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11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to use?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 16, 2004 6:40 AM PST

How do you decide which antivirus software to use?

I go for the cheapest.
I read reviews.
I look at the most popular.
I ask my friends/family.
I try anything new.
I go with whatever is loaded on my computer.
Others.
Antivirus software is for sissies.

Here are a few questions to start you off with:

If you selected "Others", tell us how you decide?

If you based your AV decision by popularity, do you really think it is the best there is?

What AV software do you use? Do you use one that is available for free or do you go with a paid version?

Do think that free AV versions are as good as paid versions? Give us some example of the free ones.

Is anyone here really brave enough to not run an AV utility now-a-days?

Have fun with this discussion!

Best regards,

-Lee Koo

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I don't need no steeking antivirus software...
by M. T. MacPhee / November 18, 2004 3:31 PM PST

...because I use a Macintosh. No viruses. No adware. No spyware. No worms. A couple of trojan horses which have been crushed, and never got to any real world computers. Superb built-in firewall.

Oh...and you get OS X, Expose, Display PDF, and a whole bunch of other goodies that users of other platforms only have vague, grey promises for.

Add a Mac to your computing arsenal. You'll like it.

Mike

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Re: I don't need no steeking antivirus software...
by akhilneo / November 18, 2004 3:49 PM PST

Its great to see somebody else talk about Macs & how they're so good as far as viruses are concerned.... but I guess forewarned is forearmed... and damage caused by an attack is always greater than preventing it in the 1st place by using a good AV!!

AFAIK, the firewall won't prevent virus attacks...

.... after all, preverntion is always better than cure, no? Happy

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Re: I don't need no steeking antivirus software...
by M. T. MacPhee / November 18, 2004 11:52 PM PST

There is no smallpox. Therefore there is no smallpox vaccine. There are no infections for Mac OS X. Therefore there is no antivirus software on my computer.

Result: no waiting.
Result: increased productivity.
Result: smiles all round.

Defending against a nonexistent enemy hardly makes sense.

Add a Mac to your computing arsenal.

Mike

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Re: I don't need no steeking antivirus software...
by ejb190 / November 20, 2004 1:24 AM PST

I only half joke when I say I work on a PC, but use a Mac.

While the lack of viruses and other problems on the Mac is a blessing, I wouldn't get too cocky about it. If everyone went to Macs to escape spyware, virsuses, and the such, all too soon we will have them too.

e.

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Re: I don't need no steeking antivirus software...
by benvandestraat / November 21, 2004 6:43 AM PST

I'm currently running W98SE-lite and NO antivirus software.
Only ZoneAlarm to protect me from invisible threats.


Antivirus software is allways one step behind, so I'm just carefull which links or e-mails to open and what software to copy/download and run.


So far, this has kept me off the hook for all the 15 yrs on- and offlineline with my various PC's.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by xfile / November 18, 2004 3:49 PM PST

Hi:

It has been a long time for me to read reviews before purchasing anti-virus and security applications along with other hardware and software products.

But my recent experience on NIS 2005 has somehow changed my thoughts about reviews. Well, you may guess that it wouldn't be a good experience.

I would still use my personal rules of thumb - selecting anything from the top 5, but may rely less on reviews, which I doubt it very much now.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by burgerbern / November 18, 2004 3:59 PM PST

Hi

I use EZ antivirus, i have used it since it was a free test a few years ago, and went over to the paid version when the trial ended, i continue with it for 2 reasons, most importantly it has never let me down, i use mailwasher first but even when i miss bouncing a suspect mail back EZ always spots it and neutalises it, second consideration was the price, it is not free but it is reasonable.

My computer has never been infected with a virus.

for my second computer and laptop i use AVG free antivirus and both of these have never been infected with a virus either.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by lynxman / November 18, 2004 5:04 PM PST

Go for the best Use McAfee as it has not let me down since I first bought it 8 years ago. Only pity is that you have to keep buying the latest version every year but at least it works unlike several of the so called competitors.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by rogerpaul / November 18, 2004 6:07 PM PST

When I decided to begin using the internet some 4 years ago, I asked my brother inlaw what would be the best security program for my home computer. He told me he had used Norton for a number of years and he seldom had a problem. In the 4 years I have used Norton I have never had a virus and only one time did I have a worm and Norton took care of that quickly. Yes, it does slow down my computer a little, but then, I'm in no big hurry to go anywhere.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by frvianna / November 18, 2004 6:51 PM PST

Though those mentioned options may be the cases of many Internet and PC users, I do not consider them satisfactory or even prudent. As I have friends in my own neighborhood - and also scattered throughout the Web - who are pro and deeply skilled on this cyber issue (knowledge and choice on AV apps), it seems to me a lot wiser to look for their advice on making up my mind about it.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by howcpa / November 18, 2004 7:03 PM PST

There was one item left of the list-Experience.
Way back when anti-virus software became the rage I read the reviews and selected one of the top guns.
Never got the beast to load and tried the customer support route which was terrible.
So experience is is an item which you may classify as other.
PS loaded the other top gun and it works just fine.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by drykert / November 18, 2004 7:07 PM PST

After using Symantec's products for years I am going to switch to PC-Cillin. Norton has been good but it also let some crippling virus by that was difficult to remove. They removal tool left my system crippled. Del

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by abygirl / November 19, 2004 4:57 AM PST

I also have been using Symantec's products for years but over the last several months it has been letting in viruses and not been taking care of it. It has been destroying my system as well and I have been looking at other products especially PC Cillin. If anyone has used it, please let me know of their results. Thank you.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by yewheng / November 18, 2004 7:16 PM PST
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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by AsparaGus / November 18, 2004 7:35 PM PST

A long time (in computer time) ago, I used a free AV called InnoculateIt (which had become a paid version but updated for former free users. I've run the free trial versions of Norton and MacAffee -- though not always to the end of the trial period. Norton Anti-Virus was always a problem with its LiveUpdate and adding in the Personal Firewall made for such a system hogging combination that I sadly had to walk away from the 'brand name' product.

The freeware version of AVG is/was my choice. At first, the idea of a daily system scan gave me thoughts of major slow downs and resource problems. Time proved that it was discrete and thorough -- even set at a time when I was actively using the system, the slow down was negligible. That can be worked around with the ability to schedule it in 'off hours' (my system is virtually never off and my reboots are usually those required for an installation or removal.) Updating could also be scheduled to run in the wee hours more to lessen the strain on their servers -- the process could be configured to run without reboot.

The email scan was configurable and allowed adding certify message (or omitting what mught be considered an ad -- one well deserved, I feel.)

I said 'is/was my choice' because the 7.0 version is new on my machine and is looking good. The older version was a visually trimmer interface, but new users may find the fuller GUI more attractive and intuitive (or more extensively labeled.) The biggest sign of Grisoft's commitment to service is the redesign of the download page -- making it much easier to find.

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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by wscoaster / November 18, 2004 8:42 PM PST

I use Nortons 2000 & AVG 6(the free version). They coexist together nicely & the only virus that got past the two of them was one that spread very quickly & struck b4 they had their AV defs out. Symantec had a removal tool on their website however which was just as well as it was disabling the updates of both of them.

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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by flaht / November 19, 2004 12:27 AM PST

I just updated AVG 6.0 to AVG 7.0 - latest build. It was the easiest and smoothest update I have ever seen!! Many credits to Grisoft for their fine software and superior user interface. I really like the better visibility and clarity while running the new version.

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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by pipevine / November 19, 2004 1:51 AM PST

I have some question: Can u have 2 Antivirus programs on your PC @the same time? I thought you would have to remove an existing before installing a different version, (even from same Company). My Symantec update subscription expires in a week,and was going to stay with NAV, in case I needed help removing the NAV 2002 Version, before installing NAV 2005.I've kept Norton because that is what was installed when I purchased PC, and as a Newbie was hesitant to try any downloaded freebie Version, without the documentation that usually comes with a purchased one & installing from a CD.My concern also was, if I uninstall current Anti Virus program, and go on line to download AVG, will I be subject to a virus while getting the download? TIA Lydia

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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by John Robie / November 19, 2004 4:25 AM PST

Hi Lydia,

If you are going to purchase and download NAV 2005, you should download to "save" instead of 'open'. It will download to the desktop or a folder, watch where it downloads. I do this to any program/game that is downloaded, and also check it for virus while there before INSTALLING. So, you will not be uninstalling/disabling your NAV 2002 while downloading.
OK, after downloading 2005, uninstall 2002, then click on the icon of the downloaded (to save) 2005 and install.

Re..procedures for uninstalling NAV2002. Did you read my post to you and get the link for Symantec procedure on unistalling NAV 2002, 2003, 2004?

http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6132-0.html?forumID=32&threadID=45196&messageID=539345&tag=

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Re: which anti-virus software to use? free AV versions
by hrnichol / November 18, 2004 10:12 PM PST

I also used AVG (and will be using 7.0).
When I moved to a Server as my primary computer prior to setting my home network, I found that 7 was not available for server but 6 is still viable until 12/31/04.
When my workstation is set, I will be using two, both freeware. AVI and AVG work well in tandem and are unintrusive, doing what they do well without a lot of overhead. Since using AVG, I have had viruses but they seem to be caught at point of entry and not after infecting my system.
I have tried both MacAfee and Norton--they like to dominate the system to the point of making any real work impossible.

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Gotta go with AVG
by jboisseau / January 10, 2005 8:28 PM PST

I follow newsgroups and read reviews. I take reviews with a grain of salt as they always seem to pick the biggets players with the largest advertising budgets. That aside, the techies in the newsgroups are in the trenches and usually provide solid feedback. That said, I switched from Norton to AVG and never looked back. Not a single virus since switching to AVG and AVG does not take near the system resources that Norton does. Also, getting off of Outlook for e-mail has really helped to reduce viruses.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by pixman / November 19, 2004 12:03 AM PST

Research, research, research. I use Norton. Been with Norton for years. Must note: Keep-it-up-to-date! No matter what you use, it won't work for long if you just let it sit there. Notice some folks switching to McAfee but have yet to deduce exactly why. Please enlighten this old-timer.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by skycatcher / November 19, 2004 12:24 AM PST

Some AV software may have a good rating for catching viruses but, like Norton AV, slow your PC down by a ridiculous amount. If you can afford it (small business or keen home user) I would recommend Sophos. It's small, fast, strings of 100% awards, free email warnings etc., with lots of other goodies for businesses.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by leroy38 / November 19, 2004 12:27 AM PST

I read a lot of reviews then started using AVG-6
on my at home computer it has stoped all virus's
At work thier was a computer that got a trojan
on it, norton could not do any thing about tried Ad-Adware Spybot-S&D they did not find it. The norton subscription ran out so I loaded AVG-6 while it was going thru setup it found the trojan, three files
that it said needed to be deleted, did it and the trojan was gone

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by Thomas L Clements / November 19, 2004 3:10 AM PST

I have a suggestion that the answer to this question brings to mind. I think that often more than one choice or vote is appropriate and probably wanted to be made by more than myself. Also a Misc. or 'Other' choice with a brief (30 character) description to go with it would help &/or be appropriate. I feel that I'm cheating the one I can't choose especially when multiple answers are true... I look for the cheapest, most popular, with best track record, that is reliably compatible Antivirus Program. How about making choices with numbers such as 0 - 10 with 1 the best and allow 0 or blank for not even considered or applicable. Use duplicate numbers or ratings for choices that are felt the same about. The type of question and its possible answers contribute everything to its bias and/or correctness. Thanks, Tom.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by rfred0707 / November 19, 2004 5:49 AM PST

I read reviews for all products, and Cnet does have some good ones. Recently, I found a site called www.spywarewarrior.com. It reviews many spyware products, and chooses which ones are best. I found the link to it on PC magazine's site, so I believe it is reputable. It has forums and you can get a free membership. It also lets you ask questions and educates you about different kinds of anti-spyware programs. These include both preventve ones and ones that search and destroy (think Spybot). As for anti-virus, I use PC-illin because it is better than Norton and it has a small built in firewall. As for a real firewall, I use Zone Labs Zone Alarm Pro.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by ruger / November 19, 2004 5:51 AM PST

A friend told me of a new AV software that was in Beta years ago. I signed up as a Beta tester and found it to be the best I had ever used. I had used at one time or another the "big 3" and found all to have problems. The Beta was great. When it went to market I got a very good price on it and have never gone back. It is still the best and I have never had a virus get through. The reviews (when you can find one) are always good.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by pmcniffe / November 19, 2004 7:27 AM PST

Well when I bought my computer 4 years ago it came with McAfee installed. I have used this program for the last 4 years. I have up-dated it renewed licences etc. I have never had a problem. It has notifed me of virus` in e-mails etc. As the saying goes. IF IT AIN`T BROKE DON`T FIX IT. So that is they way I am even downloaded the new Virus scanner which I have no problems with. Even though I have an old computer I feel the McAfee scanner works better. Paul

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by vladimirtamarez / November 19, 2004 8:14 AM PST

I will use an antivirus sofware to work as an scanner, (examples: Norton, Bullguard, etc.) becuase the logical antivirus can decide that your computer has a virus and it cann't be true. Whereas the scanner antivirus needs update to have the information about the virus to avoid any damage of new virus. It is used more than the logical antivirus.

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Re: 11/19/04 How do you decide which antivirus software to u
by weslambert / November 19, 2004 8:36 AM PST

I have used norton anti-virus and internet security for several years. As part of my regular maintenance i update regularly, and occasionally avail myself of their on-line virus and security checks. it has been my experience that by doing this my machine has remained secure. However, i believe that the risks involved to an individual PC are determined by more than just the choice of defensive software. we all need to look closely at our web-surfing activities and be aware of those areas where danger may lurk. Also, e-mail. delete any e-mail that is suspicious or vague in subject matter or indiscriminate address. do not, I repeat. do not open it! and do not forward this type of thing to your friends. it may not be a friendly thing to do! I'm not trying to say any product here is better than any other. but a little common sense and regular maintenance can lead to a trouble free virtual experience. it has for me!
and in closing, a regular scan with a spyware program such as spy-bot (again, do the updates regularly) and all should be well.
have a great thanksgiving
wes lambert
billings, montana

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