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Overall Best Virus Scanner

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I'd like to know what the overall "best" virus scanning software is that's available nowadays. You see, about a year ago, I scrapped my virus scanner (McAfee) because it was slowing down programs like StarCraft, for whatever reason, and generally causing havoc on my system. Since then, the only virus scanning of any sort that I've done has been with the "Norton Anti-Spy" attachment on the Yahoo toolbar, which seems to cover me pretty well. However, lately I've been hearing about people having virus problems on their computers, and that kinda made me think about why I don't have a virus scanner. Sure, you can keep most malicious software off of your computer just by browsing safely and not clicking on every pop-up you see, but I think I'd feel better if I had an actual program that could search EVERYTHING for me. So, my question to you is, what IS the overall best virus scanner? By "best" I mean the most comprehensive, thorough, and convenient program out there, not including McAfee. Any suggestions from anyone would be appreciated.

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I use bitdefender. I used to use Zonealarm but then I upgraded to Vista (say what you want... it works well for me) and Zonealarm hasn't, so I used that now.

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Got to stick with AntiVir. It's never failed me. It's free, it updates automatically (if you want it to), it catches most everything and it doesn't slow down your computer at all. I like.

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I use Norton Antivirus due to brand name. [/shame] There are probably better/more usable options.
Yeah. Sticking with something just because it's brand-name is usually not a good idea (notable exception: memory cards). In this case, Norton tends to miss things that other anti-virus programs catch, bug you incessantly about paying for new updates, and make itself completely impossible to remove from your system.

The solution, of course, is to go with Grisoft's AVG. Partly because it's free for personal use, and partly because it works exceptionally well.

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I've been using avast for years now and have yet to run across another virus on my machine.

Avast caused many BSODs when I used it, especially during resource-intensive activities such as, say, sequencing music...

Antivirus software universally causes more problems than it solves, for me, so I don't run antivirus protection - I'll just run HouseCall every now and then [which usually turns up nothing].

For the general population who absolutely has to open .exe files in their email, I recommend AVG.

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None at all.

I do a complete scan about once a month (any av software can do this) that NEVER finds anything.

No active scanning, no background processes, ever, period. Being a CS major (and you really don't need to be) I can smell malware a mile away. That, and I keep my software updated (regardless of operating system) and I don't need software to scan everything.

Instead of bothering yourself with av, bother yourself to do backups. It's a much better paranoia than av in that if something catastrophic happens to HARDWARE *or* software you can recover.

In the past decade my family, who aside from me knows very little about computers, has gotten one virus capable of erasing data, a fuckton of adware, a failed hard drive, an exploding power supply that fried the hard drive, 2 other failed power supplies that didn't take data with it, 2 failed video card, a failed cpu fan, 2 failed motherboards.

Backups, backups, backups. AND DON'T BUY THE CHEAP HARDWARE.

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NOD32

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I don't use protection because I'm stupid|smart|suicidal, but yes, NOD32 is the chosen one. It's the best of the ones I've seen in action (McAffee, avast, Norman (barf), Norton (barf^2), AVG, Kaspersky), though it has its quirks like most things on Earth.

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AVG Free Edition. It's better if you get the Pro edition, but the free is more convenient because...it's free, duh.

Anyway, AVG is really easy on your computer. Doesn't slow it down. Doesn't take much space. Has free updates until forever. And if you want additional support with ad-ware and such, there are other programs like Ad-ware, Spybot, and Windows Defender.

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Alright - thanks for all the help, guys. I guess from what I see here, I'd go with NOD32 or AVG if I had to pick a virus scanner. If anyone asks, I can recommend these to them. As for me, I'll just keep browsing as safely as I can and checking the system files every so often to keep the viruses off.

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I'm in the same boat as Pezman; I use BitDefender. I used to use ZoneAlarm, but it's gone downhill drastically recently and causes more problems than it's worth. BitDefender uses the same basic concept as ZoneAlarm, but is easier to use, catches more problems, and uses far less resources. I recommend it. Just remember to set an automatic scan schedule for it.

I use BitDefender coupled with Comodo Firewall. Powerful combination right there.

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I use BitDefender coupled with Comodo Firewall. Powerful combination right there.

I've heard from various CS majors that firewalls are essentially useless for preventing viruses from infiltrating a system. And also, assuming you're a careful user, the only occasion where you may need a virus scanner seems to be if you have your computers in a network such as a college one - I have gotten a virus before from it jumping through my alma mater's network while I was still attending the school, so it definitely can happen. Otherwise, I have not had an instance ever where I have gotten a virus infecting my computer.

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Just about anything at all will slow my awful computer to a mere crawl. So no matter what virus software I use, it slows it down. But from personal experience, AVG has slowed me down the least. It's pretty convenient, the only time I experience bad slowdown is during monthly scans. But again, opening wordpad slows down my computer, so it's tough to judge.

But yeah, long story short, the best defense against viruses is to just use common sense. The most your average user should ever need to scan is once a month. I'd use AVG. Convenient, fast, free, updates until hell freezes over, a nice setup overall.

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NOD32. Good track record and it doesn't seem to be showing any signs of going downhill anytime soon.

If you want free, AVG is a good choice. I would normally say avast! but looking at newer AV tests it looks as if AVG is doing better than it used to. Still, none of the freebies can compare to NOD32's awesomeness.

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I've heard from various CS majors that firewalls are essentially useless for preventing viruses from infiltrating a system. And also, assuming you're a careful user, the only occasion where you may need a virus scanner seems to be if you have your computers in a network such as a college one - I have gotten a virus before from it jumping through my alma mater's network while I was still attending the school, so it definitely can happen. Otherwise, I have not had an instance ever where I have gotten a virus infecting my computer.

Yeah, I know. I hardly ever get viruses and spyware, even when I'm at college and connected to their network. Still, I like to keep myself covered anyway. The firewall is less for virus protection and more for infiltration protection. It's not the end-all, be-all of protection, but it helps. Besides, neither program is costing me anything, so I'm not losing anything by covering my bases.

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Another vote for AVG Free Edition. Tossed aside AntiVir due to that stupid full-screen ad shit they do on every update combined with its very simple statement "we don't do Vista x64." Screw them.

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