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Is there an AV product I can use just to scan the occasional file I download?


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#1 Ghostbusters2

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 06:14 PM

I've tried all the big AV products (Avira, Avast, AVG, Comodo, etc) but all these programs integrate themselves into the system and run at startup. I don't understand why anyone would need that?

All I want is an antivirus program I can run once every few months, whenever I download an executable file from a company I don't know. That's all I need an AV program for.

Is there any product which works this way? And can anyone explain why most AV programs are "always running"? I don't get why anyone would need that?

Edited by Ghostbusters2, 03 December 2016 - 06:15 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 06:44 PM

ClamWin Free Anti-virus (based on ClamAV engine) is useful if you want something non-intrusive or portable on a USB/removable drives, however, it does not include an on-access real-time scanner to automatically scan your computer or scan files as you download them. That means you have to schedule a scan of your system or manually click on a file to scan it individually in order to detect any malware. ClamAV for Windows is a cloud-based anti-virus software similar to Panda Cloud Anti-virus except it is open source.Always running is what is called real-time protection...meaning the anti-virus is always on guard to scan and protect the system.
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#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 07:25 PM

Depending on the size of the file you can upload it to Virustotal. There is always a chance the file can scan clean but has a malware payload. That is where an AV with HIPS or Behavior detection helps.



#4 Ghostbusters2

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:08 PM

Quietman and John, thank you both very much indeed. This seems like a great forum and you have both been really helpful to me, thanks :)

I will take both your suggestions and use both Clamwin and Virustotal :) From what I can see, they both seem like excellent resources! :)

As for real-time protection, I just don't think I need it. I use a Firewall, I have javascript turned off, and it is quite rare I download executable files. When I do I am very careful indeed. So real-time protection seems unnecessary to me.

Having said this, what John said about behavior detection is interesting. I hadn't thought that some AV programs work that way: analyzing how other programs are actually behaving. So now I'm thinking maybe it might not hurt to install Avira for a few days while I am trying out new software, then uninstall it later.

(I couldn't leave Avira installed for long, as it pops up nag adverts which would drive me insane. Also I wouldn't use Avast, AVG, Zonealarm or Comodo because I have had terrible experiences with each of them in the past and don't trust them at all. I can go into more detail if anyone wishes.)

Edited by Ghostbusters2, 03 December 2016 - 10:11 PM.


#5 quietman7

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 07:20 AM


Emsisoft’s Behavior Blocker continually monitors the behavior of all active programs looking for any anomalies that may be indicative of malicious activity...it is able to detect unknown zero-day attacks, file-less malware that resides only in memory, zombies (the hijacking of host processes to load malicious code which execute via script parser programs), and file-encrypting malware (ransomware) attacks. Emsisoft leaves a small footprint...meaning it is not intrusive and does not utilize a lot of system resources which slow down performance.

ESET Antivirus and Smart Security uses a Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) to monitor system activity with a pre-defined set of rules to recognize suspicious system behavior. When this type of activity is identified, HIPS stops the offending program from carrying out potentially harmful activity. ESET Antivirus (and Smart Security) includes Exploit Blocker which is designed to fortify applications that are often exploited, such as web browsers, PDF readers, email clients or MS Office components. This feature monitors the behavior of processes, looks for and blocks suspicious activities that are typical for exploits including zero-day attacks. ESET's Java Exploit Blocker looks for and blocks attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in Java.
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#6 Ghostbusters2

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 11:27 AM

Thank you again Quietman! Your information has been so helpful and I really appreciate it. I have decided to use Emsisoft's real-time software as recommended, plus I will scan all new executables with both Clamwin and VirusTotal. ESET sounds great but I'm only looking for free products. Thank you and God bless :)

#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:10 PM

Eset was only one of 5 to blacklist FinFisher.

 

http://blog.emsisoft.com/2015/07/27/leaked-files-from-state-sponsored-hackers-reveal-which-protection-their-trojans-cant-get-past/



#8 quietman7

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:13 PM

... I'm only looking for free products....

I understand but keep in mind that an offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing technique...a way of advertising and enticement to get folks to try a product and if they like it, to purchase the full (Premium/Pro) version which typically provides more features. Marketing and promotional strategies are built into the vendor's business model as part of their operating costs. Bottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups or nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads. In some cases you may be able to disable them through the program's settings if the vendor included an option to disable them. If the vendor does not have such an option listed, then your only alternative is to switch to another product if the pop-up and ads annoy you that much.

The primary benefit of paid for anti-virus or anti-malware products is that most of them offer additional features such as real-time protection against malware infection and free technical support. In contrast, free versions are limited...typically used as stand-alone scanners or to provide some behind the scene protection so there really no need to allow them to run at startup and consume system resources.

Also keep in mind that many anti-virus vendors are bundling toolbars and other software with their products as a cost recoup measure and revenue generator.
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#9 Ghostbusters2

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:48 PM

Thank you once again for all the information Quietman. :) You make good points. Though I must say that I do like the sound of Clamwin, which is clearly not a commercial product, and so if I have no alternative I will just use that alone. Perhaps I could spend money and improve my security, but I am not in a position to do that at the moment.

#10 RolandJS

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:54 PM

I'm not made of money either, however, I have been using a pay-for version of Emsisoft Anti-Malware [which now contains anti-virus as well] for some now.  Running without Real-Time shields is a gamble, and can lead to dire consequences for your data, and/or your OS.  If you insist on such noAVnoAM gambling, ensure you have made at least one if not two full image backups of your OS partition and your data partition onto external media before you continue noAVnoAM gambling.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#11 quietman7

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:01 PM

I understand, you may want to read Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools which provides a list of free stand-alone scanning tools you can use from time to time to check your system.
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#12 RolandJS

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:05 PM

Quietman7, thanks for the reminder - you're correct, end-user can shop around for free products that provide good basic real time shields, there will be a little nag-ware, buy hey, that's life with free stuff  :)


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

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#13 quietman7

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 03:36 PM

Yea and there's a lot of good tools in the list I provide.
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#14 Ghostbusters2

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 06:34 AM

I've nothing else to say, but thanks again. The information you have given me has been really, really helpful. You've helped me to see that Emsisoft is a really good, trustworthy company and if I was going to pay anyone for AV it would be them.

#15 quietman7

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:40 AM

You're welcome.
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