Do I need to buy an AV program in order to get a REAL protection?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by merkavam4, Apr 29, 2010.

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  1. merkavam4

    merkavam4 Registered Member

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    Hello everyone

    I'm considering whether to buy an AV program, but I'm not so sure after reading reviews on the web which say that there are free alternatives that do the job just as well as their paid brethren. Although, I've learned from experience that you can't expect much from free products...

    So, my question to you - Do you believe that it's absolutely necessary to get a paid AV program in order to have a REAL protection, and not just a mediocre one which is what you get if you use a free program?

    TIA
     
  2. shadek

    shadek Registered Member

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    No, there are plenty of free, good AV-programs out there. Avira, Avast, MSE, Panda Cloud Antivirus etc.
     
  3. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    Absolutely not.

    I hope you are using Windows 7/Vista.
    If you have a default installation of 7/Vista: Windows Firewall enabled (normal users don't need a third-party firewall at 7/Vista), Windows Defender enabled, UAC enabled, DEP enabled; you already have a good starting point.
    If you add one of the wellknown free antiviruses: AVG Free 9.0, Avira Personal 10, avast! 5 Free, Microsoft Security Essentials or Panda Cloud Antivirus, normal PC users really have good protection already.
    If you add a second-opinion (for let's say a weekly scan) next to that: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Hitman Pro, a-squared Free; you can go to sleep without being worried.

    But next to that free and simple but good setup, there are two really important things:
    1. keep your pc updated: operating system, browser, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java Runtime Environment, Microsoft Silverlight and other internet-facing applications;
    2. use your brains while surfing: learn which type of websites/links/ads you should avoid. And download from reliable sources: the website of the vendor/maker, FileHippo.com (also, but in lesser extent: download.com/cnet.com, softpedia.com).
     
  4. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Free AVs can be as good as the paid ones. For example, Avira and Avast.

    Check av-comparatives for some objective tests.

    You can get free support on the forum of the AV vendor.

    Full suites can be better than free AVs.

    I have had bad experiences with McAfee, PCtools, Webroot.
    If you don't like the performance of a free program, you can just switch without losing any money. :thumb:

    The Windows firewall is good enough if you don't want outbound control.
    Just put the computer behind a properly configured non-wireless router, and you have a good hardware firewall.

    My Avira firewall gets disabled sometimes o_O , I'm glad I'm behind a router.
     
  5. merkavam4

    merkavam4 Registered Member

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I'm using Windows XP pro SP3. I hope it's not a deciding factor in whether to buy an AV program or not...
     
  6. ZenPirate

    ZenPirate Registered Member

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    Another suggestion would be to run Secunia PSI. It's a free tool that will let you know when a good deal of 3rd party software (ie: flash and acrobat) have updated versions released. Makes keeping those things up to date, and secure, a great deal easier
     
  7. NodKiller

    NodKiller Registered Member

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    AV's don't provide REAL protection in the first place....
     
  8. merkavam4

    merkavam4 Registered Member

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    Why not?
     
  9. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    You get what you pay for.

    As for me, I do not even have an AV running.

    I use BMAM + a-squared on demand. That's it. Not been infected with anything for over 20 years. Use common sense and avoid any key, cracks, torrents, p0rn websites.
     
  10. lubieplacki

    lubieplacki Registered Member

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    merkavam4, i will reply for your question

    They dont provide REAL protection because they have signatures. Support need add everyday a lot of definitons. But is imposibble to add everyone sample of malware etc. There is a big probability to this that support dont add some sample of 0day. And if you download it, run it the antivirus dont find anything suspicious in the file. And the infection of system is ready. Heuristics is other case, not everyone antivirus have it. And it can be setted to a medium or minimal level. For example HIPS or sandboxing give a REAL protection. You isolate a files, you have a control over them. In the antivirus case you dont always have this control.


    You dont need to buy a special antivirus. Without problem you can use a free applications, in some cases they are better that the pay ones. If you using your computer only for Excel, Word, Internet Browsing ( Facebook, Your E-mail, LastFM, reddit etc. etc) you dont need special paid applications, you can use good firewall ( like for example Outpost Free), free antivirus ( like Microsoft Security Essentials) and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. If you use a pendrives a lot Panda USB Vaccine or Flash Disinfector too.

    But if you think that your computer can be at risk, you want test malware, you wisit sites like XXX, crack and other suspended sites you can consider about HIPS ( like DW) / Sandboxing ( like SandboxIE) / virtualization ( free Returnil, paid Shadow Defender) free antivirus and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.
     
  11. AvinashR

    AvinashR Registered Member

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    It is not at all necessary to pay for an AV program to get a Real time Protection. There are certain free AV programs which can provide you top notch Real Time Protection, but as other members are explaining that no AV provides you the actual REAL protection. If you are a windows users then you are not at all 100% protected. But you can protect yourself 99.9% from various threats in REAL TIME.

    The only thing you have to do is proper configuration of SRP policy or AppLocker Policy (Win 7) in order to get protected in 1st hand. For me SRP or AppLocker is Real Time Protection.

    Always Remember "If it can't execute, it can't infect"
     
  12. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    Free Av's are usually crippled to some degree or lacking features. I'm currently trialing Avira with the free version but will probably move to the paid version if I decide to stay with it.
     
  13. AvinashR

    AvinashR Registered Member

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    Agree that they lack certain features but you can fill the gap by using other software...I also agree that this will create some burden on your system, but if you want fill the gap than you have to bear with this problem.
     
  14. southcat

    southcat Registered Member

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    I just think that free AV is enough already, because you shouldn't too rely on AV, you should setup a layered defense like most of the people here did.

    Example:
    Firewall - Online Armor, Comodo, Jetico, PCtools,...
    Antivirus - Avast!, Antivir, AVG, MSE,...
    AntiSpyware - MBAM, Counterspy, Hitman Pro, Spyware terminator,...
    HIPS - Threatfire, Comodo D+, Winpatrol,Prevx,SSM,...
    Virtualization - Geswall, Sandboxie, Returnil, Wondershare time freeze,...
    Antikeylogger - Zemana, Spyshelter,...

    Regards
    southcat
     
  15. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    It is not deciding at all. But in my opinion Windows 7/Vista provide a better starting point for you setup (see my previous post), by adding a free AV and a second-opinion and using your brains you are done. On XP however I would seriously consider adding a free firewall to your setup, I would suggest PC Tools Firewall Plus, since it is strong and really easy to use. Also on XP I would suggest picking avast! 5 Free antivirus, as far as I have experienced avast! 5 Free runs the best on XP (as MSE does Windows 7 in my opinion).

    My suggestion: XP Pro SP3:
    PC Tools Firewall Plus
    avast! 5 Free
    Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (free: for a weekly second-opinion scan)
    And using your brains (reliable websites, updated pc), using your brains is obviously really important. And your settled and will be absolutely secure =).

    To all the others: why always suggest sandboxing, HIPS, virtualization? Most normal users don't like that kind of software, find it too much of a hassle. Or don't have the knowledge to set the programs up right or give the right answers to pop-ups or think they are done with one of that type of programs (for example: they can think: SanboxIE is the most suggested, so if I install that my pc is safe). If you use a layered setup like I suggest and use your brains most users will be absolutely fine. The sandboxing/HIPS/virtualization setups will only give users fake security if not used in a correct way.
     
  16. southcat

    southcat Registered Member

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    Hello Matthijs5nl. Thanks for the reminding, sometimes I do forget the practicability for normal user.

    But however sadly is most of the users they also can't rely on their own judgement for computer security because they simply don't understand what is malware behaviour, how virus running and what kind of website and hyperlink are danger. I also always face the difficulty for selecting security software for novice user. So sometimes i will just ask them go for security suite like Kaspersky, Bitdefender or ESET Internet Security software might be better.

    From your last 2 posts i do see the integrity of combination, i think it is quite a good suggestion.

    BTW, because i never use PC Tools Firewall before, is it really simple to setup ?because Comodo firewall seem quite complicated to novice user, so i don't advice my friend to try it but perhaps PC Tools Firewall is a good choice.

    Thank you.

    Regards
    southcat
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  17. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    If you look at free powerfull firewalls you end up with Outpost Free, Online Armor Free, Comodo and PC Tools. In my eyes PC Tools is really the easiest one to use, it requires by far the least technical knowledge.
     
  18. gery

    gery Registered Member

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    if money is no issue for you then i suggest you to buy a good suite from the list below but there is no preference on my side which
    Kaspersky Internet Security
    AVG Internet Security
    ESSET Smart Security Suite
    ZoneAlarm Security Suite

    Accept Esset suite i have tried them all and i really like them all
    Why a suite?
    First of all there is no need to find which AV or which FW is compatible with the other and no time consuming at all. All these suites are set and forget type of suites.
    Really i always come to the point that no matter you need your computer for as long as you start it it will become vulnerable to infections.
    As far as stand-alone applications i would recommend the paid versions of;
    AVG
    AVIRA
    AVAST
    KAV
    alongside to any good Firewalls such as
    PCTOOLS
    ONLINE ARMOR
    AGNITUM OUTPOST
    :thumb: :thumb:
     
  19. Syncman9

    Syncman9 Registered Member

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    Sandboxing or virtualization is far easier to setup than most firewalls or AV software. Programs like Returnnil, you install them, then turn it on and your safe. How much more simpler can you get.

    The reason people like sandboxing or virtualization software is it's because it's simple, effective and your not dependant on signatures, heuristics or Hips. Simply reboot your machine and your infection free.

    You don't need to buy an AV program in order to get protection. The volume of malware being generated these days is far in excess of what the anti-virus companies can generate signatures for, or will be trapped heruristics.

    The key is preventing the malware from ever running, so HIPS software if you don't want sandboxing or virtualization. Malware bytes is good as well.

    Ultimately it's being savey about what you're doing, the sites you going to etc. As for software, try various and find the setup that suites you. There isn't a magic bullet that will solve / protect all. You just need to find something you like, and feel comfortable with and using.
     
  20. lubieplacki

    lubieplacki Registered Member

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    Thats right, its very simple and that kind of security dont make any problems.

    When i suggest the type of security i always ask about using computer.
     
  21. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

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    Not at all. You can use the following 5 steps to keep your computer pristine:

    1. Sandboxie will keep most of the nasties away (if you actually use it)

    2. Any of the big three free antiviruses (Avast, AVG, Avira) for real time guarding and Hitman Pro or Malwarebytes Antimalware for on demand disk scanning.

    3. One of the greatest freebies is the ability not to click on unfamiliar banners or popup windows while browsing and checking files for infection prior to installing them with the right click context for the above free antiviruses plus you could even use the free VirusTotal file uploader as a backup.

    4. When browsing and a suspicious popup appears simply and you can't leave the page, you can press Alt and F4 together and voila' it all goes away and your browser shuts down without becoming infected.

    5. This is the most important step! Use a free disk image program like Seagate Tools or Acronis Western Digital Edition or many others like Macrium Reflect Free, Todo, etc. and keep an infection free disk image offline just in case the first 4 steps aren't enough.

    Happy free shopping,
    SourMilk out
     
  22. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    For people here sandboxing/virtualization is indeed very easy install and forget. But that type of programs require a learning curve. Next to that normal users are getting annoyed that when they restart items are gone and they don't have a clue what happened.
    Also norma pc users don't even know about the other options than av and firewalls. They never heard about virtualization they have never heard about safe run or sandboxie, and most people also don't want to hear about them.
     
  23. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    To the OP:

    Since you use the PRO version, SRP+LUA, properly implemented, can be a great choice. Instead of an AV, or as a complimentary solution. You'd have to learn how this works to do this safely.

    Perhaps Returnil can be useful ?
     
  24. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    To all those that advise no AV: bad advice.

    Did all the threats that the AV sigs cover magically disappear?

    Are all the threats solely 0 day now?

    To the OP:

    Get yourself an AV whether free or paid: depending on your system specs, a good paid one would be NIS2010, a good free one would be Avast, light and very good.
    Avast and its peers are no longer simple AV's anymore, they have multiple shields - web/mail/network, and some, behavior shields.

    Also backup the AV with periodic scans with Malwarebytes and or SuperAntiSpyware.

    If you want another layer: virtualization such as Returnil (forum here on Widers) and or Sandboxie.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  25. southcat

    southcat Registered Member

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    Hello merkavam4. I think you might have a bit of headache. Because too many choices here. But from all the posts here, we might have some little conclusions.

    1st choice is take the advise from Matthijs5nl and Soutmilk:

    Soutmilk:
    Matthijs5nl:
    Which mean you should have more awareness when you surfing internet, perhaps you should read some news about the malware and fraud on the internet.


    2nd choice:

    Go to internet security suite like many people already suggested

    3rd choice:
    some layared defense:
    Free AV + Free Antimalware + Free HIPS (optional) + Free Firewall + Free Virtualization(Sandboxie,...). But no easy to setup.

    I just tried to list up some setup for you, but it is up to you at the end.
    Good luck.

    Regards
    southcat
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
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