Current IT field related information

26 May 09 Tired Of Paying For Antivirus Services?

Antivirus software is expensive, whether you’re talking about Norton Antivirus, McAfee, AVG, or Dr. Web.  The problem with these programs is that all of them tell you that you can’t possibly hope to keep your computer safe unless you pay them for security updates to keep your computer safe from viruses and malware, but how effective are they really?

The honest answer is, not as effective as you would hope considering the price you’re paying for the privilege of running these programs.  All of the aforementioned programs really only have a 30-50% detection rate when it comes to malware, viruses, and Trojans.  That means despite having dedicated security updates, the program’s scanning ability, a chief draw when we’re talking antivirus software, is pretty much lackluster at best.  Severely disappointing when you consider the amount of money you’ve probably shelled out on these programs over the years.

But probably the biggest factor that bothers me, and that should bother everyone, is the massive amount of freeware virus removal tools that seem to perform more effectively than any pay service.  Take Ad-Aware, and Spyware Doctor for example.  Both of these programs are completely free, and yet they tend to find more malware, viruses, worms, and Trojans than any of the pay services, and that completely bugs me.

What is it that the free programs do, that the pay services can’t achieve with their virus scanning?

Sure Norton is going to be better for you than a free antivirus program in the sense that it offers a fairly ironclad firewall, email scanning, and auto-protect against known viruses and malware as you surf the internet, all features that the free stuff doesn’t have.  But how useful are the preventative measures if Norton can’t detect the bad stuff that seeps through it’s protection?

I guess it’s pretty annoying, but you sort of have to take the free with the pay services, because the costly antivirus programs are fantastic at preventing virus intrusions, but you need programs like Ad-Aware and Spyware Doctor to detect all the stuff AVG, Norton or McAfee are going to miss.

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18 Apr 09 Can Spybot Compete With Pay Antivirus Services?

So how useful is Spybot Search & Destroy really?  If you have the free program installed on your computer, you’ll at least notice that every time you run a scan Spybot seems to find more “spyware” and “adware” than using most other programs, but how much good is Spybot actually doing?  The answer, as most people will tell you, is not as much as you would hope.

Spybot doesn’t really do much to help you if your computer has major issues, as the program just isn’t designed to clean up the really big stuff.  Where Spybot’s central usefulness lies is in deleting the little spyware and adware stuff.  Such as internet cookies that count as spyware or adware that can load up your computer causing slower than normal performance.  Of which Spybot is very effective, cleaning up all manner of small issues that you never necessarily considered to be big problems for your computer, but you’ll still see some sort of a difference by getting rid of the small stuff.

Other free programs like AVG’s free version, or AdAware which is also free, are much more capable when removing the big stuff like trojans or worms.  In fact AdAware is probably the best resource you’ll find for free to clean up any issues you may be having with your PC when it comes to viruses and affected performance.

Which actually brings me to another point, and mistake that many people make, you don’t need to spend money on the big virus protection software brands like Norton Antivirus, or McAfee.  Most people never suffer a major issue using just Spybot, AdAware and AVG.  While it’s sort of an annoyance to have three different virus programs to juggle, your PC in the end will actually be safer, and you’ll have a few dollars more left over in your wallet.

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