Antivirus Software Roundup -- Protect Your PC From Guys Like This!

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wk

So is Avast that bad?

in my experience no. I used AVG 7.5 and it was decent. upgraded to AVG 8 and a lot of problem arise.

then I installed both Avira (on Vista) and Avast (on XP). Avira is really good except for long and slow updates. Avast despite of its strange interface (that can be changed) is also very good, i use it to scan every cd, flash ram, ...etc. at work and it kept my laptop clean and eliminating all hazards, beside that i don't think it is a system hog, i played few games (mainly fallout 3) with Avast installed and never notice any influence on performanc.

c'mon guys Avast at least desirve 8. just try it and u will see.

MPC is my home page

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Keith E. Whisman

I'm running the latest OEM version of NIS 2009 90day trial and it's really cool. I really like it. I was using the McAffee internet security suite that Cox Cable offers free to it's customers. 

I never thought that there would ever be a Norton AV product let alone a suite that feels lite weight while being extremely powerfull.

Norton Internet Security suite 2009 feels very lite. It's extremely easy on your resources. And it's only $49bucks on the website to extend my subscription.

(I'm running an OEM version that offers a 90subscription that came with a cheap laptop)

I can get used to this.

Thanks for the great article Paul. I think I mentioned before that you did an excellent job on this article and I'm very impressed. Big pat on the back for Paul Lilly. Great Job.

Will please give this man a Kudos on this article. It's one of the best written and layed out in a little while.  

 

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Paul_Lilly

Thanks Keith, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Gailim

yeesh people cant read. THEY COMPLETELY RE-BUILT THE PROGRAM!!!!

 

that means that you need to erase any preconception you had about norton. if you had it and it sucked that has no bearing at all on this new version. belive me I was right with you. before this article I would literally laugh at anyone using norton.

so they have the best AV now. good for them. good for your average joe because a lot of people have norton preinstalled.

time to adjust your perception. I can't belive you would rather acuse MPC of being on the take then belive Symatec (a company with a budget in the millions) could put out a good product. shame shame.

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theevildarkmage

Why would you compare AVIRA AntiVir FREE to the other AntiVirus programs? Could you not afford the Premium version which has every option that Norton has. If you had read www.av-comparatives.org you would have seen that AVIRA AntiVir Premium beat Norton hands down.

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shellpc

Prolly because of space and time constraints. This article was published in this month's issue.

 

It would've been nice seeing an extended review here that included the for pay versions of AntiVir and Avast! though. Plus where are the benchmarks?

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dankers

If I remember correctly (and I probably don't) theres an option in the installer for full (with skins) and minimal (without skins) I used to use the minimal and I know for sure that it didn't have that interface (which isn't all that bad guys c'mon). I use avast! on all of the pcs I build for friends and I'll tell you why; no one likes to run virus scans. I don't care if the scans take 10 minutes or an hour, people would rather have on-access protection. The registration thing is a bit of a hassle but it takes 2 minutes and once you get a key it seems you can install it on as many pcs as you like, I must have installed it using the same key on at least 5 machines.

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kc7wbq

Awesome article guys, thanks for doing all that research.

 I'm also using Avast!. I used AVG for a while, but wanted to try out Threatfire when you recommended it about a year ago. You said AVG and Threatfire don't work well together so I  switched to Avast!. 

It does take a long time to scan my system. My solution is to use logmein and start the scanner while I'm at work. I don't care if it does take a couple of hours becuase it's always done by the time I get home. 

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winmaster

Your right. AVG 8 and Threat Fire don't work well together. Install them both on the same machine and your only option is to boot into Windows Safe Mode and remove one of them. Its funny though, because AVG 7.5 and Threat Fire worked fine together. 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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XxGhostKillxX

Before I believed that Norton was going down the drain, since 2007 to me was an annoying piece of software. Now look at it! It looks great and runs efficiently, well as said in this article. I have McAfee and it works great however I have a vast amount of archived data and just to scan my computer it takes somewhere around a few hours to finish it's scan. McAfee also is somewhat a system hog, and IT WILL perform a scan even while you're gaming; very, very annoying. Overall I really want to check out Norton 2009, perhaps I'll get this as a Christmas gift.

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gibsurfer84

I don't have any anti-virus, no anti-spyware, nothing. I know what not to click and I know what a phishing site is/how to avoid it. I understand that this article is really more for the average Joe and not for the Super User but it makes me sad that we still need AV in the first place - users being stupid!

 

And just for kicks, Norton sucks, I will never give them a good rap, even if they did  fix their cruddy app for 2009.

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winmaster

Just because you know what not to click doesn't mean you won't get a virus. I've heard people tell me that on a clean Windos install, people start hacking their machine before they even open a program. I don't connect any PC to the internet until it has the latest service pack and an antivirus program installed. 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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Keith E. Whisman

I have heard that all you need is to be online for a few minutes without a firewall and you'll have something on your pc that you really don't want. Now with antivirus/antimalware you don't know what's on your pc. There is all kinds of stuff that can sneak past Windows Firewall. MS knows that you aint safe unless you have an AV program installed that's why MS put an app in Windows that will nag you until you install something or tell it to leave you alone.

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caseybiggsconnor

you thought that your not infected? I dont think so... even though you dont click and you thought you are safe your not... even just clickin your internet browser will get you infected no lies... better try installing an av app then try to scan your pc and tell all of us how many viruses you've found out hangin in your pc... maybe your lost coz even a super user uses av app for there protection like a friend of mine whose engage on a hacker war uses one coz if im goin to list all the unprotected holes in microsoft OS theres a lot... listen to an average joe it will help...

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Vegan

Lots of people know what not to click, but everyone makes mistakes. All it takes is getting tricked ONCE, and if you get infected it's not like the virus is going to inform you of its presence. There are some truly ignorant people out there who will download and click on anything they see, but it's foolish to think that just because you aren't like that you KNOW you're clean.

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daveyboy062

Sheep’s just follow in step of the sheep in front of them. Everyone who is knocking on Norton is a sheep.  Oh it was bad several years ago.. took over the whole machine. Not anymore, they have learned from there mistakes give them a try.. Things change year to year and if you base things off of one experience your only screwing yourself. Free stuff is fine for the man (or women) that knows how to take care of a machine, but I would never recommend a free anti-virus to a customer. (made that mistake.. Once..)

You know that saying you get what you pay for?

Same goes for Internet Security’s and Anti-viruses

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winmaster

 If you know your way around a computer, you can get by with a free antivirus program, but the average Joe needs to pay for a suite that will magically block everything bad without bugging him with confusing alerts that he won't understand anyway.

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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silvershad

so i didnt see much about how well each program detected viruses. (like a percentage of virus found and deleted). i find that nortan and mccafee tend to never find the viruses that avast finds. nortan is such a system hog. when i isnt running (aka, just on the task bar), avast only uses 20-30mb if ram. but nortan uses like 60-70mb just when it is in the task bar. when i am running a very thourogh scan, avast only uses 60mb.

how can they make a review of the avast mainly on ONE skin!!!!! not only is that the only skin for it but you can download more. i use the vista skin. who cares if it looks like a media player. it is very simple!! choose what to scan. choose how deep of a scan, start scan. dont. then you have one of the deepest and most effective scanners out there FOR FREE!!!!!!!! i personally dont care about the look. it does what i need it to do for free.

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Paul_Lilly

I'm not at all surprised that Norton's verdict has ruffled a few feathers.  Historically, it's been bloated, buggy, and less effective than the competition, making it ill suited for a power user's PC.  But rest assured we haven't fallen off of our rockers; the new 2009 version is a huge departure from past Norton products in every way, right down to the installer, and it wouldn't be fair to ding NIS 2009 based on previous versions. Inconceivable that Symantec could improve its product so significantly?  Give it a test spin yourself with the 15-day free trial.

As good as Norton is, it doesn't render freebie solutions obsolete.  Avira's AntiVir coupled with a competent anti-spyware program (Windows Defender, Spybot, A-Squared, etc - take your pick) provides a formidable, no-cost defense.

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tom_renton

Norton is what you can install if you want to make XP almost as annoying as Vista!

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paulmcd123

Why, when the title of the article is "Antivirus Software Roundup", do you include Norton Internet Security? This does a lot more than antivirus. Can I buy Norton Antivirus (much cheaper) and use free ZoneAlarm Firewall and free Spybot Search and Destroy and have the same level of security?

 

Seems like you are comparing apples (complete security)  and oranges (antivirus alone).

 

Paul McD.

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winmaster

Actually, I believe that every suite in this roundup included antivirus, antispyware, and a few other bells and whistles. Most suites do these days. When I got my free 1 year subscription for Zone-Alarm Pro, I tried to find a solid stand alone antivirus program for free to suppliment it. I couldn't do it. Unfortunately, I'm doubling up on antispyware. 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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nekollx

most of their suits are all in one. Don't let your brind rage for Norton blind you. The path to the Dark Side is that.

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preacher1010

im so dissappointed in you MaximumPC! and you call yourselves journalists and ITech-savvy?

avast a 5?

is Norton putting a gun to your heads when you wrote this article?

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windbane

I installed Avast! 4.8 Home a couple of weeks ago and my interface doesn't look like the one you show here or in your mag. It looks like a regular, plain jane interface. So I don't get how you can ding Avast! for its interface when the one it has, isn't the one your complaining about. And Avast! seems to use the same amount of memory as AVG Free 8.0, yeah the first scan after install was really long, but it gives you a good excuse to go outside and get some fresh -30 deg C air!!

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winmaster

The interface they were referring to is the default when you do the full install. When you do the minimal install, it doesn't install any skins, so the GUI is much more plain. 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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preacher1010

btw HEIL AVAST!

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preacher1010

Guys, there IS a reason MaximumPC and other CNET-type companies keep peddling Norton....because Norton told them to! Norton pays these people to put more Norton ads in their magazines and sites.

Isnt it obvious? its just like the commenter who said that personally even his salesman buddy wouldnt recommend it but there have to to their customers cause its their "rice bowl"

 

let me see... when was the last time i used clumsy of Norton?

 

Nineteen ninety nine !

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nekollx

i never knewthe Trojan horse also infiltrated the town of 'Roy'

 

cool

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PhynaeusClaw

In the introduction to this article you led me to believe that you
would be discussing how much protection is enough. Do we need web
shields and link scanners (and what's the real difference)? Do we need
e-mail scanners? How about anti-spyware or anti-rootkit protection? What about firewalls; are they better if they're
integrated with AV software or is my ZoneAlarm free good enough? Some of these questions have obvious answers, but there coud be unexpected surprises. What exactly is enough and what is fluff?

And how about some decent freakin data for the results? Which apps detected which types of threats? Even more importantly, which apps missed which threats? The individual reviews are totally vague, inconsistently reporting this information from one to the next. Piss poor...

As for the actual verdicts...

Maybe Norton is new, sleek and improved, but you still have to pay for it.

In the AVG review you mention that you wouldn't want to play a FPS while running a system scan. Does ANYBODY EVER do that with ANY AV software? You're just asking for dropped frames... Unless you're playing games 24/7, you can use this thing called the system scheduler to schedule a scan for when you are away from your PC. I know... the things geniuses come up with...

 

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jacob938

nice job guys, its nice that norton finally stepped back into the ring after its looooooong string of faliures. im still using avast because like the title says, i might loose 2-3FPS or somthing along those lines, but if it means having an air-tight system im all for it.

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caseybiggsconnor

First of all I never introduce mcafee and norton to my clients (even two of my friends who works on sales for that both companies tell me the same thing i experience but they need to lie to those poor consumers just to sell the program thats why and btw they used the same app that i used...) coz i've tried them before and the pc went slow, sometimes it freeze and it cant even delete a certain virus i have before that duplicates folders and spreads all over your system and through out your network (radmon i think). Then why its not an equal review? Why would you compare a PRO to a Free app? It must be always fair and square... For me I used Avast Pro and it takes away all my worries and fears and embrace it after it helps me resolve my problem with 15 PCs in our network just a bootscan and there everything had been detect, deleted for good, everything just went great when it boots in windows and everytime it detects a virus (although it annoys you of the alert sounds) even you havnt delete it and you double click it for the second time it wont let you execute and it will say in your dreams punk!!! (just bein exag here...) A review for days vs years of experience, I'll say thanks for the fair review but i'll stick on my years of experience.

BTW: My girlfriend used AVG Pro even though I let her try Avast Pro for a week she said to me "through my experience AVG rocks!!!"... hahahahahahahahaha... through her experience so what can i say?

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rmiller1959

Every A/V review I read is followed by the usual comments - Norton stinks, AVG (or any free or small-brand A/V software) rocks, et. al. I think it's time for folks to update their thinking by eliminating their biases and giving Norton another look. After trying many of the little guys (ESET, PC Tools) and encountering one small problem after another, I decided to give Norton another try. I had read that the 2009 iteration of their product was slimmer and faster than any previous versions, and they were right. It loads faster and doesn't slow down my system AT ALL. Moreover, problems I was having with my system just disappeared (for example, e-mail downloads were causing my sound to distort and cut in and out; I went through several possible fixes before uninstalling PC Tools and installing Norton, and the problem went away instantly).

I fix computers for my friends as a pasttime and I find that McAfee is almost always preinstalled on OEM systems. I find that many of these problems are the result of malware that McAfee somehow let slip by. My opinion is that this once-venerable company has fallen behind and is resting on its laurels.

Thanks for letting me share my two cents worth! 

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zeringue

AV-comparables and VirusBulletin does a good job of routinely reviewing numerous brands of mal-ware protection software.  ESET and Avira are rated well whereas Norton, McAfee and Kapersky tend to be towards the middle.  I use ESET at the office i found that it completely out performs McAfee in boot up times, scan times and requires less memory.  Eset does not miss known viruses with signatures like McAfee does as demonstrated on the professional Virus software reviewers. Check them out, they are a great resource.

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cjrlauve

What about Comodo?  I've heard good things about it elsewhere, and it is free AV/Firewall.  Any opinions?

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killerxx7

Really crap scores!i mean giving Nortan a 9 and then giving agv 7 WTF!

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ProtoJMB

Yeah I agree and call bull on the Norton score. Norton is a resource hog and screws up your network settings every time you update which effectively boots you off your own network! I finally convinced my mom to switch to free McAfee from Comcast instead of paying for Norton when Norton failed to protect her from Vundo. McAfee is set and forget, you hardly see it unless there is an update or if it catches something in real time. I have my dad set with McAfee on Vista, and he has no problems or complaints.

AVG getting a score of 7 I understand. AVG version 7 was awesome, but version 8 is growing to be resource hungry and can sometimes be down right unyielding. I hope the next version is trimmed down a bit, I agree it's putting on some weight.

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Kaldor

Norton a 9?  Please.  Can you say bloatware that screws up your PC and network over time.

Avast a 5?  Once again, please.  Avast free is one of the best free AVs Ive ever used.  It takes no where near 100 megs of RAM unless your running everything, all the time.  The interface for the virus scanc an be changed if you desire IIRC.  I have mine set so that when my screen saver comes on the virus scan begans. very handy and my PC isnt being bogged down by the systems scan while Im actually using it.

Overall very weak review.

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Phated1

Have you even tried the new version? As the article says they REWROTE the entire coding for norton.  So have you even used the new rewritten version?  Until you do you cant say the new version messes up your PC.  MaxPC looked at the new version with an open mind, and as a result norton earned a good rating.  And AVG is a system hog.  I use the free version on my second PC and if im doing anything on it when its running a scan it slows down to a hault.  Not to mention scans take FOREVER.

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Naw-yi

been using pctools antivirus for 5 months now and no problems, ive used norton before had problems, avg problems, mccafee problems, try them for yourself then make a choice, u dont have to spend money to get some good protecting.

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nereus7

I love Evan as much as the next person, but that is a really random picture to have of him in there

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Aeshir

Lmao what's with the picture of Evan?

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winmaster

Who's Evan? 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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