Best Anti-Virus to replace Windows Defender on Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Server 2012 R2 Update 1

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by RamGuy, Apr 22, 2014.

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  1. RamGuy

    RamGuy Registered Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    I'm seeking to replace the built-in Windows Defender security solutions running on two for my desktops featuring Windows 8.1 Update 1 Enterprise installation as well as our file / multi-server running Windows Server 2012 R2 Update 1.

    Reason being it doesn't seem to be all that great anymore, the one thing where Windows Defender is knocking everybody out of the park is how little intrusive it seems to be. You won't ever notice its even there, its virtually invisible to the end-user which is great. But there are no advanced option, no way to force full system scans at specific intervals and jugging by AV-Comperatives and other reviews its by no means a gold standard and not remotely close to being what it used to be back when Microsoft was really flagging their Microsoft Security Essentials development.

    Juging by AV-Comperatives and other sources you can grab third-party offerings with better overall protection, faster updates, better pro-active security even running at lower system resources and overall making your system more fluid in use. I' am one of those users happily paying a few dollars each year for good software actually improving my system.

    The big question is, what solution should I go for? I got free access to Norton 360 Multi-Device at work due to us being a Symantec / Norton reseller but Symantec seems to have dropped the ball lately opting out from AV-Comperatives and what no so I have no real clues where they stand from either a performance nor security standpoint these days. I do hate the Norton 360 Bundle as well as I'm one of those old farts who hate all these added bells and whistles they are tossing into the mix, I have no need or any interested for Norton Online Backup, Reg Cleaner, Defrag and whatnot they are including and I will disable the added firewall as well leaving more or less only the actual anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-phising capabilities making the whole Norton 360 redundant, I would be better suited with Norton Anti-Virus, and not the entire 360 bundle.

    There you have it.. None of these "security suits" seem to be aimed at me to begin with but most companies seems to be offering their full security suit for 1-3 (or even 5) computers for pretty much the same, if not lower compared to their standard Anti-Virus solution tempting me to buy the whole suit and simply deactive at the portions I do not want.

    I also got a Symantec Endpoint 12.1 Update 4 license but it doesn't feel suited for personal rigs? The software seems rather heavy and clunky for the usage.

    For a person like me, whom don't really mind spending a few dollars on security and don't want all these bloated "do all, be all" solutions companies keeps focusing on these days. Which solution would you recommend me to go for? I would describe my prioritisation as follows:

    #1: Stability and reliability. I don't want something that will cause problems to any of my system, what is really the point of security software if they end up causing more problems than malware normally do to my systems to begin with.

    #2: False-positives. I hate security suits nagging me about false-positives left and right.. Its better to take 99,1% of all the threats and go by with 0,1% false positives instead of getting 99,5% of all threats but nagging the user with 10% false positives..

    #3: Security. Take Windows Defender, it feels perfect in-regards of false positives and stability, but do it really matter in the end if it keeps lagging behind in security?

    #4: Performance. All my systems are very capable so performance is rarely a issues, but I don't fancy solutions that are obviously slowing down your systems preformance.

    I've been looking at Kaspersky Anti-Virus but jugging by their forums there seems to be some stability and reliability issues. But who knows, you will find complaints on every forum. They don't seem to allow for installation on Windows Server 2012 R2, that will require its own Workstation installation and license which I could never seem to figure out the cost of.

    Avira seems to be constantly "up there" but have a large amount of false positives looking at AV-Comperatives comparisons for the past year(s).

    Norton seemed to fare well until they dropped the ball and opted out of AV-Comperatives so I have no real clue how they are doing as of early 2014.

    BitDefender seems to be going very strong as of late, but they seem to have a overflow of reported stability issues giving me reason to question their reliability.

    What would people recommend?
  2. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    EU - Slovenia
    I would recommend you ESET products. Their products are great in all 4 #s that you have pointed out.
    - Their products are stable and take almost no resources.
    - They have minimum or no false positives.
    - They also have great PUP detection if you enable it.
    - There is no bloat in their products.
    - Their software provides set and forget setup but still enable you to tweak advanced settings if you would like to.
    - Some of our customers are using their AV and we never hear about problems using it.
    - They provide good support on their forum: Reported problems on their forum are relatively small in number.

    For me right now this is the best AV.
  3. FleischmannTV

    FleischmannTV Registered Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    I would recommend Eset Nod32 or Emsisoft Anti-Malware. Regarding the points the OP mentioned, I would see Eset slightly ahead, whereas EAM may be a little stronger on the detection side.
  4. Smiggy

    Smiggy Registered Member

    May 2, 2007
    The Angel Isle
    I'd love to recommend software to you but afraid that if I do the Mads will lock the thread citing this rule and that.
    You see you cant point out pitfalls or observations that come from 25 years+ of working in IT in this 'forum' as it is deemed an AvB, even if you don't even mention a B!
    Cue the PM aswell!
  5. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Jul 21, 2003
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