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Scot

The Best Antivirus Product of 2006

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Scot

Given how much this forum played a part in this story in Scot's Newsletter, I thought I should point it out specifically:The Best Antivirus Product of 2006-- Scot

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Rons

Thanks for the interesting article and review. I especially like your take about us AVG users. Let me just add they will have to pry my fingers off the keyboard to get me to uninstall AVG from my system ! 3dbiggrin3.gif

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Grasshopper

Good write-up, Scot.I've been mulling a switch from an old Norton install. May have to go with AVG, especially since it's free.

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JerryM

It's hard to argue with the choice. I am using a 6 month trial of F-Secure on my laptop. It runs well with my other applications, though it had me uninstall Spyware Blaster.My one issue with F-Secure is that it does not update as frequently or efficiently as I would like. It updates normally once per day, but not on weekends. In addition, it checks, but does not update when an update is on the server. I have had it on twice today, and although it has checked, it has not updated from yesterday's definitions. I am wondering if I have the best server, but I have left it at the default setting and auto.If that situation continues I will remove it for probably KAV6, which I have on my PC.While I don't like the long scan times, compared to KAV6, I can accept that.Using the Kaspersky engine it is an effective AV, and an excellent choice if it works on your system.Best,Jerry

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Temmu

as always, nice write up!

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zlim

Great article Scot. I posted the link to it at another forum because a good antivirus choice from a non-partisan tester is priceless. JerryM, are you saying that if I choose to run F-Secure, I have to remove SpywareBlaster? If that's the case, I won't even look at it because I do like SpywareBlaster.

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patio
Thanks for the interesting article and review. I especially like your take about us AVG users. Let me just add they will have to pry my fingers off the keyboard to get me to uninstall AVG from my system ! 3dbiggrin3.gif
I'm with Rons on this...patio. :)

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Temmu

i've posted many times here that i'd recommend avg.but scot's recent experience with f-secure may have me trying it on one o' my machines...

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JerryM
Great article Scot. I posted the link to it at another forum because a good antivirus choice from a non-partisan tester is priceless. JerryM, are you saying that if I choose to run F-Secure, I have to remove SpywareBlaster? If that's the case, I won't even look at it because I do like SpywareBlaster.
Yes, I had to remove it, but I would suggest you take a look and see if that is still the same. If it tells you to remove SB, it is easy to cancel the install.Jerry

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Gary

I prefer Avast. :)

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twegner
Given how much this forum played a part in this story in Scot's Newsletter, I thought I should point it out specifically:The Best Antivirus Product of 2006
I appreciated the article, but I have to say your criteria are different than mine. An application that forces me to uninstall other software I have bought is a total non-winner for me, so you will not find F-Secure on my systems. I am surprised you would accept that kind of bullying from a software maker. But I agree it is time to drop Symantec. I was using anti-virus with Norton SystemWorks 2003 Pro, and the only way I could even uninstall it was with a manual registry editing procedure I found at Symantec's site, and even after that, a registry snooper program shows that I have literally hundreds of symantec registry entries remaining. SYmantec is way too intrusive and damaging to my system.I tried NOD32, and you are right, it has a nearly impenetrable user interface.Am trying AVG free right now. I'll purchase it if it looks reasonable, so far so good.Coincidently, the very same day ScottsNewsletter came out, Consumer Reports arrived with a study on the same subject. Their evaluation was done by an outfit called ISE. Their top picks were Bitdefender and Zone Labs. I have found Bitdefender is buggy. I haven't tried Zone Labs. I do very much appreciate your article. Tim

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Gus K

I liked Scot's article, but I must admit many of his criteria for and against a certain product were rather specialized and would be of no concern to the average user. I still have my doubts about AVG. The folks using it here are not your average users, they know how to avoid problems in the first place. For the regular-devil- may-care user (porn sites, p2p, open any email attachment, installing "free" adware/spyware laden programs) AVG may not be the best choice.

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Scot

I understand that many of you may have different criteria. That's why I spent as much as ink as I could on my criteria. I wanted people to understand my thinking so they could make intelligent choices about the alternatives.I totally agree that F-Secure's insistence on uninstalling other AV and some anit-spyware prodcts is annoying as ****. It is, to me, the biggest weakness of the product. And that problem has already gotten some SFNL readers into trouble. Please see:http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/84.htmThis special edition is in the process of mailing as I post this message.On the other hand, I think it's a mistake that so many of us have so many belt-and-suspenders security apps on our Windows PCs. My choice of F-Secure was for a fist-line-of-defense product. I would definitely keep multiple anti-spyware products around for fighting any sort of spyware infiltration. But I don't believe in running multiple anti-spyware real-time monitors simultaneously. One AV product. One antispyware product. One firewall. As it happens, F-Secure supplies both of the first two for me. And, increasingly, antivirus and antispyware are merging. I hear that Eset just purchased an antispyware company, for example. So the next version of Nod32 may have antispyware in it.So, while I understand that some of you have investment in other products and don't want to give them up, that's why I named three products. I would recommend Nod32 to anyone not using Eudora who's using SpywareBlaster, for example.F-Secure wasn't the product I love so much as it was the product that had the fewest trade-offs -- for me.Hope that helps. Because I'm not saying AVG is a bad product or that Nod32 is. (Although Kaspersky 6 is a bad product.) I could easily switch to any of these or even BitDefender (I agree its buggy, as is ZoneAlarm + AntiVirus, Consumer Reports) or whatever a year from now. They're all that close.And, just so you understand, I have three licenses to F-Secure, four for Nod32, and five for AVG. I'm using F-Secure on the Cyndy's and my main computers, both of which run Eudora. None of the rest of our computers use Eudora; we remote access to the computers that run email as needed. So on the four other computers that I use most often, I have Nod32 running. On most of the rest, I have AVG running.Nod32 and AVG are not bad products at all. They are the next two best in my book.And, I suspect that no two of us would evaluate and rank order a long list of AV products in the same order.-- Scot

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JerryM

Hi Scot,I appreciated the review. But you stated,{(Although Kaspersky 6 is a bad product.}Having tried NOD32, Avast, Bit Defender, F-Secure, and KAV6, I must disagree with that statement.KAV6 runs very smoothly, updates often and fast, has among the highest detection rates, scans my system in 3-7 minutres, and the support forum is great. As much as I liked NOD32, KAV6 was a better choice for me, and in my view the best overall AV available.I do have F-Secure on my laptop, and it runs well, but updates seem difficult in that it has only one update per day, and none on weekends, in my experience. I do not leave the laptop on much, and when I start it, the first time or two that F-Secure checks the server it says that update was successful, but shows the previous day's signatures. It has taken as long an an hour to successfully update. When I travel I am on dial up, and do not want to leave the computer running longer than necessary.I do not disagree that KAV6 may not have suited you, but it is not a bad product, and many attest to that fact. PSI am not married to any AV, and if and when one does not suit me I ditch it. I will do the same to KAV6 if it begins to have problems, but so far from the time of the Beta, it has done well on my system. Why do I not have it also on my laptop? Because F-Secure is a freebie for awhile. :whistling: And it "ain't bad also."Regards,Jerry

Edited by JerryM

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Scot

Jerry, a lot of other people have emailed me that they agree about Kaspersky 6.I'm not even slightly concerned about whether I get 12 updates a day or one a week from my antivirus company. The only stat that matters is how quickly they react to an outbreak, or a new dangerous virus.Kapserksy is a leader there. I agree. I wrote I think they offer the best protection of any product out there. But protection is only about 75% of the equation. And the rest matters too.K6 is buggy. I'll look at it again if they clean it up. When I talked to a U.S. Kaspersky exec. on the phone, there was no useful response about a list of problems. I wrote about these problems in passing already in the newsletter. So I won't repeat it. Check out other reviews of the product; I'm not alone in my assessment.-- Scot

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JerryM

Scot,Thanks for the reply. I guess if all of us agreed on what was the best of anything there would be a lot of folks go out of business. I'm glad for the competition, and it serves to make everyone better if they stay in business.Fortunately, I have not had the bug problems, but I do know some have.Best,Jerry

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LilBambi

Great writeup Scot! :thumbsup:However, for many computer techs, who deal with what could be perceived to be average users, many of us have found that F-Secure (as much as I really like the company and their BlackLight Beta for rootkits), and as Scot mentioned, it definitely have some issues with other security and antimalware software. Offering to uninstall for you what it perceives to be incompatible with itself is not an option -- at least for me. I don't trust any company that much. ;)I personally prefer to use multiple vendors' programs for security and antimalware in Windows because it gives the best coverage since no one product does it all. And if something comes in, and that can happen to anyone (for example zero day exploits and the ever increasingly prevalent website XSS attacks) regardless of the product one uses as a realtime mode scanner for AV or antimalware, you are less likely to have all the pieces of your defense knocked out in one fell swoop if you use various products from various vendors.As reported by Brian Kreb's Security Fix:

Skoudis says most anti-virus software can be thought of as file-detectors. "If you have this evil file on your system, anti-virus will stop it from being written to the hard drive or running in memory. You'd think that anti-spyware would be more than just a glorified file-detector, but what we've found is that most anti-spyware tools have very limited behavior-based detection."Skoudis and Liston have written a suite of tools they plan to release in May that users can fiddle with to test the robustness of the security software on their PCs. Among the tools they wrote was a simple keystroke logger program, which none of the anti-spyware programs detected as malicious.
And F-Secure is basically disallowing the use of some security products that could protect you from some of that. Recently and I wish I could find the article (maybe someone else read it too and could help with that), I read that right now about more than 1/2 of malware is known and detected by ANY, even the best of the best products.F-Secure works great for some folks -- obviously it does for you, Scot, and many others, but putting all your eggs in one basket and not being able to use various other products is not a prudent move, IMHO -- at least for me.If I were purchasing AV software for Windows, my AV choice would be Nod32. Yucky interface aside it has excellent detection and it plays well with other antimalware software and that's very important to me with the mounting user space and web site initiated threats out there.I totally understand why it was not your best choice Scot because you use Eudora and scanning outbound email is important for all email programs. I would hope Nod32 would step up to the plate and fix that. As should any other AV software.And I agree not everyone's needs are the same and therefore their personal choices would be different based on their needs.This is just my opinion for my own computer.

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JerryM

If I recall correctly, the only application that F-Secure had me remove was Spyware Blaster. I am not surprised when an AV does that, however, if there are many programs that the AV has issues with, I had rather have those and get me another AV.One of the top rated AVs that I used for over a year suddenly caused BSODs and when it was identified I went to their Support. They directed me to remove almost every other security program I had. I removed that AV instead.In general, I have found F-Secure an excellent "install and forget" program, if lack of updates is acceptable. It would seem that the suites would be best for a lot of folks, but I have more confidence in individual applications. I notice that some part of the suite causes more problems than separate programs. I am under the impression that is the case with KIS6. I only have the AV in both KAV6 and F-Secure. Best,Jerry

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Corrine
If I recall correctly, the only application that F-Secure had me remove was Spyware Blaster.
IMO, therein lies a big problem. Spyware Blaster, at the last update, provides protection from 6450 sites and JavaCool updates the database regularly. I would much rather keep the nasties out in the first place than clean up afterward.I also agree completely with LilBambi. I don't want to keep all my eggs in one basket and am totally against the various "suites" for my purposes. Not that I have ever had a virus on my computer, I also expect to go with NOD32 when the time comes that the corporate license of McAfee no longer includes employee home use. I have heard only the highest of compliments about NOD32. Scot, since you are quite involved in testing software programs, you may be interested in Eric Howe's thread at SpywareWarrior about creating standards around antispyware testing. http://spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=22210

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LilBambi

Eric Howes certainly gave an excellent place to jump from in testing and others in the thread certainly added to the discussion nicely.Thanks Corrine. B)

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muckshifter

Hmmm, I'm on the outside looking in ... has anyone "seen" the standing joke?"Don't forget to use a Firewall, an AV program, an Anti-Malware program, an Anti-Trojan program, and Anti-Worm program, a secure Web browser."Did I miss any ... :icon8: Have another look at what "people" want, and I think you'll find most want an all-in-one program.Put up a simple poll on your individual forums ... "would you like ONE program for all" or, "install multiple programs" ... I think some of you maybe in for a surprised.One answer we all know is ... no, one or multiple programs, will ever protect you from the unknown.Can anyone here remember the last time you saw a "Virus" ... me, it was in 1986, on a floppy disk ... and I got caught by the Blaster WORM ... B) oh, and I like KAV 5 personal on my Windows box. :thumbsup:

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rickk1

Personally & professionally speaking, I prefer AVG Professional. When I repair a system that is virus infected and it will not allow me to use the installed antivirus or avg free, I install Stinger from Network Associates.

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merja

I'm a satisfied longtime F-Secure user. No problems so far. :thumbsup:

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Cluttermagnet
I prefer Avast. :thumbsup:
Yep, me too. It plays better on my Win98SE machines than AVG. AVG is good, for sure, but they've done something to it recently. Doesn't play well any longer with email scanning in 98SE like it used to. Tends to get caught in endless loops. Also features endlessly long update downloads, and I'm still on dialup (by choice!). Avast, by contrast, is lightning fast to update. Scot is right about Avast being quirky, especially in its minimalist interface. Indeed, they ought to 'blow up' the GUI some. It's a good, solid piece of AV software, however, which performed well recently when Thunderbird unintendedly downloaded a known-infected email from my ISP server. I'll try a few others, but Avast is still getting the thumbs up from me. :( Edited by Cluttermagnet

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LilBambi

I agree, particularly for dialup users, Avast! Home Edition does a great job. The only thing I generally recommend is turning off the Web Shield. It's a nuisance and slows things down. Without the Web Shield running, I really think that AVG and Avast are pretty much neck in neck...but for dialup users, Avast is just so much nicer.

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rolanaj

Hmmm... that is interesting, I have been meaning to try Avast, maybe that's just one more reason to do so.

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Temmu
...Can anyone here remember the last time you saw a "Virus" ... me, it was in 1986,..
i haven't been hurt by a virus since... well? 1990??
... I install Stinger from Network Associates.
stinger, good, free stuff! :w00t: i keep an updated copy on my flash drive to help others.

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pierrejamme

Scott:Thanks for the great article it came at a good time. My Mcafee 2005 Suite runs out in 9 days and I can hardly wait to get rid of it. Lately it has required a login for Viruscan updates and even though the poorly written SpamKiller is disabled it is always offering to update it. I have a dialup (live in the country) so I don't want to mess with all the time needed to update Mcafee. Nod32 would be my choice due to the dialup, but I don't use Outlook.So to the point of my comment, I have requested a 30 day trial from f-Secure every day since i read the article and so far they have not sent me an e-mail. I may try the link listed here for a 6 month trial.Awaiting your article on firewalls, I still have a registered copy of Zonealarm that I have no plan to use again.

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JerryM
Scott:Thanks for the great article it came at a good time. My Mcafee 2005 Suite runs out in 9 days and I can hardly wait to get rid of it. Lately it has required a login for Viruscan updates and even though the poorly written SpamKiller is disabled it is always offering to update it. I have a dialup (live in the country) so I don't want to mess with all the time needed to update Mcafee. Nod32 would be my choice due to the dialup, but I don't use Outlook.So to the point of my comment, I have requested a 30 day trial from f-Secure every day since i read the article and so far they have not sent me an e-mail. I may try the link listed here for a 6 month trial.Awaiting your article on firewalls, I still have a registered copy of Zonealarm that I have no plan to use again.
Could it be that the reply was placed into your spam folder?Why not go for the 6 months deal?Jerry

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