Anti-virus for a standalone PC

By fnyakurimwa · 5 replies
Jul 6, 2010
  1. Hie

    Please advise me on the Ant-virus I can use for my PC. It is stand-alone (not on the internet). Most of the Anti-viruses I know need to be registered and updated online so now I do not know what to do.

    Please help because I want my PC to be protected.

    Thank you in advance
  2. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    The way I see it, your question is…questionable, as it reminds me a little bit of trying to square a circle. But I shall try to take it seriously.

    Firstly, a computer unconnected to the internet isn’t exposed to malware infection, unless some device such as external drive, USB stick or CD is connected to it. So getting such items only from trusted sources should keep you out of trouble.

    Secondly, no AV tool can deal reliably with all the new viruses constantly appearing, unless it’s regularly updated. If you can’t update it thru the internet, you have to do it manually using e.g. a CD you create on another computer. Otherwise, your only choice is a tool based entirely on heuristics, which is certain to both, miss many viruses and also give you plenty of false alarms.

    There’s a third possibility, change your OS from Windows to something like Linux, which is far less vulnerable to infection.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Point ONE is the major issue.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,551

    Well, it seems like you have some connectivity somewhere, otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Let's assume that your copy of Windows is legit for a second. If it is, then let's say it would pass a WGA validation check. If it did / could. then you could install "Microsoft Security Essentials" which is a free AV / Anti spyware app available from Microsoft.

    Oh, WGA has to be installed on the program host computer, not just the machine that downloaded the program. They've thought of that.

    I generally don't install AV, or even update Windows on a PC which isn't connected the internet. Files to be imported to such a machine are thoroughly security scanned before use.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    This brings up an interesting point to me though. Back in the day, you could download virus definitions for your AV product (like Norton or McAfee for example). This was fantastic for my parents because I was away at college on a fast connection and they were on dial up. I lived relatively close to home so every couple weeks or so I could go home and bring a virus def update on a usb stick. At the very least they could dl it on one computer and apply it to any others in the house. But now, I don't know of any AV that still allows you to manually download an update to distribute, do any do that anymore? It seems that the only way my dad's 2 computers can update now is if he brings both to a wifi hot spot, which requires at least an hour round trip from their house, updates are simply too big for dial up now. And no, broadband outside of insanely expensive satellite isn't available.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    understand - - independent DL of the A/V signatures should be trival, but apparently 'licensing' is more important :(

    backup to the sailient question: Does a standalone system (ie one w/o Internet access) need A/V?

    As noted earlier, the sole risk is the CD and USB devices; control those and I think the system would be immune.

    Control Autorun here may be of some use here, but still leaves the problem
    • you need something loaded
    • and you would like to ensure it is safe to load
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