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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Windy Wyoming, USA
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    2,605

    OT: spyware/virus protection

    I'm getting a new computer in a couple of weeks. One of my relatives is building it for me, it should be pretty sweet. I already have the monitor, external HD, and Pantone huey

    What spyware and virus protection should I get? I have Webroot SpySweeper and Norton Antivirus on my current computer. They were fine until about 2 months ago when I got some spyware. Neither of them would detect or remove it, even when I contacted customer support. Apparently they protect only against the things THEY protect against, if you get something else, you have to pay big bucks to remove it

    Should I stick with Webroot/Norton? I've heard that SpywareDoctor with Antivirus is pretty good, and I've heard that even some of the free ones are good. I don't mind paying, and I would especially like it if they give you some free options if you still get infected. All suggestions welcome!

    P.S. How about firewalls? I've never had a specific one, just Windows or built into the virus protection.
    P.P.S. This one looks good: AVG Internet Security. But is it compatible with Vista Home Premium?
    Last edited by toriaj; 03-11-2008 at 03:51 PM.
    Nikon D50, Nikkor 18-55mm, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro, Tokina 12-24
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    Best things in life are free. So are best Spywares:
    Spybot: http://www.spybot.com/en/index.html
    Ad-aware: http://www.lavasoft.com/

    Both offer free personal use.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Windows Defender is free from Microsoft.
    AVG antivirus is also free.

    Personally, having worked with a badly virus-infected computer recently and finding that only a reformat and reinstall was the solution, I would suggest the solution is not trusting antiviruses and antispyware. They help but cannot stop everything. The computer I was working on was owned by a woman who used exclusively myspace and that was where the virus came from. That virus kept opening websites at random when the browser was active, calling up some quite nasty porn sites. I could have saved the lady's data and asked if it was needed but as it was not, I simply reformatted and reinstalled before adding AVG antivirus and Windows Defender.

    Antivirus and antispyware products attempt to pre-emptively catch nasties with heuristic scanning but they're still playing catch up as quite often the heuristics don't recognise the newest nasty. They help but like a suit of armour, the armour will have weak spots and gaps that can be exploited. That computer had McAfee antivirus which was badly infected with a virus. Yes - McAfee was virus infected. I scanned McAfee with AVG and found that McAfee had been infected and was disseminating viruses - quite a score for the virus writers!

    My recommendation - store only software on your computer's C drive. Store all your data and email on a separate D drive. Don't be cheap and get C formatted as C and D. Put a second drive in, instead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    Posts
    1,874
    Most anti-virus programs seem a lot like viruses themselves. They substantially slow your computer, take money frequently, and open or refuse to open a large number of legitimate programs and websites (I'm sure people who have had a bad virus disagree, but my web habits must be pretty tame). I am currently running a free licensed version of Symantec, which stays pretty well in the background and doesn't irritate me. Not sure what I would do other wise. I use Ad-Aware and SpyBot also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    667
    For a firewall, try Comodo: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/

    AVG Antivirus is another one. Both of them found three trojans that I knew were in my computer. Neither were able to remove it, so I reformatted and reinstalled Windows XP. It is very easy if you have a 2nd hard drive in your computer.

    Norton Internet Security didn't catch this, so now I don't have it installed anymore. Their site was useful though, it mentioned that one of the trojans I had was very difficult to remove. Another forum recommended that the only true way to remove the trojan I had was a reinstall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Norton in my experience seems to eat up processor time without giving anything in return. Several times AVG has killed viruses that Norton missed.

    I moved to the model of data on a USB hard drive and only the OS/programs on the main drive. That way I can carry all my data with me from machine to machine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    29
    NOD32 Antivirus by Eset is very good and is also light on resources. If you prefer free AVG is also good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalJ View Post
    NOD32 Antivirus by Eset is very good and is also light on resources. If you prefer free AVG is also good.
    It's certainly an interesting antivirus product although the only copy I have ever seen was the pirated version that the boss of the company I used to work for demanded be installed and used on every computer that was serviced. I quietly put AVG free edition on until he complained he couldn't charge for that so I told him he couldn't charge for a pirated version of Nod32. He disagreed and said he preferred to think of it as "activated". I slapped my resignation on his desk a couple of days later. I was not prepared to be party to a criminal enterprise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
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    3,877
    AVG Free (ie freeware) beat Nortons on virus detection in a recent PCUser magazine test of virus checkers. It didn't get the best results but it was pretty darn good - and free - and a little lighter on system resources. I use Ez Antivirus on one machine but prefer the freeware AVG thats on my other machines. AVG updates are smaller and frequent, hasn't missed anything yet touch wood).

    Good to hear your ethics Rhys. Hope it didn't penalise you too much. My old boss did similar stuff (made me invoice someone for services not rendered, resigned the next week).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts View Post
    AVG Free (ie freeware) beat Nortons on virus detection in a recent PCUser magazine test of virus checkers. It didn't get the best results but it was pretty darn good - and free - and a little lighter on system resources. I use Ez Antivirus on one machine but prefer the freeware AVG thats on my other machines. AVG updates are smaller and frequent, hasn't missed anything yet touch wood).

    Good to hear your ethics Rhys. Hope it didn't penalise you too much. My old boss did similar stuff (made me invoice someone for services not rendered, resigned the next week).
    Nah. I started my photo business a little while later.

    Actually, that was my solution to the same bottom-of-the-barrel companies I used to encounter in Britain and in Europe. I ended up working as a freelance TEFL tutor in Eastern Europe and as a freelance computer technician/tutor in Britain.

    It's nice to see there are other honest and ethical people around. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.

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