Anti-virus software

I have Norton Anti-Virus, which was supplied with my machine when I bought it. Now it’s up for renewal and I have to actually part with cash again. :shock:

I’m wondering if it’s worth it. I got half a dozen emails with Sobig attachments last week that the software failed to pick up. It caught this week’s offerings, but that would have been too late if I hadn’t caught and deleted the first ones manually.

I use Netscape, and have never even opened Outlook. The only time I use IE is to run Trend Micro’s Housecall, which caught the one and only virus I ever got during my previous machine’s 2-yr life. I scan and backup weekly, so any damage is going to be pretty limited.

On the other hand, I don’t have a restore disk for my border-line legal XP installation. I get all the patches OK, but don’t have a lot of faith that M$ are ever going to actually fix all the security flaws.

Aside from installing Linux, something I’m thinking about, does anyone have any thoughts?

I’ve just renewed my Norton subscription for 2003. I reckon it’s worth the loot - it has caught quite a few viruses for me.

Viruses, worms, and tojans are not limited to Internet Exploder. M$ makes a lot of crappy software and tend to trade security for convenience. The most recent flaw that was found is in the M$ Office software. The blaster virus targets a flaw in the M$ Winblows OS. An anti-virus software would protect you from the period between the anti-virus definition is updated and installed on your system to when M$ gets off their asses to provide a fix for the flaw and you download/install on your system. You will feel the anti-virus software is worth it when you encounter a situation where a virus screws up your computer and you are frustrated by the problems that it causes.

Linux is not immune from the flaws in the software. Most of the viruses out there just target M$ software more and it’s just a lot easier to make a virus for M$ systems. Plus Linux users tend to be more tech savvy and would set up more barriers to keep out the viruses. Not using M$ software is a major barrier.

Mark

Nobody forces you to use just one OS. You can run Linux for most of your life and Windows for the occasional time when you’re stuck with a Windows-only application. While Linux isn’t virus-proof, the low density of Linux systems out there combined with the relative difficulty of finding an exploitable flaw makes it much harder to create and spread viruses. Plus, the security model means that damage will probably be limited even if something does get through – as long as you don’t run everything in root mode.

Alternately, OpenBSD has an excellent record for security in its default installation. You might have to turn on a few things for needed functionality, which could then open up holes, but at least you will know what’s running and what isn’t (so very unlike Microsoft).

openbsd.org/

As far as antivirus software, I guess I’m surprised about your having to renew with Norton – mine has never asked for another dime. Maybe it’s something new since the days of Win98, I dunno. But anyway, it’s only “not worth it” until the day your machine gets wiped out by a virus.

Microsoft can never fix all of their security flaws, since they are adding new ones even faster than they fix the old ones.

Oh well, enough rambling. :slight_smile:

The only software that I pay real money for is my antivirus protection

Why are these programs free? Are some of them adware? Has anyone used any of them and do you recommend them?

Edit: After posting this I installed AntiVir on this computer at the Youth Hostels Association. I was horrified to find that the computer had no anti-virus program at all.

I’ve used AVG (Free Edition) for a few months and it’s been fine. Same with Outpost Firewall. No adware in either.

With antivirus programs, it really is, “You get what you pay for.” The free ones usually don’t include things like schedule scans/updates, email scanning and protection against malicious web scripts.

It used to be that the free ones were only marginally better than not having one, but according to this PC Magazine article (http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,113462,tk,sbx,00.asp), recently, they’ve gotten much better!

AVG is absolutely the dog’s bollocks. It’s great. And it does come with scheduled scans, is easily updatable (although not automatic, I think), and does e-mail scanning.

What you can do is do an Fdisk of your C drive. Move all your important files to to D drive.

Fdisk the C drive reformat and load Windows XP Pro and Office. Then load Norton ghost and backup your drive. Now you will have a clean system bug free. You can now re-install Nortons and get a further one year of updates.

It’s a good thing to do as it will also clean out the junk you’ve accumulated from downloading.

Also go to www.tweakxp.com great site and many helpful tips and tweaks

I have used several different anti-Virus softwares in the past. I even sold one of their competitors at one time. Still, out of all of the software I own, this is the only software I am willing to pay for year after year.

[quote=“Satellite TV”]What you can do is do an Fdisk of your C drive. Move all your important files to to D drive.

Fdisk the C drive reformat and load Windows XP Pro and Office. Then load Norton ghost and backup your drive. Now you will have a clean system bug free. You can now re-install Nortons and get a further one year of updates.

It’s a good thing to do as it will also clean out the junk you’ve accumulated from downloading.

Also go to www.tweakxp.com great site and many helpful tips and tweaks[/quote]

Backing up is definitely a good practice, but it doesn’t do away with the need for an antivirus solution, reformatting every year isn’t going to be a fun chore…

Grisoft AVG Free Edition. It’s the best out there. Doesn’t interfere with any other programs (unlike Norton), scheduled scanning, scheduled updating, isn’t a memory blackhole (like McAfee), has an Outlook support feature that will scan incoming and outgoing messages. My system has never been infected using it.

For commercial ones, Panda is a great product (until I found AVG). It is bundled with Sygate Personal Pro Firewall which is another great product. Sygate makes a free firewall that’s as good as any out there. Trendmicro makes an excellent product too.

Agree with lsieh as I have been using AVG for more than 2 years now and no problems / infections. You can find the FREE edition here: grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php