Should You BUY Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Software? - Comments Page 1

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All Comments on: "Should You BUY Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Software?"

Comment Page: 1 |  2 

Posted by:

Eli Marcus
25 Nov 2013

I used to purchase Anti-V products, but found over the years that many of them slowed my computer and absolutely interfered with the everyday functioning of my PC. I found it very annoying to have paid for an application, AND instead of protecting it silently in the background, it made things slow as molasses...
As the years went on, and the family acquired more than one computer with more than one operating system or different versions of the OS, it became more costly and complicated to supply them all with Anti-V applications, so I turned to the free apps - Comodo firewall and/or Anti-V, Avira, Avast, and AVG, and the occasional anti malware sweeper, and have been quite happy with the way they perform. On my own personal laptop, I have been running Linux for a number of years, and have not worried about Anti-V software so far.

Posted by:

Mike Baker
25 Nov 2013

I had been using AVG for over ten years until I read your colum on Avast. I deleted my AVG and installed Avast and now my computer with Windows 7 runs much better and faster.

Thanks for the heads up,
Mike B

Posted by:

Andy
25 Nov 2013

Hi Bob, first let me say your site and emails are invaluable - thank you! On this article though, I have to ask... you say that it's better to use one rather than several antivirus products together. You also say you use Avast. But then go on to recommend Bitdefender and Avira. Are you suggesting it would be good to install all these 3 products? If not, why mention the other two which to the uninitated coud be confusing when your advice is to use one?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Never use more than one real-time antivirus program at once. You can supplement with an on-demand scanner such as MBAM. I mentioned Avast, AVG, Avira and Bitdefender because they're all good choices - pick one!

Posted by:

Ken McKenzie
25 Nov 2013

I use McAfee (3-licence) on my main PC and two laptops. I use Avast on a "redundant" (backup for emergencies) PC. I don't mind paying for security and data integrity given the impact that pc down-time would have on my one-person business.

I am either ignorant or cynical or both - how can free software work as a business model?

Regards, Ken

Posted by:

jenny price
25 Nov 2013

I recently had a techicican add windows 8 to my laptop. Right after I had a flood of bad pop ups. I finally have that under control. Question: how can i find where my programs are located and where are my mode VGN-NS190D Sony Vaio files? I need to turn off my mouse pad. Also, i turned off my coputer for the first since downloading Windows 8 and my outlook, word & excel disappeared from the start page, and my task bar is totally wiped clean on desktop. I can't get outlook started (got the others by opening a document & pinning to task bar) but outlook is saying I am missing MSVE80.dll. How ca i find and save all my info before reloading outlook? Ot can i download judt the .dll file?

Posted by:

Unitary
25 Nov 2013

Bob,

I do pay for a comprehensive security suite. The justification for paying was actually provided at the end of your aricle. Just as you wrote, the security suit provides --

"...anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, spam filtering, download scanner, vulnerability detection and other features. All of the components will have been tested to work well together, and have a common user interface."

Add to the above list the availability of customer support.

I find it too risky to experiment with various combinations of programmes from independent sources. I also do not trust free software for the "critical mission" of protecting the PC.

Posted by:

Robert Butler
25 Nov 2013

I've been using ESET Smart Security / NOD 32 anti-virus, anti-spyware for approx. 5 years, and very happy with it. The reason I picked it because of the perfect record of not missing a virus in the wild. A zero (0) record is hard to beat.

Additionally, I would have to agree with your assessment on MalwareButes Anti-Malware tool for your computer. I tried it out for evaluation, and plan to buy it. IT worked very nicely, and seemed to do an excellent job, although its footprint is rather large, over 100 MB of memory required.

Thanks for all these tips.

Best regards,

Robert William Butler Jr
Houston, TX 77086
Phone: (281) 299-3469
Fax: (281) 299-3448

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Stephen Hawking

Posted by:

Don
25 Nov 2013

I have used AVG free for several years, and occasionally I had installation problems similar to yours. But last year I found the paid version on Amazon -3 users for 1 year - very reasonably priced. So I bought it and put it on 3 of my 5 pcs (2 desktops, one laptop) with no problems and have been very happy with it - hasnt failed me yet. The other 2 machines still have AVG free.
After reading your article I checked Amazon again and found AVG anti-virus plus PC checkup - again, 3 PC's, 1 year. And for only $17.50! so I have ordered that. Of course I don't know if I'll have any instalation problems, but I have always been able to solve them in the past - once contacting AVG twice for assistance. For whatever reason Amazon has several offers of the same software - all at different prices. Here's the link for the one I ordered:
http://www.amazon.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-PC-Tune-2014/dp/B00E3RH3EW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1385401104&sr=8-3&keywords=avg+anti-virus+software.
I suspect the free and paid anti-virus programs are the same. However, I like knowing that I have their support available if I ever need it.

Posted by:

Victor Baez
25 Nov 2013

Dear Bob,
I've been using personal computers since Apple II and IBM PC XT, since DOS and Windows (the first one). I started using Norton since when Peter's picture with rolled up sleeves was printed on the box. And keep using yet.
I never ever had a virus in any of my computers.
I also use Malwarebytes to scan the machine once a month. Sometimes it catches something that slips under Symantecs' big guy.
Cheers!

Posted by:

Kirill
25 Nov 2013

It's a pretty common question - "To pay or not to pay". Simple logic gives the perfect answer. Any good-designed malware spreads quickly until a remedy by antimalware teams appears. Nobody is able to predict the future, so regardless of type of antimalware program you have, it fixes your computer afterwards. What the catch to pay for the service if it works similar way? Any antimalware protection works like in old story about doctors:

After a patient died a doctor asked relatives:

- Did the deceased sweated before the death?
- Yes, doctor.
- Good, good, very good!

Just like computer recovering. There is no way to prevent 100% - there is a way to recover only. So - why to pay?

Posted by:

Tom Van Dam
25 Nov 2013

I have used AVG in the past at home and at work. The work computers got hit with a virus which caused me to drop using it and buy a commercial software (Eset AV). I have used Kaspersky AV on my laptop. Maybe this was just our experience but since then, I don't trust the free stuff to be robust enough in a corporate environment.

Posted by:

Dan
25 Nov 2013

Unfortunately, the last time I checked you could only download AVG Free through cnet.com - a once reliable software source which is now a prime provider of "pushware" and other unwanted programs. I no longer trust the only source, and don't download this (or any) program through cnet.

So AVG Free loses more potential customers. I do IT work and maintain other people's computers, and no longer install AVG Free there either.

Posted by:

Derek
25 Nov 2013

What about Mac? Most Mac guys I talk to say you don't need to worry about virus software on a Mac. Being both a PC and a Mac guy now, I'm very hesitant about that. I do practice safe computing (not clicking strange links etc) but I still have to wonder. If there was a silent virus on a Mac how would you know? I wonder what Mac anti-virus is recommended?

Posted by:

The Rube
25 Nov 2013

I was a staunch advocate of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) until recently when the software kept acting up in a consistent basis.

So now I have Panda Cloud installed and use it on an as-needed-basis to scan my computer system.
(I also use this FreeFixer thing that will actually remove foreign files [which may be malware] from the computer. However, this is for those who can distinguish bad files from good ones)
FreeFixer can be found at www.freefixer.com
The developer is a Cool guy (named Roger) who DOES respond to e-mail sent to him!

FreeFixer was the only thing that was able to identify a Super Trojan in my computer which I was was able to TAKE OUT with the use of my Linux CD live disc.

Posted by:

Tony
25 Nov 2013

A note to Dan; AVG can be downloaded from FileHippo.com without the down loader program and all of the garbage that cnet tries to force on every one now.

Posted by:

tim moore
25 Nov 2013

i used them all like others..but the last 4-5 years,i have not used anything.My ISP provides somekind of protection,but i use no antivirus spyware etc at all..if you stay away from music sites and game sights(no more kids), i have no troubles..just a waste of time in my opinion..

Posted by:

RandiO
25 Nov 2013

Another worthy topic, Mr. Bob Rankin.
And another exemplary in-depth analysis that is worth every milligram of effort you must have put into it.
Over the decades of computing (in primarily WinOS camp) and having used many different FREEware AV software available; one thing that I can summarize from your worthy inputs is that the land-scape of malware continue to change with newer threats that seem to arise almost monthly. And as you have discussed, there needs to be a vigilante effort for continual (=at least yearly) evaluation of every user’s current AV protection. As you have done with switching from AVG to Avast, all users who value their data need to re-evaluate their AV protection yearly. Over the past decade+, I have watched as the “best” AV crown has been awarded to different companies! In addition, there are a variety of dedicated websites for comparative testing of available AV software. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to determine which one of these AV test websites are truly legitimate (and impartial/independent) efforts or just self-serving fronts that may possibly be owned by some of the AV companies vying for the “best” title! Protection of one’s data should never solely rely on AV software but should be a combination of such software along with periodic back-up (and offloading) of such user data from possible damage/loss/compromise!

Posted by:

RandiO
25 Nov 2013

I almost sympathize with the statements made by TimMoore (Re: no spyware protection) but since Windows7/8 has the FREE(and almost transparent) MicrosoftSecurityEssentials/Defender AV utility built-in, it really is NOT painful or intrusive to let it do its thing in the background! If for nothing else; its placebo effect maybe good for a few laughs every now and then! ;)

Posted by:

petefior
25 Nov 2013

Please add my vote for the awesome ESET Smart Security product. With ESET you get very frequent signature updates, an easy to use user interface, and compact code that does not slow your computer.

It is available in a previous "3 user" version at a discounted price when a new version is released - and ESET will let you upgrade to the latest version at no extra cost.

It has achieved a recent very high rating by Consumer Reports and does an excellent job of protecting your computers.

Posted by:

Raymond St Marie
26 Nov 2013

Thanks Bob for all the good work you do to help others. Your Newsletter is one of the 3 sources of info I trust for both integrity and competence. The others are Gizmos' Freeware and Fred Langa who I followed to Windows Secrets. I combine the info from these sources to get a "consensus" on any subject. From the above sources I use the following Utilities to protect my computers. Avast antivirus, Comodo Free Firewall, Malwarebytes (free) & Malwarebytes anti exploit (also free), Sophos Anti-Rootkit, Start Up Monitor. I recently installed Crypto Prevent (to help stop CryptoLocker malware). I use Firefox to browse because of the excellent Add-ons you can use to further protect your surfing. I turn on "No Script" when I am going to surf sites that are not among the Sites you know you can trust. I installed WOT (Web of Trust). For Maintenance, Cleanup & Fix errors I use Jv16 Power Tools (Pay Version), CC Cleaner (free), PrivaZer (also Free). I recently installed PrivaZer and used it's "Clean Free Space" feature & it solved the problem I had with an external drive that kept freezing my computer when I tried to use it. I've gone way more that 10 years without any crippling events using the above programs. I hope some of you find this info useful. Thanks Ray.

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