Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum


Does it hurt your computer to try a bunch of AV trials?

by zannie1986 / June 16, 2016 11:22 AM PDT

I'm painfully working through a Kaspersky trial right now, and for a variety of reasons, we aren't getting along too well. I want to keep using trials (from reputable companies obviously) until I find a program that I like. This will likely be a full uninstall/install about once a month, potentially for several months. Is this too trying on a computer?

It's a Windows 7 laptop from 3ish years back, more than 500 gb of space and 8 gb RAM, not sure if there are any other factors you need to know.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Does it hurt your computer to try a bunch of AV trials?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Does it hurt your computer to try a bunch of AV trials?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
I've yet to see a PC hurt by such.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 16, 2016 11:34 AM PDT

I have seen the OS get banged up so is that what you mean? Some like Norton and McAfee dig into the OS deeply and are hard to remove. Some require removal tools.

Let me share what I use today. Microsoft's own free supplied Defender.

It used to be very low ranked but it got better.

To bolster the defenses I add 2 more things to Chrome, Firefox and IE. (I don't use IE) These are:
1. Web Of Trust.
2. Adblock+

In the 3 years since I went with this setup, scans have found nothing but harmless cookies.

Collapse -
by richteral / June 20, 2016 10:28 AM PDT

Norton used to be a real ****** to get rid of completely.

With Windows 7, Defender is good enough; firewall settings may be more important than any particular AV.

As for browsers, Slimjet is a fast build of Chromium with crucial add-ons already incorporated (a great idea).

Collapse -
by Bob__B / June 16, 2016 3:04 PM PDT

You might find the uninstall is a bit more complicated than just clicking on the uninstall button.
If you don't get it fully uninstalled when you try to install a new AV there might be a problem.

Some folks like the suites which can set their hooks deep into the machine.

On this w7 machine I just keep it simple.
Turn on the windows firewall.
Avast free.
Windows defender I use as a on demand scanner.

Collapse -
You might end up with some general clutter
by Zouch / June 18, 2016 7:16 AM PDT

left over from the uninstalls and some AV programs/suites are difficult to remove cleanly and you do need to remove the remnants. Some packages check for other AVs and offer to remove them for you but for Norton and McAfee, you might need to go to their websites to get an uninstaller.

Kaspersky will come off easily, though I'm surprised you are having problems with it. I've used it since it was first released in the West, initially just the AV but now just coming to the end of a four year license with Pure, which my next license renewal will update to Total Security.

My current inventory:

2 x Kaspersky Pure 3
1 x Kaspersky Total Security (upgrade from Pure on replacement PC)
1 x Kaspersky Internet Security Suite (didn't need the Pure extras)

and one other Windows machine:

MS Windows Firewall
Avast Free AV
Windows Defender for Anti Spyware

Malwarebytes once a year (belt and braces, never found anything).

OpenSuSE Leap 42.1 Linux built in firewall and antivirus

All this behind a firmware firewall in my router.

Works for me, YMMV.

Collapse -
not going to hurt
by renegade600 / June 19, 2016 2:55 PM PDT

one thing you can do before trying trials. make sure you create a restore point prior to the installation and when you uninstall the av, revert back to that restore point. Stay away ALL registry cleaners that promises to delete clutter from installing and installing programs. Before you uninstall any antivirus trials, check and see there is an uninstaller for that specific program available.

Collapse -
What I found...
by Willy / June 27, 2016 10:57 AM PDT

Only one AV should be the boss or it actually becomes so. This is not to say some other type of protections can't be present, but it still all depends on what AV is at work. On top of that the AV can come as a "suite" and thus install more than one or two features, it really shielding all aspects of your PC. Here you may get some interaction not wanted or conflict. This is why some AV tend to disable the protections that are active from another AV or products. To really answer your question would be to know what's being installed. However, better commercial Av usually offer the actions they're going to take and also how to best return if you read the manual or quick tutorials. If you happen to not like some AV product/suite then use their own removal scheme if available or visit the support website to find out how. Also, I found simple is best even from various vendors, I like Avast, Superantispyware and Malawarebytes to offer the best freebies but they all can be upgraded to better and/or "auto" protections beyond basic, buy you pay for that.

As another poster offered, you should create a "restore point" from MS own features to best serve you later should sometimes go amiss. good luck

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Do NOT Use Avg,
by janice16howard / June 28, 2016 12:55 AM PDT

Do NOT use avg, its one of the worst free av out there. just sayin...
(it actually would be considered scareware imo, it scares you into keeping/buying it by giving you obvious false positives, yet people still use it and recommend it...)

Anyway, dont use free trials. You only use a trial to test out whether or not you want to buy it...
There is plenty of free and/or open source software out there, there is no need to try and use free trials.

Now you can get decent protection for free.

Free AV, there are lists of them, but i like avast ( http://avast.com ). It has good real time protection, pre-boot scanner, auto-sandboxing, and the scan detection/removal rate isnt bad. Could try MSE or avaria as those are 2 other good ones. (anything but avg....)

Free malware scanner, malwarebytes ( https://malwarebytes.org/products/malwar... ). Its a scanner the can detect/remove pretty much anything. viruses,malware,spyware,adware. And has the highest detection/removal rates in the category. Even paid AV support has been known to tell you to download this to get rid of infections lmao

Free firewall, comodo ( https://personalfirewall.comodo.com/ ) make sure you are getting just the firewall and not the av. The firewall is free.

you can take it a step further and get sandboxie ( http://www.sandboxie.com/ ) to choose to run programs in a virtual environment, so they cant do damage to your computer. You can run programs you dont trust in it. Also you can run your web browser in it, so you will be unaffected by any drive-by downloads that can infect you.

And to also help id suggest browser addons.
WOT (tells you website ratings based on peoples feedback. can help you avoid shady/phishing sites).
Adblocker plus (blocks ads/popups, which can help you not end up going to bad sites by mistake).
browser protect (helps prevent browser hijacking/redirecting)

That together offers quite good protection from everything but complete ignorance. As no software can protect your from that... some of the more expensive paid software can help idiot-proof things and offer better protection from that.
Also paid AV/security software is geared more towards businesses.
(i mean how many people try to randomly hack into home networks? well unless you are maybe super rich, but then obviously you can afford great software).

Most all infections are gotten from either just plain ignorance or through file sharing. Well eliminating file sharing eliminates majority of possible infections lol.

EDIT: i always see colin posting the same stuff on here.
Which either he is a stone idiot or maybe trying to scare people into buying AV software?

I have used free/no protection for over 10years, NOT ONE virus/malware.
I literally can not see how its actually possible to get infected with viruses/malware, especially with the tools they have now.
Really using all this is like constantly using cold medicine. You really dont need to take cold medicine when you are not sick. But prevention by eating right and eating lots of oranges will keep your from getting sick in the first place. And if you take precautions in hygiene and when going to public places, you will probably never get sick.
If you avoid things that give you viruses/malware, you wont need av software in the first place, so why the fk would you pay for something like that? something you dont need at all in any way, not even free protection.

Well there is no such thing as a paid AV software that can completely keep you safe...
You want something that is almost guaranteed safe, and 100% free, 100000000000000x better then the most expensive most highly rated av software?
use linux. If you think "macs dont get viruses" ppsssh, use linux, there is 1000xs fewer viruses/malware lol.
The less popular the linux distro, the fewer malware samples there will be.
As every linux distro is a different OS, so a strain of malware for linux would pretty much only affect the 1 distro, and there are thousands upon thousands.

Really you only need as much protection to make up for you lack of common sense (though it also depends on who else will use your computer, having people under 18yrs old, might not want crappy protection).
As most people who are computer illiterate or kids who dont really know much of *** they are doing, are just begging to get viruses/malware. (using analogy above, those people would be like people going out in dead winter while its snowing naked, while sick people are coughing in their mouths lol)

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!