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Anti-virus and anti-spam software - your recommendations?
Thread poster: Alexandra Goldburt
Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 10:23
English to Russian
+ ...
Jul 4, 2008

Which anti-virus and anti-spy software you would recommend, and why? (It can be both in one package, or separately).

Things I 'm looking for in a software are:

* Good customer service/technical support should I need it;

* But, in the same time, I hope it is so good and user-friendly that I'll hardly ever need technical support;

* Of course, I want to be reasonably safe, but I don't want to have a program that perceived absolutely anything as a threat. I heard that some anti-virus programs are so overzealous that you have trouble receiving photos from you friends - I certainly don't want that.

* With anti-spam, I would like to review what the software considers as spam before it's deleted. Annoying as spam is, I'd rather spend some time checking it than loose an e-mail I was waiting for "accidentally".

Thank you for all your advice!


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:23
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
ESET (NOD32) Security Suite Jul 4, 2008

It has been tested 52 times by Virus Bulletin and has failed twice and passed 50 times,with a success rate of over 96%,[9] the highest pass rate of the tested anti-virus products. http://www.eset.com/products/compare-NOD32-vs-competition.php

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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Consider not having either Jul 4, 2008

I have no antivirus program. I use the spam filter in my gmail. I don't even have a firewall. I have never had any problems.

Just be careful. Don't open mail that looks suspicious. Don't open any attachments that you haven't agreed to receive. Don't download stuff from suspicious sources.

Use your common sense and you don't need either programs.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
ESET NOD32 Antivirus Jul 4, 2008

For some 13 years we were users of Norton Antivirus and similar. But we simply got fed up of:
  • Big (and increasing along versions) use of resources
  • Slow to install (takes at least 30-40 minutes and a number of reboots)
  • Insults you every day (if you disable any of its features for whatever the reason -for instance if it is incompatible with some software you need-, it starts saying you are at big risk etc. etc. and blah blah blah, all with bright red colours)
  • Lots of rebooting when it updated any of its components; it even forces you to reboot when you uninstall it, and uninstalling takes 30-40 minutes again!
  • AND, last but the last drop in the glass as we say in Spain: We got infected by a virus from a USB pen we received and Norton Antivirus was unable to detect it or remove it!!!!


We got rid of Norton Antivirus and tried NOD32 Antivirus. The results:
  • We got rid of the virus Norton Antivirus could not even find
  • We enjoy our machines again; all working at nominal speed
  • Install takes 5 minutes - and no reboot!
  • So far it has defended us from all attacks sucessfully
  • Software and virus signature updates happen automatically - no reboot needed!
  • Very fast reaction of the company (e.g. please see this post about TagEditor being detected as a potential virus; a problem with an update appeared early in the morning and it was solved in 4 hours)
  • AND, last but probably also important: it costs 40% less than Norton Antivirus in our yearly updates. We now have 5 licenses of NOD32.


[Edited at 2008-07-04 08:15]

[Edited at 2008-07-04 08:16]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A solution for anti-spam Jul 4, 2008

Alexandra Goldburt wrote:
* With anti-spam, I would like to review what the software considers as spam before it's deleted. Annoying as spam is, I'd rather spend some time checking it than loose an e-mail I was waiting for "accidentally".


Alexandra, in my opinion you don't want an antivirus that works (in fact, the word is "interferes") with your email client. I sincerely recommend a separate anti-spam tool. We have been using Firetrust Mailwasher in our two main points of entry of email. We see emails as they come in, spam is automatically marked as spam (and automatically deleted if you wish) and you get your account clean, right at the email server. You only download good email to your email client.

And in fact you can control all your emails. By default the tool does not delete your spam, neither puts it in a separate folder you can easily overlook etc. etc. You are in control!!

My advice is that you give it a try. It is a very light tool and not expensive at all. We only paid once some 4 years ago and haven't paid a penny since then, but enjoy all the updates for free!

[Edited at 2008-07-04 08:12]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wait until a customer gets a virus... Jul 4, 2008

Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:
I have no antivirus program. I use the spam filter in my gmail. I don't even have a firewall. I have never had any problems.


Maybe you don't have problems because all your customers and friends have an antivirus... infected websites, emails and documents exist (we encounter them every now and then), and they will come from your customers and friends if they don't have an antivirus in good order. In my opinion this way you are at risk.

And on the other hand, your computer might be infected without you knowing, and could be spreading viruses or work as a zombie for a spammer in the background. But you will never know because you don't have any way of knowing.


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Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 19:23
English to German
+ ...
No, no, no Jul 4, 2008

you must have an antivirus program.

I have used Kasperski for a while because it's free, it does have the disadvantage of doing a complete system check every day. Perhaps this functions can be disabled??

So, I recently converted to another freebie AVG. I am so thrilled with his program because the daily upgrade only takes a few seconds...


Martin


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Ammendment Jul 4, 2008

I do have a firewall as someone kindly pointed out to me, as I have SP2 on my MS XP. So I do have some basic protection.

I still believe that you can avoid viruses and handle spam without software that slows down your computer.

I used to be a Linux user and recently had to switch to Windows (CAT tool issues etc) and I have had no problems with spam or viruses.

I often encounter situations when there is a risk of spyware but I know how to deal with it. That's the closest I have ever been to having a virus.

I am quite sure I am not putting ohter people at risk. In my opinion anti virus software is a great way to make money if you sell them but if you buy them, you are just waisting money.


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Back-up Jul 4, 2008

Oh, and I use an online back up service, Mozy Home, very good service, can recommend it, up to 2GB free. I have set it to back up every 4 hours.

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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:23
English to Hungarian
+ ...
AVG or Avast Jul 4, 2008

These two seem to pop up with remarkable regularity when the computer geeks who really know about this stuff are discussing free antivirus programs. There is no excuse for not running anything or using something else/worse.
As to programs sold for money, I don't know.

Ivana: I'd suggest that you install avast or avg double quick. When your system crashes for no good reason or gpcode encrypts all your files, it'll be too late. Nobody who knows a first thing about computers uses a windows machine w/o antivirus if it has an internet connection, and there's a reason for that. Win is not Linux...
I don't think all viruses need the user to do silly things; they can infect in trickier ways than getting you to run an executable file.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Safety belt Jul 4, 2008

Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:
I still believe that you can avoid viruses and handle spam without software that slows down your computer.


Please allow me to translate this to the world of traffic safety: "I still believe that you can avoid getting killed and manage out there in the road without a safety belt that makes it cumbersome to get in and out of the car.".

How does this sound? Cheers! ...and please use your safety belt!


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AlcVitRes
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
So so.. Jul 4, 2008

I personally use two computers:

1st, a dedicated workstation - no Internet;
used for serious jobs & as file storage only.
well, also sometimes as multimedia center.. ;-D

2nd - Windows XP with SP2, Kaspersky Internet Security
(it's Kaspersky Antivirus + Kaspersky Firewall, All-in-One),
Ad-Aware for cookies/etc. deleting and Gmail for letters..

E-Mail is managed by The Bat! - one of best mailers 4ever..
includes spam filter as well + PGP encryption & many encodings..


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
That's the clearest way to put it: Jul 4, 2008

Tomás writes:

Please allow me to translate this to the world of traffic safety: "I still believe that you can avoid getting killed and manage out there in the road without a safety belt that makes it cumbersome to get in and out of the car."


Or - prevention is better than cure, better to be safe than sorry etc.

If you don't want or think you don't need anti-spam and anti-virus on your computer, so be it. But it's a little dicey to tell others to follow suit...

I had Norton 360 on trial for 90 days but got rid of it (with some trouble) when it expired. It did have some good elements though, like their backup system.

In fact this afternoon I have to sort out my dad's computer as he accidentally did a 'factore settings restore'. He still doesn't understand ("where's all my stuff gone?!") but thanks to Norton online backup we can get most (but not all) of it back.

Now here's the real good bit: he never made a backup copy of his OS and settings, so everything else is lost. And meanwhile, he's flying off to London, and I'll be left sorting out his computer horrors for him. Take note of this: make regular backups!

Ironically the whole thing was caused by Norton 360: he downloaded SP1 for Vista and it threw everything out of sync. Apparently you have to uninstall Norton (see Tomás' earlier comments about that), install SP1, then re-install Norton 360. So I'll be there a while methinks. Funnily enough, that never happend to me when I myself downloaded SP1, it never affected anything (including the Norton that I still had on my computer at that time).

As for me, after I took Norton off my own system, I started using Spyware Doctor (free basic edition) which found a lot of stuff that Norton just did not pick up on; but after a while it suddenly stopped working (still don't know why). So I switched to Avast Anti-virus (again, free for home use) and it too was finding all sorts or stuff that the other two did not...

And for the grand finale - this is for Ivana in particular - I was downloading some stuff from a translation website (word docs/PDFs mostly) and a good 20% did not pass the anti-virus program (the computer was literally screaming at me: "Trojan!Trojan!").

A supposedly 'trustworthy site', so you just never know where the threat will come from. As Tomás has said, if one of your clients sends you an infected file, you won't even know it, as there's no program on your computer to let you know.

[AVG is used by friends and cousins of mine, and they are impressed with it also.]

As for firewalls, if you are using a router it will have one built in, and they are usually better than software ones.


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Add-ons Jul 4, 2008

As a supplement to my earlier posting, I'd just like to add that for safer surfing I also use McAfee site advisor for Firefox, which tells you if a site is OK to visit, and another neat add-on (also for Firefox) that blocks ALL javascripts until you decide to allow them once you trust the site.

Avast is a good anti-virus program but it takes a little getting used to. Bye now.


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
I am being stubborn ;) Jul 4, 2008

I know that is is controversial to not use anti virus software and thank you for your warnings.

However, I think the comparison to traffic safety is a little exagerated and not in very good taste - no offence.

I still feel that education is far better than anti virus software.


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