Best Antivirus

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OldFogie

A quick note about Kaspersky. Not sure if other AV software does this, but recently, when I attempted to repurchase/renew Kaspersky, it required me to agree to automatic renewal / purchase of their program. This annoyed me to no end. Since AV programs change year to year, I like to review my current program and compare it to the latest list of top 10 each year. If Kaspersky (or whatever one I happen to have at the time) makes the grade, THEN, I'll renew. Don't force your software on me!

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dgrmouse

Yes, other folks do it as well. Virus-scanning companies, possibly barring historic Norton's, are responsible for almost every single negative paradigm of software distribution - software-as-a-service, subscriptions, DRM, DLC, etc. Some even have annoying system-modal popups for the last month of validity with no option to suppress them.

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Teximex

Emsisoft Anti-Malware...should be in that list. Why have you never reviewed it.

Also, the Norton review... please. Captain Obvious says you were paid for that.

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Paul_Lilly

Speaking to this year's roundup, as stated, we let the readers decide which security programs to include. If there's enough interest in Emsisoft, we could cover it in a future issue of the magazine as a standalone review.

As to your second comment: Captain Clueless or Captain Asshat may have said that, but there's no way Captain Obvious would make such a foolish remark.

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Hey.That_Dude

I love you Paul... truely, the most Platonic love there is.

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jgottberg

LOL!!

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drviagrin

I've never seen Vipre compared to any of the other antivirus. This must be done.

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Otaku16

i had made a comment about this a while ago but why not test what you get for free with your ISP against the full version and if it is really just as good as the isp's claim. as well as if it even passes

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Hey.That_Dude

My ISP has never given me software... none that I ever took, at least.

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semert

Someone early said MPC has been pushing Norton for 10 years. That is a lie pure and simple. When it started getting badly bloated in the mid 2k's, it scored low and continued to do so until the code rewrite in 2009. I had used it exclusively for years until it got so bad that I could not stand it anymore. I moved on and did not look back until MPC reported on the code rewrite and the complete turn around. So in 2009 I tried the Gamer edition and was very happy and continue to be.

Additionally, I have never paid for it since then. It will go on sale, free after rebate every three months. I just pickup another box copy every time I see that and give extras away to my family members..

And before you spout some BS about rebates being fake, well I can show you a stack of Norton Visa cards I have that will make you eat your pitiful words. People are too lazy and too "A.D.D." these days to follow simple directions and mail things on-time, then they bitch and moan that they did not get a rebate.

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skramblr

I know your comment is old, but... may be a bit harsh about rebates. I also do many rebates, fill them out correctly, and have lots of them rejected. Things like stating I forgot to include UPCs or the receipt. Good thing I keep copies and can correct those. Sometimes they get rejected because the date is too late... but the product wasn't received until after the due date so I'm screwed due to bad shipping practices? And then there's the occasional rejection where I never get notified (I have to know to track them). And then these damn gift cards instead of checks are a hassle. You can't use more than 1 GC at a site like Amazon so they are a PITA. So rebates are not that great in my opinion and I'm no longer FAR happy these days. You can't trust those rebate companies to do their jobs correctly.

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rajmaraj863

What about Webroot? I've had it for my gaming PC and it's been great!

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Granite

My choice...Avast.

Only because I used to use AVG and found Avast to be better for me.

I've never used a pay AV service.

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whiznot

MPC has been pushing Norton for 10 years. I once made a decision based on that recommendation and got burned badly. Since that time my knowledge has grown so that basic security precautions along with regular backups and MSE are all I need.

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Hey.That_Dude

I love these articles. I'd never be able to do this research on my own. Personally, I use Avast for free, but that's just because I like to spend money elsewhere. Norton is looking good, but I'd have never known that without such a through investigation.
Plus, as a bonus, you get a bunch of people who scream about the AV software they like that isn't included. Which I then add to my list of "Stuff to check out."

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rfinefrock

Thanks for the informative article Paul.

First of all, I don’t really care what other users use as their AV protection. If someone comes to me complaining about their AV software problems then I will share with them my current favorite software choice. I tell them that AV software is their second line of defense. Their first defense is to be a smart computer user! Bottom line, if you compute on the Dark Side, you have a high probability of infection. Second pick one of the top AV/Malware packages and make sure it is always up to date.

I compute many hours a day and I am a software junkie. I test many freeware and shareware programs which puts me at some risk. (I’m retired now so I have the time to waste)

I used to be the leader of the hate Norton group, but I have been using Norton for the last three years and it has been the best AV user experience I’ve ever had (If that is even possible). Like many users, I hate using AV software because it always seems getting in the way. I have tested many of the top contenders and decided to try Norton again after hearing about the whole new software engine.

As with most of the top picks of AV software, Norton does a decent job of stopping attacks. What really surprised me was that it was able to update itself, scan, and do it’s other tasks with hogging system resources or interrupting my workflow. It runs so quiet that I used to open the control panel from time to time to make sure it was really updating. Over the last three years I have continued to test other AV software on my systems and have always come back to Norton. I used to always recommend Eset in the past but even the latest version does not seem to be as quiet as Norton.

Like some experts have said, “The best AV software is one that you will really use”. I still really hate to have to use AV software in the first place but for the time being I have found a package I can live with! If you find something that works for you, use it!

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bittertruth

Of all computers I've fixed so far, I uninstall norton products and it's back to it's functional state and I get paid for doing that, uninstalling norton av. It's eyepopping how MPC rates all other AVs as system hog while norton being opposite,whereas in real life troubleshooting, norton is the biggest system clog, agree it or not. I would choose Eset or AVG anyday instead of norton. Not sure about other AVs, haven't tried them but so far MSE is great for my workplace where they don't visit any other sites than official ones. Dunno, but have a hunch this sounds more like a paid review than honest review.

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kixofmyg0t

"norton is the biggest system clog"

That was true like 4 years ago. Not today.

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lfd1351

I was just curious as to why you guys ran the AV tests again on the Bitdeffender 2013 and not the most up to date version, 2014?

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Paul_Lilly

BitDefender 2014 was only just released a few weeks ago. We began working on this roundup at the end of January so that it could run in the April issue of Maximum PC. At the time, BitDefender 2013 was the most up-to-date version available.

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lfd1351

Oh ok, didn't see that it was the one from the april issue. My apologies.

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ariey

Antivirus is not enough. It is just as important to run updates and patches to avoid security breaches and failing performance. Problem is most consumers don't want to deal with this stuff on their own. They want it done for them. That's where a managed service like Fixico's Family Pack, which gives you AVS protection, remotely managed by IT security experts + automatic maintenance and updates + porn filtration + performance enhancement in one powerful suite. And best thing is that it takes care of everything silently in the background without bothering you and without dominating system resources! learn more at http://www.fixico.com

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lorencel

One thing you always over look about kaspersky is the anti banner. You say that it's lacking social media protection. How about turn on that anti banner and watch it block all the annoying ads all over your browser. One of the features why I've kept Kaspersky IS for the past 6 years.

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Morete

G Data all the way. It might not have as many zero days as some exceptional A/V proggies do, but it's still my fave.

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dgrmouse

I am beyond fed up with Zone Alarm. The paid version has horrendously annoying system-modal pop-up advertisements and renewal reminders that begin even earlier than magazine renewal reminders. Meanwhile, the free version requires installation of a bunch of crapware. Both versions default to phoning home for advice every time you launch a program, which is a major privacy leak. Unfortunately, nothing else I've tried can compare to their "OS Firewall." In addition to preventing apps from needlessly phoning home and so forth, it's wonderful to stop apps from forcing themselves into launching at system starts, loading system drivers they shouldn't require, changing the comspec (I kid you not, Adobe Flash installer does this), and so forth. Does anyone have suggestions for an alternative?

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Analogkid

Norton 360 has been on my PC for the last 2+ years (ever since it reclaimed #1 from you guys) and I've liked it. Not installing new versions during your subscription time is very nice; you always have the current version. That and CCleaner and my PC runs great and OC's fine.

A tip- buy a license on Amazon instead of renewing your sub + enter the license key saves you $35 a year.

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Engelsstaub

I don't even run active AV anymore. No signs of viruses anywhere on my primary computer (when I do a rare passive scan.)

...because it's a Mac obvious troll is obvious ;)

For Windows I'm still partial to ESET but I think anyone with a modicum of knowledge could get away with a good free solution as well. Everyone I know IRL is dumb as pheck so, regardless of what AV they use, I'm cleaning up their crap at least twice a year. I never hated Windows and never had much of a problem with it when I used it as my primary OS. It's other people's problems that makes me unfairly dislike Windows and want to talk them into a Mac or Linux.

Moral of the story: don't let on to anyone that you know a single thing about Windows. Pretend you're as stupid as they are and you'll be blessedly left to your own trouble-free experience.

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John Pombrio

My friend Leo does not have any Anti-virus installed and he runs several PCs. He sticks to the sites that WOT green lights, updates frequently, and does not download stuff off of the internet. He has not had any problem in years. I thought this was playing kind of Russian roulette but he keeps everything up to date which is 90% of the battle.
BTW, over 85% of Mac owners also own a PC...

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Engelsstaub

Truth. Not everyone who uses a Mac is some doofus acting like there's a war going on and one must choose a side. My first time in an Apple Store I talked for twenty minutes with a "genius" about Windows. He knew more than I did and told me he had a Windows box for gaming. Imagine that :)

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jgottberg

Blasphemous - A Mac as your "Primary computer"... ;-)

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Engelsstaub

Haha. I know.

OS X isn't perfect but I like it. It would be really difficult for me to go back to "Windows-only" even if I desired to. I've way too much software investment in OS X. ...at least this way I have access to either platform though.

I'm going to build a gaming PC soon too. Now that my kids are older maybe I can get them off consoles and onto Steam. IDK yet. I just think Steam has better deals on games.

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jgottberg

lol, I know what you mean. I have a couple of helpdesk guys that support 25-30 iMacs and they really have nothing to do but replace and occasional failed hard drive. They really do, "just work."

I'm a dinosaur so I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the simplicity of OSX. I keep thinking to myself, "There HAS to be another setting..." I'm getting there.

As far as Steam goes, I got Dear Esther (based on a shitty review here) for $2.50 and it was money well spent. I think it's fantastic. I don't think you'd ever find a console game of that quality for $2.50.

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Engelsstaub

I'll check out Dear Esther...thx.

I have my share of complaints about Macs/OSX...a few less than Windows but they're both decent enough OSes. Replacing the hard drive on a MBP takes a bit longer than on a PC laptop ;)

Slightly OT: I'm not sure if it was you or not, but a while back were you asking about getting rid of DRM from the videos of a certain digital marketplace? If so I've stumbled upon a lossless solution... I remember having that discussion with some people on this website.

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jgottberg

oh, forgot to tell you, Dear Esther may or may not be a "kids" game. I haven't run into anything disturbing yet but it is a bit dark.

Mmm... I don't think it was me asking about DRM on a certain site, lol. But I'm listening... :)

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Engelsstaub

There was a few people here that were interested in that a while back when I was in one of my stupid arguments with a poster here. I thought you were one of them. Oh well.

To be brief I tested this with an older version of iTunes (which you'll need and have to find in the usual places) in a Win XP VM. iTunes 11 and newer will not work.

http://digiex.net/downloads/download-center-2-0/applications/11796-requiem-4-1-remove-itunes-drm-fairplay-music-video-books.html

You have to be logged into the marketplace under your user ID so it can decrypt the files you throw at it. Informational purposes only of course.

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jgottberg

LOL, I think I remember that now... Armyof1 or something like that?

Thanks for the info, I'll give it a shot... for "entertainment purposes" only, of course :)

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dgrilli

Been using Kaspersky for the past 3 years and have never been infected with anything unlike Norton on machines brought into my shop. Clearly Kaspersky is a far superior product and Maximum Pc didn't get their kick back. Sort of like when Maximum PC pits a $200 AMD Processor Against a $1000.00 Intel and run's AMD in the ground. I use Intel and AMD, no clear bias on my side. It's almost as though Maximum PC has been trying to get a jolly out of bashing a certain company. People if you believe the 7 score on Kaspersky and a 10 for a Norton I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

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SpecNode

dgrilli,

It does not matter what AV people use, they can still get a virus if they don't know how to properly use a PC. Just because you didn't get a virus in the last 3 years doesn't mean anything, you're one person, a person who knows not to download crap, etc. I have not had a virus with Norton in the last 3 years too, does not mean jack though...

People who bring computers into those crappy computer shops obviously isn't good with a computer thus going to have a virus likely regardless of AV they use.

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Paul_Lilly

I'm impressed -- article was up for almost a full day before the first ridiculous accusation of kick-backs surfaced. Was really starting to question the flame retardant suit this year.

Much to the dismay of conspiracy theorists, our AV roundups are pretty straightforward. You (the readers) voted on the suites to be included this year, we rounded 'em up and tested them extensively, and then reported our results. That's it.

I usually don't respond to these types of accusations (they're insulting, but more imporantly, completely unfounded), but since we awarded Norton a rare 10 score, I'm making an exception. Straight to the point, if a vendor tried to buy or bribe a higher score, you can bet we'd call them out on it.

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jgottberg

I gotta say, I've been reading the magazine since it was BOOT and I have never seen a bias for a particular vendor. For instance, PC hardware. It's mathematics, numbers don't lie. PC hardware is not subjective like case design is.

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davelray

You using anything will probably be better than the average user opening up any email or going to any website regardless of what they use. You can't compare someone that knows enough about computers and what websites to steer clear off to the average person. Also, at what point did maxpc compare a 200 dollar amd to 1000 dollar intel cpu? I don't remember that article.

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steven4570

I understand why people hated norton 10 years ago but i dont really understand it now...i know from having used NIS since 2007 it works very well.

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edwartr

I have been running Vipre A/V on my network for years and I have clients who run the business edition on theirs. Good prices as you can get/find a 10 pack license for $45 to $65 if you look and if you get the Business edition which is centralized monitoring, you can get it for $12 to $16 per system (starting at a min of 10). Also Vipre works on workstations and servers, which most of the applications listed in this article do not.
I have found it to be a very good anti-virus product that seems to offer good protection and not take up too much in the way of resources. I wish MaxPC would include it in its A/V tests each year but no so luck.

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Paul_Lilly

I agree it's one we need to look at. It's almost made the cut on more than one ocassion, and this year, we left it up to the readers to vote on which AV programs to include. Maybe we can look at a standalone review of Vipre in a future issue of the magazine.

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sojrner

I think it is absolutely worth testing... however, my experience is the opposite of edwartr's.

As a developer in a company that also used Vipre for a time I can say that id does/did kill system performance. Particularly the realtime protection. When firefox went to rapid releases, Vipre did not play nice at all. (startups and some site loads would just hang) Many times the system would just sit there like a dummy trying to open simple files. Certain other applications simply did not load at all. Worse yet, in our dev process a build on a single workstation slams all 8 threads of a Core i7 (total CPU at about 90%), uses ~60% of the 16 gigs of ram and overwhelms the I/O of a mechanical drive. Like your file transfer test, this exposed a rather large resource hit from Vipre.

None of this is to say it does poor at protection, my experience showed that our company never had issue with infection. Our small department moved away from Vipre after testing proved it to be the culprit of both slowdowns and 3rd party app instability though. (stopping the realtime process fixed most of the issues) Eventually the entire company dropped it in favor of Kaspersky. (My department has some on MSE for performance reasons, but Kaspersky has been a decent performer)

Regardless, thank you for this yearly testing... I use it extensively to determine what I use personally.

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severnia

This is one I may have to look at as i have 2 machines running Windows Server 2008 R2 in my home. I would love to see a server-oriented review like the one your team did here. It may not appeal to all of your readers, but i bet there are more than a handful with a Small/Home office to tend to.

I used to use Norton WAY back, but when it began eating smaller computers for breakfast and bogging down even powerful machines, I switched to ESET and Spybot w/ Tea-Timer enabled from a clean install before i even go online. Its good to see Norton got the hint and got back in the game. Does the new version actually uninstall fully now?

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iguana15

A server-OS antivirus review is a great idea. Would like to see more Linux apps for server and workstation too.

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chop_slap

Ahhh, the joys of Linux...

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big_montana

Just go on believing that Linux is secure:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/07/darkleech-infects-40k-apache-site-addresses/

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RubberDucky

I would like to see how Panda fares among the other heavyweights, they seem like a solid company and I like their products.

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