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Antivir plus which on-demand scanners


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#1 Scottes

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:36 PM

I was a bit careless in the recent past and got infected numerous times with numerous things. The infected hard drive was the final straw, so I upgraded my PC. I am now running Vista 64 on a quad-core with 8GB RAM (not bragging, just letting folks know that I have a lot of available resources).

My recent experiences have left me believing that no single product can catch everything. So I want to run AntiVir as a real-time AV, but would also like to have 1 or 2 on-demand scanners to make for a layered defense - particularly when I'm playing with software of dubious origin.

But which on-demand scanners are the ones to chose? I can only find 2 that are clearly on-demand and clearly don't have real-time components that are forced on. These 2 are BitDefender and McAfee Command-Line Scanner.


Are there any other on-demand AV scanners which people can recommend?


Am I making assumptions about other AV scanners? That is, is it possible to install 2 real-time scanners but disable the real-time engine on 1 of them, but leaving it's on-demand capabilities around? (This sounds unlikely, but I have to ask.)

Thanks in advance.

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#2 RedDawn

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:23 PM

a-squared Free 4.0 is an on-demand scanner that incorporates both the a-squared Anti-Spyware, and the Ikarus Anti-Virus engine.

#3 tos226

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:52 PM

Eset NOD also has one
http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/
System requirements address all Windows from 98 to Vista

#4 Someones

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:02 AM

Unless you were very unlucky, you were probably infected due to user intervention. So if you apply safe computing practices you should be safe.

Also focusing on prevention is better than trying to cure, so something like Iron + AVG LinkScanner, with Windows Firewall and Automatic Updates on and Autorun disabled is more efficient than multiple on-demand scanners.

#5 quietman7

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

Using more than one anti-virus program is not advisable. The primary concern with doing so is due to conflicts that can arise when they are running in real-time mode simultaneously. However, even when one of them is disabled for use as a stand-alone scanner, it can affect the other. Anti-virus software components insert themselves into the operating systems core and using more than one can cause instability, crash your computer, slow performance and waste system resources. When actively running in the background while connected to the Internet, they both may try to update their definition databases at the same time. As the programs compete for resources required to download the necessary files this often can result in sluggish system performance or unresponsive behavior.

Each anti-virus will often interpret the activity of the other as a virus and there is a greater chance of them alerting you to a "False Positive". If one finds a virus and then the other also finds the same virus, both programs will be competing over exclusive rights on dealing with that virus. Each anti-virus will attempt to remove the offending file and quarantine it. If one finds and quarantines the file before the other one does, then you encounter the problem of both wanting to scan each other's zipped or archived files and each reporting the other's quarantined contents. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of endless alerts that continually warn you that a virus has been found when that is not the case.

Anti-virus scanners use virus definitions to check for viruses and these can include a fragment of the virus code which may be recognized by other anti-virus programs as the virus itself. Because of this, most anti-virus programs encrypt their definitions so that they do not trigger a false alarm when scanned by other security programs. Other vendors do not encrypt their definitions and they can trigger false alarms when detected by the resident anti-virus.

Keep in mind that dual installation is not always possible because most of the newer anti-virus programs will detect the presence of others and may insist they be removed prior to download and installation of another. Nonetheless, to avoid these problems, use only one anti-virus solution.

In contrast, as a general rule, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, etc will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using them as stand-alone scanners. In fact, doing so increases your protection coverage without causing the same kind of conflicts or affecting the stability of your system that can occur when using more than one anti-virus. The overlap of protection from using different signature databases will aid in detection and removal of more threats when scanning your system for malware. However, if using any of their real-time resident shields (TeaTimer, Ad-Watch, Spyware Terminator Shields, etc) together at the same time, there can be conflicts when each application tries to compete for resources and exclusive rights to perform an action. Additionally, competing tools may even provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing.

Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your technical ability and experience, features offered, the amount of resources utilized, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular combination that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone. You may need to experiment and find what is most suitable for your needs. Another factor to consider is whether you want to use paid for products or free alternatives.

However, you can overkill your system with resource heavy security programs that will drain your resources and slow down performance. Sometimes you just have to experiment to get the right combination for your particular system as there is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone.
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#6 Scottes

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:59 PM

Quietman, did you even read the title, let alone the post?

Though your post is certainly valid, and full of useful information for someone else, most of it has nothing at all to do with my questions.

#7 tos226

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:39 PM

...is it possible to install 2 real-time scanners but disable the real-time engine on 1 of them, but leaving it's on-demand capabilities around?

I bet quietman7 read your post.
I would have the same concern.
Good AV products a deeply tied into the Windows operating system, often in drivers. So even if "inactive", or "not real-time", the installed files are there and may well conflict. That is, in my opinion, one of the key reasons why to install any antivirus (or firewall) it's so very important to make a totally clean uninstallation - registry and all.
Just my 5 cents :thumbsup:

#8 quietman7

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:01 PM

I had read your post to mean you were looking for on-demand scanners to run with Antivir. I was providing info as to what issues you could experience when using other AV programs as on-demand scanners. That's why I included...

However, even when one of them is disabled for use as a stand-alone scanner, it can affect the other.


I also provided contrasting info for using anti-spyware programs as stand-alone or real-time as you stated in your post that experience left you believing no single product could catch everything and you wanted a layered defense. As you are a new member whom I do not know, I'd rather provide you with more info than too little.
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