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more than one virus scanner

Posted on 2002-03-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I'm running norton, and avast32 virus scanning programs.  I don't have any problems that I know of but figured I might ask if this would cause a problem.  I've updated both of them, and recently caught a virus e-mailed to me.  So I'm assuming they are functional.
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Question by:rspar1
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12 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6891276
They could drag down your System Resources making it more difficult to keeping open several applications at one time. Also with both running at the same time you are probably slowing down certain response times like opening a application or a file into an application. Generally speaking Norton consistently grades out with very high marks in catching virus's. Personally I think you only need to just run one of them. I don't think there is any real benifit by running both.



The Crazy One
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6891429
I don't have any virus scanning running in the background on mine.  I have an ISP that has a virus scanner on the email server and I run regular scans at http://housecall.antivirus.com so I have everything covered.  That way I get virus coverage and the fastest running system possible.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 6891744
Like CrazyOne said, there isn't really any point in running two anti-virus programs, Norton should be pleanty.  Also, having the two running at the same time can cause conflicts between the two, you would probabbly be better off just running one.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:WiZaRd
ID: 6891845
I would favour Norton although I haven't heard of the other one. Which one detected the virus ?
Agree running 2 can slow things down a bit and possibly cause conflicts between the 2.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:CyberStretch
ID: 6892427
I, for one, believe that running multiple scanners is a good idea, if you are willing to trade some performance for the added security. IMHO, having a "second opinion" on any possible virus source sure as heck beats your single scanner from not detecting it and getting infected.

Since there are 1000s, if not more, of viruses created monthly, the chances are that the virus definition lists for each product will vary a certain degree. For example, Norton may be able to detect viruses A-P, given their new deifintions; and Avast32 may be able to detect M-Z. If you are running only Notron, viruses Q-Z would go undetected. Conversely, if you were running only Avast32, viruses A-L would go undetected. True, you will have "double protection" for M-P, but it may be worth your while.

Of course, this is only an example, and the degree to which the new definitions overlap will most likely vary by different proportions at different times.
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LVL 10

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by:emery800
ID: 6892580
This type of question will receive a lot of pro and cons, however, running certain virus programs will bog your system down and I am not a fan of Norton's because it is a resource hog. I recommend running something otherwise you are playing with fire, and it should be in the top 10. I recommend Inoculanit 4.5 or 6.0 or FPROT (Commandsystems software). This question is going to lend itself to user preference and one cannot argue that, if your happy and it works for you then go for it. The key is having a anti-virus program that updates it signature files often to provide you latest coverage. :>) Dave
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LVL 2

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by:MrAlaska
ID: 6892647
Given a choice between the two, I would tend to go with Norton as Avast32 does not give an indication of keeping up with its virus definitions if you subscribe to the methodology at http://www.virusbtn.com/100/vb100sum.html

Although Norton scores well in detection, I personally dislike it for other reasons. At this time, Nod32 has the reputation with the security crowd as being the all around 'best' AV : http://www.nod32.com/home/home.htm

You can see some of the lesser known AV's compared at http://wilders.org, but I didn't see Avast32 there.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:MrAlaska
ID: 6892652
oops, the URL got mangled a bit for http://wilders.org 
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 6892660
Another good anti-virus program is McAfee VirusScan
http://mcafeestore.beyond.com/Product/0,1057,3-18-SN107852,00.html?
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Author Comment

by:rspar1
ID: 6893177
Well what started me on the two was my Norton is an old one although I've updated it regularly. So I figured I'd download a free vs for added security.  I have a new version of McAfee but after installing it several of my games wouldn't install properly (they'd seek the A: drive continuously after the install until I rebooted) so i dumped the McAfee.  My resource are 89% with both running at boot up, and memory usually around 93 of 128 (freeRam xp).

The odd thing is the virus detection box popped up, and before I could read it, it was gone.  And I couldn't find a log for it.  So I'm not sure which one caught it.
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CrazyOne earned 100 total points
ID: 6893275
Well you probably needed to configure McAfee to not seek the A: drive. In any case the research I have done on avast32 seems to indicate that it is an above average scanner but grades out below being an excellent scanner. The newer Norton and McAfee on most of the documented test I have seen grade out at excellent. Norton has been grading out with high marks for a couple of years now. McAfee wasn't until recently. Anyway if your System Resources are at 89% then I don't really see a problem there anyway with running both scanners. Although I still suggest just using one just to lower the overall overhead and I would personally go with and upgraded version of Norton.

I have yet to have a machine get an infection since using Norton and I have used it for several years. Each version of it makes it easier to use and not as cumbersome on the system as previous versions. The last job I had used Norton on all their machines and to date none have gotten infected even with all those nasty email virus's that were circulating this past year that were significant enough to grab the headlines in the News. And every machine there at the job and my machine here at home received emails that had these viruses on it and Norton caught every single one of them. As a seconday scanner you could use the one suggested by slink http://housecall.antivirus.com as way to double check your system from time to time.
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LVL 10

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by:emery800
ID: 6894229
Its user preference as I indicated, however, I am not a fan of McAfee either. See this: http://www.radsoft.net/resources/software/reviews/blacklist.html
Dave
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