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Free Antivirus and Antispyware Software


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#31
SteveFAL

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ADMIN--

You mention the ASSK tulebar (sic).. this seems to come prepackaged by default with so many things it should have it's own forum...
The COMODO firewall now comes with it without ASKing, :) it took me a while to figure out where this darn thing appeared from.

The only thing keeping me from dumping COMODO on basic principle is that 1-it work, and works well, and 2-the toolbar can easily be uninstalled under add/remove programs in Windows.
I guess they're not making as much $$ as they thought selling digital certificates..

Thanks again for a great site, I'll be in GeekU soon for some real fun.. :)

--SteveFAL, the MadGeologistK

Edited by SteveFAL, 07 October 2008 - 02:35 PM.

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#32
The Skeptic

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It's a long time since a post was placed in this topic. I would like to ask the following:

1: How would you rate Spybot Search and Destroy (the last version is 1.6.0).

2: Are you familiar with Spyware Terminator? If yes, what is your opinion.

3: Spyware Blaster doesn't give the user any feedback. There is no way to know it it does anything. For me it looks like a huge drawback. I installed and uninstalled it many time for that reason, eventually I left it out. If we don't get any feedback how can we evaluate it?


Thanks.

The Skeptic
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#33
princessa

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Hi everyone,

I just bought a new laptop and I want to install with the AVG free anti-spyware, but when I click the link , its empty or rather removed. As Im using avg free anti spyware on my desktop too I would like it on my laptop too. Anyone know where to download .. please tell me. Thanks.
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#34
Doug

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AVG AntiSpyware is no longer available as a separate utility.
It has been included in AVG 8.0

http://free.avg.com/...nd-anti-rootkit

It is still possible to download and use a free version of AVG that includes AntiVirus & Antispyware.
http://free.avg.com/...us-free-edition
Their other features are only available in the premium version.

I use AVG 8.0 Free on this and several other machines and am happy with it.
I supplement with other tools from Admin's great list here.


Best Regards
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#35
Ltangelic

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Hey The Skeptic,

Here are my two cents on your questions. :)

1: How would you rate Spybot Search and Destroy (the last version is 1.6.0).

I think Spybot S&D is a great software that doesn't use too much resources and ensures a certain level of protection. However, it is becoming outdated slowly as more malware comes out and the writer of Spybot isn't really keeping up with them.

2: Are you familiar with Spyware Terminator? If yes, what is your opinion.

Spyware Terminator was listed as a rogue anti-spyware in the past and it's not removed from the list. I've never used it before, so I'm not sure how well its detection rates are. I don't really (want to) trust a software that has been listed as rogue previously.

3: SpywareBlaster doesn't give the user any feedback. There is no way to know it it does anything. For me it looks like a huge drawback. I installed and uninstalled it many time for that reason, eventually I left it out. If we don't get any feedback how can we evaluate it?

I think SpywareBlaster is so far the best software that I have on my computer. It actually protects users from malicious Active-X controls. Although it can't prevent everything, it is certainly a must-have in addition to an anti-spyware like Spybot or Spywareguard. I would highly recommend that one runs it on their computer. :)
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#36
The Skeptic

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Hi Ltangelic.

Thanks for the response. My questions arise from a constant debate that I have with myself regarding computer protection for my customers. It's a free service that I give them and I always ask myself what would be best for them, considering their computer skills and the effectiveness of the protection. These two considerations often conflict with each other.

For example: for myself I use Avast as an antivirus/antispyware, considering it far superior to AVG 8.0. Avast is the only free antivirus that has a p2p shield. In my opinion it's an absolute must. However, for other people I install AVG 8.0 because it's more user friendly. When people have to renew their free license with Avast they get paralyzed, not knowing what to do, calling for help, feeling betrayed by me, reminding me that I offered them free protection (which I did). Eventually, against my best judgment, I started installing AVG 8.0 fully aware that many computers will get infected because of a lack of a feature that I know, and they don't, could protect them when they download using file sharing programs and other social nets ignoring my warnings or not understanding it them in the first place.

A second example is the use of real time protection of the type that Spywareguard and Spybot's TeaTimer offer. Even myself, I am so confused by the barrage of enable/disable messages that these program produce that I prefer not to use it. I know it's important but frankly it's useless and a pain for the average user.

Regarding Spyware Blaster: so far I didn't read any assessment that can quantify the value of this program. It's simply against my nature to use something which does not allow any scrutiny. It could just as well be a ghost. You either believe in it's existence or you don't. I am willing to change my mind any moment but I need a better proof.

To sum it all up: presently I chose to install AVG 8.0 for my customers as an antivirus and Malwarebytes as a second, manual, extra layer of protection. Regarding firewall: I use Microsoft's after trying Zone Alarm and Sygate for a long time, finding them troublesome and heavy on computer resources.

I tried to share my thoughts with readers of this thread. I am sure that others have different opinions.


Thanks again

The Skeptic
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#37
Doug

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the Skeptic,

In addition to SpywareBlaster, I keep MVPS Host file added to my machines.

As to "seeing" an result...
Many Forum pages have banner adds.
When using SpywareBlaster and MVPS Host File, your browser will display some version of:
404, This page cannot be loaded, or similar.... and you'll never have to see those ads again.

I then use "Homer" which allows for any 127.0.0.1 address such as ad(dot)doubleclick(dot)net (redirected by Spyware Blaster or Host File) to appear as a small (non-interactive) swatch of the color of your choice. This actually improves the speed of page loading.

Homer from http://www.funkytoad...=...4&Itemid=32, actually allows you to insert your own favorite photo as a place keeper, though the geometry of a photo can get pretty distorted depending upon the positioning of the banner ad that it is replacing.
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#38
jen2

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I CURRENTLY HAVE SPYDOCTOR & MCAFEE ON MY COMPUTER. I HAD SPYBOT BEFORE MCAFEE, BUT GOT A VIRUS AND WAS TOLD TO DOWNLOAD MCAFEE WHICH FORCED OUT SPYBOT. WHILE MY COMPUTER WAS INFECTED, IT WOULD NOT RUN SPYDOCTOR OR SPYBOT. I WANT TO KNOW IF THESE ARE THE PROGRAMS I AM SHOULD BE USING OR IF THERE IS A DIFFERENT PROGRAM I SHOULD BE USING.

Edited by jen2, 03 November 2008 - 09:05 PM.

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#39
Ltangelic

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Hey jen2,

McAfee is an anti-virus program while Spybot S&D and Spyware Doctor are anti-spyware programs. To ensure maximum protection, you should be running one of each of these types of protection softwares. In addition, you should also have a firewall like Comodo Pro Free or Zonealarm Free so that you will be protected from external attacks.

If you are still having problems due to viruses despite installing these softwares, feel free to head over here and read the instructions in there and post a HijackThis log for analysis here. :)

PS. Please don't post everything in caps.

LT

Edited by Ltangelic, 06 November 2008 - 04:14 AM.

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#40
Ltangelic

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Hey The Skeptic,

For example: for myself I use Avast as an antivirus/antispyware, considering it far superior to AVG 8.0. Avast is the only free antivirus that has a p2p shield. In my opinion it's an absolute must. However, for other people I install AVG 8.0 because it's more user friendly. When people have to renew their free license with Avast they get paralyzed, not knowing what to do, calling for help, feeling betrayed by me, reminding me that I offered them free protection (which I did). Eventually, against my best judgment, I started installing AVG 8.0 fully aware that many computers will get infected because of a lack of a feature that I know, and they don't, could protect them when they download using file sharing programs and other social nets ignoring my warnings or not understanding it them in the first place.


I think that AVG and Avast are both great recommendations to users, even though I prefer Avast and Antivir better. (I'm not using Antivir at the moment because its free version update servers are having major problems) Avast seems hard to use, but it actually is really easy to use if you look at it. Avast updates its definitions automatically, which can save a lot of trouble and help those users who are lazy to update on their own. AVG is lighter on resources (not sure if AVG 8 is still the case, but AVG 7 was lighter than Avast) and has pretty good scanning engines. As for P2P and file sharing that brings risks and potential malware, the only thing you can do is to point them to the dangers of it. Whether they want to heed your advice is not something you can control, you would be doing your job if you make them understand the risks.

A second example is the use of real time protection of the type that Spywareguard and Spybot's TeaTimer offer. Even myself, I am so confused by the barrage of enable/disable messages that these program produce that I prefer not to use it. I know it's important but frankly it's useless and a pain for the average user.


Spybot do have alert messages that come up when a registry change occurs. Most of the times, it pops up during installation or uninstallation of programs and you wouldn't need to be alarmed by the messages. However, when the messages start popping up when you aren't doing anything to the registry or installing anything that could be making changes to the registry, you should be on your guard. The best way to actually prevent any damages to the registry is to make constant backups of it so even in cases when a registry change causes something to malfunction, you have a backup to save your computer. But as I have said earlier on, Spybot is no longer an efficient protection against spyware, and you should have something like SpywareBlaster to complement it.

As for SpywareGuard, I'm not very familiar with how it works. It is still a relatively new program to me and it is still under development on Vista, and further assessment needs to be carried out before I can make a conclusive comment on its credibility.

Regarding Spyware Blaster: so far I didn't read any assessment that can quantify the value of this program. It's simply against my nature to use something which does not allow any scrutiny. It could just as well be a ghost. You either believe in it's existence or you don't. I am willing to change my mind any moment but I need a better proof.


I see your point. Personally, I think that SpywareBlaster does help a great deal in preventing installation of malicious codes, even though we actually have no idea what it does "behind the scenes". In addition, SB actually allows you to take a snapshot of your system and revert any damages done to it. There are actually quite a number of reviews going around, you can have a look at them by googling a search on SB.

To sum it all up: presently I chose to install AVG 8.0 for my customers as an antivirus and Malwarebytes as a second, manual, extra layer of protection. Regarding firewall: I use Microsoft's after trying Zone Alarm and Sygate for a long time, finding them troublesome and heavy on computer resources.


I think AVG 8 and MBAM is a good combination. It would be good if you recommend your users to update these softwares regularly (like once a week). As for firewall, I would really recommend that you install a firewall like Zonealarm or Comodo Pro. Zonealarm is easy to use and gives you the option to lock the Internet, which can be useful when trying to remove malware that needs to constantly access its servers. Comodo is very powerful as well, though it's a little harder to configure. The most important thing is that they are two-way firewalls which prevents external attack as well as internal access of external source by malware present on your computer. Windows Firewall is practically useless in protecting you from hackers because it only prevents malware from accessing your computer due to its one way protection. I would never rely on Windows Firewall to protect my computer.

Simply put, there is no protection software that can make your computer immune to infections a 100%, but installing one is definitely better than installing none. Even I have doubts about the protection softwares I'm using, but so far, they have proven to be effective to a large extent, and I have not had any significant infections since I used these softwares. I do have cases where one of two malware slip past my protection softwares, but most of them get removed immediately with a scan using MBAM, Spyware Doctor and Avast. Also, I do keep an eye for any strange changes on my computer (eg. a sudden Ebay shortcut on my desktop) that could be an indication of malware and tackle them immediately when I discover their presence. Installing protection softwares is one very important step to preventing malware invasions, but being vigilant is even more vital to ensure that your computer does not end up in a state of incurable. :)

Edit: Errors in expression

Edited by Ltangelic, 06 November 2008 - 07:16 AM.

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#41
sari

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As for SpywareGuard, I'm not very familiar with how it works. It is still a relatively new program under development, and further assessment needs to be carried out before I can make a conclusive comment on its credibility.


Relatively new? It was around when I first got interested in malware, which was over 4 years ago - I wouldn't call that relatively new. It's not under development, except in regards to running on Vista. However, their website encourages the use of SpywareBlaster over SpywareGuard, as its definitions are updated frequently and it has been tested extensively on Vista.
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#42
The Skeptic

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Hi Ltangelic.

I am not sure I understood the part of your post dealing with firewalls. Microsoft's gives the user only inbound traffic protection, compared to ZA (for example) that gives you inbound + outbound protection. As far as inbound protection, which to me is the most important, it equals or close to equal to ZA. To make the subject simple I do not go into detailed comparisons between the firewalls. I just want to clarify one point:

My question is, and I'll put it bluntly: why should I care about outbound traffic? I assume that every user of a computer with XP-SP2, which makes up the majority of the users, has a firewall installed. Either Microsoft's or another. If he doesn't, he will get infected whether I protect my outbound traffic or not.

Am I not right? Could you clarify this point, please? Honestly, I could never understood this double sided protection not in firewalls nor in antiviruses.

Regarding Spywareguard, Sari is correct. The program is available for a long time. I used it for a while and stopped for the same reasons that I stopped using TeaTimer.


Kind Regards

The Skeptic
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#43
Ltangelic

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As for SpywareGuard, I'm not very familiar with how it works. It is still a relatively new program under development, and further assessment needs to be carried out before I can make a conclusive comment on its credibility.


Relatively new? It was around when I first got interested in malware, which was over 4 years ago - I wouldn't call that relatively new. It's not under development, except in regards to running on Vista. However, their website encourages the use of SpywareBlaster over SpywareGuard, as its definitions are updated frequently and it has been tested extensively on Vista.


My mistake sari, I meant it was a new program for me because I've only heard about it this year. :)

I actually did download it a while ago and the latest updates was in 2004, it raised my eyebrows a bit on whether it is up to date and still under development. The time when I checked the information of SpywareGuard (before their website got revamped), it only said it is still developing and may have compatibility issues and didn't mention anything about Vista (if I remember correctly). I was kinda confused by that and thought the program has been developing since 2004 and is still developing now. :)

Sorry for the confusion.
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#44
sari

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TheSkeptic,

As far as outbound traffic, this can be important if a user gets infected with a back door or other program that is sending information out to another location (stealing your passwords, for example). In that case, the firewall could alert you that a new process was trying to access the internet, which could be your first clue that you'd been infected by anything.
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#45
Ltangelic

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Hey The Skeptic,

My question is, and I'll put it bluntly: why should I care about outbound traffic? I assume that every user of a computer with XP-SP2, which makes up the majority of the users, has a firewall installed. Either Microsoft's or another. If he doesn't, he will get infected whether I protect my outbound traffic or not.

Am I not right? Could you clarify this point, please? Honestly, I could never understood this double sided protection not in firewalls nor in antiviruses.

Regarding Spywareguard, Sari is correct. The program is available for a long time. I used it for a while and stopped for the same reasons that I stopped using TeaTimer.


Inbound and outbound protection is equally important in my opinion. Windows Firewall isn't perfect in blocking every single malware that tries to sneak into your system. Like sari said, there are certain malware that can easily slip past Windows Firewall and hide itself in an unnoticed part of your computer. Some of these malware can then download other malicious files from the Internet without the user's knowledge, or worse still (like sari mentioned), send out private information to its authors. Without a two way firewall, you will never know if your passwords and personal details are secretly collected on the other end of the line.
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