I vote for AVG free too!!!Here's why...
I've also tried quite a few, and I even bought Symantec's Norton Antivirus 2005
once and still the end result (my final conclusion) was the same. I Uninstalled Norton and reinstalled AVG Free from GriSoft. The latest version of AVG Free can be downloaded from GriSoft Inc.
AVG automatically downloads definition updates every day, it has built-in send/reciev e-mail scanning, and of course resident shield and complete scanning of selected areas, files, system files and full scan (including registry scan). It EVEN has a service especially designed for people that - like you - don't have internet at home, where you can bring the latest updates on a diskette (or CD-RW) that you bring with you to and from work as often as possible. You just download the updates from Grisofts homepage (link somwhere above in this post) and adjust the settings in AVG to import updates from folder on your computer instead of the internet. (If you are having troubles doing that, please tell me so, and I'll assist you. That goes for the other programs that I will mention below too, of course).
But having said that, the Norton/Symantec solution had som advantages not available in AVG, so you have to install a few other anti-malware tools in order to get the same protection (or even better). I also recommend that you install these free tools (then links are direct links to their download loacation):The last two goes hand in hand and should be installed together, since they each cover their own area and use different scanning methods, and only Spyware GUARD use a resident shield protection. Spyware BLASTER is good at removing and immunizing your computer against potentially dangerous internet sites and downloads, but it uses passive protection whereas spyware GUARD uses active protection and heuristic scanning of all files when opened/executed.
A year ago I would also have recommended Ad-Aware, but not anymore
. Here's why:
Ad-Aware was good once, but it somehow got into bed with som ad-ware distributors, and now it allows some specific mal-ware on your computer that any other anti-spyware programs would find and warn you about. The strangest thing is, that earlier versions of Ad-Aware had the spyware on its list
of adware/spyware, but they suddenly removed it
from the last editions of their definition opdates. (TAC rating was suddenly set down from 5 to 3, wich means that it is not any longer considered a threat to your computer or privacy - although it certainly is spyware!!).The reasons I discarded Symatec/Norton AV2004 was:
- It takes up ten times as many system resources than all the above mentioned antimalware programs combined!!!
- All "manufacturers" of viruses and other malware aim at getting past the Norton/Symantec solutions, since it is one of the most widespread solutions used around the globe, which in fact makes it one of the most vulnerable antimalware programs, whereas AVG only have a fraction of the marketshare compared to Norton/Symantec which makes it much less interesting to make virus/trojans/infections/worms etc. that can get past it. Therefore it actually discovers viruses than Symantec/Norton doesn't!!!
You may also consider using another firewall than only the Windows XP SP2 firewall, but that, I believe is more a question of religious belief than anything else. The only other free firewall I've heard a lot of good things about is Zone Alarm, but I have never used anything but Windows own, and then of course the built in firewall in my router that I upgrade frequently and can configure manually through the routers web interface (which may also be the reason I've never considered getting another firewall, since nothing ever slipped through the above mentioned protection of my own system).Keep updated!!
Finally you must ALWAYS remember to keep all your antimalware programs updated with the newest definitions possible. Avoid falseware
Remember that most of the freeware programs for malware removal on the internet actually IS itself malware!! They often get installed on your machine when a pop-up warning appears on your screen (often accompanied with a irritating sound) saying that your computer has been scanned and a total of (somwhere between 100 and a gazillion) files are infected, but you can press this button to get more information on how to download the absolutely free removal software that will keep your machine malwarefree 'until armageddon'. DONT PUSH THAT BUTTON, because the very instant you do that is actually the moment you allow a program on your machine that doesn't remove spyware very well - it actually ads quite a few pieces of malware instead!!!
One of the latest examles out there in deep cyberspace that you must never download is ErrorSafe!!!
It installs itself, scans your computer and - of course - finds LOADS of malware that can only be cured by .... you guessed it .... ErrorSafe! When you then click a button to clean up your computer, next thing you see is a form where you can fill in your creditcard information to pay a gazillion of your hard earned dollars (or whatever currency you are using in your part of the world) for an absolutely, completely and utterly worthless program, that does nothing than infect your computer with more spyware. And the guys who made this are good. I mean, REALLY good! It has the same blueish Microsoft application look-alike interface and really seems professional with a lot of options to choose from. But it's all eye-candy. The last reports indicates that they already fooled over a ten million computer users all over the world (one of them being my boss, and I work as a programmer and network and database admin, in an the IT development & support
dept. in a Media production and distribution company!!!
) Obviously the last sucker isn't born yet.(Another variation of the above is a pop-up "warning" that tells you that your computer performance is slow on most tests - even if you don't remember starting ANY performance test, whatsoever that day, or week for that matter - it may tell you that your memory is 100% OK, but your filesystem is only at 20% (how to measure that I never figured out, and they never tell!!!), and your Registry Database is fragmented (which nobody from a random place on the internet can tell unless he or she has got an access to your computer by the use of a trojan hoax or some similar malware!)
As a rule of thumb:NEVER - I REALLY MEAN N-E-V-E-R(!) - DOWNLOAD OR USE A PROGRAM THAT NEEDS TO ADVERTISES ITS OWN QUALITIES OR PRAISE ITSELF THROUGH UNWANTED POP-UP WINDOWS OR UNSOLICITED SPAM MAIL, UNLESS - OF COURSE - YOU REALLY ENJOY THE INCOMPARABLE "JOY" OF LOOSING WORK YOU FORGOT TO BACK-UP, FORMATTING YOUR C-DRIVE AND REINSTALLING WINDOWS.
The free software I mentioned above is spyware- and adware-free as verified and guaranteed by ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals)
I hope that you could use at least some of
the things I wrote since it took me a helluva time
I wish you the best of luck in the hard blood-sweat-and-tear-demanding task of keeping your Windows installation clean, safe and stable.
Plz forgive my lack of english spelling/grammar skills. My mother tounge is Danish! I learned English in school some twenty years ago now. Thanks in advance!
Edited by Beninu A, 04 September 2006 - 02:50 AM.