Recommend an AV Program?



  • New computers running Windows 8.1. Currently protected by Windows Defender, MS Smart Screen Filter and MS firewall (default settings). I don't mind paying for a program (i.e. security suite) but the question is: is it necessary? I don't visit porn sites or gambling sites. I don't play online games. I don't open attachments in what little email I receive. I rarely download "so-called" free programs from the internet. Given the above, I was contacted by Kaspersky to purchase Kaspersky Pure 3.0 at half price for three computers bring it to about $45 American. Is this worth it? Is it necessary? Any feedback on Kaspersky good or bad? Thanks.



  • I runned my Windows 8 since about 3 monts without installing any antivirus or firewall, cause W8 have one installed "by default" (MSE), but recently I've installed, as is my habit, Avast Antivir, cuz I never see the Windows Antivir in action and it scare me a little bit. (Also, you have the licence acceptance, who include the WGA acceptance, and automatics updates. And you'll eat some DRM+Silverlight, too.)

    Also, even if you "don't visit porn" etc., theses things are "old" now. You can been infected by a whooole new stock of things :

    • Flash, PHP, Java : infected just by displaying the page;
    • libpnj: infected by displaying a .pnj file;
    • VLC: running code just by playing a video;
    • The site of an AV editor (VCatch) infected by a virus (Nimba);
    • mass of sites sending some infected add, thanks to a brak in DoubleClick (Google), RightMedia (Yahoo) and FastClick (ValueClick);
      Etc. etc. Thoses breaks are corrected, but someone will discover an other, and you know the song.

    So I think you need an AV, and personally, Avast Free suit great to me.

    –Sources (in french, i just translated :v):
    http://sebsauvage.net/rhaa/index.php?2009/09/29/11/37/25-toujours-pas-d-antivirus
    http://sebsauvage.net/rhaa/index.php?2011/08/29/08/00/44-je-n-ai-pas-besoin-d-antivirus-le-retour
    http://www.clubic.com/antivirus-securite-informatique/actualite-610504-publicites-yahoo-transitent-malware.html



  • I have either AVG or Avast on my computers - the free versions of both. Naturally, both try to upsell you to their paid versions, though Avast tends to be more obnoxious about it. For that reason alone I'd tend to recommend AVG and not Avast, though both seem to be good antivirus programs. The free versions do not include firewalls. I'm sure there must be other free software out there, but haven't tried it so can't say if anything is better.



  • Back in the last millennium I found out I could free anti-virus through work from CA. I used until they discontinued that then used McAfee for a while, Avast for a bit, then AVG for many years (free versions).
    I have always been more concerned with spyware/malware infection and also run SpywareBlaster and MalwareBytes. Also on the XP box I still use SpyBot Search and Destroy, though I was not impressed with the post XP edition.

    With the possibility of "Drive-by" infections now from "Legitimate" sites that have been unknowingly infected, AV (whatever product you chose) is a must have.



  • I don't find Avast so invasive in his adds. But, i've disabled all the adverts that I was able to find in the parameters.
    -Btw, the "viral base updated" sound too, I don't understand why everybody doesn't do the same.-

    For the firewall, I'm still with the default windows firewall, but i've used ZoneAlarm for a while before and I found it pretty good, exept for his CPU use, that I always found too big. Maybe they've changed that. (Or maybe it was just my pc :v)



  • Thank you for the input, Guys. Much appreciated.



  • I use the standard MSE and Windows-Firewall with Win7 – and my brain of course! For me this is enough.
    You can read as many reports as you want and for whatever you decide, it´s wrong: Avira, Avast, Norton AntiVirus then McAfee is currently leading... Who cares? In general, they are bad for performance and if the heuristic gets paranoia almost everything is a virus.
    No - brain is still the best protection! ;)



  • As I say'd before, your brain doesn't protect you from what he don't see/know. Actually, you can't say "It's okay if I don't launch this .exe", when a simple view of a website can infect you. For MSE, I just dislike they're politics. And for the performances… Heh, I don't think that he eat so much of my CPU.



  • @Ice007:

    I use the standard MSE and Windows-Firewall with Win7 – and my brain of course! For me this is enough.
    You can read as many reports as you want and for whatever you decide, it´s wrong: Avira, Avast, Norton AntiVirus then McAfee is currently leading... Who cares? In general, they are bad for performance

    Ice, that was sort of my thinking when I came into this. I've had the Thinkpad now for about two weeks (love it by the way). It came with Norton Studio (trial version) installed which I promptly uninstalled and activated Windows Defender. My gut feeling tells me this (plus my naturally inbuilt mistrust for things) will be enough, but I wanted to consult wiser brains than my own. I suppose it wouldn't matter who I spoke with: there would likely be as many differences of opinion as there were responders. I understand that. Sometimes we feel a need to defend out decisions. I think I'm going to let the Kaspersky offer fall by the wayside. $45 is dirt cheap BUT I don't much care for the idea of taking a hit in performance and I suspect that might be the case. Thanks again.



  • @cyElAE:

    And for the performances… Heh, I don't think that he eat so much of my CPU.

    Sorry, but then you have not a clue how an on-access scanner, real-time protection or background guard works. Perhaps you should inform yourself, before you claim this.
    It works active in the background as a system service (Windows) or daemon (Unix) and scans all files, programs, memory and possibly the HTTP and the FTP traffic. In order to achieve this, so called filter drivers are installed by the anti virus software which provide the interface between the real-time scanner and the file system. And this of course to the detriment of the performance.



  • There are varying degrees though … Norton was obnoxiously slow at scanning compressed executables and as such made Presto-based versions of Opera start extremely slowly. That's why I abandoned it years ago. Of course the Blink-based Opera is no longer compressed, so it may no longer matter.




  • I don't know really how all works, but I think I have the basis. It was during a scan + a copy (hello background scan), and in this case (I'm not doing a scan+copy everytime), 10% arn't "so much" (and it was a peak, he run more around 5-7%).
    Anyway, I think that, if all the AV works like you say -and they have to, because it's how an AV work-, MSE, Norton and Avast will not be so different in consumption, it'll only change with some paremeters (ante-memory, way of scan, sensibility, etc.), and for me, it's well suited to what I want, between security and performances.



  • When I do setup a Windows computer for a client I tend to install Cloud Antivirus FREE Edition for them which works really well… It's light on resources and holds the virus definitions in the cloud so no annoying updates apart from the actual program itself... http://www.cloudantivirus.com/en/



  • Is this Panda Clous AV free or is the download free? In other words, when they advertize that it's free are they saying that it's free to try or that it's entirely free?


  • Moderator

    @JamesD:

    Is this Panda Clous AV free or is the download free? In other words, when they advertize that it's free are they saying that it's free to try or that it's entirely free?

    It is free. Differences between the free and paid versions here: http://www.cloudantivirus.com/en/forHome/.

    A very important notice, keep the free version of Malware Bytes Anti Malware in your computer, it doesn't protect you in real time but it is great at finding nasty problems when you run it.



  • Thanks for the information. Okay. This is getting a bit complicated. What does this Cloud AV have that Windows Defender 8.1 doesn't? So far I don't see any performance hit in my computer with Windows Defender. I guess the real question is: is one AV really any better at blocking, detecting and cleaning than another?


  • Moderator

    Although I think everyone should have an anti-virus, the best protection is not the anti-virus, but the user himself. Still, some anti-viruses are better than others and if you're looking for protection, I'd advice you to check this: http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-8/novdec-2013/.
    You can sort the rank by Protection, Usability and Performance, and you'll notice that Kaspersky and BitDefender always have a perfect score.

    Kaspersky doesn't have a free version, but BitDefender does (although I have not tried it). You can give it a shot, if you want. Furthermore, Panda Cloud got a perfect score in "Protection", so I say you'd be fine with it as well. I personally don't trust Windows Defender.



  • I guess the real question is not how perfect one AV detects stuff or not (most are close to each other in this, afaik), but how many false positives are detected. I usually end up to not use windows defender, because of it detecting stuff i for sure know of that it's no harm.



  • @JamesD:

    @Ice007:

    …You can read as many reports as you want and for whatever you decide, it´s wrong: Avira, Avast, Norton AntiVirus then McAfee is currently leading... Who cares? In general, they are bad for performance

    Ice, that was sort of my thinking when I came into this. I've had the Thinkpad now for about two weeks (love it by the way). It came with Norton Studio (trial version) installed which I promptly uninstalled and activated Windows Defender. My gut feeling tells me this (plus my naturally inbuilt mistrust for things) will be enough, but I wanted to consult wiser brains than my own. … I don't much care for the idea of taking a hit in performance and I suspect that might be the case...

    If you elect to run "bare" (without antivirus), do be sure to make a verified image of your system on removable media. A long time ago in a different era (Win98/Outlook Express), I habitually ran without any AV, but stumbled into a virus forwarded from a friend's eMail account and embedded in the eMail html code (in those days, I always "previewed" my eMails in a separate OE pane). The virus itself didn't fully install, but it did damage some key system files before blue-screening the system rendering it unbootable. Fortunately, I had several levels of external fairly-current file backups and out-of-date drive images, and it was only through using all of those that I was able to painfully dig out and reassemble my data.

    There will always be a tradeoff of performance-hit versus the protection level AV may or may not provide, just as there will always be zero-day and drive-by exploits. These days, I opt to use AV (currently Symantec, Norton, and NOD32) on my systems as just another layer of security, but I only place limited trust in their thoroughness. AV comparisons are a never-ending horserace that demonstrate that no AV is perfect. Some folks rely on HIPS protection, but others find that very restrictive if one is constantly tweaking his software resources. What I've come to trust most is keeping several good, overlapping, fairly current system images on external media and very frequent data/settings-file backups on flash drives. Those alone will quickly bail you out when all else fails you…



  • @Blackbird:

    If you elect to run "bare" (without antivirus), do be sure to make a verified image of your system on removable media.

    I would never "run bare" which is essentially why I'm asking for input. Currently as I mentioned, I'm using what MS installed with its Windows 8.1 upgrade: Windows Defender, Smart Screen Filter and the Windows 8 firewall. That is my current AV and malware protection. The question is: is it enough? The Lenovo Thinkpad is running 4 GB RAM and has a fast processor and a solid state hard drive. It should be able to handle most performance hits although I don't want to needlessly lay on the resource requirements of heavier suites, if I can help it. I've thought about Norton 360, Kaspersky Pure and ESET as paid possibilities and AVG and a free alternative which would lack a firewall but my Windows firewall should suffice (plus, we run behind a router with a built-in firewall). So that is my current dilemma.


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