Anti-Virus software

This type of software is the bane of my life. I’ve lived a pretty long time, so far at least, and never, not once, have I found anti-virus software that I’ve been happy with. On the contrary, for the most part it has been a royal pain in the arse. What’s worse is that as the apparent threats multiply, so does the amount of widgets and fidgits needed to combat them, at least that’s what they would have you believe. Used to be only the odd trojan or worm we had to worry about. Now we’re supposed to have sleepless nights over spyware, adware, identity theft, spam and a thousand other things that are just waiting out there to sneak into our PCs and ruin our lives.

I’ve just uninstalled the 3 month trial version of CA’s software. I think this is the second time I’ve done the same so I’ll have to try and remember that before I download again. Whether it worked or not I have no idea. What I do know is that it bugs the hell out of you telling you what it’s doing or what it wants you to do as well as, fatally for itself, reminding me at least 6 times already that it is “about to expire” when it still has/had 81 days left of the trial!! Sorry, but life is too short to be paying so much attention to software.

Prior to this I had been using AVG’s free version. It only does virus protection but it does it for free and with limited hassle. Trouble with that is that they have been slowly making the free version ever so slightly annoying through poorly functioning updates. It’s been a bit ‘buggy’ recently so I was looking for an improvement. In the past I’ve had horrid experiences with the big ones like McAfee and Norton, which just ruined the functioning of my PC totally. I’m told newer versions are better but once bitten twice shy. So what are my alternatives?

If I leave the PC with nothing I just get bugged to death by Micro$oft XP telling me that I’m at risk because nothings installed. And yet, I have the XP firewall switched on, so what are you saying to me XP? You know I’ve got your super-dooper firewall switched on but that’s not worth the hard drive it’s written on so I ought to go install something else as well?? Just how many evil-doers do you think are out there trying to steal my worthless identity or trash my insignificant files?

I use Firefox browser and Thunderbird mail, both supposed to be far superior to others in terms of security. Perhaps that’s enough if I can just find a way to switch off the XP panic messages! The whole thing is beyond a joke. Corporations I can understand need good security but little old me here in my spare bedroom?

Any recommendations for software that does the following would be highly appreciated:

  1. Deals with most viruses
  2. Costs nothing
  3. Updates without me needing to hold it’s hand
  4. Shuts the hell up
  5. Does not screw-up the good nature of my PC
  6. Runs full scans at about the right frequency – i.e. once a quarter



13 thoughts on “Anti-Virus software

  1. True, but I don’t really want to have two PCs when one should be able to do everything. I also don’t think in this day and age I should have to go to such lengths.

    Good thought though!

  2. just buy an old notebook.

    And you can transfer the data between two PC’s really easy with an USB stick.

    And then you can be 100% sure that your private files stay private.

  3. Suggest you check out Sophos. Once installed it never needs never needs to be touched, unless you really want to start up an extra scan. I’ve been using it for the last 3 years – no problems. Not sure its free though, but then again, you only get what you pay for.

  4. Thanks Marek! I’ve had a look and the smallest entity they cater for is a small business. Lowest price product is 133 GBP. So, I’m sure it’s good but…… :)

  5. Might do that. Thinking about replacing this desktop clutter with a laptop and could consider a Mac one. Price is an issue, as is learning a whole new op sys but maybe its worth it.

    As usual, the advice I’m getting is akin to;

    “Doctor my knee hurts”

    “Chop your leg off!”


  6. Personally tested combo: SpyBot S&D (free, against ware-ious stuff), AVG (free, and, hey it does have more than just contravirties), ZoneAlarm (free firewall; XP firewall switched off, though.) In addition using some to-boot’s that work so well I forgot their names: XP AntiSpy?)

  7. Well, 133 for a laptop is a better deal but then I still have to do a lot of transferring of files. Main problem is that I do a fair amount of photo processing and then uploading to gallery. Processing needs a good modern spec powerful PC, uploading does not but to transfer from one to another all the time is a pain. Plus I’d have to have this current desktop AND a laptop on this small desk. Horses for courses.

    Thanks for the suggestions, Darth.

  8. Yeah, those floppies eh! And just how damned exciting was the ‘zip drive’ that weighed a few kilo and boosted the memory capacity to what 100MB or so? Recently I picked up an 8GB flash stick for peanuts! How quickly things go from hero to zero in the tech world.

  9. Once you go Mac, you never go back. I second Island’s idea.

    I use WIndows at work and know a fair amount about the inner workings. Why? Because of how often it doesn’t do what I want.

    I’ve had my Macbook for about 2 years and know little other than the basics in OS X. Why? Because I don’t have to! If that appeals to you, you’ll love it. You’ll be comfortable quickly.

    BTW, Norton on my Mac only bothers me when synching my iPod but is easily squelched with one click. Can’t seem to exclude that from scans automatically.

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