Symantec: Using Microsoft's Free AV is Dangerous

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rpcblast

Has MPC done a review/article on MalwareBytes?  I am just curious cause as far as free products go, its saved my rear on multiple occasions.  I have read a few other sources saying it BSoD there machine, and at first I didnt even know if it was legit or another AV2009 hoaxes. 

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crashmeister

If the reviews in the computer magazines are to be believed (I rely on them to make AV decisions), most of the time Symantec and McAfee and a lot of the other over-priced subscription systems aren't worth the money to begin with.  When a free AV program does a better job of detecting viruses than the paid ones, the companies who require payment for their software are getting paid to provide you a false sense of security.  That being the case, these companies don't have a leg to stand on when they downrate other companies providing the same service.

On the other hand, I wouldn't trust an AV program coming from MS.  They can't get the security holes out of their operating system, how are they going to close off access to the computer from viruses???

 Food for thought!  Definitely read the reviews of AV and security software when they are published.

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nekollx

You know i really hate this"MS cant evne patch the holes in their own OS"

Every OS has holes. Yes even your beloved Linux/OSX.

 

But when your the market leader your the target is a metric butload (technical term) of hackers. Trust me if OSX or Umbutu had a THIRD of the people out to destroy the system windows hand they would just colapse under the weight of their own ego.

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Trooper_One

Free doesn't mean it's always bad and vice versa isn't always true either.

I've personally used AVG-Free for years and I don't really have any infection problem (though I also use SpyBot and other free !maleware as well).

 My g/f's dad's laptop was infected with a hijacker (www.ave99.com) redirector - Avast! didn't/couldn't cure it.  There were info on curing it but it didn't work so I eventually re-formatted the computer.

Last year I fixed used by a layperson was also infected with several malware and viruses - AND she had Norton 2008 installed.  When I told her it was severely infected and it's easier to just reformat (or better yet, buy a new computer as it was a P4 dinosaur).

She let me reformat but wanted to purchase the full Norton Suite AND SpySweeper.  I managed to convince her not to but later on she did.  And again, her machine was infected.

 You can buy the best condoms you can afford but it doesn't help if you don't know how to use it.

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Kurkenuvuros

NIS2008 + SpySweeper = EPIC FAIL!  2 AV programs, let alone security suites, on the same machine is just asking for trouble.  SpySweeper is a memory hog, no doubt about it.  And think about it.  Compared to free tools such as SUPERAntispyware and MalwareBytes, the anti-spyware value is not there.  Even more so because the most common thing I find in my computer repair place is Fake Security Programs.  AVs do good jobs at preventing those infections, but social engineering always prevails, AVs are told to ignore the infection, and the computer ends up hosed.  I know this for a fact that when you fresh install any AV solution, it NEVER is configured to scan everything you encounter on default. Trend Micro, Norton, AVG, you name it, it has some options deselected on install.  Scan all files, Scan Tracking Cookies, Remove Low Threasts, all examples of settings not turned on that should be when you install any AV program.

 Any AV program will work and any program is better than nothing.  The problem is that the common everyday user has absolutely no clue on how to properly configure it themselves.  Knowledge isn't worth anything unless you act upon it.  Same applies for AV programs.  If you don't configure it right, it will never protect you to the full extend you paid or hoped for.

The best AV in the world is useless against a perfectly executed social engineering attack.  Infections, especially rogue program infections, are the perfect examples of how it's just that easy to have wasted $30 or more to protect you against something you let in on purpose.  I've even had people buy full security suites after the fact of their computer already having some virus or rogue program.  It does no good after the fact at all.  You buy the best door in the world, tightest security ever, but if they trick you to letting them in, it defeats the whole purpose.

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atomaweapon

Epic Fail. Epic Lol. what's next "Synamatec AV FTW OMG"

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Kurkenuvuros

Symantec's AV actually works right without the memory drain.  Though it takes them forever to get the job done, it seems they have done the memory and CPU usage.  As far as I know, NAV2009 is the only AV with something that can reduce how often the computer is scanned when what is running is already proven safe (Norton Insight).  Running that on a Windows XP machine reduces necessary scanning by 50-95% as I've seen from doing so on customers' machines that have NAV2009, NIS2009, or N360 3.0.  On my Windows 7 RC 1 machine, I have NAV2009 installed and the only thing in Task Manager is ccSvcHst.exe and on idle, the memory usage reported is less than 5MB.  AVG Free Edition on idle has about 5 or more processes adding up to more than 80MB memory in the background. The Norton 2009 family of products are the only programs I've seen use only 1 process (sometimes 2 instances of the same process) and only 1 installed service.

 I am not a Norton enthusiast/spokesperson.   I like Norton, and I didn't for 5 years until 2009 came out.  I like it and I'm content with it. There's just a lot of things that make it less of a hassle for the everyday person, even if they don't configure everything on install.  Symantec keeps up the job and keeps the AV actually worth the $40+ you pay for it, I see no reason why anyone shouldn't use it other than bad experiences.

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nekollx

here at the office we use ESAT NOD32, which was also a Kick Ass

on idle it is curently using on my vista laptop 3,156 MB, not bad.

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Kurkenuvuros

NAV2009 is my only reason I even have a Norton product anymore.  The last Norton product I actually bought for a subscription was NAV2004.  Back then, it was a huge resource hog.  I learned back then AVs were free and I bounced back and forth between AVG and Avast!.  AVG had LinkScanner and Avast had the IMAP email scanning.  I also played with Comodo Internet Security in it's early stages.  The computer company I work for sells Trend Micro but compared to NIS2009, it's a resource hog in processes, services, memory  usage, and scan times.  When NAV2009 came out, I tried it and it was a massive improvement.  Comparing it to AVG, NAV2009 was so much less of a drain on my computer's resources. MSE to me is Windows Defender on Vista that's able to scan viruses.  That's pretty much it.  I use NAV2009 happily on my computers without any complaint at all.

As for the future 2010 paid versions, Trend Micro 2010 Beta III in my opinion is a visual facelift and nothing more.  NAV2010 got a visual facelift, but I'm pretty sure it's got some powerful features and improvements from 2009.  Nice thing is that my 2009 version's subscription will still be valid when it comes out and I just install 2010 version and everything transfers. Same applies to Trend Micro.  We upgrade anyone with valid subscriptions for free because Trend and Symantec allow that so long it's 2006 and above and everything's valid.  We support Trend directly, but I'm sticking with Norton from now on.

Free isn't free.  Even though MSE, AVG, and Avast! may be good AVs but free comes with a price and in my opinion it's missing features and memory drains.

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mesiah

Hmm... Companies charge for AV software. MS makes a free version. MS packages it with windows. Companies sue microsoft for putting them out of business. Are we going to have an IE antitrust suit all over again, or is MS going to play this one smart and just make it a free download?

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Gh05t

Why does it not surprise me that entrenched competition says that the new entry to the market is inferior? People railed against OneCare and most had their reasons but the truth is antivirus companies make money on fear and unless you educate yourself regarding safer habits on the interwebs then no amount of security is going to keep you safe - at some point you'll just need to turn off the computer to be "safe".  This type of fearmongering is the same thing that goverment does to keep its citizens in line and in check.  Microsoft is the Devil and its antivirus will decay your soul...

Every company is out to make money, lets not delude ourselves.  MS is an easy target and they often are their own worse enemy but MSE isn't awful and it certainly holds its own against the likes of AVG.  Think about this, if everyone who has a windows box installs MSE and all those computers send feedback regarding viral attacks and security issues to be compiled into a more robust detection scheme - wouldn't that be a good thing? 

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I Jedi

I agree with your outlook on the fear part and I also agree especially where you talk about having a anti-virus that is shipped with all Windows based machines and all upload data reports about incidents/vulnerabilities, etc. However, I have to bring into question MS ability to maintain a well-rounded and up-to-date suite. They're a huge company that specializes in a ton of areas. They don't just focus on one thing, no. With a true-anti-virus company, like BitDefender, you're assured that their fixation is on their one and only product: anti-virus defense.

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knighttoday

Even though this mag gave a good rating to a single product from Symantec, as one who continues to clean up their messes from years of poor products the last company I would listen to is Symantec. They obviously are all about company profit first and foremost and damned the consumer {until we need them}

 

But then the same can be said of Microsoft. They bought out the good anti-malware product from Germany I think a few years ago and screwed up that product to make Windows defender. They, just like symantec, are after dollars folks and providing quality products and service is not the cheapest way to get there.

 

AVG continues to be my choice until they follow in MS and Symantecs footsteps {hoepfully not} and neither I nor my clients have trouble with infections.

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Xerloq

Really, a company trying to make profits?!? OMG what a revelation!

I suppose you will be likewise freaked that people pay for MaximumPC to be delivered to their homes when it can be had for free on the internet!

The point made by MPC is that it used to be crappy, but has taken a huge step toward the better - a kick-ass worthy step. You should take the product manager's statement with a grain of salt. My point is that MPC seems to agree that paid-for is better than free, which is better than nothing, which kind of agrees with Symantec's position.

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Xerloq

Didn't MaximumPC give Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2009 a Kick-Ass award? Didn't you point out that the free programs were lacking or offered incomplete protection, or were resource hogs? Didn't you laude and honor NIS for it's resource-sipping performance?

  • NIS2K9 = 9 Kick Ass
  • AVG = 5 (Free) / 7 (Paid version)
  • Avast = 5
  • Avira = 8
  • PC Tools = 3

I think the big question is how the Microsoft offering compares. I use NIS2K9 on my heavily used personal PCs and Avira on those I use less. I can't say I regret it.

Also, only a fool pays for Norton - rebates are so frequent and reliable you can almost always get a free (after MIR) version. I haven't paid for a Norton product for nearly 10 years.

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SEALBoy

MSE and my relatively intelligent browsing habits are all I need to stay clean.

Symantec may have somewhat better detection rates, and may be it's worth it for someone's grandma who clicks on every pop up she can find, but for me, I like the small size, integration, and non-intrusiveness of MSE.

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BobbyPhoenix

If you know what you're doing you can run multiple FREE av software services.  I'm currently using AVG free and MSE, and have not had any complications.  I just adjust the settings, and monitor what is on at any given time.  I also do this with spy/malware software too.  FREE is great if you know what to use.  Never hurts to have a back-up for your back-up.

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jason27131

Actually, contrary to what David Hall says, free does not mean bad. Also, paying 100 big ones for a anti virus suite doesn't mean its effective. Take Avast! for example. Does an amazing job at virus protection, for an all low price of 0$. ALso, Comodo does an amazing job at firewall protection, and its also free.

 

Recap, Free doesn't mean bad. David Hall's just angry he's losing shares. 

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nekollx

while that may be true its also true that expecting MS first AV to be as good as say AVG Free is also kinda asking much. You just dont expect the new kind to be as polished as the old pros

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Hg Dragon

You don't say! Really? Who would have guessed?

I'm not generally an MS-hater, but who honestly didn't see something like this coming?  Symantec, McAfee and others havebeen at the AV business for years. It's not too muchof a shock that Microsfot dropped the ball on something as complex as this the first time out.

 

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