_Essentials#Industry_response

PCMag reviews are curiously out of touch, IMHO.  You can judge for yourselves, a simple marker is the discord between the PCMag reviews and user reviews.  On this link, just sort by PCMag Review vs User Ratings and compare.  Be aware, some user reviews are very few so it could be biased there but you can get a quick picture.

http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,2806,21,00.asp?o=4&p=2#recent_reviews

In the end, if you use WinOS, you can install and uninstall SE and judge for yourselves.




Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2012, 08:08:56 pm »
Well, it :

"it was not able to stop all Internet-based attacks, owing to the fact that it lacks personal firewall and anti-spam capabilities."

for some of the most used methods of attack there is no security with MSE..

So in my opinion, its only for people that are well informed about risks and can take action to use it. The rest should use norton,  AVAST ore similar that give wider and better protection.

But then again, i earn a lot of money upon bad anti virus solution, or no anti virus protection at all..  :)

But...Windows has a firewall built in that will complement MSE. Up to date web browsers like IE8 and Chrome include protection against malicious web sites. And up to date email programs include email filtering and spam protection.

Personally I would rather have specialized tools for each area than one big complicated "do everything" solution. We have one of those at work (McAfee) and it is really intrusive and badly impacts the operation of the machine.
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Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2012, 08:38:28 pm »
Well, it :

"it was not able to stop all Internet-based attacks, owing to the fact that it lacks personal firewall and anti-spam capabilities."

for some of the most used methods of attack there is no security with MSE..

Personal firewalls are irrelevant. As for email, the majority of issues there are down to user stupidity. No AV software can fix that.

Quote
So in my opinion, its only for people that are well informed about risks and can take action to use it. The rest should use norton,  AVAST ore similar that give wider and better protection.

.. You honestly just recommended people use Norton?
 

Offline bullet308

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2012, 08:55:01 pm »
There are viruses that are preferable to having Norton installed. Getting Norton the hell off of anything I work on is a priority.

I have bought and installed the full ZoneAlarm suite for one of my clients which uses an antivirus engine by Kaspersky (from what I was told). It seems to have worked very well indeed over the past few years.
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Offline zaoka

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 09:13:07 pm »
Panda Cloud Free Antivirus, so far the best!
It does not slow down PC at all, has URL filter. I usually install this along with Norton DNS servers https://dns.norton.com/dnsweb/homePage.do

It often score better than AVG, Microsoft and Avira in recent tests.

For OnDemand scanner I use MalwareBytes.

For paid software I used to resale PrevX, its acquired now by Webroot, as well as MalwareBytes. Combination of these two is probably the best.

Prevx has its own URL filtering as well as MalwareBytes, I also add Norton DNS filter to the router so its 3 independent URL filters that does not slow down browsing. This help protect against malicius web sites as its most common way of infecting a PC....

For advanced users there is DefenseWall with Comodo TimeMachine. DefenseWall prevents changes to the Windows while Comodo TimeMachine takes snapshots every day and let you restore your PC to yesterday even if virus killed Windows because it loads before operating system.

 

Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2012, 09:18:56 pm »
Well, it :

"it was not able to stop all Internet-based attacks, owing to the fact that it lacks personal firewall and anti-spam capabilities."

for some of the most used methods of attack there is no security with MSE..

Personal firewalls are irrelevant. As for email, the majority of issues there are down to user stupidity. No AV software can fix that.

Quote
So in my opinion, its only for people that are well informed about risks and can take action to use it. The rest should use norton,  AVAST ore similar that give wider and better protection.

.. You honestly just recommended people use Norton?

With all respect Monkeh..   ;)

First, i have worked with IT in its widest definitions since 1980, so i do have a background and opinion that actually i live well of. Firewalls are a major safety tool to keep any PC safe.. any other view on that,  i really would not waste time to answer.. with all respect, if you want to live without it, you do so. I choose to have a updated firewall at all time.

And yes, Norton is way better that MSE, any IT professional would agree upon that. AVG, NORTON AVAST or any of the top 6-8 AV solution in the marked is better than MSE. They got email scanners, browser integration, sandboxes, signature mark on system files and a way better security than MSE. Every AV got its isues, but MSE is not a full package, so i would choose Norton before MSE if i was a regular user. It simply gives broader and better protection.

But as i said, for a IT proffesional that knows his ways around a computer and what not to do, MSE is maybee good enough.

With all respect, you may have another opinion, but than you are not among the by far largest majority of people in the IT industry.

With all due respect, I know a lot more than you apparently think, and no self-respecting IT professional I know (and that's a lot.) would choose Norton.

As for firewalls.. I'm talking about a pretty ordinary domestic situation, not a large company. Personal firewalls are entirely irrelevant behind a NAT router (or a hardware firewall in the case of IPv6 which still hasn't rolled out in any useful manner).
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2012, 09:47:33 pm »
Monkeh, You simply dont know enough IT proffesionals..   ;)  Go out seek and you shall find..

Thank you, no, I prefer not to socialise with advanced Windows lusers. I have had more than enough issues of my own with the likes of Norton.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2012, 09:55:03 pm »
My opinion after many years in computing and running an IT support business for years also:

AVG is not as good as it used to be and misses things

Avira is one of the better ones for free

MSE is good too and has no glaring issues but perhaps Avira is better

Malwarebyte's AntiMalware is definitely worth having whatever else you have running

Super AntiSpyware worth having

Use the built in firewall and use Windows (7) Firewall Control to manage it

Use a router and have all your computers behind the router and turn off PnP support, open only those ports you know you need. A router is a much better defense as a firewall than any software firewall on the computer.

Norton, McAfee, and most of the commercial bloatware packages are resource hogs, crash computers, and are a waste of money.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2012, 09:58:03 pm »
AVG is not as good as it used to be and misses things

It's also a shocking memory hog. Replacing it with Avast saved over 150MiB of RAM on one laptop I recently fixed.
 

Offline bullet308

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2012, 10:32:32 pm »
I concur on the deteriorating value of AVG. Used to use it a lot, but its almost as fat and wallowy as Norton now. I have had good luck with both Avast and Avira but have come to prefer Avira as it seems to give fewer problems.

MalwareBytes seems to work very well, and Spybot Search and Destroy at least does not seem to cause any problems and it offers a measure of "inoculation" against a lot of things, and also has a generous license for use with non-profit organizations, which is most of my client base .

ZoneAlarm to keep things from propagating across the network in the event of a machine getting infected, if nothing else. Again, the pro suites with some Kaspersky antiviral technology blended in has given me good service.
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Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2012, 11:24:57 pm »
I do believe the need for big anti-virus packages is reduced these days. I use Windows 7 with MSE, with the Windows firewall enabled, with a non-admin account, behind a NAT router. I apply Windows updates as they come out and I keep my browsers and other software like Flash up to date.

The situation today is vastly better than it was in the old days when computers running Win 98 were wide open.
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Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2012, 11:40:35 pm »
Monkeh, You simply dont know enough IT proffesionals..   ;)  Go out seek and you shall find..

Thank you, no, I prefer not to socialise with advanced Windows lusers. I have had more than enough issues of my own with the likes of Norton.

Well, we advanced Windows "lusers" earn good money upon beeing advanced, and that on useres that is not advanced. We like and make a living upon people that ex. are not abel to figure out the settings and use of programs like Norton. ( You mean that a Fortune 500 companys main produkt is not good? The they should not be a Fortune company at all if that was a fact!)

So , we win..   8)

Very thinly veiled insult.

Just FYI, I use operating systems which don't require the bloatware you seem to like so much. Works well for me.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 11:46:06 pm by Monkeh »
 

Offline bradleytron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2012, 11:49:58 pm »
I'd like to suggest the following regarding this thread and the banging back and forth about what constitutes the better or best product from the perspective of the IT folks: I means nothing to simply say that one program is better than another especially if you base it on a bunch of qualitative statements. I think the best way to address this question is to compile data and show, in tabular form, comparisons based on performance and features. Performance should reflect different hardware platforms, e.g., old Pentium IVs or high end Dells. Features should be weighted based on applicability, e.g., how often is the feature invoked in a typical system. Obviously, bloat is one major issue, indeed, one of the big reasons why I hate AV software. The other obvious issue relates to the effectiveness of the features provided with each program and the presence or absence from one program to the next. Maybe someone out there, who has a little time on their hands, would go off and do the research and reply back with some actual useful analysis so the reader can make an informed choice. I wish I had the time but for now I do not. I've always had use of commercial products, of late, it happens to be Norton 360. I use it on a Dell Optiplex 150, XP Pro, SP3, Pentium III, 512 MB RAM. The program works rather well, all things considered, but it does obviously overuse resources so thanks for the heads up on the other choices out there.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2012, 12:04:55 am »
It's pretty difficult to review and rate anti-virus products in practical terms. I have seen no elephants in my back yard in a long time, which means my elephant repellents are working pretty well...

In 30 years I have never had a virus on any of my computers, except for one time when I think I accidentally installed an infected piece of software (fool on me). For most of the time I have used computers I have used no anti-virus products (I do today, because things like MSE are now sophisticated enough to keep out of the way and be unobtrusive).

How am I to say which of my elephant repellents are working better than the others?
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Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2012, 12:57:11 am »
Your best defense against malware is to implement a deny-all policity on your system and white list on the things you want to run. Use browser filters like AdBlock Plus, NoScript, Cookie Monster, Better Privacy, HTTPS Everywhere, and so on. Setup restricted user accounts for every day tasks and an admin one for maintenance. Prevent as much applications running at start-up as possible. Keep crappy but necessary software updated, such as Java and Flash. Setup your router's firewall to deny all traffic, except a few white listed ports. You may have to do some port forwarding for some apps. I'm on WinXP-x64 and I don't have an anit-virus package installed (sadly MSE is not available on this platform), and as far as I know my machine remained clean over the past 5 years due to the aforementioned measures.

Regarding Norton. It's horrible, horrible, horrible. If you want to give your machine syphilis, Norton is it. Such as system hog, has a myriad of false positive triggers, and it is next impossible to remove once your installed it. Just because "Fortune 500" companies use Norton, that doesn't imply it is good. Big corporations are also susceptible to software marketing hype, just like anyone else. Time and time again you see shit software on corporate machines because it's "industry standard" and because it's made by a "trusted vendor". This is quite typical of workplace Windows platforms. Norton products kicked arse in the DOS era, but they stopped being relevant once Windows 95 entered on the scene.

As for AVG, they used to be good about 5 years ago, until they had this nonsensical "browser protection" implemented. It became nothing but bloatware since then. They are also problematic with false positives.

Avira is not bad, but they became more spammy with their nag screens. Meh, I tossed it.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 01:00:13 am »
In 30 years I have never had a virus on any of my computers, except for one time when I think I accidentally installed an infected piece of software (fool on me). For most of the time I have used computers I have used no anti-virus products (I do today, because things like MSE are now sophisticated enough to keep out of the way and be unobtrusive).
If that is the case it is pure luck, as there have been many long term vulnerabilities in Windows and all other operating systems that mean that if you were connected to the Internet, your computer can be fully hacked. No amount of skill or judgement could have protected you. For example, there have been many viruses that you could get by opening a jpeg file or a PDF. There have been several major DNS flaws that can open you to all sorts of attacks.

I am interested though - if you were not using an anti-virus product, how on earth can you know you do not have any viruses? It is not as if they have to announce their presence in any way. A rootkit virus is not visible to you at all.

Richard.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 01:09:29 am by amspire »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2012, 01:26:28 am »
If that is the case it is pure luck, as there have been many long term vulnerabilities in Windows and all other operating systems that mean that if you were connected to the Internet, your computer can be fully hacked. No amount of skill or judgement could have protected you. For example, there have been many viruses that you could get by opening a jpeg file or a PDF. There have been several major DNS flaws that can open you to all sorts of attacks.

I am interested though - if you were not using an anti-virus product, how on earth can you know you do not have any viruses? It is not as if they have to announce their presence in any way. A rootkit virus is not visible to you at all.

Richard.

Working behind firewalls and keeping software fully patched helps enormously. After that being careful not to install untrusted software.

Malware is rarely undetectable unless it is inactive. If active it will show up in various ways by affecting performance, memory usage, network traffic, unexpected items in task manager, etc. Stealth malware like key loggers is dangerous of course so these days I do make sure watch out for things like that.

Rootkits usually show up in offline system scans, especially if you use a cocktail of scanners and don't rely on just one. Actually that's one of the key things: don't put all your faith in a single product, run scans with a variety of products to get good coverage.
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Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2012, 01:31:12 am »
If that is the case it is pure luck

It might be considered luck in some sense of the word, but it is not luck when compared to the people I have known who get their system riddled with loads of malware every few months and have to keep getting their system cleaned.

For instance I know that connecting an unpatched system to the open Internet will get it infected in moments. So I don't even think of doing that. That's not luck, it's awareness of risks and risk avoidance.
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Offline amspire

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2012, 01:53:27 am »
If that is the case it is pure luck

It might be considered luck in some sense of the word, but it is not luck when compared to the people I have known who get their system riddled with loads of malware every few months and have to keep getting their system cleaned.

For instance I know that connecting an unpatched system to the open Internet will get it infected in moments. So I don't even think of doing that. That's not luck, it's awareness of risks and risk avoidance.
I totally agree with you here. I have been asked to help people who behave in a way that means that they definitely will have viruses. Visiting all the porn sites and running the video viewer EXE files from porn sites, downloading pirated software, installing pirated software from friends. This includes people like accountants and lawyers on their work computers! Totally clueless. Those people usually will not take any advice, so I now just tell them I cannot help.

Richard.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2012, 03:17:14 am »
My experience is not just with my behaviour. I have serviced and disinfected hundreds of systems and networks over the past many years. I have had to fix many systems that had an updated running Norton or McAfee running and they had not stopped the problem. Not all of it was due to porn surfing, some was just from random surfing and spam.

If you want to protect your system, then don't use Norton.... just my experience. Not only does it not work wen it is needed, it hogs so much of the system that if it crashes, it takes the whole system down.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2012, 05:02:10 am »
Norton internet security. Firewall , av , email scan.
I got about 12 computers all unning norton. Heve been for the last 10 years.
Zero infections. Zilch.
Norton was slow for a while but since 2009 they rebuilt the engine. Its unintrusive. I never feel the machine slow down.
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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2012, 12:39:20 pm »
A question for everyone claiming that an anti-virus package has protected them from many infections: how often do you get a message from your anti-virus software that it neutralized a potential thread? If there is a potential virus, the virus scanners will usually announce this to show their importance. If you don't get any alerts, then the virus scanner did not protect you from anything. For me it's extremely rare to encounter a virus, and I attribute it mainly to user behavior. The only time I see a virus is if a site offers '2N3904 datasheet.exe' for download, or an obviously suspect e-mail with a .jpg.exe attachment. Windows and popular browser and e-mail programs have gotten much better in this regard since Microsoft started paying attention to security (Windows XP SP2). Many of the infected computers I encountered in the past did have a virus scanner installed. I'm wondering if anti-virus software has become the rock that keeps the tigers away.

Standard security practices like promptly installing critical updates, not disabling the built-in firewall or security features like UAC are much more effective in my opinion.
 

Online SeanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2012, 12:52:49 pm »
Do not use default file views, but choose the detailed view, show all files and extensions does help as well. You will be amazed how much spam in email is composed of html or exe files disguised as something else. Do NOT OPEN untrusted files, even from people you know, unless they have said they will send it to you in a separate email and where you are expecting there to be an attached file.

Simplest way to keep from getting infected, as well as using my favourite addons for Firefox, Noscript and Requestpolicy. May break some sites, make pages render poorly but strips most disguised malware out.

As well make and update the hosts file, a black hole to malware hosts.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2012, 03:22:39 pm »
I get once or twice a year a flag from the firewall in NIS that something was probing for ports.
Virus warnings... Hmm mostly when i plug in a foreign usb stick ... Or have to recover someones pictures from his old computer ( i pop out the drives, put in usb box , and go that way. )
I have a dedicated machine for such work. Has two harddisks. Second drive holds a ghost image of the boot drive, and the drive is powered off. If i do get virus warnings on a recovery job , i finish the job , then power cycle the machine and restore the ghost image. Just to make sure...

That machine sits on its own vlan. I use a cisco small business router with vlan capability , and i have a switch that does vlan as well. My home network is partitioned.

There is a vlan for the filers. I have 3 NAS filers that duplicate each other. Disk space is cheap... i work in the harddisk world  ;D

There is an office vlan. Bridges internet and filers and lab.

There is a lab lan. Bridges internet and filers and office

There is an entertainment lan. I have a boxee box as my source of entertainment. This has qos and bandwidth priority. This also has the blu ray, dvico media player , a sony hifi system with webstreamer and a logitech internet radio hooked up.

There is a 'dirty' lan .this is for the recovery machine. Internet only

There is a guest lan with wired and wifi. This is bogged down ( speed limited ) on the wifi part. If there are no guests the wifi is stopped. Guest lan is internet only plus a dropbox on one filer.

There is a gizmo lan. Internet only over wifi with whitelists for phones and tablets.

I have a dmz lan where there is another nas box. This allows me to dump files from anywhere in the world.

There is a security lan that has the home automation network. This has its own wifi and internet connection. The wifi only talks to the contol tablets. The cabled portion goes to the home controller. A Vera using z-wave for the controls.

When i bought the house last year i pulled cat-6a from a central point to every room. Every room has at least 2 ethernets plus a phone ( i used cat-4,which is phone wire ) as lead wire and simply left it in the wall. Lab,living room where tv is has 4 circuits. Living room has 8 circuits ( tv, boxee ,blueray, cameras, dvico media player, home controller etc )

I do not use local switches ( apart for one in the lab ). Its all direct to the main switch . Everything sits in a cabinet built into the wall in a walk-in-closet.

The main switch has a 64gb/s backplane. So everything can be talking without slowing down the network
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Online Simon

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2012, 03:38:47 pm »
while your comments are all welcome and offer insight and confirmation of my preference for Avira I still don't know if avira (or any of the others) will clean an infected file or simply delete it ?
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Online SeanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2012, 04:26:17 pm »
That really depends on the virus and what is done with the original file by it. If it appends itself it is possible to remove it, but most of the time the file is replaced with the malware, or has a chunk of the beginning overwritten.

If that then you need a good backup that worked, all solutions will not recover what is not there. Chopping a few k from the front of a video or music file will not do much other than remove metadata and the beginning. but will destroy almost any other file type irreparably.
 

Offline bradleytron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2012, 06:23:20 pm »
It's pretty difficult to review and rate anti-virus products in practical terms. I have seen no elephants in my back yard in a long time, which means my elephant repellents are working pretty well...

In 30 years I have never had a virus on any of my computers, except for one time when I think I accidentally installed an infected piece of software (fool on me). For most of the time I have used computers I have used no anti-virus products (I do today, because things like MSE are now sophisticated enough to keep out of the way and be unobtrusive).

How am I to say which of my elephant repellents are working better than the others?

You missed my point altogether. By the way, its 'antivirus' not "ant-virus". When you say, "In 30 years I have...", are you suggesting that your situation is typical, are you qualifying it on some universal level that is to say, we should now all follow what you say because you seem immune, you are the king of antivirus protection after all. Your statement about 30 years means nothing in the context of what constitutes good or bad AV software! Putting forward useful information in this regard would require considerable effort and skill ("...pretty difficult") and is not a project that a person who thinks they might have elephants in their back yard should consider trying.  Your few lines of comment do very little to add to the issue of AV software and your comment about the elephants, while funny, is the kind of thinking that got mankind to the moon and back!
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2012, 06:29:04 pm »
while your comments are all welcome and offer insight and confirmation of my preference for Avira I still don't know if avira (or any of the others) will clean an infected file or simply delete it ?

SeanB is correct. Not every infection can be cleaned. Sometime the infection alters system files, or the MBR. Many cases infection is in a file that looks like another file name or an official file and these can be cleaned. But unfortunately repairing and cleaning can take many steps, many hours, and a clean system to copy files from to replace the ones damaged. Sometimes there is no other option but to wipe and re-install from the start. Avira is as good as any other at cleaning, but sometimes it can't do all by itself and in which case none of the others will do it themselves either, you will need other programs and manual intervention.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2012, 06:34:16 pm »
You missed my point altogether. By the way, its 'antivirus' not "ant-virus". When you say, "In 30 years I have...", are you suggesting that your situation is typical, are you qualifying it on some universal level that is to say, we should now all follow what you say because you seem immune, you are the king of antivirus protection after all. Your statement about 30 years means nothing in the context of what constitutes good or bad AV software! Putting forward useful information in this regard would require considerable effort and skill ("...pretty difficult") and is not a project that a person who thinks they might have elephants in their back yard should consider trying.  Your few lines of comment do very little to add to the issue of AV software and your comment about the elephants, while funny, is the kind of thinking that got mankind to the moon and back!

I am saying that you can't readily go by anecdotal evidence like "I use Norton and I've never been infected" because that tells you very little.

What you need to do is test the products in a laboratory under controlled conditions against a harvested collection of specific threats, testing like for like against each product. But surely that has been done already?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2012, 08:09:12 pm »
from my own coding adventures iv found it particular easy to evade anti virus programs, heuristics and hash based detection.

anti virus programs are useful to a point who ever once you have been compromised how can you trust a machine again ? i prefer to start again from known good source or from backups.

a antivirus can only detect what it knows and it that sense infective. Your better chance is to change your behaviour stop visiting suspicious sites,sanboxing your webrowser. 

Security is never black and white. If someone asks, "for best security, should I do A or B?" the answer almost invariably is both. But security is always a trade-off. Often it's impossible to do both A and B -- there's no time to do both, it's too expensive to do both, or whatever -- and you have to choose. In that case, you look at A and B and you make you best choice. But it's almost always more secure to do both.

antivirus software is neither necessary nor sufficient for security, but it's still a good idea. It's not something that magically makes you safe, nor is it is obsolete in the face of current threats.

there not perfect but they can be useful.
eecs guy
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2012, 10:45:26 pm »
People, any discussion regarding "PAID" antivirus products is of little use in this thread. The OP has requested information regarding FREE antivirus options.

In this case it seems Microsoft's offering is the most commonly used and recommended.

When it comes down to it, it is a lotto as to whether your AV will pick up any new virus. It simply depends on who releases the required update first. Which company discovers the new virus first is a game of chance. So for my money, there is little difference between the mainstream free Antivirus products now days.

My 2 cents worth.

Regards

Testing one two three...
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2012, 11:38:42 pm »
if it really needs to be free : power off the computer. there you go. Perfect protection and it doesn't even consume electricity. No way the virus can enter, and if there is one on  it it is now blocked from executing.

i dare you to find fault with my solution ( in terms of security )
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Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2012, 12:55:56 am »
i dare you to find fault with my solution ( in terms of security )

The blind assumption that because you pay for a product, it must do everything it claims.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2012, 04:55:20 am »
i dare you to find fault with my solution ( in terms of security )

The blind assumption that because you pay for a product, it must do everything it claims.

no. my solution was free : simply power off the computer. doesn't cost you anything and consumes no power. you didnt even have to install anything.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline touchh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2012, 05:30:28 am »
I use paid antivirus at the moment, but having used MSE before, I will never use it again. It has awful detection rates according to tests ran by AV testers and personal experience seems to confirm this. http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_fd_mar2012_intl_en.pdf

If I did have to use any free one, I would suggest you do the following, keep flash and adobe pdf reader updated at all times (or use an alternative pdf reader like foxit), in general you need to keep all software updated, use firefox with plugins like flashblock that block flash from autoloading on pages, disable the embedding of PDF's in Firefox. Make sure UAC is turned on and set to at least prompt you.  A lot of malware/viruses use exploits in flash/adobe pdf reader to execute code on your computer, even if they are not running with administrative privileges, they can still cause you a hassle.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 05:39:48 am by touchh »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2012, 07:19:16 am »
Hmmm. I haven't looked at the AV tests for a while and it seems that MSE has fallen quite a bit. Time for me to go Avira again
 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2012, 07:21:07 am »
I use paid antivirus at the moment, but having used MSE before, I will never use it again. It has awful detection rates according to tests ran by AV testers and personal experience seems to confirm this. http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_fd_mar2012_intl_en.pdf
Even if MSE happens to be "worst" performer in those tests, I'd hardly call 93.1% detection rate out of 300,000 samples awful. I'd be interested to know what kind of malware MSE has actually missed, whether they actually posed a real threat to the user. Because things like cookie files, registry values, etc are quite benign - something which other anti-virus programs make a huge fuss out of, only to alarm users and spook them to keep paying for a license. Also, Zero false positive triggers in MSE is not something to be scoffed at.
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2012, 08:10:23 am »
Even if MSE happens to be "worst" performer in those tests, I'd hardly call 93.1% detection rate out of 300,000 samples awful. I'd be interested to know what kind of malware MSE has actually missed, whether they actually posed a real threat to the user. Because things like cookie files, registry values, etc are quite benign - something which other anti-virus programs make a huge fuss out of, only to alarm users and spook them to keep paying for a license. Also, Zero false positive triggers in MSE is not something to be scoffed at.

Agreed.
I also tend to question the results of these reviews. There are, in general, inconsistencies in the results when you compare several sets of results from different sources. This leads me to think its a matter of who has the most up to date database on test day.

Regards
Testing one two three...
 

Offline touchh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2012, 08:45:15 am »
I use paid antivirus at the moment, but having used MSE before, I will never use it again. It has awful detection rates according to tests ran by AV testers and personal experience seems to confirm this. http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_fd_mar2012_intl_en.pdf
Even if MSE happens to be "worst" performer in those tests, I'd hardly call 93.1% detection rate out of 300,000 samples awful. I'd be interested to know what kind of malware MSE has actually missed, whether they actually posed a real threat to the user. Because things like cookie files, registry values, etc are quite benign - something which other anti-virus programs make a huge fuss out of, only to alarm users and spook them to keep paying for a license. Also, Zero false positive triggers in MSE is not something to be scoffed at.
It still missed 21,000 viruses, yes it had no FP's but the others that scored higher than MSE missed something like 4,000 with 2FPs. I'd say the tradeoff is worth it.

Now, as to what I've seen personally on MSE - Personally, an advertisement on a website used a PDF exploit to give me that "MS Antivirus 2010" virus. It killed MSE and infected my computer with ease. I could have easily prevented this by keeping Adobe up to date and disabling the PDF embedding - but I was careless. That being said, what really made me switch A/V was the fact that almost *all* other antiviruses caught (as scanned by virustotal.com) the file that infected me as malware and a few of the computers I had repaired had been infected with similar viruses (they were also running MSE).

I think with the right security procedures MSE would be fine. It just seems like they suck at updating their database with new threats.

 

Online Monkeh

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Re: free antivirus comparisons
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2012, 08:47:26 am »
i dare you to find fault with my solution ( in terms of security )

The blind assumption that because you pay for a product, it must do everything it claims.

no. my solution was free : simply power off the computer. doesn't cost you anything and consumes no power. you didnt even have to install anything.

I thought you meant your other solution. As for your suggestion of turning the computer off, it's not even worthy of a response.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 10:23:56 am by Monkeh »
 


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