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WHAT IS THE BEST ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE?

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have Norton Internet Security 2006 on my Windows XP laptop.

Is this the best anti-virus/spy-ware software?

Is MCAFEE better?

I noticed when I shut down my computer, sometimes, I'll get a message telling me that CCAPP is not responding and gives me the option to END program.  I believe this is part of Norton, right?

My CPU usage is often at 100% also, even at idle.  I was wondering if NORTON has anything to do with this?

Any help would be appreciated.  I just want to get my system running smoothly again.  It's only a year old, and yes, I did reformat.  I don't want to go through that again.
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Question by:goodallknight
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Lee W, MVP earned 60 total points
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Norton is probably the WORST software to use with regards to performance.  Further, I do not consider it a very good product at protecting you.  In 10 years of consulting, I've seen one problem wiith McAfee (checking email for viruses) and probably a half dozen with Symantec/Norton products, including issues with AOL, Service Packs, Updates, and 3 instances where it failed to catch viruses in a timely fashion (and thanks to norton, I made a good chunk of cash as a consultant).  

Personally, I use and prefer McAfee's Enterprise products - but these are only available in Businesses.  The consumer products are ok - but they hog system resources as well.  In my opinion, the bottom line is that McAfee works (at least it's never let me down) and Symantec is like someone who can't handle the pressure... when it doesn't really matter, it works fine... but when it does, it chokes and you've got problems.

I would suggest you read over this link - and then the link on page 5 (near the bottom; right above "What's Next") that rates most of the Antivirus products available.
What Really Slows Windows Down
http://www.thepcspy.com/articles/other/what_really_slows_windows_down/1

Given the ratings, I'd probably suggest using Kaspersky.
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by:rpggamergirl
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Getting rid of Norton is a great idea, so many people have experienced Norton as being a resource hog and the caused of many problems while installed in the system. We've used Norton antivirus for 2 years and we were infected while Norton was protecting us(but of course no antivirus can protect you from all viruses).

Personally I'd recommend Kaspersky, but I'm using the free Avast for 4 months now and it's good.

Top ten antivirus:
http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
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by:goodallknight
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OK...so it sounds like KASPERSKY is the one you two recommend.

Now here's a question:  When I UNINSTALL Norton, will EVERYTHING associated with the program be deleted.  I WANT IT TOTALLY GONE!!!  NO RESIDUE!!!
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by:r-k
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by:legalsrl
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Hi Guys,

We've covered this topic many times before, sometimes heated, sometimes cool calm and collected.

See this post

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/Viruses/Q_21909104.html

We only use McAfee and we are IT Security Consultants (check profile for more), we tested McAfee against everything else and it comes out the best.

If you are looking at it for a Corporate Environment, use McAfee, if it's for a home environment, then use AVG.  We don't think the McAfee home user kit is particularly good, but the business version is the best in the marketplace

I can tell you all the things that it does and where the competition fails, but I can't post it on here.....if only I was allowed to, that would be great, but apparently it's not for us to disclose.

Get rid of Norton, it causes more problems than it fixes.

Cheers
Si
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by:rockiroads
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I wouldnt recommend Norton either. On work laptop its MacAfee, its pretty good, but at home I use different virus checkers (two different PC's)

I use AVG Free which I consider to be very good and Avast also isnt too bad

I have used Kaspersky before but found a few issues with it, like PC rebooting itself. That problem disappeared when I uninstalled it. It may due to some conflict, I dont know but I couldnt be asked to find out.

So if your looking for good free ones, have a look at the two I suggested


For spyware, well thats tricky, Ad Aware and Spybot are okay but not excellent (IMHO), Windows Defender isnt too bad, but one I used is XOFTSpy. There is a really good one as well (only one that god rid of one browser hijacker I had) was Adware Away.

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by:gonzal13
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Norton recommends one of 12 programs on www.symantec.com/autotools.
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by:Mnf
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hi
i recommend you with KASPERSKY too.
about your question, if you want to uninstall the Norton, the uninstall will completely delete all the Norton files and services from your system.
if the uninstall failed (rarely happened), Use this tool to cleanup your system of Norton/Symantec:

http://www.mickelson.org/files/zips/nonav.zip
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by:legalsrl
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OK, let's get this matter cleared up.

Are we talking just one laptop ?  Is it your home laptop ?  Part of a Business network ?

If you have McAfee on your machines at work, then your IT guys can get McAfee software for your home PC (and any of your users) for just $1.  Your IT guys will need to go through their McAfee partner, but we do it all the time for employees of our clients.

The other solution is AVG.

Don't waste your time with Kapersky, it compares roughly the same with AVG on a home user level.  AVG is also free.

With regard to removing Norton, don't use the link that MnF provided you as that will only work with pre2003 versions of Norton

www.symantec.com/autotools

The above link is the correct link to the correct product that will remove your Norton 2006 product

Cheers
Si


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by:Lee W, MVP
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When you ask an opinion question like this, I (and I think other experts) appreciate it when you split the points to recognize the time and effort others gave to your answer...
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by:rpggamergirl
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>>Don't waste your time with Kapersky, it compares roughly the same with AVG on a home user level.  AVG is also free.<<

The best is not free unfortunately, and Kaspersky is not roughly the same with AVG, AVG can not compare with Kaspersky by any means except for being free.
Maybe AVG is roughly the same as Avast,
AVG vs Avast, I'll go for Avast because it has the same scanning engine as Kaspersky.
Of the numerous jotti's report that I've seen over the past year it's Kaspersky, BitDefender, that  usually detects something in a file while AVG among with others missed unless it's a very common virus where the rest of the antivirus also detects.

Early last year when Bube infection were going around, antispyware forums were swamped with Bube infected hijackthis logs and it was Kaspersky's free trial that came to the rescue. No other free trial antivirus could remove the infection but only Kaspersky.

Just my 2 cents.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Everyone's got different reviews and web sites, but according to this one, which seems reasonably well documented, Kaspersky is VERY good - MUCH better than AVG (AVG isn't even in the top 20). And better than McAfee as well.

http://www.virus.gr/english/fullxml/default.asp?id=82
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by:goodallknight
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LEEW,

You are absolutely correct.  Believe it or not, that was my intention.  I'm at work on a 12-hour shift on NIGHTS, and I inadvertantly gave ALL the points to one person.  I had already submitted it before I realized it.

Please forgive me...I've ALWAYS split the points before.

So to everyone who offered assistance.  I ABSOLUTELY APOLOGIZE AND DO RECOGNIZE YOUR EFFORTS!!!

Thank you all.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If that was the intent, then you can post a question in Community Support and request the question be reopened.  

IN THIS CASE, I can reopen the question for you - I just would prefer a more direct request here before doing so (as I am also a question participant).
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by:goodallknight
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OK...

Thank you for informing me.  I didn't know I could do that.

Maybe I'm being a little sensitive, but you come across a bit hostile/upset.  I truly do apologize to everyone, including you.

Feel free to reopen the question, and I can split the points as I intended.

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by:legalsrl
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Again, I point out that you are not trying to compare like for like......

Home User software is substantially different to corporate products......

I know McAfee's Enterprise software is the best when it comes to business use......when it comes to home use, it's not the best.

QUOTE

If you have McAfee on your machines at work, then your IT guys can get McAfee software for your home PC (and any of your users) for just $1.  Your IT guys will need to go through their McAfee partner, but we do it all the time for employees of our clients.

END QUOTE

They don't offer the home user stuff, they give out the corporate version........

Home User stuff tries to do too much i.e it's seen differently in the marketplace.....

Norton has 6 modules, McAfee therefore has to have 6 modules etc etc etc

If McAfee only had 5 modules, people would pay for Norton as they don't think about the quality of the product, they only want perceived value for money (i.e. how many modules), not how good the product is.

Why do you think Norton comes preinstalled on most machines ?  Simply because they need the market of "oh well it's on there" so I'll continue the trial to subscription.

You speak to any IT consultant and I'll doubt they'll recommend Norton on a product basis.

leew - look at your own link, it's for home user kit.......now look at the question asked......What is the best anti-virus software ?

Doesn't say Home or Business..........for business the best is McAfee.....period.....

I'm not going to get in to a debate about McAfee's home user kit, I've already said it's not the best.  Value for money wise, AVG is the best value as it's free.

Anyway, if someone's sulking about a points error (leew), then let's ask the asker to post a question in the Community Support section to reassign the points.

You may all like Kapersky for your home PCs, but I sure know I wouldn't protect any of my clients with it for business

Have fun
Cheers
Si

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by:Lee W, MVP
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My apologies if I am coming off hostile - I try to maintain a a clear boundary regarding my actions as a page editor and those as an expert.

This has never been described to me as site policy, however, it is my opinion that questions should be closed with an explanation of why the selected answer or answers was chosen.  In this way, everyone, experts participating and future visitors reading the question understand how the problem/question was resolved.

In addition (again my opinion), if I did not help you than I don't want points.  But if you did consider my comments as being helpful, then the points are the way in which that recognition should be shown on this site.  If I (and others) didn't care about the points, we wouldn't waste the time volunteering here - there are newsgroups and other sites out there we could be on, helping people there.  (My opinion, I know I do not speak for every expert here).
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by:mohananu
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Well I have tried a number of Antivirus software, Norton, Mcafee, AVGfree but was never satisfied with the performance. Most of these are resource hogs. Then I found a really fantastic product the Panda Antivirus, very resonably priced and gives you a free trial of 20 days. If you just want to check your system for virus, trojans, spyware or adware you can run its activex online version, just about 5-6mb of download and a thorough check and cleanup for free. Others check and tell you "You have serious infections, security risk,...BlahBlah...." but it checks as well cleans and then you are ready to intall the product.

Try it, it has a lot of functions and works on heuristic virus checking algorithm. A fantastic product.
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by:gecko_au2003
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there is also clamwin ( www.clamwin.com ) which is open source and there is avast which is free for home use ( www.avast.com ).

I mean at the end of the day imo with windows and anti virus / anti spyware etc, there is no best product and ok there are ones like Norton that are the worst compared to the other ones but it ends up being a case of it being a shot gun approach with different anti virus and or anti spyware products cos you may use one and it will find, x, y and z mal ware and then you may use another and it may find a , d and w, I guess it just depends on how up to date the defintions are and how good they are at detecing the malware whether it be viruses or trojans or spyware or w/e.

Maybe someone can correct me if im wrong :)
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by:legalsrl
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Gecko.....

Surprised by your comments I am.....hang on...I'm not Yoda....

I wouldn't advocate the shotgun approach....ever.....I like these kind of discussions....

Trouble is everyone only every compares their own personal opinions about the products.

No-one actually ever bothers to compare the products on their own merits and features...ok, Norton and Panda don't have any merits, but that's beside the point......

There are lots of different features of each AV product, some better than others.....I know, I spent years (and still do) evaluating them every 3 months......but no-one ever says the differences......they all just get on the bandwagon without actually justifying why they say that.

mohananu - can you state why you believe the Panda product is better than the others ?

leew - can you justify why you think Kapersky is better (apart from you've seen it on a website somewhere.....I know you get grumpy sometimes)

r-k - why do you like NOD32 ?

Everyone has suggested different products, but no-one has actually justified why they think their product is better.....

Has anyone ever suggested to EE that they allow a demo-lab per topic so people can actually prove why their product is better ?

At least then, there isn't any bias, nor is there 100 competing websites providing different results, allowing an expert to choose which site meets their fancy on any given day ?

Benchmark testing is one thing missing from EE, but that's why I suppose us Experts are running business......to show that benchmark......

Comments welcome as usual

Si

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by:gecko_au2003
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lol @ yoda comment

At the end of the day I think its all down to personal preference and what you are looking for in a piece of software whether it be anti virus or w/e.

Clamwin you have to make it manually scan and as far as I am aware manually update it as well so its not a resource hog in that sense and it doesnt use much resources as far as im aware even when you are running it aside from going through the contents of the hard drive obviously.

I have never tried panda, Kapersky or nod32 ( although I have heard a lot of good things about nod32 , however you do have to pay for nod32 as far as I am aware ).

From the suggestions made I guess it is also down to whether or not you want to fork the cash out but then comes the question of ok which one do I fork the cash out for because I dont know about you but I dont wanna fork out cash on product X and find out later down the line that product Y is the best one :)

I think after I tried clamwin, avast and avg ( I ended up using macs ) As I got fed up of the constant upgrade cycle and also the constant using software x, y , z etc to get rid of malware a, b, c , d , e , etc.

Personally I just wanted something that works and is easy to use , end of story :)
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by:legalsrl
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Gotcha.....

A lot differs on whether you are trying to protect a home PC or a Corporate Network......we spend all our days protecting corporate networks, so don't really get involved in home stuff......I come on here to answer home pc issues :-)

The McAfee home stuff is not as good as the Corporate stuff......the corporate stuff is the mutts-nutts.....much better than anything else I've seen or eval'd.  I've eval'd most of the major players in the last 3 months, and nothing comes close.

problem is on here, unless they are specific in the title, us experts have to second guess as to the environment much less OS, machine type, memory etc, so it's hard just to say what's the best AV.

If you ask me for a network, I'll give you McAfee as the answer, but if you ask me for a home PC, I'd probably say AVG

Ten-penneth......

Cheers
Si
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by:Lee W, MVP
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legalsrl,

I have not done any testing and in fact I've never used Kaspersky myself.  I didn't suggest that I had - every time I mentioned Kaspersky it was in relation to reviews on other web sites.

That said, why are you not willing to accept the reviews in the links I posted?  How they were conducted seems fairly well documented and as such, would seemingly be reliable.  Perhaps I'm misinterpreting your comments, but they would seem to suggest you can't trust anyone's reviews except for your own.  And while I endorse testing of any product on your own, there are DOZENS of antivirus products available and to think that everyone has the time and resources to adequately test them all seems a bit much.  You have to take every review with a grain of salt, but that's how most people will decide - through reading reviews.  I also suggest that people listen to everyone's comments, but individual comments, just like reviews, need to be taken with an understanding of what influenced them and why.  In many respects, this is why I prefer relying on (when possible) products like Consumer Reports and to a lesser extent the PC Magazine readers surveys.  Because these are (in theory) unbiased questions about products compiled from dozens of responses per product to give an overall satisfaction rating.  They are, in my opinion, the best sampling you'll get.  In my opinion, no one should base their decision to buy a product based solely on 1-8 different opinions posted on this site or any other.  The opinions should be read and they can be a guide... but not the exclusive deciding factor.  External Reviews and compiled ratings should hold more weight.
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