Security

Which virus protection software do you use? Take the poll.

Providing users with the most reliable and updated virus protection is an on-going challenge. It's always a good time to explore the best options.

Providing users with the most reliable and updated virus protection is an ongoing challenge. It's always a good time to explore the best options.

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I know I might be opening up a can of worms here, but maintaining virus protection is so high on the must-do list, that this will surely lead to a worthwhile discussion. Just like in the Windows versus Linux discussions, passions will run high and opinions will be strong, but they're always interesting to hear. Nonetheless, installing a reliable virus protection software is a no-brainer, but which one?

For years, I've had a very low opinion of Norton (Symantec) off-the-shelf products. They just seem to take over the computer and become a hindrance. However, for those same number of years, I've had a very high opinion of Norton Corporate edition. In fact, that's the one I use -- currently version 10.2. The installation is problem-free, and running in the background is seamless.

I don't leave anything up to the user, and I've scheduled daily virus definition updates, as well as daily scans. Knock on wood, but I've not seen a virus rear its ugly head in quite some time. Norton has nabbed some potential intruders and put them into quarantine, but none have evaded detection.

As user support professionals, which virus software do you prefer? Norton Corporate edition gets my vote. Take the poll and elaborate in the following discussion on your decision to make the choice you did. I've included the top three programs in terms of market share -- Symantec (Norton), McAfee, and Trend Micro -- and added the Norton Corporate edition as a separate product.

217 comments
joubes
joubes

CA Etrust was letting us down big time. It was not catching any of the latest spy\crap ware. I did some extensive testing with Kaspersky, Sophos, Trend Micro, Eset, and Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.04. I was shocked that Kaspersky and Sophos gave me poor results (based on the large amount of positive reviews by techies), and very surprised that SEP 11.04 performed so well (based on the large amount of bad reviews by techies). Eset was also very good. We ended up going with SEP and have it installed on about 100 computers with little problems (OK let the Symantec haters start screaming).

mypcclean
mypcclean

I use Kaspersky for the last 3 years or more and i have never had a problem with anything as of yet and i use the PC 10 hours a day with 80% time spend surfing on sites.

iain.obrien
iain.obrien

I use ESET Nod32. It has a vast database of virus definitions and comes complete with some malware protection, realtime protection, site-blocking and also some basic firewalling. Definitely worth the few shillings for so much protection.

dick
dick

AVG - Home

joubes
joubes

I am currently using CA Etrust Anti-Virus and Pest Patrol, but am looking for another as I am very unhappy with it. CA has the following issues 1. Pest Patrol is a lousy anti-spyware prevention and detection tool in my opinion. It has done nothing to prevent the latest stuff, most notably AV 2009 malware. 2. Centralized management is one of the worst I have seen in 15 years of IT Administration. You have to setup groups by VLAN and it is very kludgy. I constantly need to delete and recreate groups, as advised by CA tech support. You also need to have a "gateway" for each VLAN, but if that gateway is turned off, that group is not updated. 3. Scans for AV and Pest are separate 4. CA Tech Support takes too long to get a hold of. I am usually on hold for several hours, and sometimes they do not call back. I am evaluating others at this time. I first tried Kaspersky because of it's great reputation, but the performance was lousy. Lotus Notes and Firefox were both choking\freezing\hesitating, and I found it to be very "chatty" (ie. do you want to block this, allow this, etc.) That makes me nervous as my end users won't know what to answer. I am now evaluating Symantec Endpoint Protection v 11.04. I had an install issue because I had an older version of Live Update, but after reading a tech note and uninstalling it, it installed fine. So far the performance of SEP has been very good. I have been watching my resources and am not experiencing the bloat that most people are talking about. However, I am very concerned about the "bad press" that SEP has received. Even though it is working well for me now, I am concerned about future problems.

Cyclops116
Cyclops116

We're using Symantec Corp 10 at work, only because it was in place when I got here and I won't go to 11 and am testing Nod32 right now! It's got such a small footprint and good rep it's worth a try. I use AVG Free at home no way I'm paying for for something that doesn't work as well

RamMan
RamMan

AVG on 7 out of 9 of my home computers. 8th computer is work supplied laptop with Symantec. 9th is my Server 2003.

mschoenberg
mschoenberg

Hello I myself used to use both Mcafee and Norton but have switched and used many free ones now as I test them ,so I now have used avast,antir,comodo both their antivirus and firewall, and have had great results with all of these solutions, also did use bioclean spyware from comodo so there are a lot of free solutions out there that work

ecsefalvay
ecsefalvay

AWG. Have used others in the past. Norton and McAfee are too bloated, are a drag on the system and are too irritating. Kaspersky was fine until I had a problem to which they did not respond. AWG works fine, is effective and the price could not be better.

duncan.pope
duncan.pope

low system resource use, lightweight footprint. I use it to cleam up what all the big names miss or are defeated / disabled by. Free online scan for troubleshooting. Try a 30 day trial free! Duncan Pope PCparamedic

lsimons
lsimons

Nod32 has so far been the hunter killer i need and runs in the back ground like a ghost. No other option has been so successful

armandobarreiro
armandobarreiro

I use Avira and this is why?:

quark
quark

Yes, AV-Comparatives published a very objective comparison report, covering many different aspects, and Avira made the first place, just pipping GDATA at the post. Avira scored 99.2% and GDATA 99.1%. AVG and ESET were in the lower 90%. Third was Avast, fourth, Kaspersky, and fifth, Symantec.

sorab_batin
sorab_batin

I have been using this config for a long time now and it has yet to fail me. It is a combined solution that is free yet very strong. Avast Home Edition + Comodo Firewall Pro + Windows Defender. While Avast's resident scanner is great there are some infections that do get through. Thats where the Defense+ module of Comodo comes into action beacuse it stops the infection from doing anything by asking you whether you trust the application or not. Its sort of like UAC but much smarter as it also has a feature that lets it learn what actions you allow and which applications you define as SAFE. Windows Defender is a just in case fail safe so as not to let any malicious access to windows' system files.

k9fe
k9fe

On my XP and Vista machines I run AVAST Pro. I don't see them as much of a target for the V creators. On my Linux laptops and desktops I run CLAMAV with DANSGUARDIAN for the front end filter. Also run a Debian based SMOOTHWALL with CLAMAV.

usdad
usdad

I use Avast Home Edition and so far havent found anything that is better

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

So you would really have me believe that Norton Retail and Norton Corporate use two different virus definitions?? While I agree with you about the resource-hogging issue of Norton. The thing that gets me about it, is the fact that for all that endured pain, it doesn't even do its job! I own a shop and Norton is job security to me. Will I use it? Not since the first time in '96 when it popped up a notice that my system was infected with Monkey B virus. Even at that elementary age of my pc-related experience I was left with the thought of, "OK, so Norton CAN detect the virus, but could NOT detect it BEFORE I got infected?" Hasn't changed in over 20 years and that is enough of a track record for me. Without getting too much into a book here, I use Avira AntiVir Premium and love it. I never know it's there until I need to. I have tried them all. I was using AVG until recently. AVG has failed to detect the newest revision of the suite of malware introduced with the Win Anti-Virus Pro applications. Sorry, I forget the name, Vundo or something like that. One last note: The suite of bloatware products listed as choices here point to the "real" nature of this thread. Not griping, money talks. But if you want virus protection, get virus protection. Not a suite of crap that bogs even the newest systems down. In terms of protection from these things, it will always remain that the best protection is a healthy dose of skepticism and paranoia. Like I tell my clients, "There are no 1-click fixes and there are no better search engines than g**g*e. If there were, their stock would also be at $400.00+ per share!"

cmarcou
cmarcou

I've used Norton & CA with huge system bloat. Switched to Vipre & will never go back to any other AV software. It does the job, is easy to use & because it takes less system resources I can run a scan while doing something else. Which means not postponing a scan because I'm doing something which means I run many more scans. Scans take much less time than other AV scans. This company's support is one of the best I've ever found! Never needed support for Vipre but have used other software support from this company & they are great.

ciakrook
ciakrook

CA, AVG, AVAST - have different computers, differs per computer. CA has been good in bringing up malware, but has made some classification mistakes as well.

network_girl
network_girl

At home I use AVG and at work we use CA ITM 8.1, but the problem CA ITM is the pest patrol part of the product, it lacks ability to really remove spyware.

CyberAide
CyberAide

I recommend Norton Antivirus or McAfee (if it is free) for newer, faster VISTA machines. On older machines, I install AVAST Home Edition 4.8 which does not hog up alot of the memory or require alot of speed to run. Avast is very simple and very effective.

mikemt1
mikemt1

I am not going to tell you which virus protection software I use because as soon as I tell you someone will right a virus that can get around it.

douglasalt1
douglasalt1

The package that my ISP (British Telecom) provides is Norton On-Line security for the 4 PCs at home. Each PC is now configured for daily update to AV signatures, runs full scan weekly, sets sensible firewall rules. Have turned off parental rules (2 late teenager sons would moan if the rules were kept). The PCs also have Lavasoft Adaware anti-spy which I manually update and run full scans weekly.

fujihts
fujihts

I use Microsoft Windows Live One care.

robinson-59
robinson-59

ubuntu open source/ with clam av. NO virus NO spyware

taylorstan
taylorstan

I prefer Trojan myself....LOL On a serious note, i've been a mcafee user for the longest time, and havn't had any problems. An i'm not a safe surfer by any means.

Aragorn7
Aragorn7

Personally, I find it appalling that people buy fast PCs only to slow them down with resource hogging security suites. When they buy Vista machines with only 1GB of RAM, it makes matters even worse. IMO, too many professional reviewers, evaluating security packages, look only at the Security side without taking into account the negative impact those programs have on a PC's performance. When I work on Users' PCs, it seems that if slowness is the complaint, it will be tied to Norton, McAfee, or some other major Security Suite. For several years now I have recommended Eset NOD32 because of its smaller footprint and usage of memory. The difference in system performance is quite noticable. Recently I have begun using Sunbelt Vipre and have been quite pleased with it's amazingly small impact on RAM usage as well. Until I see contrary data, at this stage, I would give NOD32 the nod ;) for anti-virus protection and Vipre the nod for anti-malware protection, but both do an overall great job. For cost-conscious residential users who want excellent protection and faster PCs, Vipre will probably be the likely choice. I have no experience with Sunbelt's business versions; so I can make no legitimate comment. Unless one has actually had experience working with the various security programs, I don't know how anyone can be dogmatic on any particular program to the exclusion of others. I've used all the major players plus AVG 8.0, Avira, Bit Defender, PCcillin, etc. and can honestly say that if the goal is great protection with "minimal impact" on PC performance, I don't see how one can do any better than these two programs. Of course, this is only my opinion. I do respect the views of others and actually employ those views in making future decisions for my personal use and what to recommend. Thanks to all who contribute their own experience.

dan
dan

Started with free version years ago, now every system with Outlook has a paid license. Other machines use the free version. I recommend AVG free to others and they usually upgrade to the paid version. I stay away from the suites as I'm not a fan of one suite fits all. Too much can go awry........

giles.p.day
giles.p.day

Kaspersky and Avast, and malware bytes for ridding PC's of that bloody Anti Virus 2008/2009, then run a quick ccleaner followed up by some netstat -nao 1.

iambobwilson
iambobwilson

In the past I have used CA, AVG, Symantec, Zone Alarm, and Mcafee. Presently I am using the CA internet security package because it worked very well for me in the past. The Symantec and Macafee packages have always been a drag in my system. Now that I have a new PC and am now introduced to Vista, I thought the CA software would work well. So far so good! The anti-spyware software isn't very good though. I don't know if the software doesn't mesh with vista, but the antispam and parental control software locks up the computer and blocks internet access. Bob

TALKIN
TALKIN

Used to use symantec, will never again,over the past six years using norton had to format 4 times. To buggy, impossible to remove all tentacles. Support a non starter.

legorton
legorton

I use Panda antivirus internet security which I have used for over 10 years.it updates everyday and protect everything including instant messenger,email,web browsing no matter which browser you use.I never have any virus,adware,spyware,etc.it protects your identity,credit cards,bankng,etc. I would never use anything else.

voodoo
voodoo

Avast. Simple to use and extremely affective. I recommend it whenever I am asked.

luigi.digrande
luigi.digrande

We are currently in the process of deploying Symantec End Point Protection as we are wanting to get off of the useless CA eTrust garbage that we have been running for the last few years. Personally, for my home systems I use and recommend Kaspersky and recommended the corporate version to the business. But as the old saying goes, "No one ever got fired for buying IBM". Executives, in this case the CIO, don't like taking risks and prefer sticking with the big players.

wirejockey
wirejockey

Good luck with your deployment. I'm running it currently, and I'm seriously looking to replace it. Not so much for its performance, but for all other aspects. Installation, deployment, management. They all lack a sophistication that I seek from an enterprise software solution. Their Java implementation is awful. If you want the SEPM to run on a (XP machine) DO NOT install Java 6 update 10.

flausher
flausher

THE STUPID THING SLOWS DOWN YOUR COMPUTER SO MUCH YOU'D THINK YOU HAD A VIRUS ANYWAY. GRR. WHAT'S THE POINT OF AV SOFTWARE IF ITS AS BAD AS HAVING A VIRUS?? AVG anyday of the week..

dch48
dch48

They have greatly improved starting with the 2007 versions. I personally never had any problems with any of the earlier ones but I know many people claim to have had. I also have done free lance computer troubleshooting and have never come across anyone who had a problem caused by a Symantec product. The only thing I don't like about Norton is the cost. It currently costs $50 to renew a subscription for the Internet Security Suite. However, starting in 2008, when you renew your subscription, you almost immediately are told to check the website for available free upgrades. When you go to the site, they let you download the latest version of your product free. Another big improvement. The 2009 products are receiving rave reviews both for detection and system performance. If you're willing to pay for security, you can't beat Symantec in my opinion.

flausher
flausher

Recently, after buying Norton ghost, we got some free Norton anti virus with it, and thought we would try it out on one of our test machines, to see if it was any good now (compared to how it used to before we distanced ourselves from it for good.) After the 15 minute install. it wanted to restart. twice. after the second restart the computer took about 10 minutes to boot as opposed to its normal 2. I'll admit they aren't the best machines, but 10 minutes?? a further 3/4 minutes to load outlook before we decided we'd had enough.. We couldn't be bothered to even start a virus scan before we'd had enough and decided to get rid of it, it had slowed down the computer so much that it was practically useless, which is what alot of virus' are designed to do. congrat's Norton, you've designed something that's supposed to get rid of virus' yet is SO awful, it's almost like one..

Aragorn7
Aragorn7

Their uninstaller now includes 2009 and further I have uninstalled 2009 on some machines and found remaining elements that I had to remove through AutoRuns.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

That little trick with version 8 free identifying threats and then offering you the chnace to pay for the product to remove them didn't impress me at all. Mind you I'd pay for AVG before I gave Norton another penny.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

As no one will actually buy their AV Product in it's current form that have to give it away to get rid of the stock. Back when the Norton System Works Gold was introduced it was a good application if it actually installed without a problem. Back then if it didn't install right it was easier to just blow away the OS and try again hoping that this time it would work right. But even still it was worth using till @002 or 3 when it just became rubbish and the introduction of Internet Security was a nightmare to deal with. That was the one offering that I was never happy with as it just was way to buggy and slow. Now that I have the newest and greatest maybe I should try it on more than just the one Test Rig that is set aside to use Norton's as a guide to how it's playing with the rest of the software and to see what gets infected. However I'm not about to consider scrapping the existing product till it expires in a few moths time. Norton's just way too expensive to consider cutting back on what is already licensed to work now. Col

flausher
flausher

Are you also an AVG fan? best i've come across...

flausher
flausher

As us trying out the AV software was on a completely different machine to which ghost was being used on. My point was that we got the AV free with the ghost, presumeably for them to try and make us think; "Wow, free AV software, let's install it, find out how good it is, and then buy it for the rest of our lives" - but they failed miserabley..

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Only took them what ten years to do something so basic I'd have been given a right kicking for screwing it up the first time. Did you regression test this tool by the way, how many verions back does it successfully remove? Not being funny, but I've had a go with Norton stuff on and off since forever. Every come back you have seems to start at 2007, tool little too late.... They should pay me to give them a chance to use my stuff, the amount of time and money I've seen thrown away on the low quality garbage they produced pre 2007.... Well 2002, really, all occasions I've bumped into it since them, I've wiped and put something with the value for money concept somewhere in it.

dch48
dch48

The tool is no longer required. especially not when installing a newer version. The installer now detects earlier versions and removes them before installing the new one. The 2009 version has been tested and it's uninstaller removes everything, unlike earlier versions. Also, I went to Symantec's site yesterday and was able to download the 2009 version for free even though I have 7 months remaining on my subscription. To the other poster, I would suggest that the problem was with Ghost, which has always been quirky and known to cause problems even with other Symantec products. I doubt that the culprit was the AV component.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

which might uninstall it, but still leave crap all over your drive and registry, you aren't far wrong. Hostageware....

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

Norton is like throwing your computer off a cliff and watching helplessly as a thousand little sea erchins pick up the pieces and carry them off to sea.