which Anti-Virus is better?

By Kf21291 ยท 27 replies
Nov 5, 2004
  1. I don't seem to tell any difference in anti-virus scanners and firewalls
    So if anyone can tell me whitch on is best virus scanner and firewall

    so far i have

    Norton Anti-virus 2003(Updated at all times)-

    Zonealarm Pro (updated)

    and a Proxy(if any use)

    i am only asking this because i have problems with my computer its slow and the internet runs like 28k. i have a 3GHZ P4 Processor and a 80GB hard drive only 9GB used whats the problem?
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Your choice of firewall is spot on as far as I`m concerned.

    As for which is the best antivirus programme I think it`s a matter of personal prefrence.

    I am using AVG7 and have had no problems at all.

    Before that I used Panda Platinum and wasn`t very impressed.

    I`ve never tried Norton so I can`t really say to much about it.

    It might be best to read as many reviews as you can and then make your choice.

    Regards Howard :grinthumb
  3. Hodsocks

    Hodsocks TS Guru Posts: 382

    I have used Norton for 5 years or more now and never had a virus problem, but I know a lot of guys here don't like it. The only downside I would mention is that on older machines it will noticeably slow them down.
    I recommend AVG to those who don't want to shell out the money for Norton and it works pretty well for most people.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Norton AV is one of the most used anitivirus programs out there and it is the first thing virus/worm writes keep in mind when developing their malware. Any respectable virus/worm/trojan/spyware does something to make Norton useless. All viruses that work actively against AV programs I have seen act against Norton and McAfee products.

    And sadly, Norton products are not written with older computers in mind. You need a pretty powerful machine in order to avoid a noticeable slowdown.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    What is your actual internet speeds? I know whatever they tell you you upload/download speed is, that is the absolute max you will go, and frequently you won't even reach that.
  6. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I can say this about Norton, after using it for more than five years, not once did it ever find a virus. I'll admit though, that I don't go to a lot of dangerous places and am careful about my email. When it expired this last time, after reading all the, at least most of the, negative coment here, about Norton, and the positive coments about AVG, I downloaded the free AVG. Within two days it detected a virus at a site I visit frequently and trust. Real or not, I don't know, but it sure scared me. The problem I had with AVG, is, it apparently didn't detect the virus until after it was on my comuter, instead of stopping it in it's tracks to begin with. Maybe that's the correct procedure though, I'm not sure.

    Since I bought McAfee, it has stopped a virus twice, before it was downloaded onto my computer. Again if these were real or not I don't know, I get the feeling somtimes these are false alarms, as I can't believe the sites that supposedly had them would alow that to happen. I think though, I'll stay with McAfee for the time being. I agree with Nodsu, that virus writers probably tend to try to get around the most popular products.

    As to firewalls, I've only tried free Sygate, and free Zone Alarm and Zone Alarm Pro. I think either of the Zone Alarms are head and shoulders above Sygate.

    As far as your computer slowing down, have you done a scan with Ad-aware and Spybot? You might have some adware or spyware slowing you down.

    As Peortner said, what are you advertised internet speeds. On dsl, you will probably loose about 20% of your advertised download speed normaly.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. Gunny

    Gunny TS Rookie Posts: 66

    I would suggest looking at your RAM. If you have a lot of background processes running they can gobble up a lot of RAM and slow your system down. The same can happen if you have many large apps open at the same time.

    Look at the Performance tab in Windows Task Manager. If your PF Usage shoots up when you open a large app then it is probably doing a lot of swapping to the Pagefile because of a shortage of free/unused RAM.

    Also, you might look at the Processes tab and see which processes you need/want running all the time. When I boot up I have 27 processes running including those for NSW/NAV, ZoneAlarm (free), and GoBack. I eliminated two or three Windows process (such as Windows Messenger) because I don't need them.

  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The speed at which your modem connects has nothing to do with any software. You probably have a noisy phone line. Make sure you have neat phone cabling inside the house. The line may be not so good outside your house either and there is nothing you would be able to do about that.
  9. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Which antivirus is better is a complex question. One which no one can really answer. It all comes down to some many factors such as opinion, number of virus definitions, other features, and how that application responds to the specific virus you have.

    In a ideal setup, you would have several antivirus applications running together helping to protect your computer, and those programs would work well together, but this is just not the case. In lots of cases you can only install one AV application. Especially when it comes to the more highly used AV software. For example you can not install Mcafee if you are using Norton.

    A point Nodsu brought up, Norton is probably one of the highest "exploited" AV applications by malicious code. In most cases you don't really have to worry about that, but if the virus you have has code to disable or go unprotected by AV software then NAV will probably be the first it looks for. I would guess Mcafee to be the second. When it comes to public computers --those used by less than knowledgeable users, it seems that I have almost always seen Mcafee. Though in the case of "more knowledgeable users" it seems most tend to use NAV.

    You know, honestly, really the best you can do is, learn to be smart and how to avoid a virus all together (as you would if you didn't have AV software). In that case you have two barriers of protection, your knowledge and then AV. The FIRST and foremost thing a virus has to do is get past you, then AV software.

    Everyone here has their opinions about AV software. They all basically do a decent job, as far as NAV, Mcafee, AVG, etc. None will protect you against all viruses, and all AV software has to have updated virus definitions. Choose one, update it once a week, and learn how to protect yourself.

    Remember, AV software is the SECOND barrier a virus must get through. You should be the first.
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Just post it here, and we'll diagnose it.
  11. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I am using Extendia Antivirus AVK Pro, which uses the Kaspersky-engine AND the RAV-engine simultaneously. It is a little bit intrusive on my CPU (Athlon XP 1900+), but absolutely nothing gets by it! Only $29.-/year
  12. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I guess I became one of the less knowledgeable when I switched from Norton to McAfee, but I based my decision mostly on comments made by people here and at other forum/sites. Like this one by RealBlackStuff, made here at TS just today, in another thread. I have seen this so many times. Personally , I really can't see much difference in Norton and McAfee.

  13. ok777

    ok777 TS Rookie

    Did You Try Antivir German Antivirus Software?

    I have used both Norton Antivirus and McAfee Antivirus since 4 years. I want to find out if this German AntiVirus was any better then Norton and McAfee. I downloaded it FREE from http://www.free-av.com/index.htm

    Without any conflict I used AntiVir with Norton antivirus on my PC. AntiVir found more Virus on my PC and Norton found none. Since last two years I have been using FREE AntiVIR Virus software from Germany.
  14. jwlee@ktc.com

    jwlee@ktc.com TS Rookie

    best anti-virus

    I used to believe totally in Norton; however with the advent of WinXP some computers and some programs seem to run extremely slow with Norton.
    I was told about avg and ran Avg and Norton at the same time. Avg found viruses that Norton was letting through.
    Norton was better than McAfee, Dr Solloman, PCCillan, Panda and several others I tried.
  15. thuang_513

    thuang_513 TS Rookie


    dude....the problem u have right now has hardly anything to do with the anti-virus. Since you use dial-up, the connection speed will go down to 28k (even if you have 56k) if ur line is noisy, or the ISP is busy or crowded.
  16. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    I wasn't saying that someone using Mcafee was less knowledgeable. I was pointing out what I had seen personally on 100's of customer's PC's and based on the knowledge they appeared to have.
  17. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    That should not be the case. I ran it on and off for a few months at a time and it never caused a problem with any applications, including games. I was also told by some Star Wars Galaxies players that it may have been the cause of gradual slow down inside the game that I was experiencing in large player city's, but after removing NAV to be sure, it was not. It's just the fact that SWG needs more than 512MB of RAM.
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Grisoft has announced that they are dropping support for AVG 6 in December, so no more updates & virus definitions for those who still use it.

    AVG 6 termination
  19. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503


    Are you trying to run McAfee and Norton at the same time? That won't work.
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [VSOSplash] "c:\PROGRA~1\mcafee.com\vso\mcmnhdlr.exe" 103 mcvso.ui::splash.htm

    Stop these from running every time (check settings), not needed:
    C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_05\bin\jusched.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_05\bin\jusched.exe

    Install Hijackthis in a permanent directory. When it makes the "fixes", they are backed up, in case you want to undo them. This is not possible from a Temp-location!
    C:\Documents and Settings\Kentley\Local Settings\Temp\Temporary Directory 1 for hijackthis.zip\HijackThis.exe

    Aren't you a bit paranoid with all this junK
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SpyStopper] C:\Program Files\SpyStopper\spystopper.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SpyBlocs] C:\Program Files\SpyBlocs\SpyBlocs.exe

    Whatever is installed here, is spyware. Uninstall it while in safe mode.
    C:\Program Files\STC\

    Then, still in safe mode, run HJT and let it "fix":

    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://download.com/
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page_bak = http://aimhome.netscape.com/aimhome.adp
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SQInstall] C:\Program Files\STC\SQ_3394_3222.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [delmsbb] C:\WINDOWS\delmsbb.exe
    O4 - Startup: Reboot.exe
    O16 - DPF: ppctlcab - http://www.pestscan.com/scanner/ppctlcab.cab
    O16 - DPF: {2359626E-7524-4F87-B04E-22CD38A0C88C} (ICSScannerLight Class) - http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/free/cm/ICSCM.cab
    O16 - DPF: {2FC9A21E-2069-4E47-8235-36318989DB13} (PPSDKActiveXScanner.MainScreen) - http://www.pestscan.com/scanner/axscanner.cab
    O16 - DPF: {4A3CF76B-EC7A-405D-A67D-8DC6B52AB35B} (QDiagAOLCCUpdateObj Class) - http://aolcc.aol.com/computercheckup/qdiagcc.cab
    O16 - DPF: {4C226336-4032-489F-9674-67E74225979B} (OTXMovie Class) - http://www.otxresearch.com/OTXMedia/OTXMedia.dll
    O16 - DPF: {4ED9DDF0-7479-4BBE-9335-5A1EDB1D8A21} (McAfee.com Operating System Class) - http://download.mcafee.com/molbin/s...83/mcinsctl.cab
    O16 - DPF: {BCC0FF27-31D9-4614-A68E-C18E1ADA4389} - http://bin.mcafee.com/molbin/shared...,20/mcgdmgr.cab
    O16 - DPF: {BDD2F926-8158-4F62-9E0D-B3B75FD1F07F} (McObjectFactory Class) - http://download.mcafee.com/molbin/s...0,2/mcmysec.cab
    O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{4A09F518-9E88-4DFF-B9A7-D25B8CBF1BB4}: NameServer =
  20. Gunny

    Gunny TS Rookie Posts: 66

    Is Pestscan stuff really spyware? Do they phone home with user info? I thought Pestscan was just an online scanning utility.

    Same with the ZoneLabs stuff...?

    Briefly off topic: Olefarte, I like your signature - and your avitar.
  21. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Still breifly off topic, the avatar kind of rings true, and come to think of it, the last line of my sig does too. Heh, Heh.
  22. Gunny

    Gunny TS Rookie Posts: 66

    Last one off topic: :D
  23. fredgodfrey

    fredgodfrey TS Rookie

    I am not claiming to be any sort of expert but I have built dozens of PC's for friends and family. I also subscribe to PCPlus for information and up to date technology reports. If you are just running a home PC then you can do worse than to use 3 totally free solutions recommended by this magazine. Zone Alarm Firewall, AVG Antivirus and Adaware to find and remove spyware. I install these three on all of the machines I build. "Touch wood" I have had few problems reported to me, and those few I have had are due to the user not updating the software.

    Any slow dial up connection can sometimes be improved by contacting your phone line supplier and asking them to turn up the "gain" on the line. It also helps sometimes to disconnect a slow dial-up connection and redial, it's amazing how the speed can change.
  24. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Pestscan is probably NOT spyware, but how many anti-spy programs does one need to run?
    Between AdAware and Spybot, once or twice a week, no spyware has much chance!
  25. Gunny

    Gunny TS Rookie Posts: 66

    I agree - I update and run both Ad-aware and Spybot at least once a week.

    I am almost certain that PestScan is not spyware. And I would be extremely surprised if the ZoneLabs stuff was - they have too good a reputation to risk something like that.

    The main reason for an online utility like PestScan is that it is highly unlikely to be corrupted by any new virus that is savvy about in-system utilities like Ad-aware, Spybot and Norton AntiVirus. PestScan is a sort of cross-check on them.
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