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. Other factors to consider include effectiveness, user friendliness, ease of updating, ease of installation and removal. 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
.Independent comparatives of Anti-virus Software
<- click on the "Comparatives" link on the leftTopTen Review: AntiVirus Software Product ComparisonsNerdModo's Top 10 Antivirus Softwaregizmo's Best Free Antivirus SoftwareAntiVirus Software Comparative Malware Removal TestsAvira vs avast! vs AVG: A comprehensive comparison
These types of comparative testing results will vary
depending on who is doing the testing, what they are testing for, what versions of anti-virus software is being tested, etc. There are no universally predefined set of standards/criteria for testing
and each test will yield different results. Thus, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results. Read Anti-virus Testing Websites: An overview of testing sitesNo single product is 100% foolproof
and can prevent, 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. Always remember that security begins with the user.
As a general rule
, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, Spyware Terminator, etc. will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using only one
of them for real-time protection and others 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, competing tools may provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing as a result of the overlap in protection.
If using multiple 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. They may identify the activity of each other as suspicious and produce alerts. Further, your anti-virus may detect suspicious activity while these programs are scanning (reading) files, especially if it uses a heuristic scanning
engine, regardless if they are running in real-time or on demand. The anti-virus may even detect as threats, any malware removed by these programs and placed into quarantined areas. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of endless alerts or false alarms that continually warn a threat has been found if the contents of the quarantine folder are not removed before beginning a new security scan.
Keep in mind that you can overkill a system with resource heavy security programs that will slow down performance. Sometimes you just have to experiment to get the right combination for your particular system.
Supplement your anti-virus by performing scans with trustworthy security tools like:
For a list of more tools, please see Bleeping Computer's:
You can also get a second opinion by performing an Online Virus Scan
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 registration 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.Security reading resources: