Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall 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
.No single product is 100% foolproof
and can detect and remove all threats at any given time. The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear. Each vendor has its own definition of what constitutes malware and scanning your computer using different criteria will yield different results. The fact that each program has its own definition files means that some malware may be picked up by one that could be missed by another. Thus, a multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined
with common sense and safe surfing habits provides the most complete protection.
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, MBAM Protection Module, 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.
Keep in mind that you can overkill a system with resource heavy security programs that will slow down performance.
I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and taking advantage of the Protection Module
which uses advanced heuristic scanning technology
to monitor your system and provide real-time protection to prevent
the installation of most new malware. This technology monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they can infect your computer
. Enabling the Protection Module feature requires reqistration and purchase of a license key that includes free lifetime upgrades and support. After activation, Malwarebytes can be set to update itself and schedule scans automatically on a daily basis. The Protection Module is not intrusive as it utilizes few system resources and should not conflict with other scanners or anti-virus programs.
See Bleeping Computer's Freeware Replacements For Common Commercial Apps
and List of Virus & Malware Resources