Antivirus Software - whats considered effective now?

I’m using Microsoft security essentials on a couple PC’s at work. Wanted to test it out.

What else is considered *effective *these days? Free or pay. If it works then I’d like to hear peoples opinions.

I also run scans with Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner, and JRT (Junkware Removal Tool). JRT is very good at removing browser hijacks.

The big names generally work just fine, it is more a matter of preference and if you want to pay for it or not. AVAST and AVG offer free versions that are effective and quite popular although I am partial to AVAST. I find that it is helpful to run Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy along with whatever anti-virus software you choose to catch all the different types of malware out there besides just viruses, worms and trojans.

Right now, AVAST is testing the highest, with AVG trailing pretty badly. MSE is really low, though–I only recommend it on slower systems because it’s really fast.

If you do use AVAST and find it a bit slow, there are a lot of options you can turn off. I’ve turned off Email scanning and the Web scan portion of the Web Shield. I don’t use external email programs, so the first is useless, and the second isn’t all that useful, as all it does is detect malware before you get it completely downloaded. There’s not that big a difference waiting for it to download completely and then be detected by the file scanner.

In the old version, I had more stuff turned off, but most of that stuff seems to have been removed from the latest version.

I kicked Avast to the curb because it had a recurring pop-up ad for the premium version that was only disable-able in safe mode which irritated me too much.

I wouldn’t use MSE by itself, but I think MSE and Malwarebytes Pro are a good and inexpensive combo.

What works well with Firefox. Adblock & noscript?

I use flash block with Firefox. It’s made my life much better on the web. I can click videos when I want to watch them. Never auto plays.

I was freezing up and then getting a flash busy abort yes/no message. flash block has nearly eliminated that.

antivirus, i meant

I also use free ZoneAlarm firewall as well. I ditched Avast because it slowed my internet by over 50%
This is a very good site for working out the best and worst antivirus softwhare.

I use Norton/Symantec, because the best way to be sure you don’t catch a virus is to bog your machine down so much that you never use it.
When did MSE fall from grace? It’s first couple years it was touted as very good and complete. What happened?

How-To Geek did a write-up last month. Basically, it started falling off in evaluations, and the upshot was this:

How-To Geek now recommends Avast, although they do state “Now, if you’re a geek like we are, MSE and Windows Defender are very usable. If you have good security practices and know what you’re doing, you can manage just fine with this lightweight option. But average Windows users don’t always follow proper security practices and should use a strong antivirus that does well in tests — as Microsoft themselves now recommend.”

So if you’re not doing anything more nefarious than plain-vanilla web browsing, it’s not absolutely necessary to move away from MSE (I still use it myself). But if you’re paranoid or legitimately worried about your online encounters, some of the other options may be more to your liking.

That appears to have been last updated in 2008?

This report from a year ago indicates that all anti-virals suck. They take an average of 3 weeks to catch up with newly released malware. On zero day, they all get zero percent (though I’ve seen more sanguine studies). IIRC, the variants of the Zeos keylogger were picked up about 60% of the time. Anyway, that link recommended Avast and Emisoft as least bad.

PC World’s for pay security software roundup from 9 months ago:

FSecure gets the thumbs up.

I recall MSE got good marks when it first was released two or three years ago. I’m glad that I asked about current reviews.

I bought a Dell Laptop in Sept and included their McAffee 2 year protection. It’s the first time I’ve used McAfee in about 10 years. I started using Norton in 2003. i get frustrated because Norton wants to own the machine. McAfee has been ok so far.

I’m going to try some other options based on the reviews.

Thanks for the help.


I read that Sandboxie even defeats the current worst malware out there (Cryptolocker) with no trouble. If you only ever open webpages/emails/pdfs in a sandboxed program, your level of safety skyrockets. Of course, I do expect that malware creators will start to focus more on beating this defense, so you should still use all the other defenses as well.

The best protections are being somewhat knowledgeable, careful, and not having kids use the computer. I use MSE and nothing else. I know I probably have somewhat elevated risk, but with what I use my computer for, I don’t think it is too high.

Caution – some virus programs masquerade as anti-virus programs. I downloaded a Malwarebytes copy not long ago that turned out to be exactly the opposite – it was an infector, not a disinfector. Let’s be careful out there!

I can’t tell if aceplace57 uses a few PCs at work or administers a few PCs others use, but if it’s the latter this Avast problem is even worse. The popup is annoying and confusing to less wise computer users who will try to install the pro version trial, if they have administrative rights for some reason, or just pester you with questions because the damn popup scares them.

I’ve been using Panda Cloud. I can’t recall how I stumbled upon it, but it was after Avast started getting annoying.

Whichever one you use, you will find that after a couple of years they start to lose their lustre with bloat and popups and unruly demands.

I use Avira for my anti virus.

I run Malwarebytes scans periodically.

For my Firewall I use COMODO. I used Zone Alarm for years but on my Windows 7 PC I started getting random Blue Screen crashes that I eventually traced back to ZA so I switched to COMODO. I preferred Zone Alarm’s interface but COMODO doesn’t make my PC crash.