Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Antivirus and Security Products


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 james1000

james1000

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:04 PM

Posted 07 December 2010 - 04:18 PM

Hello,

I have a Sony VAIO running Windows XP, with 1GB RAM. I have recently had Windows reinstalled after what was suspected to be a virus stopped it from booting up. I was running AVG Free along with Spybot and Malwarebytes free version. None of these picked up the virus. In the computer shop where the problem was sorted Norton apparently picked up the virus.

I don't know if BC has a policy regarding recommending programs, so apologies if this is not appropriate, however I would appreciate some advice about whether AVG is perhaps not the most secure option. I can't seem to see any info about this on BC, and other sites seem to have quite conflicting information.
I am happy to pay for a product and I know that no software provides 100% protection, however the fact that AVG and spybot didn't pick up the virus in either their scans or their resident protection I find quite worrying.

I am currently using the trial version of Norton Internet Security 2011.

The fact that a store like PC World uses Norton and Malwarebytes might indicate that it is highly recommended. However about 5 years ago I was using it and it failed to pick up, I think, about 20 viruses. An independent computer shop said that Norton had at that time gone off and that AVG was better.
Does anyone know if there was a dip in service at around that time and whether Norton has improved since then?

I understand that this subject is not an easy one, but if anyone can give some clarity regarding this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
James

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,391 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:04:04 PM

Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:24 PM

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, user friendliness, ease of updating (and upgrading to new program release), ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include detection rates and methods, scanning engine effectiveness, how often virus definitions are updated, the amount of resources the program utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular anti-virus that works well for one person may not work as well for another. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your use and your system. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software.

No 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, safe computing 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, 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.

Use trustworthy security tools like:I recommend taking advantage of the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) Protection Module in the full version 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 runs at startup where it monitors every process and helps stop malicious processes before they can infect your computer. The database that defines the heuristics is updated as often as there is something to add to it. Keep in mind that Malwarebytes does not act as a real-time protection scanner for every file like an anti-virus program so it is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute. 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 the program utilizes few system resources and should not conflict with other scanners or anti-virus programs. If you choose the free version, you can just use it as a stand-alone scanner, however, Malwarebytes' service (mbamservice.exe) will still show in Task Manager which is normal.

Usually if there are conflicts with between Malwarebytes' and another security program, they are reported in the Common Issues, Questions, and their Solutions, FAQs thread.

Free Antivirus programs: (choose and install only one). I recommend any of the first three.Note: There have been numerous complaints about AVG 2011 causing issues and conflicts with other security tools like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Read the related discussions at AVG:There have also been reported problems with computers after using new features like PC Analyzer and PC Tuneup which purport to fix registry errors in order to make the system more stable and various optimizing tools which can make changes to system settings.

I do not recommend the routine use of registry cleaners/optimizers as they are extremely powerful applications that can damage the Windows registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable. The registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from booting properly. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

For these reasons, I no longer recommend AVG as a free alternative.

For a list of more tools, please see Bleeping Computer's:

Edited by quietman7, 07 December 2010 - 07:29 PM.

.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#3 james1000

james1000
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:04 PM

Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:31 AM

Hi,

Thanks for that. Just for clarification, is it okay to use Spybot's realtime protection at the same time as a full antivirus's realtime protection?

Also, I understand that it is specific to the user, but would you say that Norton is a decent paid program? Do you know of any general issues with it that might be useful to know about?

Thanks,
James

#4 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,391 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:04:04 PM

Posted 08 December 2010 - 12:58 PM

mvps.org is no longer recommending Spybot S&D or Ad-Aware due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products).

Ad-Aware has even been placed into the Installers Hall of Shame for bundling and pre-checking Google Chrome during the installation. Also read Lavasoft Turning to the Dark Side? writtne by a former volunteer (now a MVP) who provided support for Ad-Aware but no longer uses the program.

As for Spybot S&D, most people don't understand how to use TeaTimer and that feature can cause more problems than it's worth. TeaTimer monitors changes to certain critical keys in Windows registry but does not indicate if the change is normal or a modification made by a malware infection. The user must have an understanding of the registry and how TeaTimer works in order to make informed decisions to allow or deny the detected changes. If you don't have understanding how a particular security tool works, then you probably should not be using it. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and in some cases it will even prevent disinfection of malware by those tools.

More effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware Free.

Although Symantec (Norton) is as good as any other well known anti-virus program, it requires numerous services and running processes that consume system resources and often results in complaints of high CPU usage. However, I have read from other users that Symantec has really improved the newer versions. Further Symantec products can be difficult to remove and remnants are often left behind which require the use of a special removal tool, otherwise you may encounter problems installing a replacement anti-virus. To be fair, other vendors are also using removal tools for the same reason. Those issues plus the cost factor are the primary reason many folks look for a free alternative.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#5 james1000

james1000
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:04 PM

Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for that,
James

#6 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,391 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:04:04 PM

Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:11 AM

You're welcome.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#7 bluesjunior

bluesjunior

  • Members
  • 761 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:04 PM

Posted 11 December 2010 - 01:46 PM

Here is a link to Gizmos site which reviews and recommends the best of all types of Computer freeware including Security programs.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#8 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,391 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:04:04 PM

Posted 11 December 2010 - 02:38 PM

Independent Anti-virus software Comparisons & TestsThese kinds of comparative testing results will vary depending on a variety of factors to include but not limited to who conducted the testing, what they were testing for (type of threats, attack vectors, exploits), what versions of anti-virus software was tested, what type of scanning engine was used, and the ability to clean or repair. There are no universally predefined set of standards or criteria for testing which means each test will yield different results. As such, 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 sites
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users