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Should i run 2 anti virus programs?


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#1 Shane-N

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:55 PM

Today i was going through my control panel and i saw i have 2 anti virus programs running. They are Windows Defender and Avast! The computer said that running 2 programs could make you're computer run slow. I installed Avast! and i really like it and do not want to uninstall it but i will if it is better to o so. Is Windows Defender Windows preinstalled anti virus program? I have not had any speed problems but maybe if i uninstalled Avast! it would run faster? Can someone point me in the right direction please. I was actually about to add another spy ware program on my PC should i just stick with what i have because i always thought i should have multiple programs because maybe one would catch something the other did not. Help me out here.
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#2 ThunderZ

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 12:35 AM

Windows Defender, as far as I know is not considered an AV.

You should be fine and have no problems, conflicts, or noticeable slowing of your PC if you reinstall\keep Avast.

#3 frankp316

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:15 AM

I use MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware as on demand scanners with no conflicts. You can do the same. You should also add Spyware Blaster.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:03 AM

Windows Defender is an anti-spyware tool intended to supplement your anti-virus program. The version of Defender included with all versions of Windows 7 and Vista is part of the operating system so it cannot be uninstalled but it can be disabled.

If you are not familiar with how Windows Defender works or how to use it, please refer to the following:To learn how Windows Defender works on Vista and Windows 7, please refer to:
As a general rule, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Windows Defender, 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.

Edited by quietman7, 11 January 2011 - 09:05 AM.

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#5 Shane-N

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:25 PM

Thank you for the informative post. So then how do i pick and choose which one i use for real time and which ones are stand alone? I currently use avast and it runs constantly. Is the program pre configured to be constant or stand alone or is that a configuration that i set up myself? If so how do i configure?
Namaste

#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 02:16 PM

There's one more way to "use" 2 AV programs:

1) install one AV program with real-time protection on your Windows machine
2) on a regular basis (for example once a week), use a Live CD with an AV to scan your machine.

One of the Live CDs with AV I use most is from F-Secure: Rescue CD http://www.f-secure.com/linux-weblog/2009/09/22/rescue-cd-311/
You reboot your machine and you boot from this CD, in stead of your harddisk.
Then you are guided through a menu to scan your machine.

The advantage of scanning your machine with a Live CD, is that when your machine is infected with malware that hides itself, or interferes with the correct operation of your real-time AV, that malware will NOT be running when you boot from a Live CD, and thus won't be able to hide or interfere.
I made a video of the Rescue CD in action:
http://blog.didierstevens.com/2008/08/21/removing-malware-with-a-live-cd/

That's how I use 2 AV programs.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to use this Live CD when you have full disk encryption (for example TrueCrypt).

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#7 Shane-N

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 02:39 PM

lets say i want to use avast and malwarebites and another AV all together if i download all of them is there a way to have only one active constantly and the other 2 on command only? Is that something that is preconfigured or can i do it? I am asking is an AV pre set up to be real time.

Edited by shane-n, 11 January 2011 - 02:40 PM.

Namaste

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:22 PM

If you instaal any\most AV`s then you have real time protection by default. Most offer a choice of a custom install. Meaning you can leave certain parts of them out. Example. Avast has the choice of leaving out the IM scanner, P2P scanner, Internet scanner, Network scanner, E mail scanner.
Do not believe the Real time scanner can be left out. Sort of defeats the purpose.

Malware Bytes, not being an AV, and if you have the paid version can be run in real time with an AV without causing problems. In fact, many recommend running 1 AV and at least 1 AM.

If you want a decent AV for on demand only I really like Dr. Web CureIt.

Runs only on demand. No installation.
Only caveat. Not really, IMO. You need to d\l a new version every time you scan in order to have the latest definitions. Since it does not install there is no built-in updater.

Edited by ThunderZ, 11 January 2011 - 09:28 PM.





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