I Need opinions on anti virus software.
Oct 7, 2004 at 9:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 80

Mr.PD

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My Norton 2004 subscription is going to expire in a couple weeks.
Should I simply renew it, or try something different?
I haven't had any trouble with Norton. I have been considering getting a software firewall, which I haven't tried in a long time. Last time I tried a firewall program, I had trouble getting this computer to communicate with my old computer. The old one only gets turned on like once a month.

But, anyway....... I run Windows XP here and IE and the usual stuff that goes along with that. I also run Webroot Spy Sweeper which I actually bought.
What's your opinion? Change or stay the same.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 9:18 PM Post #2 of 80

pank2002

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I'd say go for AVG free edition which is quite fantastic. 'Specially since it's free for personal use. Check out their homepage:
www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php

I use a hardware firewall so I can't help you on that one.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 9:19 PM Post #3 of 80

Oink1

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I'll 2nd that-great prog and free too!
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Oct 7, 2004 at 9:50 PM Post #4 of 80

bLue_oNioN

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It usually doesn't take very long before people start chiming in all sorts of free antivirus solutions. I personally believe that if there is anything you should be willing to pay for software-wise, it should be antivirus. Then again, people haven't agreed with me on that point in the past, so I think everyone just sees things differently.

Panda is pretty good, I remember reading about a few people getting it for free through a magazine CD, so you might want to check that out.

Norton/Symantec is also good, but you will want to try and gun for the Corporate Edition because it consumes far less resources.

Other than that, McAfee and Kaspersky both tend to perform very well. Some people have problems with Kaspersky though, and complain that it slows their computer down too much during intensive usage.

There are also people that recommend NOD32, which has a sparkling track record on Virus Bulletin. I am hesitant to jump in on the bandwagon, however, as NOD32 tends to stack up horribly in independent tests conducted by virus collectors across the world.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 10:22 PM Post #5 of 80

Welly Wu

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I think you should consider AVG Anti-Virus Guard 6.x Free Edition if you want to install something that is ICSA certified. In other words, if you want something that is real good and free without going through the "hassle" of researching the different forms and strains of computer viri, the threats imposed by the most popular and destructive ones, and how to guard against as many as possible by reading security updates and alerts, then just download and install it.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 10:29 PM Post #8 of 80

Elec

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I use AVG also, because it is free. I refuse to pay for anti-virus software, so my alternative is going without any, which I have done for years at a time. Since AVG is completely free, there's no good reason for me to use nothing instead, but there's no way I'm going to go out and pay for Norton or McAfee and get stuck with their subscription model for updates and new versions.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 10:30 PM Post #9 of 80

bLue_oNioN

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Welly Wu
how many are free? Give the man options and opinions. I chose AVG because it's what I'm familiar with.


I did in the post you replied to.

I quote from myself:
It usually doesn't take very long before people start chiming in all sorts of free antivirus solutions. I personally believe that if there is anything you should be willing to pay for software-wise, it should be antivirus. Then again, people haven't agreed with me on that point in the past, so I think everyone just sees things differently.

Panda is pretty good, I remember reading about a few people getting it for free through a magazine CD, so you might want to check that out.

Norton/Symantec is also good, but you will want to try and gun for the Corporate Edition because it consumes far less resources.

Other than that, McAfee and Kaspersky both tend to perform very well. Some people have problems with Kaspersky though, and complain that it slows their computer down too much during intensive usage.

There are also people that recommend NOD32, which has a sparkling track record on Virus Bulletin. I am hesitant to jump in on the bandwagon, however, as NOD32 tends to stack up horribly in independent tests conducted by virus collectors across the world.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 10:49 PM Post #10 of 80

pedxing

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I should try AVG next. I am trying a trial version of NOD32 right now. Its fast and doesn't eat up much resources like Macafee and Norton does. However, NOD32 is a little klunky - it has all these little scanning modules you can customize called AMON, IMON, etc.... If you run a server with it, it has a tendancy to scan all activities and slow the computer down (same has been reported with Kapersky and other similar anti-virus products).

However, some people at certain security forums (especially wilders security) have been over hyping nod32 and in my opinion, Nod32 may not be as good as people say it is. I have a feeling the company, Eset, might be too small and may not have the resources to keep up with the latest viruses. Critics have said that many of the tests done by reviewers are not fair and are based on fallous assumptions. There is one article at Eset's web site that blasted PC Magazine for using a test that simulated common anti-virus threats. The article said that nod32 missed many of the simulated viruses because it was smart enough to avoid false positives.

Kapersky seems to have a large following too. Other antivirus prorams that some people seem to like are bit defender and F-Secure. Some people recommend getting an anti-trojan thing like BoClean in addition of an anti-virus program because many of the anti-virus programs do not seem to do a good job of detecting and cleaning trojans. Never forget to get a free firewall.

Edit: Fixed up some bad grammar with more bad grammar.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 11:05 PM Post #11 of 80

Mr.PD

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WOW!!
Lots of info. thank you.
I do have a hardware firewall, so that is why I am only thinking about a software firewall. It doesn't seem necessary.
Norton has picked up several email viruses. I guess that is where my main concern lies.

Do the free programs really work as well or as easliy as something that I would buy?
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 11:06 PM Post #12 of 80

N@Z

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I've been on Norton SystemWorks since the beginning. Using 2004 now & it has been very good at detecting viruses due to the fairly regular updates & help avoided my PC from being infected.

On the other hand, I won't recommend it for Macs. Not as user friendly & not really worth it.
 
Oct 7, 2004 at 11:08 PM Post #13 of 80

eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.PD
Should I simply renew it, or try something different?


I chose renewal last December and all was well...until early in 2004 when I needed to reinstall my operating system (XP home) and couldn't get the renewed service to function again. Maybe it was me? Also I don't recall if I exhausted every possible procedure or just the most likely/sensible.

Try something different.
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Oct 8, 2004 at 12:03 AM Post #14 of 80

bLue_oNioN

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Attention to Those Using AVG

Take a look at the following three comparisons and see for yourself. If you don't agree, that's all right. There may be a chance I'm paying for something unnecessary, but I'm not willing to take the risk. More power to you if you are.

Before we begin, you need to realize that it is quite silly to go by results from Virus Bulletin or the previously-mentioned ICSA. Tests like Virus Bulletin and ICSA use very popular strains as reported by The Wildlist, a list that is readily available for vendors prior to testing. If I were in charge of the development of an antivirus program, it wouldn't be too hard for me to target those specific strains and achieve full score each time. The end product would be skewed results with little real-world correlation. Also note that both tests go by "100% detection" instead of a lower figure. This means that so many antivirus programs are able to do 100% detection on Virus Bulletin and ICSA tests now that all you can go by is history. Of which, I might add, AVG stacks up extremely poorly.

With other tests as provided below, you start seeing real differentiations in detection capabilities. None of them catch everything, which to me, brings more realism into the results.

For your convenience, I have highlighted both positive and negative findings. Results with detection rates of 90% and above are highlighted in green. Results that fail to achieve detection rates near 90% are highlighted in red.

Round One

First up is the recent PC World comparison. I figure if an antivirus program can't do well when examined by a general crowd magazine, it certainly stack up too well when placed under close scrutiny. Indeed, more on this later.

AVG had a 24% Trojan horse detection rate, 67% 32-bit polymorphic virus detection rate, and 16 false positives. Norton had a 97% Trojan horse detection rate, 100% 32-bit polymorphic virus detection rate, and 2 false positives. And these are results found using the fee-based AVG Professional Edition.

Round Two

Next is a test from virus.gr, which I personally hold in high regard.

Let's take a look at the latest list (updated just last month) ranked in order by detection rates. Highlighted in colors depending on performance are the more popular versions in use. Take a close look at how AVG performs when stacked up against the antivirus programs I originally suggested.

1. Kaspersky Personal Pro version 4.5.0.58 - 99.09%
2. F-Secure 2004 version 4.71.5 - 98.77%
3. Extendia AVK Pro version 11.0.4 - 98.68%
4. AVK version 14.0.7 - 98.50%
5. Kaspersky Personal version 5.0.149 - 97.88%
6. eScan 2003 Virus Control version 2.6.484.8 - 96.75%
7. McAfee version 8.0.41 - 93.59%
8. Norton version 2004 Professional - 93.38%

9. RAV version 8.6.105 - 93.14%
10. F-Prot version 3.15 - 91.85%
11. Command version 4.90 - 91.41%
12. Panda Titanium version 3.02.00 - 91.38%
13. Norton Corporate version 9.0.0.338 - 90.29%
14. Panda Platinum version 7.05.04 - 89.97%

15. MKS_VIR 2004 version 2.0 - 89.45%
16. Virus Chaser version 5.0 - 89.07%
17. BitDefender version 7.2 - 88.52%
18. BullGuard version 4.5 - 87.26%
19. Dr. Web version 4.31b - 85.35%
20. PC-Cillin 2004 version 11.00.1253 - 84.80%
21. Nod32 version 2.0.0.9 database 1.840 - 82.68%

22. Sophos Sweep version 3.84 - 81.31%
23. Avast version 4.1.418 - 80.55%
24. AntiVir version 6.27.00.01 - 79.57%

25. Vexira version 2.14.00.01 - 79.50%
26. AVG version 7.0.262 - 72.50%

27. Norman version 5.70.14 - 67.72%
28. UNA version 1.83 - 62.85%
29. Solo 2.5 version 2.6.3 - 61.08%
30. ZoneAlarm with VET Antivirus version 5.0.590.015 - 60.82%

31. Fire version 2.7 - 60.52%
32. E-Trust version 6.2.0.28 - 58.48%
33. V-Buster Pro - 57.61%
34. Protector Plus version 7.2.F04 - 51.28%
35. VirScan Plus version 14.091 - 48.36%
36. ClamWin version 0.35 - 48.08%
37. ViRobot Expert version 4.0 - 45.68%
38. MR2S version 1.47 - 44.36%
39. V3Pro 2002 Deluxe version SP2 - 42.33%
40. RHBVS version 4.13.656 - 41.99%
41. Digital Patrol version 5.00.08 - 38.52%
42. Quick Heal version 7.01 - 30.13%
43. Wave version 2.0 - 22.07%
44. TDS version 3.2.0 - 16.67%
45. PestPatrol version 4.4.3.24 - 15.34%
46. A Squared 2 - 15.05%
47. AntiTrojan Shield version 1.4.0.9 - 11.82%
48. PC Door Guard version 3.0.0.14- 11.77%
49. Trojan Hunter version 3.9.807 - 6.76%
50. The Cleaner version 4.1.42.52 - 6.34%
51. Trojan Remover version 6.2.8 - 5.62%
52. Tauscan version 1.6.1024 - 4.82%
53. Hacker Eliminator version 1.2 - 3.38%
54. IP Armor version 5.46.0703 - 2.87%
55. Anti-Hacker & Trojan Expert 2003 version 1.6 - 0%

72.50% for AVG, ladies and gentlemen. You have my admiration if you feel safe with shoddy performance like that.

Round Three

The last test treats AVG no better.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Updated: 30-07-2004:
756 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 750 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 98.94% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)

McAfee, Virus data file v4382 created Jul 28 2004:
756 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 745 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 98.28% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)

Symantec's Norton Antivirus, 7/30/2004:
740 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 701 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 92.48% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)

Panda Titanium 2004 Anti-Virus, Updated: 07-30-2004:
699 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 688 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 90.77% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)


nod32, (20040730) NT
630 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 623 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 82.19% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)
633 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found using ‘Advanced heuristics’!

AVG 7.0.253 Professional, Virus Base 264.1.0 7-29-2004:
532 Possible Viruses/malware/Trojans Found in 523 files out of a total of 758 files!
Approximately 69.00% detection. (Based on number of infected files, not number of infections)


69% is beyond pathetic. It is ridiculous.

Conclusion
AVG did not just take a few hits and lose by tiny margins, it was trampled on in every single one of the tests. As illustrated above, there is a reason it is free -- the performance is absurd. Use it as your main squeeze at your own risk.

EDIT: If anybody would like to be hooked up with some proper antivirus, please let me know.
 
Oct 8, 2004 at 12:22 AM Post #15 of 80

Stephonovich

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Who gets bombarded with that many virii, though? Half of a decent anti-virus suite is educating the user. Don't download stuff of dubious origin (or open email attachments) and there's half your battle. I've used AVG for years and it's gotten rid of every single virus I ran across, which wasn't many. I keep my systems locked up pretty tight.

That being said, I've also used Norton, McAfee, Avast!, and Kaspersky. Of the 5 (including AVG), I liked AVG's interface and usability the best, with Kaspersky being a close second. Avast! took up too much system resources and didn't catch a virus that AVG did. Norton and McAfee... well, let's just say I hated them passionately. Consumed system resources like there was no tomorrow, was slow to scan... piece of crap. Plus, I hate their marketing. They feed off the fear of Joe Sixpack, which is something I detest. Have you seen their ads in magazines? "You could download a virus that wipes out your entire hard drive." Very few virii actually wipe out your whole HD. Most just delete files, corrupt your Windows instlallation, or sometimes, just spread and bog down the internet. The final straw, however, was when they wanted me to pay for virus updates. Uh-uh. I hate software companies that do that. I got around it for awhile by setting the clock back (how stupid are they? I've seen more secure shareware before), and then realized it was stupid, because I was fighting to keep a product around that I hated anyway.

As for Norton System Works, or McAfee's version... yeesh. Evil to the core. They try to boss Windows around, something Windows doesn't particularly agree with. Crash Recovery, or whatever Norton calls it, is particularly heinous. More like Crash Producer.

/rant off
 

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