Alternative FREE Anti-Virus Software for avast!

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by chris18, Jul 18, 2005.

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  1. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Since the latter part of last year I have been running avast! anti-virus and I've been really pleased with it. The only downside is the fact that there are issues with Sygate Personal Firewall Pro (my version is 5.5 Build 2577) on some, but not all systems following a program update. With first time installations of avast! this doesn't seem to happen it's onlt following a program update.

    These problems are well documented in both the avast! & Sygate forums but essentially the automatic update facility in avast! causes multiple requests for access right from Sygate that cannot be resolved even if Syagte is set to Allow avast.setup rights. This has something to do with the fact that the avast.setup, which is used for updating both the program and VPS files, is a temporary file (it's another part of avast! that is renamed just for updating and then reverts back to the original).

    I've recently tried to update avast! and I'm now in the position of only being able to update the VPS file manually because of this problem. This is not a very satisfactory situation as you can imagine, and unfortunately, even though I really like avast! I feel that I have to look for an alternative to avoid this continuing problem in the future and avaoid having to remember to update the VPS file constantly during the day.

    I'm now looking for an alternative FREE anti-virus software package that will co-exist with SPF and has automatic updating. Ideally I would it to be able to scan incoming emails as avast! does.

    Prior to switching to avast! I had been using AVG but for reasons I can't now recall I decided it wasn't to my liking and made the switch to avast!.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    PS My apologies if this has been covered before but I wasn't sure quite where to find the info.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  2. Arup

    Arup Guest

    For incoming mail or web traffic to be scanned, any scanner needs to run a transparent proxy, this would create problems with Sygate as any proxy would, you can use Clam AV and Anti Vir but you will loose web scanner and mail scanner.
     
  3. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Not sure I altogether understand what you are saying but I get the gist that the two you mention don't have the same options as avast! which is a great pity.

    As I like avast! would there be any benefit in me considering an alternative firewall that avast! would work with or would the same problem still apply.

    As with avast! I've been running Sygate for sometime and been pleased but I'm not against considering an alternative especially if it means I can continue with avast!

    I'm very cautious about "paid" AV because for a few years I used the CA e_Trust anti-virus having been a user of the free version. I then began to have problems but for some reason couldn't access their very complicated support pages (they don't email replies just post as messages) so I never got them resolved and eventually let my subscription lapse going to AVG and the avast!.

    Nearly all forums have threads from people finding issues between AV and firewalls whilst others have no problems at all. obviously a specific machine/setup issue.
     
  4. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Well, Rejzor is using Sygate with Avast and without any issues, I used it too for quite sometime, Avast actually wont' let unauthorized stuff pass through the web shield so you have nothing to worry about, you can keep usign Sygate and Avast.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hi,
    I run SPF with AVG Free anti virus on two xp pro machines. No problems at all.
    Mrk
     
  6. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Actually thats not avast!'s fault. Ok,maybe it's by design,but firewalls component authentication will nag about that. But again,thats only for program updates which are only once per month (not always). I don't know what you did that you get notification about it on every VPS update...

    Also i'm not sure about transparent proxy issue,because Sygate authenticates even applications that use others to connect to net. So Web Shield process is used by another and you get warning for it iirc.
     
  7. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Sorry to reiterate...For me, as with others the "problem" only happened after updating from one version to another in avast! prior to that everything worked just fine and no changes were made in either avast! or SPF. This also happened for me when I did an earlier update. For clarity these are the links to my posts on the avast! forum which have all the details:

    avast! forum-Desperately Need Help

    avast! forum-Update Problems...again

    I'm also adding another link from the avast! forum by someone else having exactly the same problem recently, to which I've also been subscribing.

    avast! forum-Problem With Sygate Firewall

    At the moment I'm still experimenting with various update settings in avast! to see if I can resolve the problem. I also found another thread that suggested setting Proxy server settings in avast! to Direct connection (no proxy) to see if that makes any difference.

    I really don't want to give up on avast! but if I have to I want make sure that whatever I replace it with I don't exchange one set of problems for another and I also have the same options as avast! if possible and this site/forum I recalled was probably the best place to go for help.
     
  8. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Sounds more like you don't want to give up Sygate.

    Myself and others use Sygate & Avast! without issue, I certainly don't have an answer for you other than whats already stated in the Avast forum.

    Your not going to find a free AV that's as good as Avast!, maybe try another firewall ?

    NetVeda (free), Zone Alarm free and Kerio 2.1.5 work well with Avast!.
     
  9. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    I think SPF 5.5 didn't have anti application hijacking that is now available in SPF 5.6...
     
  10. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    well only the free version is at 5.6. hes using the pro version.
     
  11. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Em,that Sygate is ooooold. Sygate Pro 5.6 is out for sue and i don't think you have to pay for it because it falls under the same major version number.
    Some old firewalls have many problems with avast! HTTP proxy. But i haven't seen them in latest ones (or those updated).
     
  12. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the latest set of replies.

    Fastgame

    Looks as if I come under the small category of those that have had problems between the two. Prior to both updates of avast! I'd been really pleased with both (wish I could remember how I got over the earlier problem).

    avast! certainly looks the best option for AV and does everything I want hence my reluctance to change. A change of firewall could be an option and thanks for the suggestions although I never did like Zone Alarm. Perhaps I'll consider installing one of them and just disabling the autostart of Sygate whilst testing, but see my comments at the bottom of this reply.

    Rejzor/WSFuser

    Perhaps I should look at the latest version. I'm sure that my licence renewal option expired a long time ago ( I lost all my original info so didn't bother) so I suppose I'd have to elect for the FREE version initially until I see how things work out.

    Just for info I currently have avast! Basic Update set to Ask When Available for virus database and Manual for Program. When I started up this morning I got a prompt from Sygate to allow avast.setup access which I granted as a one off, I then got the green prompt of a new virus database being available, clicked on that and got a prompt from Sygate which again I granted on a one off basis and the update completed OK so for some reason things aren't too bad at the moment. I've checked Sygate and that hasn't got avast.setup in the list of applications.

    Don't know what would happen if I gave avast.setup permanent access rights or set the update for the virus database to automatic.

    I'm going to keep checking for a bit longer to see how things work before making any decision on changing either avast! or Sygate or do you think I should install the latest Sygate FREE anyway. Do I lose my functinality in Sygate FREE as opposed to the Pro version (I'm only a normal home user).

    I've been looking at the Sygate site and the Pro version is still 5.5 and can't see any revision history to see if there is a later build than the one I have but have found on the Sygate forum that I have an outdated signature file but my purchase was over a year ago so don't qualify for free upgrades.

    If I go for the FREE version should I uninstall the Pro I'm currently using first??
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  13. beetlejuice69

    beetlejuice69 Registered Member

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    Just some info.

    I was using Avast! with ZA for about a month and it worked flawlessly.
     
  14. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    u should uninstall ur pro version, which btw is at 5.5 build 2710 with sigantures 5.5.3037. looking here, ull see what features ull now be missing. im sure ull still be safe from hackers tho.
     
  15. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Its the "Law of Averages" strange how those things work.

    Here's someone who had the opposite problem with the recent Avast! update, your problem was his fix :eek: http://www.techzonez.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15577
     
  16. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Just goes to show that you never know what the next problem is.

    At the moment I'm letting avast! & Sygate run as per my earlier post. It's not how things used to be but it's workable.

    I'll give it a few more days before I decide whether to "downgrade" to SPF FREE or go for another AV package (think though it will be hard to find anything better than avast!).

    Don't want to jump and then find I'm in a bigger muddle than I already am.


    Thanks for the link. I was already aware of the build level etc. Most of the features in PRO that aren't available in the FREE version don't mean a lot to me so it probably wouldn't be a great loss provided I'm still protected.

    I only elected for the Pro version originally on the suggestion of a friend who was already using it when I decided to move away from Zone Alarm which was playing havoc with my system.

    Just had a thought, could someone explain, in very simple terms, what practical benefit I would gain over the Pro version I'm already using and has never let me down, if I either took out a fresh registration to get the current Pro or installed the latest FREE version. I'm a single user with no special requirements other than wanting to be secure.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  17. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    basically it just offer greater protection and option in customizing (like creation of unlimited rules, stealth browsing, IDS, vpn support), but if ur using a free AV might as well use a free FW. theres no need to go paranoid with security, just use what u think is sufficient for ur needs.
     
  18. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    I use Anti Viri PE on this machine and like it. Draw back manual updates that are not recommended for dial ups due to reload of entire virus data base every time.
     
  19. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Sorry to be pain but what do the signature files do in SPF? I know that in avast!, and other AV they update the virus database to detect new viruses/worms etc. but I thought a firewall was just a firewall.

    From what you have said the FREE version would probably be OK for me. Can you update the signature files on the FREE?

    Might as well ask, do you think SPF is the best of the FREE firewalls, bearing in mind I'm using avast!, or is there anything else I should look at before deciding what to do?

    Haven't seen anything yet that leads me to believe that there is anything better than avast! in the FREE AV market so I'll probably need to look more at the firewall issue.

    No heard of that before. Have taken a quick look but it doesn't seem to have e-mail scanning and some reviews make the point against because of the slow virus database update.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2005
  20. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i switched from ZA pro to Sygate pro, so i guess i mightve done the same had i used the free versions. and the sigantures are for the IDS in the pro version. the signature contains the latest list of attacks i suppose that the ids blocks.
     
  21. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    If Avast! is not working fine for you, then the best alternative is AntiVir.

    Otherwise, eTrust promo (or the one year trial of the 2005 version) or AVG.
     
  22. chris18

    chris18 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    For the last 48 hours both avast! and Sygate have been OK so whatever my problem was caused by seems to have been "cured".

    Used to have eTrust (first the FREE then the subscription) but didn't renew my licence because I didn't like their support. Similarly I have used AVG but it seems resource hungry compared to avast!.

    I see you are using NOD32-AV, although it's a pay AV what's it like?
    Does it have e-Mail scanning?
    if I were interested in it which version would I need (I'm using a router)?
     
  23. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i cant speak for firecat but i do use nod32. like avast it is based on modules, AMON (standard resident) DMON (office documents) IMON (http and pop3) EMON (MAPI; Outlook) and the NOD32 scanner. it offers the best heuristics and lots of option so u can configure it ur way. its definitions arent way up there (with KAV) but its good enough for non-risky web surfing. an AT would be a good compliment. i dont think any antivirus would need anything special tow ork with a router so avast should be fine for u.
     
  24. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Its very good, I like it a lot. My PC has not had a single infection since I got NOD32. The heuristics are the best, and the updates are not bad (daily updates). Support is excellent. :)

    The normal version should work just fine with a router.
     
  25. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Could always give Grisofts AVG Free a shot.
     
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