Anti virus

Hi all,
I was wondering what your preference to Anti Virus software is. I currently am running Norton 2007, but when I downloaded Spy Sweeper recently, it found 7 things that Norton ignored. Now I am wondering if Norton really is the best. So if you could tell me what I should get, that would be great! Also, I was thinking AVG, does anyone know of it’s dependability?
Thanks in advance!

Norton is certainly not the best. It’s about average. The best anti virus I’ve found is called Avira AntiVir there are ones that are free for download and then ones that you have to pay for. I have a pdf somewhere of which anti virus are good. I’ll update this post with it when I find it.


I definitely do not know what the best is, but Norton is not it. I used to have it, and my dad still has it, and it isn’t good.

I have AVG Free Edition right now, and it seems to be working well. I haven’t had any problems with it so far, so that’s a good sign. :slight_smile:

puke Norton puke


I fix people’s computers all the time. The biggest problem is usually a Norton conflict (with something or other), weather it be driver conflicts, service conflicts, or whatever. Norton chokes up computer’s resources. (sorry for being harsh)

Now onto the good news.

I’m probably going to get run off the track for this the same way I just talked about Norton, but McAfee doesn’t seem to do a bad job. I used to pay for it, but now it comes free with my Comcast internet connection. I have never had a virus/trojan that it hasn’t caught (the firewall is great), and it fixes most existing problems with its virus scan. The biggest issue is, again, resource hogging.

So what is the solution? AVG is pretty nice. Haven’t noticed any major problems with it… but it is free. Perhaps its just me, but pay services seem to feel more inclined to keeping your computer virus-free if they want you to renew your contract. I haven’t done FULL testing with AVG (my whole network runs McAfee, not to mention hardware firewalls), but a few of the labs at the university run AVG, and it seems to work just fine.

So, there you go. My opinion. Sorry Symantec (I can’t complain about norton utilities though…)


Not a lot of system overhead. Free.

Norton is to anti-sypware as… McDonald’s is to your health.

I use a combination of AVG (for spyware), ZoneAlarm (for firewall), AdAware (for deep, long scans) and Firefox (for internet protection against popups/etc). Really though, nothing can help more than some good common sense, i.e. not downloading things that don’t look right (like, what’s supposd to be a song but comes up as a .exe), not clicking on pr0n popups, etc… I load my sister’s computer down with so much anti spyware stuff, yet she still gets them from using LimeWire so much and not using common sense while doing it.

I used to have Norton 2006 loaded on my computer.
In June (last year) the computer started to act up. I took it to Best Buy (still under warranty) and they told me it had a major Trojan and that my hard drive would have to be wiped.
I lost allot of data because of that.
I now use PC Cillin.

Aren’t you the one who spells Microsoft M$ all the time?

Also, I would expect Spybot to pick up things that Norton doesn’t. Norton is anti-virus, Spybot is anti-spyware.

I use AntiVir combined with Adaware.

If anything use McAfee 8 Enterprise that I get free from school. It does a decent job.
I usually recommend AVG, Spybot, AdAware, and ClamAV.
Recently, I heard about Blink ( which is free for a year, and is supposed to do a decent job. I haven’t tried it yet though.
Edit: I forgot about NOD32. I’ve heard alot of good things about it, but never used it. Michelle’s comparitives seem to support it too.

For real security though I reccomend a router (built in firewall) and some common sense. Don’t go surfing to sketchy sites. Don’t go clicking willy-nilly on everything that pops up. READ whatever pops up.

Um… my dad swears by Microsoft. So, guess what? He went out and bought Microsoft OneCare. Heh… when my computer had spyware on it, then my dad loaded that stupid thing on it without me knowing.

Bit defender runs great no problems but it takes up a lot of resources.

USC distributes Trend Micro now. It works fine from what I’ve experienced with the lab machines I work with.

My mother uses AVG with no complaints. (And if she did have complaints, trust me, I’d know. ;))

For all you AVG users out there…

A month or so back, my mcafee expired so I installed and ran AVG and it came up with 0 problems. Now one of the files I have on my computer is a “virus” (all virus software seems to think it’s a virus). AVG didn’t detect it at all, I ran an updates, rescanned and all that jazz still didn’t find it (even tough mcafee had detected it every time I scanned). Then I downloaded and installed Avira AntiVir and it found it along with 3 real viruses. So maybe if I were you I’d rethink using AVG.

/end story

The above link basically shows you the different anti-virus softwares that are most popular, and it displays their performance over the years (a gray-ish color meaning it’s below everything, then ratings standard, advanced, advanced+) (it’s also a comprehensive form of the PDF [which was only one segment of a year] I posted earlier).

If you looking for a anti virus and willing to pay a pretty penny I would strongly recommend Kaspersky and as I said before if you want to go free, Avira AntiVir is what I’m pushing for.

For the last year or two, Norton has included an anti-spyware feature. In my experience, it isn’t as good as standalone applications, but Symantec certainly doesn’t market it that way.

I always recommend Firefox, AVG, Spybot, AdAware, ClamAV and Thunderbird first, as they are free solutions, and people often hate paying for software/subscriptions. But if they are looking for even more security, and want to pay more, then I’ll recommend commercial anti-virus applications (Except Norton and Microsoft Live).

But mostly, I try to teach them common sense. Only use Firefox (or Safari, Opera, or Camino) to browse the Internet, and NEVER use Internet Explorer unless absolutely necessary. Don’t use Outlook, ever. Always look at the link in the status bar before you click on it; if you cannot see an address there, be cautious before you click on it. Don’t download stuff from ‘sketchy’ websites. Always scan anything downloaded from the Internet for viruses before you open the file.

If they are looking to purchase a new computer, then I usually recommend that they purchase a Mac Mini. For $600, you can get a computer that just works, is much less at risk of being infected by viruses, and comes with the most amazing “free” software I’ve ever seen: iLife. While this may not be the best solution for everyone, for a large number of [especially full or partial computer-illiterate] people this will solve almost all of their problems.

(Silly people. They think I recommend Macs so they won’t have any computer problems. Little do they know, I recommend them so that I don’t ever have to fix their computer ever again. :p)

There’s an easy way to fix the problem with computer-illiterate people, LimeWire, and more viruses than you can shake a stick at. Go into their firewall and disable LimeWire from accessing the Internet. Even if they reinstall LimeWire, it’ll still be blocked from accessing the Internet. :stuck_out_tongue:

Norton AV for home use (as opposed to Symantec AV for corporate use) is a particularly badly-coded, inefficient and generally annoying product. It’s on my destroy-at-all-costs list. I’m not sure about the latest edition, but past instances used an Internet Explorer window to render the menus (meaning if IE was broken due to spyware, NAV wouldn’t work), and installed Windows shell extensions which added no value to the user interface, other than (effectively) a Norton banner ad in every window.

Also, I’ve become disenfranchised with the latest version of McAfee AV, ever since it started displaying popup ads for its own upgrade (only $49.95!). That’s unacceptable behaviour, and it’s earned itself a place on the list too.

I’ve used AVG Free on Windows 2000 and XP, without issue, and Kaspersky seems to have a good reputation, though I’ve only used their online service.

On a more abstract level, consider the ramifications of the subscription model of software distribution. Do you really want the producers of this software to conclude that people are willing to pay per-month/per-year for anti-virus service? If not, don’t buy software which uses that sales model. Personally, I liked the way they used to provide free upgrades in perpetuity (or until they stopped supporting that version, some years later), and I’m reasonably willing to spend my money in a way that reinforces that behaviour.

The never-use-IE, never-use-Outlook advice is really not helpful. Those programs have had holes in the past, and will continue to do so in the future, but the holes are usually patched very quickly, and are usually minor. People need to learn to keep their software patched—this goes for everything, not just IE and Outlook. As a functional matter, for business use, Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2007 is by far the best e-mail client in existence. And IE 7 is quite competitive with public-release builds of other offerings. By contrast, safe web browsing is always a good idea, and the rest of that advice is right on.

This battle seems to be what the user likes best. Kinda like the Mac vs. PC battle. I’ve Used Norton for years and haven’t had any problems with it at all. No viruses or anything. I normally run a scan with Adaware every month or so and it only picks up 3 or 4 items.

Some of the best advice offered so far has been safe internet surfing. Don’t click on stupid pop-up ads, or those links that people get in their profile on AIM saying crazy party pictures and stuff. Make sure to check in the status bar, or right click and show hyperlink (for AIM) to see where you are actually being sent.

Both are true and the last one is just hilarious. I would want to hide in the room and watch the person try to fix it just for fun. :smiley:


AVG does inexplicably miss some infections every scan, and that is the reason I stopped using it. For the Price (and I know some of you won’t agree), I think the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite is (In my opinion) The best I have used.

I benchmarked AVG, Mcafee, and ZA by Scanning a machine that had a known number of infections with each of them. While AVG missed a couple of infections, ZA seemed flawless (at least as much so as Mcafee =P). ZoneAlarm’s Malware remover has never failed me (as benchmarked against spybot S&D), and I have no complaints with the firewall, although I usually put my trust in My router’s.

Just a few thoughts,

-Cody C

I use AVG free editing. It’s a great program, runs on its own without you having to constantly monitor it. It also scans email. You can schedule it to do updates/scans when you aren’t using your pc so it doesn’t slow down your normal work.