best anti-virus

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Offline kitkat51

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best anti-virus
« on: January 13, 2015, 11:03:33 AM »
what is the best anti-virus and anti-malware that u download for free :ty

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Offline Digerati

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Re: best anti-virus
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 11:45:48 AM »
What OS?

And note an anti-malware program includes anti-virus code. You don't need both.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline Hoov

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Re: best anti-virus
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 06:50:27 PM »
kitkat51, I hate to tell you this, but everyone that answers this question will give you a different answer. And the real answer will probably leave you with as many questions as you had coming in here.

The truth is, we cannot tell you what the best combination of software will give you the best protection. The reason is, we are not you. Each user (or in some cases families or other groups) has to decide what is best for you. I hate to say this because I hate the way these programs are tested, but the best place to start is with the AV-Comparatives test results. Look over the results, especially the real world results. They will give you an idea of how these programs fair in the real world. Don't take these results as gospel though. They are a guide only. But from these tests you should be able to give you a half dozen or so programs to test. Then one by one download the free or trial version of the software and install it. Test it for 2 weeks or so (longer if you can) and see how you like it. If you don't then uninstall it and get rid of the installer. If you think it may work, hang on to the installer, but uninstall it. Then go on to the next one. When you are done testing the ones you think may work, you should have a good idea of which one you want. That is the one to either use the free one, or go in whole hog and buy the version that you want.

I do disagree with Digerati on one point. While there is overlap between malware and AV tools, they are not the same. I do recommend that you run both. But in saying that, I only recommend 1 malware scanner and that is Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. And I recommend that you buy it if you can afford it.

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Offline Digerati

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Re: best anti-virus
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 08:53:43 AM »
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I do disagree with Digerati on one point. While there is overlap between malware and AV tools, they are not the same. I do recommend that you run both.
Oh? I am not aware of any popular "real-time" scanning program that scans for viruses only - not worms, Trojans, or  other malicious code. Can you provide examples of a "real-time" virus only scanner?

Note I am emphasizing "real-time" scanner - those you typically load at boot that run "full time" "in memory" and not specialized AV tools you run manually that typically look for specific code. And I am not talking about anti-spyware only scanners (like the old Windows Defender - not to be confused with the new Windows Defender in Windows 8).

Speaking of anti-spyware scanners, I note even the popular SUPERAntispyware will "Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats."

If you look at the most popular real-time programs, including those listed in AV Comparison, they are all anti-malware, not anti-virus only. And that makes sense because malware is an inclusive term for all malicious software.

In looking at the AV Comparison, even programs calling themselves antivirus programs are really antimalware scanners - and AV Comparison tests for malware, not just viruses.

So for sure, Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, ESET, Kaspersky, Lavasoft, McAfee, MSE and Windows Defender for W8, Panda, Trend Micros all scan for malware, not just viruses.

Lifehacker has a good article called The Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-Malware (and Which to Use) where it explains there really is no difference.

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But in saying that, I only recommend 1 malware scanner and that is Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. And I recommend that you buy it if you can afford it.
In the past, security experts advised NOT to run two "real-time" scanners at once because they often caused conflicts. It was like two dogs guarding the same bone, each wondering what the other was up to. But today, conflicts are not really a problem, but running two at once does consume excess resources and can bog down a system.

But MBAM Premium is different and plays well with other real-time scanners and I too recommend it. For the record, I use  Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) on all my Windows 7 system along with MBAM. On my Windows 8 systems, I use the new Windows Defender along with MBAM.

MBAM Premium is the only anti-malware program that cost money I recommend. The big brands like Norton and McAfee, IMO, while effective security applications, cost too much up front and then cost too much to renew, while not really keeping you safer.

If purchasing MBAM Premium is not in the budget, then I still recommend MBAM Free to use for periodic manual scanning (the free version does not have a "real-time" component) just to make sure your primary scanner or you (the user and always weakest link in security) did not let something slip by.

Bottom line is it really does not matter which anti-malware program you use (as long as it is legitimate and not a rogue program) because they all do a good job at protecting users AS LONG AS those users "practice safe computing". That is they keep Windows fully and their security programs fully updated, they do not participate in risky behavior like illegal filesharing copyrighted materials via torrents or P2P sites, visiting illegal porn and gambling sites, and they are not "click-happy" on unsolicited downloads, attachments, or links.



Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline Hoov

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Re: best anti-virus
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 11:46:44 AM »
You misread what I said. I never said anything about AV scanners scanning only for virus's. I said there was an overlap between the two. I have always said that the two classes of software, AV scanners and AntiMalware scanners overlap. And for the most part they have played well together. I am not a software expert, but when a piece of malware removal software adds a virus scanner to its lineup, like AdAware and Spybot did, then for some reason they do not play well with other AV scanners. I do not know why, I just know that is happens. That is why I have always, and will continue to recommend that users run both. I do, and I refuse to tell users to use less protection than I do.

I have read supposed experts recommend that users run one or the other, and some profess to do it on their own systems, and that is all well and good for them. I have recognized the signs of infection in my own computer and was able to stop it before it got more than a toehold. But most users do not have that sort of expertise. Each AV scanner, Malware scanner, Trojan scanner and any other software that is of that same type of detect and remove role, has its strengths and weakness's. If you run two from two different companies, and they play well together, they dovetail nicely and will probably cover everything.

But no software package, no matter how good, can make up for the one variable that they never will be able to cover, and that is the user. If you had the perfect protection package, that played well with all software and hardware combinations , was given away freely, and stopped all Virus's, Trojans, Rootkits, Adware, PUP, PUM, and any other thing you can think of that is detrimental to the smooth operation of the computer but was so complex that you had to have a PhD in programming to be able to use it, most users would end up turning the thing off because they cannot use it. That is why I recommend that users try out several different scanners to find one they "get". One that is slightly flawed but is run all the time is better than the one that is so complex it has to be turned off for the user to be able to do anything.

Over the years I have used McAfee, Norton (Both pre and post Symantec), ZoneAlarm (with at least 2 different AV engines), Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG, and now Eset. I dropped both McAfee and Norton because the packages got to big, ZoneAlarm because the package got to big and there was no way to customize the AV scanner, Microsoft Security Essentials (first gen was not flexible enough), and AVG because there was a conflict in Windows 8.1 which I found out was not the fault of AVG but of a utility I was using. I switched recently because of the AVG issue, and I am sticking with it because it is working well, and because I got a license before I found out that the issue with AVG was not its fault. I have heard supposed experts bad mouth all of those products, and all the rest except for the one they happen to be using at the time. But it all comes back to the same issue, what works for the user. I know users that have every product I have listed and are happy with it. More power to them, I am glad they have found a fit. But I have also seen users research each product so thoroughly they should get a PhD, and purchase the absolute best product and are totally miserable using their computer because the scanner they chose is unusable by them.

So now you know why I recommend the process I do, and my feelings about the different software packages. It boils down to "Everyone has to find a package that works for them", no matter what the experts think.

Former Consumer Security MVP
2011-2014

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Offline Digerati

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Re: best anti-virus
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 03:58:06 PM »
Quote
So now you know why I recommend the process I do, and my feelings about the different software packages.
I do understand. And I don't disagree with anything you said - in fact, I said much the same, including the fact the user is always the weakest link, and an overlapping approaching with MBAM, along with your regular scanner is essential.

But what I am also saying is times have changed and "today" there really is no difference - a virus scanner is a malware scanner and a malware scanner is a virus scanner (and both scan for Trojans, spyware, and other malicious code too). That is, the "categories" of scanners have morphed/merged in just anti-malware scanners (regardless the name of the product).

That is why I asked for an example what you are calling an "AV scanner" because except for specialized removal tools, I know of no scanners that do one or the other.

Of course, all scanners have their own ways of doing things that their individual marketing departments would have us believe their way is best. But the fact of the matter is, even the basic MSE (or WD in W8) are good enough for most users if they keep Windows updated and avoid risky behavior.

Years ago (when Spybot and AdAware where the one-two punch for security software) we had to load our systems up with all sorts of individual security programs because there were no "anti-malware" programs. We had to have a separate spyware scanner, virus scanner, and Trojan scanner on our system. But the security program makers (in their drive to push everyone to their suites) started to realize the "scanner" portions were all the same. That is, the scanner was the same process regardless the type of malware it was looking for. So they all morphed into anti-malware scanners. Some just kept Anti-Virus in their names.

IMO, Spybot S&D and AdAware are not the programs they used to be. That said, if you look at what Spybot does, it scans for everything. So does AdAware.

Other examples (from AV Comparatives) include avast! Free Antivirus. Even AVG, which stands for Anti Virus Grisolf, scan for malware.

I think it is important to note too that W7 and W8 are not XP. What was needed with XP probably is not needed with W7 and W8. With XP, we needed several overlapping layers of security because XP was not designed with security a priority. Corporate America (Microsoft's biggest user-based) insisted XP provide legacy support for DOS era hardware and software. Plus, Norton and McAfee, CA and TrendMicro all cried and whined to Congress and the EU that it was their job to rid the world of malware and that MS was trying to monopolize the world. They were, but not the point. And so Congress and the EU ordered MS to NOT include anti-malware code in XP, or risk a forced break up of Microsoft into several smaller companies.

Of course, with absolutely no incentive whatsoever to rid the world of malware (that would put them out of business) we see how effective Norton and McAfee have been. :(

W7 and W8 were designed with security first. It actually is not easy to infect W7 or W8 - if you keep it updated where XP could be (can be) compromised with ease.

So bottom line, we still need some overlap of coverage and MBAM provides that. But unless shown otherwise, a scanner is a scanner, regardless if the name says virus, malware, Internet Security, or whatever.

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BTW, we went through a similar migration process through the years. I started out years ago with Norton (pre-Symantec). But soon it became so bloated, I switched to the new kid, McAfee. But then it became a bloated mess too so I went to SB S&D with AdAware and ZoneAlarm. But then ZA started shoving their suite on us by including (with no way to disable) antispyware code. I switched to Comodo Firewall but soon that included all sorts of extras too. They all wanted us to switch to their [expensive] suites - which I refuse (to this day) to do because a suite puts all your eggs in one basket with too many (and 1 is too many) single points of failure.

I started using MBAM for supplemental scanning from "our" CastleCops days and IMO, that is the only product that has consistently been reliable.

I used AVG for several years but got frustrated with it too due to reliability issues, as well as compatibility issues. Then when Windows 7 came out in Oct 2009 and MS released MSE, I went to there with no regrets since. And as noted before, when W8 came out, I used Windows Defender, also with no regrets. I also use Windows Firewall in my W7 and W8 systems. And of course, supplemental scanning with MBAM - just to make sure all is good, and thus far, MBAM has found nothing.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
MS MVP, 2007 - 2018