Antivirus Software Recommendations

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
djdube525
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:57 am

Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by djdube525 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 am

With all the news of cyber breaches at Equifax, recent, repeated articles re: Kaspersky AV being a backdoor...

Any expert suggestions out there?

In the past I've poo-poo'd Norton and McAfee because they invariably slowed down machines to a crawl.

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 4959
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by midareff » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 am

I've been using Malwarebytes Premium which covers anti-virus and anti-exploit for several years on top of Windows Defender. System is Win 10 64 bit and it runs mighty fast. It does a good job of blocking PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) which can download from sites to track your patterns for advertisers unknown to the casual user. We run it on 3 machines and I use it on a fist full of Android devices.

jebmke
Posts: 6655
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:43 am

midareff wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 am
I use it on a fist full of Android devices.
I should look at this. I normally do a factory reset every six months on my Android devices just to clean up the inevitable conflicts between apps and the OS updates so it may not be as critical for me.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

DetroitRick
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:28 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by DetroitRick » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:09 am

I've found this site to be particularly useful in assessing alternatives. These people test under various operating systems (you'll see selections for Mac, Windows and Android; then you'll pick exact version). Tests are pretty extensive, but are nicely summarized as to performance, protection and usability. They cover a lot of different software packages and update results frequently:

https://www.av-test.org/en/

Currently on our Windows 10 systems, I use the combo of Windows Defender and Malwarebytes on one machine, and McAfee and Malwarebytes on the other. All are free for me - isp supplies McAfee, Defender is supplied with Windows and Malwarebytes has a free version (the premium version does real-time scanning). So both of our machines function well and have never been infected (could be luck, could be skill and care, could be software). Neither experience performance issues. I have also used Norton, AVG and Avast in past years, also functioned well for me on Windows 7 and earlier systems. I would use them again based on current characteristics.

I don't use anything on Android at the moment, just exercising care in app selection and Google's app scanning feature.

Beware of recommendations and warnings for these packages that are not fairly current. This stuff changes constantly.

Jeff Albertson
Posts: 383
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: Springfield

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Jeff Albertson » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:16 am

You may be better served getting an opinion from a professional reviewer.
https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372364,00.asp
or
https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/antivirus

lazydavid
Posts: 1068
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by lazydavid » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:20 am

Windows Defender is all you need. I run Symantec at work because I need the centralized policy management and reporting. But all my personal machines, and those of my friends/family, just use Defender.

pangea33
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:57 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by pangea33 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:29 am

I've been running Avast for years. Free, small footprint, fully featured, frequent updates. It will pop open a screen every couple months encouraging me to upgrade to a paid version. Some day I probably will. Until then, I am willing to close a window 6x a year.

https://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

jebmke
Posts: 6655
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:39 am

lazydavid wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:20 am
Windows Defender is all you need. I run Symantec at work because I need the centralized policy management and reporting. But all my personal machines, and those of my friends/family, just use Defender.
Same here. Good computing hygiene is more important than threat detection IMO. I manage 40-50 laptops for a non-profit activity and Defender is all we use.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Jeff Albertson
Posts: 383
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: Springfield

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Jeff Albertson » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:47 am

review: Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center
"Windows Defender is better than nothing ..."
https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1926596,00.asp

2015
Posts: 772
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by 2015 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:03 am

pangea33 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:29 am
I've been running Avast for years. Free, small footprint, fully featured, frequent updates. It will pop open a screen every couple months encouraging me to upgrade to a paid version. Some day I probably will. Until then, I am willing to close a window 6x a year.

https://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
+1
Avast has banking mode which I use to access financial sites. The free version has a host of other features which I like as well.

Momus
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Momus » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:10 am

360, it uses multiple engine detection: Avira and Bitdefender. It has more detection rate than most anti virus out there.

Fyi: I previously use Avast, but switched to total security 360. More protection.

User avatar
MrGreen
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:31 am
Location: California

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by MrGreen » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:58 am

Like the OP I have a negative opinion of Norton and McAfee due to slowness when I used them many years ago. I abandoned Kaspersky several years ago because I was uncomfortable trusting a Russian company with something as potentially invasive as antivirus software. Problem is, many of the other anti virus companies are Eastern European/former Soviet countries and I just don't know who can be trusted these days. I ended up using Sophos (a UK company, I stopped using Windows computers a few years back) but maybe it's time to have another look at Norton or McAfee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso ... s_software

scrabbler1
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by scrabbler1 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:21 pm

I have Windows Defender and Malwarebytes free version on my Windows 10 system. I have Microsoft Security essentials and Malwarebytes free version on my ladyfriend's Windows 7 system. This pair works well because once in a while one of them finds something the other one missed.

User avatar
flamesabers
Posts: 1322
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:05 pm
Location: Rochester, MN

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by flamesabers » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:27 pm

I use Eset and Malwarebytes (free version).

iamlucky13
Posts: 554
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:53 pm

Overall, there's a surprising number of competent options, starting with the basic protection level of Windows Defender. Even the free versions of most 3rd party AV programs are sufficient for most users, so the recommendations of publications like PCMag and your own preferences for user interface are an adequate combined basis for making a decision. The for-pay suites do add some extra protection, but your basics are covered even if you stick with a good free program.

As for my specific input:

I just bought a new laptop that had McAffee pre-installed. Since it was there, I let it be for a couple days to see if it has gotten better since I last tried it. It might be less resource intensive than in the past, but it disrupted by work too much with pop-up notifications or ads for upgrades. It had to go.

I went with AVG Free, which I've been using on other computers for years. It is still one of the top rated free anti-virus programs available. I think they've been getting a lot less attention lately simply because their for-pay upgrade suite isn't as well-liked as the competition. There has been minor intrusiveness creep, and you have to do a custom install to prevent the browser plug-in from installing - their browser plug-in has historically been a bit too intrusive, and a plug-in is complement to, not a substitute for safe browsing habits, but overall the use experience is pretty reasonable.

Because not all forms of malware are targeted by basic anti-virus software, a malware scanner like Malwarebytes can be a beneficial extra layer of protection. It usually comes down to basic products like Malwarebytes Free that can run system scans on demand or on a schedule and have almost no ongoing resource demands, or premium products like those bundled in many for-pay AV suites that often include real-time monitoring, but with more system resource demand.

investor4life
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:45 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by investor4life » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:44 pm

Norton Security Suite (free from Xfinity if you have internet service through them). It has a suite of programs called Constant Guard that's pretty comprehensive and has worked well for me for many years, on Windows 7. No antivirus or anything on MacOS.

Updated with a review link: https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2469519,00.asp
Last edited by investor4life on Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

killjoy2012
Posts: 891
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by killjoy2012 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:47 pm

Windows Security Essentials (Defender).
Malwarebytes periodically as needed.

TBH, there is no AV product that will save you from yourself.

I've used Avast in the ancient past, but once MS released a free & technically equivalent solution, it didn't make much sense to stick with it. Also, Avast purchased Piriform in July, who makes CCleaner, and they just disclosed their product was hacked & backdoored for some time. FYI.

djdube525
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:57 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by djdube525 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:13 am

I do happen to be a Malwarebytes premium user as well as a complement to my anti-virus choice (still currently Kaspersky), not to mention have ad blocking plugins, always use https, etc etc.

Interestingly enough, several respected security sites are hesitant to pull the plug on Kaspersky. While they don't recommend if you work for the government or a government contractor, they say it's still the one of, if not the best option for the "average joe".

And I'm not naive enough to think our government doesn't/has the ability to take advantage of backdoors (whether intentionally placed, or inadvertently discovered) in US AV mfg packages.

In the past I relied on Defender. Once I switched to Avira, it found several items Defender missed, and same thing happened after switching to Kaspersky. From the aforementioned site, it and Bit Defender (Romania) are consistently rated 1-2 in terms of detection, especially in the 0 day category.

Angelus359
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:56 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Angelus359 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:25 am

Av-comparatives and av-test are the data sources to go by

Admittedly I use Windows defender and malware bytes because I don't want to pay.

The best av is common sense, and an adblocker

I use
Privacybadger
Ublockorigin
IT-DevOps System Administrator

User avatar
Rob5TCP
Posts: 2916
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Rob5TCP » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:14 am

I use Norton Internet Security - yes there are moments when its overhead is annoying (copy a large # of small files is slowed down by Norton); I still prefer it. Along with Malwarebyte premium. Perhaps the most important is to keep Windows and other critical programs updates (I run qualsys to check twice a week).

Windows defender is consistently the lowest rated; but it still is leagues above using nothing.
I also use a password manager, and 2FA or U2F when available.

User avatar
Tycoon
Posts: 1057
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Tycoon » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:19 am

jebmke wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:39 am
lazydavid wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:20 am
Windows Defender is all you need. I run Symantec at work because I need the centralized policy management and reporting. But all my personal machines, and those of my friends/family, just use Defender.
Same here. Good computing hygiene is more important than threat detection IMO. I manage 40-50 laptops for a non-profit activity and Defender is all we use.
Add me to this list. I only use Windows Defender on my Windows machine.
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 11307
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Watty » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:19 am

investor4life wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:44 pm
Norton Security Suite (free from Xfinity if you have internet service through them). It has a suite of programs called Constant Guard that's pretty comprehensive and has worked well for me for many years, on Windows 7. No antivirus or anything on MacOS.

Updated with a review link: https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2469519,00.asp
When I had U-verse they provided McAfee for free.

JBTX
Posts: 1165
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by JBTX » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:31 pm

Currently I have paid subscriptions to malwarebytes premium surf right hitman pro and mcafee suite. They say not to double up but I do anyway. I have mcafee out of convenience and I don’t feel like switching every year trying to get something free. I think I paid $30 and got licenses for all devices.

Over the years I have heard people recommend the Microsoft built in products for antivirus but when I used them I don’t recall them EVER detecting anything at all.

I’ll also add browser add ons for bit defender traffic light and WOT.

Dagda
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:15 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Dagda » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:02 pm

I used to use other products because Norton was slowing my machine down terribly. Then a few years ago, I read about Norton rewriting their antivirus engine. So I gave it a shot again, and I see no noticeable impact to my performance with it running. I don't use their full suite of tools though, that I have heard can have impacts.

I pay $30 a year to cover our machines, with licenses to spare.

Rashen
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:44 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Rashen » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:39 pm

Been on free edition of AVG for years and never had any issues.
The key is not to visit the fishy websites.

carofe
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:21 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by carofe » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:12 pm

Another vote for Malwarebytes Premium. I recommend you have a backup system setup as well, like https://www.backblaze.com/
Last edited by carofe on Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
US Total Stock Market + Intermediate Term Bond. That's it.

BHUser27
Posts: 591
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:07 pm
Location: A Midwestern Town

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by BHUser27 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:12 pm

If you are an Ally bank customer you can get Webroot SecureAnywhere for free. I have it on my Macbook Air & Windows 10 PC and am very happy with it so far.

drwtsn32
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:28 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by drwtsn32 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:51 pm

+1 just use Windows Defender. 3rd party antimalware products can often WEAKEN the security of your system.

And there is no single antimalware program that will protect you 100%. You also need to exercise safe computing practices, like being careful about email attachments and running an ad blocker on your web browser.... uBlock origin is the best.

mac808
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:45 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by mac808 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:15 pm

Don't trust Kaspersky or 360 because of the (Russian and Chinese) Government connections. I don't like Defender because I want separate providers for the OS (Microsoft) and the anti-virus software. I've used AVG for years and haven't run into any problems yet.

gd
Posts: 1214
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by gd » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:15 am

I used Norton because it was free with my Comcast internet. It destroyed my Windows 10 system during a Norton-initiated update 6-9 months ago, demanding more and more reboots and updates and a complete Norton reinstall until I finally got a Windows failure screen I've never seen before. It required a complete system reinstall from scratch. I have no idea what caused it (other than Norton, that was clear), never seen or heard of anything like it.

It resulted in permanent loss of some files when the Windows 10 backup and restoration system didn't provide recovery from backups as I'd expected. Some of the recovery problems may have been avoidable if I'd done exactly the right restoration process, but, well, do you know exactly all the detailed ins and outs of your backup utilities to where you can do it perfectly the first time? I now use Windows Defender, and my PC avoids the Norton slowdowns it was prone to.

I'll give Norton credit for cleaning out 5+ years of PC clutter. Any data important to me is stored in directories that I manually copy to both USB drives and external hard drives periodically, and I no longer worry about cryptic backup utilities. I let W10 file history run to an external drive, but have never used it since.

User avatar
Rob5TCP
Posts: 2916
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:42 am

JBTX wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:31 pm
Currently I have paid subscriptions to malwarebytes premium surf right hitman pro and mcafee suite. They say not to double up but I do anyway. I have mcafee out of convenience and I don’t feel like switching every year trying to get something free. I think I paid $30 and got licenses for all devices.

Over the years I have heard people recommend the Microsoft built in products for antivirus but when I used them I don’t recall them EVER detecting anything at all.

I’ll also add browser add ons for bit defender traffic light and WOT.
I used to use WOT until about a year ago; when WOT was found to be selling a great deal of information about its users.

https://thehackernews.com/2016/11/web-o ... addon.html
http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/we ... _data.html
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/1 ... y-failure/
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trust-ad ... 44249.html

Firefox pulled WOT for awhile. I am not sure if they have fully corrected.
When I looked a few months ago, I saw the following in the protection policy
"If you want to protect your data, disable the real-time protection!"

Until I feel comfortable that they are no longer selling identifiable information, I won't use WOT

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by F150HD » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:37 am

BHUser27 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:12 pm
If you are an Ally bank customer you can get Webroot SecureAnywhere for free. I have it on my Macbook Air & Windows 10 PC and am very happy with it so far.
appears it has no firewall, have you configured your devices for that?

from reading it doesn't seem like a 'complete' solution and one would have to supplement it w/ browser addons or other programs (like privacy protection for not being tracked online etc).

cutterinnj
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by cutterinnj » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:50 am

On the few windows machines we run, windows defender is all we use.

Personally, I've used a Mac since 2013, and have never worried or thought about viruses.

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by F150HD » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:55 am

Rashen wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:39 pm
Been on free edition of AVG for years and never had any issues.
The key is not to visit the fishy websites.
or you've had issues but are unaware of them as the software isn't detecting the issue.

If I had a machine I only used for surfing the web and 'play', AVG would be great. But when accessing financial sites etc.....
well, in todays world, one gets what they pay for :(

BHUser27
Posts: 591
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:07 pm
Location: A Midwestern Town

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by BHUser27 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:54 am

F150HD wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:37 am
BHUser27 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:12 pm
If you are an Ally bank customer you can get Webroot SecureAnywhere for free. I have it on my Macbook Air & Windows 10 PC and am very happy with it so far.
appears it has no firewall, have you configured your devices for that?
from reading it doesn't seem like a 'complete' solution and one would have to supplement it w/ browser addons or other programs (like privacy protection for not being tracked online etc).
In my opinion, firewall SW *should* be separate. And, yes, I have firewalls configured on my router and computers.
FWIW - it includes real-time protection, browser plug-ins for all major browsers and scheduled scans. If you are an Ally customer it is darned good protection for free. I have had no issues with slow-downs nor lock-ups.
Webroot has a good reputation. It was one of a few antivirus SWs that detected the malware recently linked at Equifax for example.
Works well for me - Of course, I encourage all to do their own research.

JBTX
Posts: 1165
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by JBTX » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:45 pm

Rob5TCP wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:42 am
JBTX wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:31 pm
Currently I have paid subscriptions to malwarebytes premium surf right hitman pro and mcafee suite. They say not to double up but I do anyway. I have mcafee out of convenience and I don’t feel like switching every year trying to get something free. I think I paid $30 and got licenses for all devices.

Over the years I have heard people recommend the Microsoft built in products for antivirus but when I used them I don’t recall them EVER detecting anything at all.

I’ll also add browser add ons for bit defender traffic light and WOT.
I used to use WOT until about a year ago; when WOT was found to be selling a great deal of information about its users.

https://thehackernews.com/2016/11/web-o ... addon.html
http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/we ... _data.html
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/1 ... y-failure/
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trust-ad ... 44249.html

Firefox pulled WOT for awhile. I am not sure if they have fully corrected.
When I looked a few months ago, I saw the following in the protection policy
"If you want to protect your data, disable the real-time protection!"

Until I feel comfortable that they are no longer selling identifiable information, I won't use WOT
I did read about the kerfuffle with WOT. Ultimately I figured the value I get evaluating sites exceeds giving up web surfing history anyway as that is probably out there anyway unless you continually use stealth mode.

SoDakJeff
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Post by SoDakJeff » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:55 am

I used to use VIPRE. I guess it did okay, but I found it to be clunky and complex to use. For the past three weeks, I've been playing around with a 30-day free trial of Bitdefender, and I've been liking it enough that I went ahead and purchased it over the weekend. What I like about it: full-featured with a light footprint. User friendly interface. Easily customizable scanning schedules. Email protection. Several interesting privacy features, including the ability to create multiple hidden/encrypted files in an encrypted vault, a secure file shredder, a dedicated safe browser to use when accessing banking or investment sites including (for the truly paranoid) an optional virtual keyboard to get around keyloggers, a secure "wallet" to store passwords and auto fill sites when using the safe browser. During a few of the first scans it did, it pointed out several security details about my computer that I'd either forgotten about or was lazy about and have since corrected. So far, so good...

Post Reply