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Anti virus software, few thoughts

Some Observations about the Virus protection we should trust..

When cleaning people’s PCs of malware and viruses, I’m often asked “What Anti virus do you recommend?”

Well its a difficult answer to take on depending on what you need or want from your system.

You can have total security and not be able to do much, being prompted at every action, Or a system scanner so silent that you don’t notice it’s crashed or been disabled.

Over the many years dealing with viruses and malware, we’ve seen more issues caused by major software names than the viruses their-selves, which after spending £60 on you don’t really expect.

Here’s some examples:

  • Norton’s Internet Security blocking all network traffic 1 day after license ends.. including attempts to buy a new license.
  • AVG refuses to start its shield or updates after installing new version because of its failure to automatically remove its own registry entries.
  • McAfee installing, without a trace! No short cuts, nothing in add/remove.. not even a folder..

Not picking on them 3, dealt with plenty more..

‘But those are a few ones no one uses!’ I hear you say, well they are usually the first to be bundled on new systems from major manufacturers, usually with a 2 week to 1 year complimentary license (most are 2 weeks now.. can’t have you staying safe) and the price drastically goes up when you check their special offers.. No body likes them.

What do we recommend?

First of all, Take a look at the not so expensive options, and not free! .. Well some of them are, but please support them.

Part of our repair pack is Hitman-Pro which will analyse suspicious files and check them against on-line scanners, their second opinion scan part of the program is free to use, a subscription will allow the program to remove infections, but it will tell you what it is allowing you to look up other solutions.

Malware Bytes– Scanning and removal is free to use. paying for a subscription gives you a low resource real-time scanner and more scan options such as ‘flash scan’ which checks the most vulnerable parts of a system.

Spybot Search & Destroy, a very powerful suite of tools combined into this scanner, change what starts at boot time, services and network file checks. Free to use for home users, with lots of business options.

ComboFix –  We don’t actually recommend you use this unless you know how to set-up windows again, for heavily infected systems and usually only used by technicians. Or one of the rare people who actaully backs things up.

Microsoft Security Essentials / Windows Defender / Malware Removal tool – surprisingly good tools from Microsoft, as basic protection.

We’d recommend having 2 or 3 of these programs installed, updated and ready to run, just to be safe..

“this all sounds complicated, is there anything I can buy to do it for me?”

Well yes, but there is some effort still needed from the user.

Currently we have tested Vipre and Bullguard, both of which have low system resource take up (meaning it doesn’t slow your system down), and give excellent value for money.

Other favourable vendors include Kaspersky  (though for some strange reason cheaper to buy on Amazon than their own site) and ESET’s NOD32

We will also keep a lookup for new software to test and tag on results/views onto this article.

“But I have ‘Windows Antivirus 2013’ and don’t need anything else!”

Umm.. you may want to check if that’s a real piece , we’ve dealt with similar named software what will make up random results and then tell you that you need to register it for £30 to remove the alleged items. We call this particular thing FakeWare. 

Don’t even think about paying it, Google the name of it and you’ll find warnings on forums about it before you’ll find the people who make it. You’ll probably find that your system is infected with a fair few, the program is a trojan and was installed via a malicious pop-up.

Always good to get a second opinion.

Any Anti Virus tips or horror stories? feel free to share below!


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