Author Topic: Help Picking An Antivirus Software  (Read 867 times)

Loren Ver

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Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:38:50 PM »
So after being of the forums for sometime, I have realized that not only are many of the people on here reaching for the same goals I am, but many of the people on here are far more computer suave than I am. 

So my question for the more knowledgable of you is:
What would be the best choice for my antivirus (and related software) needs? 

If my computer usage matters, I rarely download items off the web. I have a few sites I go to regularly, but don't just spend hours browsing the web.  They are usually site owned by large corps or not for profits (youtube, wiki, amazon).  I do, however, access lots of personal financial sites (banks, investing etc) and shopping.  I use computers to accomplish what I need to, but don't enjoy digging around and seeing what is new.   My laptop is my main connection to the world as I don't have a smart phone.

I am currently running out of my McAfee free trial that came with my computer.  In the past I have used some free softwares (Avast, ad blocker, spyhunter) and I have noticed they seem to really slow down my computer (especially boot up time) and love to advertise themselves (popups).  One even liked to tell me how much faster my computer booted with the software, even though it always took longer than before I downloaded it :(.

I don't mind paying for a software if it functions well and doesn't cause too much drag.  Free would also be good, if it performs similarly.  I really don't like monthly or yearly subscriptions. 

Thoughts and recommendations?

Thanks!

LV 

JLee

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 12:42:44 PM »
Assuming you're using Windows 10, I would just run Windows Defender.

Daley

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 01:11:48 PM »
Assuming it's Windows 10 (for the sake of the pedantic):

Currently?
Free: Avira, Bitdefender, Microsoft Defender.
Paid: Kaspersky, Bitdefender.

Alas, NOD32 isn't quite what it used to be, and AVG has always been terrible. It's also worth noting that with most *all* free AV solutions, (excluding Microsoft's and I believe Bitdefender's) have taken to bundling bloatware, adware, hijacking search engines on install, and other unsavory tricks to generate ad revenue... so be careful and either pay close attention to the install process or use Ninite to install the AV software with if what you're after is available through their installer.

Anyone inclined to either AVG or Avast should just uninstall it and go with the default Windows Defender, equal to better protection, none of the drawbacks. Also ignore the free bundled AV solution from many ISPs, they usually give you McAfee or Norton, and you're better off driving nails through your motherboard to protect your computer against malicious software. (There's some hyperbole here, and I won't deny that Norton has gotten better over the recent years, but both are still choices that only at best run parallel to the mid-grade free options.)

Before installing any recommended AV software from anyone, however, check reliability track records for the software yourself. Don't just look at current results, either, go back and look at historical results spanning at least a couple years as well.
https://www.av-comparatives.org/
https://www.av-test.org/en/
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Uturn

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 02:54:59 PM »
The absolute best protection is to run your updates.  If you don't keep up with your updates, your computer can be compromised just by visiting a compromised site. The days of staying off porn sites and don't download stuff keeping you safe are gone. You would be amazed at how many different sites your computer pulls from in the background.  For instance, go to any well known and trusted news site, all of the ads, links, icons, ect. come from many places.  Any of these other places can be compromised pass malicious stuff through your news site. 

Traditional anti-virus relies on a list of known bad items.  You want to find anti-malware software that uses heuristics or behavior analysis, often called next-gen or machine learning. 

Imagine that you are a security guard, and you have a list of known thieves.  Someone wants to come into your business, you check your known thieves list.  If someone is a thief but just hasn't been caught yet, they are not on the list, and therefore allowed in.  This is traditional anti-virus.

Now imagine that the guy you let in is wearing dark clothes, is sneaking around with a flashlight, hiding from your cameras, and prying open locked offices.  Traditional a/v will ignore this guy, after all, he was not on the bad guy list.  Next gen anti-malware will see this thief behavior and go stop him, to hell with the bad guy list.
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DumpTruck

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 03:38:01 PM »
McAfee? you might as well invite crackheads in to check each website you go to individually!

Lol, but ya I just run Win 10 and don't do shade stuff on the PC.

Like... "Viruses HATE him - learn this Dad's 1 simple trick to stop hackers cold!"  ---- DON'T CLICK THAT

scottish

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 03:42:36 PM »
And don't use administrator accounts for anything except administration.

That way if you make a mistake (i.e. click on an .exe file in an e-mail) you will only infect your current account.

EfficientEngineer

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 03:42:45 PM »
When I signed up with Ally bank they gave me a free two year trial of Webroot so I'm using that now.

Chippewa

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 04:00:12 PM »
Malware is a good one.

jlcnuke

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 04:53:34 PM »
Assuming you're using Windows 10, I would just run Windows Defender.

+1

And use a "non-administrator" account for your normal computer use.
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sol

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 05:00:57 PM »
I hear the Russians make a really top notch antivirus software (kaspersky) that totally doesn't track your internet usage and send your information to the Kremlin.  Probably.

Loren Ver

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 05:13:35 AM »
Thank you all for your replies.  I am on windows 10, though it wasn't entirely by choice :).  So it looks like Microsoft Defender is a good choice.  I'll do some more research in that direction.

I'm also going to look into running a non-admin account.  That is something I have never even considered before but it sounds like a good plan.

Loren

Dave1442397

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 06:35:47 AM »
I ran into malware a few years ago that got past Windows Defender with no problem. After trying multiple solutions, the only software that took care of the problem was Bitdefender. It has since caught every virus and phishing attempt thrown at it.

The advertised price is around $80/year, but they always have sales. I renewed for $32 yesterday, but that offer may have expired.

Here's the discount link, in case you want to take a look - https://www.bitdefender.com/media/html/blackfriday2017-opt/?force_country=us&pid=EMM_NA_RENEWAL_BLACK_PGEN&cid=emm|c|rp|renewal_cyber|na&rp_mid=EMM_NA_RENEWAL_CYBER&rp_rid=40019169



jpdx

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 10:21:47 AM »
I haven't used antivirus software on any of my computers ever since switching to Mac 10 years ago. :)

Loren Ver

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 10:26:33 AM »
Doing more reading it looks like bitdefender gets pretty good ratings.  Windows Defender has gotten better over the years, but gets reviews like "better than nothing."  That gives me pause. 

More digging....


LV

PS not ready for a mac ;)

JLee

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 11:56:25 AM »
I haven't used antivirus software on any of my computers ever since switching to Mac 10 years ago. :)

https://www.inc.com/business-insider/malware-macs-apple-744-2016.html

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 02:08:44 PM »
Use good security practices and don't use one. Especially if using a Mac. If you really feel unsure of yourself....

My understanding is using Windows defender has an inherent advantage because it integrates much more completely with the OS than something like Mbytes/avast etc, (dont have to insert a extra layer between the kernel and the OS)
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MoustacheDArgent

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2017, 05:40:24 PM »
I had some viruses that Windows Defender didn't catch.  I signed up with Malwarebytes Premium and it got rid of them.  I think they have a free trial.  I'm not expert, but that's what worked for me.

ditheca

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 09:04:39 AM »
I implemented Bitdefender for our organization (~200 employees) and it really cut down on malware since everyone "needed" to be administrators.

Then one day Bitdefender decided Microsoft Excel 2010 was a virus and locked EVERYONE out of it.

We use Windows Defender and non-administrator accounts now and have very few issues.

Now, how do I convince people not to give away their company email address and password to shady websites?

Milizard

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 09:14:28 AM »
What do people here think of Vipre?

brute

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 09:30:20 AM »
CentOS 4 lyfe.

Uturn

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2017, 09:39:43 AM »
Now, how do I convince people not to give away their company email address and password to shady websites?

Palo Alto v8 can prevent domain credentials from leaving the network. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

MilesTeg

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2017, 10:25:42 AM »
So after being of the forums for sometime, I have realized that not only are many of the people on here reaching for the same goals I am, but many of the people on here are far more computer suave than I am. 

So my question for the more knowledgable of you is:
What would be the best choice for my antivirus (and related software) needs? 

If my computer usage matters, I rarely download items off the web. I have a few sites I go to regularly, but don't just spend hours browsing the web.  They are usually site owned by large corps or not for profits (youtube, wiki, amazon).  I do, however, access lots of personal financial sites (banks, investing etc) and shopping.  I use computers to accomplish what I need to, but don't enjoy digging around and seeing what is new.   My laptop is my main connection to the world as I don't have a smart phone.

I am currently running out of my McAfee free trial that came with my computer.  In the past I have used some free softwares (Avast, ad blocker, spyhunter) and I have noticed they seem to really slow down my computer (especially boot up time) and love to advertise themselves (popups).  One even liked to tell me how much faster my computer booted with the software, even though it always took longer than before I downloaded it :(.

I don't mind paying for a software if it functions well and doesn't cause too much drag.  Free would also be good, if it performs similarly.  I really don't like monthly or yearly subscriptions. 

Thoughts and recommendations?

Thanks!

LV

McAffee, Norton and most of the "big names" are worthless and do more harm than good. Most of the previously good free tools (AVG, etc.) have become malware as well.

Honestly, if you have windows, the included anti-virus software (Windows Defender) is quite sufficient. But no matter what you choose, tyou have to pair it with good computing hygiene.

I would, however, suggest using

* Spybot Search and Destroy (in particular for its ability to blacklist known bad sites at the O/S level (not just in your browser)
* Ablock Plus (or similar) in any browser you have. Sorry advertising folks, but until you implement advertising that is respectful to my privacy and does not damage my computing devices, I will always block you. That means no shady ad networks that serve malware, no bitcoin miner scripts, no rummaging through my search history to display adds for my medications or other private matters, etc.
* Ghosterly (or similar): blocks ad network/tracking malware (Facebook, Google, etc. have massive partner networks and track you even when you are not using their services via various embedded scripts that "phone home" everything you do). This one is more tricky, as it sometimes breaks websites. But IMHO it's worth it.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 10:28:45 AM by MilesTeg »

ketchup

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2017, 10:30:06 AM »
McAffee, Norton and most of the "big names" are worthless and do more harm than good. Most of the previously good free tools (AVG, etc.) have become malware as well.

Honestly, if you have windows, the included anti-virus software (Windows Defender) is quite sufficient. But no matter what you choose, tyou have to pair it with good computing hygiene.

I would, however, suggest using

* Spybot Search and Destroy (in particular for its ability to blacklist known bad sites at the O/S level (not just in your browser)
* Ablock Plus (or similar) in any browser you have. Sorry advertising folks, but until you implement advertising that is respectful to my privacy and does not damage my computing devices, I will always block you. That means no shady ad networks that serve malware, no bitcoin miner scripts, no rummaging through my search history to display adds for my medications or other private matters, etc.
* Ghosterly (or similar): blocks ad network/tracking malware (Facebook, Google, etc. have massive partner networks and track you even when you are not using their services via various embedded scripts that "phone home" everything you do). This one is more tricky, as it sometimes breaks websites. But IMHO it's worth it.
If you do end up with McAfee on your PC, you can follow this procedure to uninstall (NSFW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKgf5PaBzyg

sol

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2017, 10:40:04 AM »
Now, how do I convince people not to give away their company email address and password to shady websites?

All of our outgoing work email is automatically scanned for prohibited content, including passwords and any Personally Identifiable Information (credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc) and the emails get auto-blocked and flagged for review.  At the national level.

Of course, the question is whether my organization does that before or after it hits the local hub, at which point the NSA and China and Russia can all do the same things.  The more I learn about the internet, the less secure it seems to me.  Apparently every bit of email traffic in the world is reviewed by algorithms for targeted content (terrorist plots, etc).  In the US, your government can do that in real time, and also has access to all of your previous emails older than six months without needing a warrant.

So an antivirus program may be good policy to protect your local internet access from being interrupted by a corrupted machine, but don't make the mistake of thinking it's also protecting your privacy.  All of your correspondences are already being intercepted and read by third parties.

Loren Ver

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Re: Help Picking An Antivirus Software
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2017, 10:55:21 AM »
Thank you all for your continued responses.  I am noticing some trends :).



McAffee, Norton and most of the "big names" are worthless and do more harm than good. Most of the previously good free tools (AVG, etc.) have become malware as well.

Honestly, if you have windows, the included anti-virus software (Windows Defender) is quite sufficient. But no matter what you choose, tyou have to pair it with good computing hygiene.

I would, however, suggest using

* Spybot Search and Destroy (in particular for its ability to blacklist known bad sites at the O/S level (not just in your browser)
* Ablock Plus (or similar) in any browser you have. Sorry advertising folks, but until you implement advertising that is respectful to my privacy and does not damage my computing devices, I will always block you. That means no shady ad networks that serve malware, no bitcoin miner scripts, no rummaging through my search history to display adds for my medications or other private matters, etc.
* Ghosterly (or similar): blocks ad network/tracking malware (Facebook, Google, etc. have massive partner networks and track you even when you are not using their services via various embedded scripts that "phone home" everything you do). This one is more tricky, as it sometimes breaks websites. But IMHO it's worth it.

Many thank yous for the more in depth listing.  It really does help!

Now, how do I convince people not to give away their company email address and password to shady websites?

So an antivirus program may be good policy to protect your local internet access from being interrupted by a corrupted machine, but don't make the mistake of thinking it's also protecting your privacy.  All of your correspondences are already being intercepted and read by third parties.

No antivirus does = privacy, and that is one of those things that does bother me.  One of the reasons I don't have a smart phone.  At least my computer is only telling people what I do online, not physically going with me everywhere I go.  Though, it still sucks.

LV