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Good Anti-Virus protection for XP based Pentium 4 laptop

Posted on 2004-03-21
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Is there a preferred Anti-Virus software application for Windows XP? I recently purchased a Toshiba P15-S420 laptop (haven't even opened the box) and wanted to install an anti-vitus package. The laptop is a Pentium 4 with HT technology. It has a 3.0Ghx processor with 512 RAM and 80GB hard disk. It came with the trial version of Norton so I went ahead and got the most recent version of Norton (2004) which I have not opened yet. I have been reading horrible experiences about both McAfee as well as Norton from users and want to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that I do not get plagued with those problems with a new machine.

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Sonuj2
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Question by:sonuj2
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by:Reapz
ID: 10646069
When you say Norton 2004 is that just Norton Antivirus 2004 or the whole lot Norton Internet Security 2004?

Personally speaking I steer well clear of Norton Internet Security because of major problems it has caused me in the past but saying that I swear by the standalone Norton Antivirus.  Nothings ever got through! Ever!

I put it on all the small business networks I install and I've never had any come back.
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by:sirbounty
sirbounty earned 40 total points
ID: 10646144
I'll agree with what Reapz says.  I used to use NIS2003- and loved it (I have children in the home, so it helped with the 'accidental' sites).
I've got 3 clients now with trouble with NIS2004 and XP - not sure why though - every forum online seems to indicate others with the same problem, but no resolution...supposedly.
However, you should have no problem if using just the AV piece of Norton.
I'm not familiar with McAfee under XP though - so I can't speak to that, but I can say - I run Norton AV on 4 of my XP devices and at least 8 of my client's PCs...
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by:kabaam
ID: 10646194
I just spent a good 20 minutes playing with the config of Norton firewall.... it is a hassle.  I decided to disable it and just use the antivirus and intrusion detection.
So.... basically I am just agreeing with these folks and think that the AV is doing its' job just fine
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10646218
...and for a good firewall - try zone alarm: www.zonelabs.com (there's a free 'lite' version)
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by:ceflores
ID: 10646220
Hello sonuj2,

I use NIS2004 and I had never run into any problems. I dont really like the firewall configuration options so I agree with Kabaam on only using the Anti Virus.


ceflores
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by:CarlWarner
ID: 10646273
SP2 to XP will be out before you know it and it has a much better firewall than is current in XP and XP SP1.  If the Norton Firewall gives you heartburn, wait for SP2 (who can wait?  I have RC1 on a test PC) or get the free version of ZoneAlarm, unless you insist on spending a few bucks for ZoneAlarm Pro.

But, I use Norton A/V on all my NT-based PCs (NT4, W2K, WinXP).  I still use McAfee on Win98.
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Fatal_Exception earned 40 total points
ID: 10646293
Ok.. my 2 cents..  I have installed and used Symantec's (Norton) products on so many systems I can not count them..  I suggest only using their AV solution though...  If you want a firewall, go ahead and turn on the built in XP firewall, as it works just as good as any other software firewall on the market, from what I have seen...  If you want more security, purchase a hardware firewall meant for that purpose that uses Stateful Inspection technology...  I personally believe that with security, you should really not mix the two..

That being said, I did run into one problem with Norton a few weeks ago with an XP system, which even an uninstall and reg hack did not cure..  Ended up throwing AVG on it, and everything started working again...  Never did discover what was wrong, but as long as it is working....  

Anyway, as long as you make sure your def files are up to date, you should be fine with most any of the AV products...  The only one I would definitely stay away from is Trend PCillin...  Had a lot of issues with it in the past..

FE
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by:Reapz
ID: 10646386
Fatal is correct about the Windows XP firewall. When I did have NIS installed I went to one of those webby thats scan your ports for weaknesses. NIS failed miserably. I uninstalled and tried the Windows XP firewall and it was water tight.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10646403
:)
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by:infotrader
infotrader earned 20 total points
ID: 10646752
Since the topic is about Anti-Virus , not about firewall... I'll throw in my two cents.  You can't go wrong with a name-brand AV product.  Symantec and McAfee has been in this business forever, and are pretty good.  They have good people, and generally really fast at catching up with the virus writers.  You can also find a lot of users that'll provide you hints and supports (see the examples above) :-P

So which one is better?  In my mind, the cheapest one!!!  I got Norton system works for free after rebate around Xmas time.  Fry's is currently offering McAfee for free after rebate...  So if I need one right now, I'll go with McAfee :-)

As far as Firewall is concerned.  Always use a hardware before considering software.  And nothing beats good Internet surfing practices.  I am not a paranoid person, but as a general rule of thumb, I always create backups of stuff that I'd like to keep.  I NEVER store confidential information on my hard drive, just in case...   I can type the credit card numbers every time I visit a site, thank you... no need for anything or anybody to store it for me)...  

So, to sum it up...  Whichever Anti-Virus you feel comfortable with should be the one you choose.  Get a hardware router/firewall before considering installing a software-based one.

- info
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Author Comment

by:sonuj2
ID: 10649215
I would like to thank all of you for responding and giving some very valuable suggestions. First off let me provide responses to some of the questions asked.

I only need the anti-virus package and that is what I got for FREE (mail-in-rebate). I also have a Linksys wireless router that I am going to install in place of a 'wired' router that I currently have so that way I keep the hardware based firewall protection and then I can use the Windows XP firewall protection along with it. Can anybody please tell me how I turn XP Firewall 'ON'?


The reason I posted this question is because I have a Win 98 machine with McAfee and I am having all kinds of problems:

1. The machine has slowed down considerably after the installation
2. I get the blue screen of death almost 5-6 times every day and have to do a hard reboot each time.

I do not want to install an AV pkg that will kill my new machine's performance.


Fatal_Exception - You indicated in one of your responses: That being said, I did run into one problem with Norton a few weeks ago with an XP system, which even an uninstall and reg hack did not cure..  Ended up throwing AVG on it, and everything started working again...  Never did discover what was wrong, but as long as it is working....  What do you mean by 'AVG'???

Finally, I do not know how to split the points as all of you gave good information. I will let the forum administrator decide how he/she wants to split the points.

Thanks again to all of you.
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10649328
How to enable/disable ICF: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=283673
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by:kabaam
ID: 10649336
the Prefered method is for the author to close the question and split points if neccesary.
The point to remember is "what was the original question and how was it worded?"
That is what we base answers and suggestions on.

BTW, no points for me... all I did was say.. .I agree...
good luck
KaBaaM
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10649349
AVG: http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php

To split points - click Edit/Find (on this page) "Split Points"...
Other than the one above this line, you should find a link to use...
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10652320
AVG is a Free for home use AV solution from Grisoft...  It really is an excellent product, and know a lot of friends, including good techs, that use it on their personal systems...  Here is the link:

http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php

And thanks..

FE
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Author Comment

by:sonuj2
ID: 10653592
Question for FE:

If it were you would you rely solely on the free AVG version for all virus protection? How good are these people with updates to combat the current virus threats; in other words how soon do they react to the new virus threats that keep popping up every day? And how does AVG affect performance of the machine? I am trying to be very cautious after my bad experience with McAfee and Win 98 and do not want to ruin my new laptop.

Any answers that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Sonuj2
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10653651
<woorggg> <wooorggg>
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by:CarlWarner
ID: 10653663
I have an older Win98 PC that I loaded AVG on.  While many love it, I found it made the Win98 box run slower than McAfee.  I took AVG off and reloaded McAfee and I am happier for it because the performance feels snappier.  I cannot give you any more definitive stats than it "fells better".  But, that is my experience with a PII-350.  Now, on much faster newer PCs you may not notice the speed difference.  IOW, YMMV.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10654450
I feel very comfortable running AVG on my system..  I even have it running on my DC at home..  

The only thing about AV software is that sometimes it does not pull down the latest def files, and that is true about any AV solution that I have used..  This includes McAfee, Norton, Symantec Corp/Ent Edition, AVG, etc...  Since you have Norton, that is the one I would put on the system..  I have it running on 90% of my personal machines (total 10 systems on my home network) and find it very reliable..  The only AV software that I do not recomment is Trend...  

FE
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10654469
I schedule Live Update to run every other day with Norton using Schedule Tasks...
against "c:\Program Files\Symantec\LiveUpdate\LUALL.EXE"

This keeps mine current within as frequently as every 3 days...
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10654473
Thats the fix..  :)
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