Avoid free antivirus products?

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Here's an email I received from the author of a recent article on
antivirus products.  I had asked him why no mention of Avast.  Do you
agree with his comments?

=======================

"I wrote about Avast early on. I didn't like the interface at all, and
its protection level is not great. It doesn't compare at all to
F-Secure, Nod32, Kaspersky, and BitDefender in that area. It's below
AVG in protection. I also recommend against free antivirus products.
Free Avast, for example, doesn't let you do scheduled scans. That's a
mistake. You should do a deep scan once a week."




--

Men occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off
as if nothing ever happened.

...Winston Churchill

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

Jim wrote:

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Guess he doesn't know the program is skinnable.
http://www.avast.com/eng/skins.html

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No a-v program catches them all. His comment "at all" is a bit strong.

I receive very few viruses (practicing Safe Hex), but Avast! has always
alerted to those I do.

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Maybe he gets a share for those that cost money?  :-)

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So how hard it is to do a couple of mouse clicks once a week? When you
aren't otherwise busy with the computer?

I used to do automated scans - long, long ago with a bloated product no
longer used - and once in a while, working late, had it pop up in the
middle of important stuff.

--
   -bts
   -Warning: I brake for lawn deer

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

On Thu, 03 Aug 2006 17:14:25 GMT Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:

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In addition Windows, 2K and XP at least, allows the user to schedule tasks;
any task at any convenient time.  Not a big deal to set up if you like that
much automation.
--
Ernie B.

Communication:  The art of moving an idea from one mind to another, hopefully
without distortion.

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

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Do you perform a deep scan once a week?  Seems unnecessary in the
absence of any problems...


--

An expert is a person who avoids small error
as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.

...Benjamin Stolberg

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

Jim wrote:

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Me?  I haven't done a deep scan for .. well .. maybe last year?

--
   -bts
   -Warning: I brake for lawn deer

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

i carried out so many tests and i found avast's real time protection
the best, it finds most of the viruses, whereas avg or antivir doent
find nothing ( or not many)

When i do a scan it a scan its also better than AVG, but pretty much
same or similar to Antivir.

Also its got a boot time scan which scans your pc when u restart it.

the only bad thing is the interface, but you get used to it

and also it aint got schedule scanning, but then again a few mouse
clicks once or twice or week aint too much to ask.


Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


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Like scanning the boot sector? I thought that was no longer necessary
if you're using a real OS. :-)

As for scanning on startup, I think most AV packages check the
operating environment while they're starting up.



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

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The on-access or real-time scanners only catch when a file is opened
or accessed.  If a file isn't touched, that scanner doesn't look at
it.  That's why you occasionaly need to run the on-demand scanner.  I
have seen where the on-access scanner never reported an infected file
that was found by the on-demand scanner.  The dormant file isn't a
threat until something tries to access it but personally I'd rather
not leave landmines sitting on my drives.  After all, there are times
when you need to disable your on-access scanner for awhile, like
during some software installs, and then you are vulnerable to that
dormant infected file if something accesses it.


Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

Jim wrote:
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Not necessarily. The price of any product doesn't determine its quality.
Further, the only reason AVAST has a free version (for home use) is
because its enterprise version generates a revenue stream. Finally,
never take advice from someone who tells you something is a mistake, but
can't tell you why.


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Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


|
| Here's an email I received from the author of a recent article on
| antivirus products.  I had asked him why no mention of Avast.  Do you
| agree with his comments?
|
| =======================
|
| "I wrote about Avast early on. I didn't like the interface at all, and
| its protection level is not great. It doesn't compare at all to
| F-Secure, Nod32, Kaspersky, and BitDefender in that area. It's below
| AVG in protection. I also recommend against free antivirus products.
| Free Avast, for example, doesn't let you do scheduled scans. That's a
| mistake. You should do a deep scan once a week."
|

Avira AntiVir is free and is MUCH better than Avast.
http://www.free-av.com /

--
Dave
http://www.claymania.com/removal-trojan-adware.html
http://www.ik-cs.com/got-a-virus.htm



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

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Thanks Dave.  Can you maybe elaborate a bit on this?  Any specifics on
the ways in which Avira is better than Avast?


--

An expert is a person who avoids small error
as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.

...Benjamin Stolberg

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


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|
| Thanks Dave.  Can you maybe elaborate a bit on this?  Any specifics on
| the ways in which Avira is better than Avast?
|

Much higher catch rate.

I submit *many* malware samples to Virus Total.  Avira software indentifies NEW
malware much
more often than AVG or Avast the other well know freebies.

They are also quick to add new signatures as noted by the reply emails upon
submissions I
send them.  Therefor I rate vira AntiVir higher than AVG and Avast.

--
Dave
http://www.claymania.com/removal-trojan-adware.html
http://www.ik-cs.com/got-a-virus.htm



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

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Go look at the comparatives of various anti-virus products at:

http://www.av-comparatives.org /

Avast is low coverage and AVG is just as bad.  AntiVir is better.
This site just rates how well a product fares for coverage and says
nothing about how it will affect stability of your system or whether
it is something you can use.  A good anti-virus program that is
improperly configured and poorly utilitized may leave you more
vulnerable than a cheapy low-coverage product.

You can also look at the ratings over at:

http://www.virusbulletin.com /

Their testing allows an AV vendor to recover from misses in coverage;
i.e., the vendors can heal their ratings.  So I don't use VB to
determine how well an AV product does regarding coverage.  Instead I
use it to see how consistently an AV product has met VB's minimum
criteria (and even if they managed to heal their product to garner the
100% rating).  For example, you'll see a product fail a lot in its
early days and then hopefully get solid over time.  AV products that
don't solidify aren't ones you want to use; i.e., they have remaing
unreliable for coverage and protection.  As a summary, you could use
their pass/fail/no-report stats to figure out an overall rating,
something like pass/(fail+noreport).


Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


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David is right about Antivir and use his Mult_av for deep scans in dos.It is
a great program and gives you the choice of several vendors.Ask David about
that.Later RH710



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?



| David is right about Antivir and use his Mult_av for deep scans in dos.It is
| a great program and gives you the choice of several vendors.Ask David about
| that.Later RH710
|

Well lets put that in perspective...

The McAfee and Sophos command line scanners come in two flavours;  a DOS Scanner
and a Win32
console scanner.  The Win32 versions may look like a DOS command but they are
full Win32
compliant utilities.  If you use a utility such as Dependecy Checker you will
see they load
Win32 DLLs.

The Trend Micro scanner is a Win32 GUI.

The Kaspersky scanner is ONLT a DOS scanner.

The DOS scanners will find and remove file but will NOT repair changes made to
Win32
constructs like the Registry.

The DOS scanners have the capapility of being used outside the Win32 OS, such as
after
booting from a DOS Disk, such that malware can be removed with out protection
scames or
their respective file handles being held open by the OS.

--
Dave
http://www.claymania.com/removal-trojan-adware.html
http://www.ik-cs.com/got-a-virus.htm



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


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Avast! isn't IMO the best at detecting and cleaning, but it's not
horrible either. I think I'd rate it even with or better than
BitDefender, for instance.

I feel the top of the heap is NOD32, Kaspersky, Sophos, F-Secure and
F-Prot.

I don't recommend free AV products because they tend to have less
capable update servers than the pay ones, and because I just think
it's a good idea to support the people who are working non-stop to
react to and mitigate new threats for me.

I don't do a deep scan every week. I rely on active monitoring to
catch incoming pests. I'll do a complete scan if a new version of the
AV software comes out or something, or just for the heck of it every
few months. I'd also recommend a complete deep scan if you're moving
from one AV package to another or if you're installing AV software on
a computer for the first time.



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

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Excerpts from http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/83.htm

Kaspersky 6 offers superb antivirus-vanquishing technology, but that's
the only thing good I have to say about it. It's buggy, has a tendency
to conflict with other software, and its Proactive Defense creates
more problems than it solves. There's no context-sensitive help. Many
of the more complex functions buried in settings dialogs aren't
understandable. I also experienced very long scan times. The first few
times it took over 5 hours to scan 35GBs worth of OS, programs, and
data, and thereafter it took 4.5 hours.  

When I relayed my experiences to Kaspersky, they were sure it was an
anomaly, and they wanted me to send them notes about the specific
problems I encountered. I did that, sending a list of seven or eight
specific problems I encountered the second time. Kaspersky wasn't able
to solve any of them, and basically, they blew off all my issues and
suggestions.

I discovered a bug in BitDefender 9 with Eudora email scans. The
problem appears to be BitDefender's slow scanning performance.  
Every 5 minutes, my Eudora installation scans 18 separate email
accounts served by five email ISPs. Apparently, BitDefender just can't
handle the load. BitDefender has a lot going for it, and if Softwin
can fix this problem, the product might be my first choice. But until
it does so, my BitDefender testing is done.  

AVG has an outdated interface, and according to many of the
independent tests, its protection isn't up to the level of F-Secure or
Nod32. And yet AVG users swear by this product, and it's one of the
most popular antivirus products around. AVG has a very small
system-resources footprint. It's also highly compatible with other
security products. Although the user interface looks more like last
decade than this one, it's mostly easy to understand and configure. It
operates silently. In the end, if I were to select only one antivirus
product to run on my system, the data tell me AVG is a very good
choice, but it's not as protective as the two other contenders. For
that reason, AVG comes in third in this evaluation. The version tested
was AVG Network Edition 7.1, which Grisoft provided based on my
evaluation criteria.

Nod32 only performs outbound email scanning with Outlook, it doesn't
scan Eudora mailbox files, and as a result its inbound scan didn't
find some things in my mailbox that others did. It's also got a
horrendous user interface. But if the folks at Eset made Eudora
support a priority, Nod32 would have been the winning product in this
evaluation, because Nod32 is the anti-bloatware antivirus product.
It's fast, uses few system resources, can be configured to operate
silently, and it updates regularly. It coexists superbly with
anti-spyware products, and it also traps spyware on its own. In short,
you can set it and forget it. It doesn't have problems. It doesn't get
in your way. And it offers rapid, reliable protection. If you use
Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express), or you don't run email on the
PC you want to protect, I unequivocally recommend Nod32. There's
nothing better for those environments. If you use Eudora, take a pass
on Nod32. Eset claims it's impossible to scan Eudora mailbox files.
That's bull - lots of other AV products do it.  

The F-Secure Anti-Virus 2006 user interface is excellent, the best of
any that I've tried. It's logically laid out and very easy to
understand. Eset and Kaspersky could take lessons from F-Secure on
this front. Although it's not quite as low in the system overhead
department as Nod32 or AVG, it comes close, and it operates reliably.
I've had no system instability issues. F-Secure loads a lot more
separate services in memory than most other antivirus products, but
each of those services uses very little memory. You could make the
case that this more modular structure is both better designed and
potentially more secure.

The big brother to this product, F-Secure Internet Security 2006, has
more of a bloatware feel. It packs in a firewall, parental controls,
and a bunch of other stuff. Give it a miss.  

There's no question that F-Secure's security levels are in the top
tier, rubbing elbows with Kaspersky, Nod32, and BitDefender. If you
believe as I do that Kaspersky is the top dog at antivirus protection,
you might also debate whether F-Secure or Nod32 is next in line. The
reality is that the differences between the protection levels among
this elite AV group are negligible. They're all good.  
F-Secure's scan speed is about average. Faster than Kaspersky,
certainly, not as fast as Nod32. Bottom line, this is the one running
on my main PC. F-Secure Anti-Virus 2006 offers the best mix of solid
protection, usability, full e-mail support, performance, small memory
footprint, and reliable operation.  




--

An expert is a person who avoids small error
as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.

...Benjamin Stolberg

Re: Avoid free antivirus products?


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I fail to see the point of scanning outgoing e-mail.

As for Eudora, it seems to cause a lot of problems for a lot of
people. They really need to scrap it and start from scratch.



Re: Avoid free antivirus products?

Stuart Krivis wrote:

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Stuart,

I hear you. Scanning outgoing email is pointless, if not outright
stupid. The only thing even close to being as ridiculous of a concept
is appending a message to the same email message indicating that the
sender is clueless enough to do so.

If _I_ were a spammer, I would append every message that I sent with:

   "This message has been scanned by NOD23,
    and is certified as malware-free."

Note the 23 to keep the lawyers at bay.

I subscribed to Finnie's newsletter for 2 months, until I realized
that he had no clue about computer security. If you read his ramblings
about selecting an AV solution, at no time is efficacy at averting
malware mentioned. Scan outgoing email? WTF for?

Ron :)

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