My Formal Informal Test

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by dallen, Jun 13, 2006.

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  1. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Based on customer feedback and listening to this forum, NOD32 seems like one of the best AVs on the market. I'm quite sure it is. My recent frustration with Symantec caused me to consider other alternatives and of course NOD32 was one of them. F-Secure, BitDefender, and Kaspersky were the other contenders. Besides NOD32, Kaspersky users seem to be just as supportive of KAV and KIS 2006.

    My experience with KAV and KIS 2006 was quite unexpected. I could get neither to run on my system. What I mean by this is that I could not get either one to run a full system scan. It would hang every time. Also, KIS destroyed my internet connection.

    F-Secure and BitDefender are both outstanding products. If I had to choose between the two I would probably choose BitDefender only because it works with Zone Alarm (although ZA is not playing well with PerfectDisk, so that may change).

    NOD32, ran very well. It seemed light on my system. My only issue with it is the unability to exclude multiple snapshots from scans when using First Defense. Normally I would not have much of an issue with this. However, combining that with the fact that an error[4] message is given to over 600 files starting with $ISR, it becomes quite annoying and scans become cumbersome because I have to sift through these errors to see if anything serious occurred during scan.

    One side note, I also tested scan times here are the results:

    Test System

    Pemtium M 1.7 GHz processor
    1024 MB of PC2700 RAM 333 MHz
    60 GB HD @ 7200 RPM
    (more details available upon request)

    Scan Results

    BitDefender
    # of files scanned: 456,574
    Scan duration(min): 47:34
    Scan Rate (files/min.): 9,598

    F-Secure (Internet Security 2006)
    # of files scanned: 39,025
    Scan duration(min): 33:49
    Scan Rate (files/min.): 1,154

    NOD32
    # of files scanned: 1,173,315
    Scan duration(min): 109:20
    Scan Rate (files/min.): 10,732

    KAV & KIS 2006
    # of files scanned: N/A
    Scan duration(min): N/A
    Scan Rate (files/min.): N/A


    Conclusion
    My conclusion has not been made as of yet. As most software decisions, especially security related ones, the top softwares are all very capable. Personal preferences usually influence decisions and logical arguments are gathered to support our decisions. Then we argue over who made the best decisions after the fact.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  2. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    Decision yet?
    Its "funny" how one AV runs well on a particular system, and crashes on another. I guess there are so many different configurations of various programs that it is almost inevitable that such is true.

    It will be interesting to see what you choose. I notice on every forum that each AV has its problems, so I guess it is just "cut and try."

    I have an impression that ZA has issues with a number of other programs. That may be due to the large number of users.

    PS. Those scan times are in line with my own experience for BD and F-Secure, but NOD times were slightly over 30 minutes on my machines when I tried it.

    Best,
    Jerry
     
  3. SDS909

    SDS909 Registered Member

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    Antivir seems really good, give that a try.. Light as all hell, even maxed settings.
     
  4. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Jerry,
    I've added a conclusion section since you posted. I agree with your posting entirely. The reason for the dicrepency between your NOD32 times and mine may be due to my use of First Defense ISR. Notice that NOD scanned at the fastest rate even on my machine. It simply scanned every snapshot, where F-Secure reported scanning the fewest files of any.
     
  5. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    Makes sense to me. In a way it is surprising that any AVs get along well with all the different applications we have running.
    Except for one AV, I have had as much trouble with anti-spyware applications as anti-virus applications. They are just easier to ditch for me anyway.

    I think that any AV that you choose, and that will run well on your system, will be an excellent choice.

    Thanks,
    Jerry
     
  6. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    dallen,

    The error [4] msg. is shown as file not being able to be read/opened/scanned. Every AV app will have the same/simillar conditions. At least eset tell you about which files they can not open.
    You do not have to sift through these files. NOD color codes infected files in RED Clean files in BLUE and quarentined files in BROWN.

    I've been a NAV customer for years, then I switched to PC Tools AV. (Just as much of a system hog) Recently I tried NOD32, and to be quite honest w/ you. I've never looked back.

    Just thought I'd try and clear up the "sifting" issue.

    ...screamer
     
  7. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    dallen,

    You must consider license details as well, alongside pricing and user interface. For example, one license of BitDefender can be used on two computers. NOD32 has excellent heuristics, and its licensing is not bad too. Dr.Web provides huge discounts for users migrating from other AV products. As such, all the AVs you talk about are first-class products, and any of them will keep you secure ;)

    @screamer: If you used PC Tools AntiVirus, can you tell me if PC Tools AV could detect adware and spyware?
     
  8. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    Firecat,
    It's only an AV, it uses an older Kaspersky engine. (really sluggish) The only reason I know this is 'cause when it crashed, I had to rummage through my registry to try and delete all the traces.

    SWD otoh, has a reliable detection rate. I only use it ~twice a month since I use ewido as resident. I got tired of SWD constant pop-up "up-date available, do you want to up-date now" and the high user resources.

    ...screamer
     
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I know, it uses an earlier version of the KAV 5.0 engine, its just KAV with a new GUI and even uses the same update servers as Kaspersky. What I wanted to know was whether it uses the extended database of KAV, since the installer for PC Tools AV contains the extended database files.
     
  10. Gilbertqc

    Gilbertqc Registered Member

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    Over the past five years, I've tested Kaspersky, F-Secure, NOD32 and Avast.

    NOD32 is my favorite for being the fastest scanner with excellent detection and lightest on the resources as can be witnessed with TaskInfo. My second choice is Avast and can't be beaten for being free to the home user. Kaspersky was a resource hog in the two major release versions I've tried. As for F-Secure, when I tried it, I could not get it to scan my email since I was using The Bat! for mail and still using it.

    I am not overly concerned with getting infected thru email but, being a pc user for over 20 years, I know I've done things I should not have done and can't believe I've done them... Not often but, when I did some of them, took me quite a while to get back out of the mess! A year ago, I was getting an average of slightly over 900 emails per week before my ISP put some spam filters.
     
  11. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Update

    Since my first round of tests, I have used Image for Windows to revert my system back to a pre-test status. I used First Defense to create separate snapshots for each of my "final contestants:" F-Secure, NOD32, & Bit Defender.

    I don't think NOD32 wants to be on my sytem. Upon installation, it immediately broke Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.0. When I say broke, I mean that when the Messenger tries to start it fails and tries to send an error message. Keep in mind that everything worked fine under the same configeration before. Both of the other AVs work fine. This error occurs despite multiple attempts at installing both NOD32 and Messenger.
     
  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    does messenger live connect if u disable IMON?
     
  13. dog

    dog Guest

    I wouldn't let the an issue with a beta product be a deciding factor at all. :doubt: The fact that it works with other products or your current setup doesn't really mean anything ... running a beta is for bug and compatibility testing. Unless you're willing to dive deeper into it to find the cause and/or report the issues ... you're doing yourself an injustice.

    BTW: I see it isn't a Beta as of today.
     
  14. Marcos

    Marcos Eset Staff Account

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    I've been using the final version of Live Messenger in conjunction with IMON for a couple of hours, so far without a glitch.
     
  15. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    I've read all the comments. The interesting thing is that once I install NOD32 the beta version of Messenger is broken for good. I cannot get Messenger to work no matter what I do. If I totally close out of NOD32, Messenger Live still does not work. Even, completely uninstalling Messenger and reinstalling it after installing NOD32 doesn't do the trick.

    Marcos,
    I also had NOD32 working with the same beta before. For some reason I cannot get them to play well together now. I guess I will try the new non-beta that dog pointed me to.

    I am not really allowing an incompatibility with a beta dissuade me from using NOD32. Since NOD32 is so popular in this forum, and I respect the members of this forum very much, I'm trying to give as much deference to NOD32 as possible. However, combining this issue (giving it very little weight) with the other more significant issues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to conclude that NOD32 is superior to BitDefender and F-Secure for my system.

    This isn't to say that NOD32 is a bad product. KAV and KIS performed dismally on my system. I mean that they would not even run a scan without hanging. Keep in mind that when I refer to my system I am referring to a fairly high-powered system with a clean installation of Windows XP Pro fully patched with very little software installed. I would never conclude that either KAV or NOD32 are bad products. Doing so would subject me to a litany of punishment from satisfied customers that use these two products. I'm simply beginning to think that NOD32 is not for me.
     
  16. Marcos

    Marcos Eset Staff Account

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  17. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Well, considering that every AV works differently on every PC, I guess I'm extremely lucky because not a single AV has had an adverse effect on my system. :D:D

    Anyway, @dallen: Perhaps you should try the Winsock Fix and then download the final version of Live Messenger. :)
     
  18. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    I will do that and I will post the results; however, I am leaving for Atlanta soon so there may be a slight delay in posting the results. Thanks for your guidance.
     
  19. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Marcos,
    I tried your suggestion and the issue is resolved. It is odd. I used a very reliable imaging program to return me to a clean Windows installation and used First Defense to create multiple snapshots (one for each AV I want to trial), just as I had previously done successfully even with NOD32. I do not know why the only snapshop with this issue was the NOD32 snapshot.o_O

    At any rate, the issue is resolved and now I can resume testing. Are there any betas that I can try? I'm currently trialing F-Secure Internet Security 2006, Avast Pro, BitDefender 9 Standard, BitDefender Internet Security 10 (beta), and NOD32.

    So far, I like things about all of them, but I must give the edge to Bit Defender. I am going to give as much consideration to NOD32 as I can because so many users in this forum that I respect have nothing but good things to say about it. Thanks for the help, mate.
     
  20. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    ***UPDATE (for those that still care)***

    I've reduced the candidates down to three; BitDefender (standard v.9), KAV 6.0.0.303, and NOD32 (v.2.51.30). I’m sure that this doesn’t come as a big surprise since KAV and NOD32 comprise approximately 65% of the AV solutions of the users of this forum (42% NOD32 & 23% KAV) according to the unscientific poll conducted in the polls section of this forum which showed over 16,000 responses. What did surprise me about that poll was that only around 5.5% of the respondents claimed to use BitDefender because it is an outstanding product.

    The jury is still out. I have not made my final decision yet. What I can say is that I have narrowed the field from three to two. BitDefender is my favorite for a number of reasons, but I have eliminated it for one important reason. BitDefender has a known compatibility issue with my favorite program First Defense ISR. Apparently one of the active “shields” conflicts with FDISR’s ability to create snapshots. My criterion leads me to conclude that this is unacceptable. Therefore, I will no longer consider BitDefender a viable solution.

    I will point out that both PC Magazine and TopTenReviews rate BD very highly (I know a lot of people do not put any stock into these reviews, but TopTen with all of its flaws rates Zone Alarm and SpySweeper top in their field and I concur). BD consistently performs admirably in the AV-Comparatives tests. BD also has what I consider to be the best GUI and it updates very frequently.

    That being said, NOD32 and KAV will battle it out to determine which gets the privilege, or misfortune, of protecting my system and my prized $40 or $50.

    So far, NOD32 has performed very well. It is very light, updates frequently and scans efficiently. Obviously, NOD32 performs very well in all the tests, but I am slightly concerned about the fact that TopTen ranked NOD32 7th. I know this is only a stupid review, but like I stated earlier my independent software preferences for AS and Firewall tend to parallel TopTen. I will say that although TopTen tends to rank software in a similar order to my own opinion, this is not always the case. For example they rank Image for Windows very low, but I love that software. So keep in mind that I am not relying on this semi-credible (at best) website, but rather using it as a mere indication.My criticisms to this point are that it scans every FDISR snapshot (taking over 1.5 hours), it delivers a long list of files with error [4] messages (but now that I know they are color coded, it’s not as bad sifting through them), and there may be some incompatibility with my U3 flash drive platform (I say this because upon inserting the device my system has hung twice). I will continue to investigate this latter issue.

    KAV also has performed very well. It is very light, updates frequently and scans very efficiently (especially with its iSwift technology). Full system scan times are under two minutes after the initial scan!!! Only the active snapshot is scanned, which I like. My criticisms to this point are that unlike NOD32’s rare possible conflict with my U3 device, KAV seems to have a consistent issue. Ever time I remove the U3 enabled thumb drive, there is a 2 minute period (approx.) where my computer is almost unresponsive. Keep in mind that this issue did not occur under the BitDefender snapshot and does not occur on my desktop (running NAV). During this period, my mouse works fine, I can click on the start button and it pops up like normal, but when I try to either open My Computer or start IE, I get nothing. Also, the task manager shows periodic spikes of the processor, but nothing seems to be occupying the processor significantly or continuously, according to the task manager. This is very odd and needs some further exploration.

    I will post my conclusions, but in the meantime all thoughts are welcome.
     
  21. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    ah the good old nod32 vs kav and bitdefender lol most people get to that stage.

    im on the nod32, kav ,avast and antivir. the thing is i kinda like avast but have read mixed reivews about it. i have read a lot of errors in forums with both nod32 and kaspersky so its hard to find which one to use.

    if any one has an comments on avast if they use it please pm me about it.
     
  22. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    On the topic of avast, currently avast is the only AV that has a version specifically designed to run on the U3 platform. I hope that changes because I would like to see NOD32 or KAV release a version designed for that platform.
     
  23. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    well i think macafee do as well but nod32 and kav would be nice on U3
     
  24. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I have read about a feature that bitdefender has which no other av has as far as i know. Self repair via bitdefender servers. why reinstall your av software when you can just click update and it downloads the bits and repairs it. i think that not only av's but most software shoudl have this feature but its most important for avs and only security software.

    i would like to add the fact that i have run basicly all av's on my old pc to try to get rid of all those viruses and spyware that got me when I wasnt careful. it seemed like an great test. the other day i run kaspersky and it found 3 trojan droppers that it couldnt get rid of not even in safemode. today i ran avast on that same pc it found not three but four trojan droppers andi told it to delete them so the report said will delete on next boot. so i rebooted and then read the report properites of file and now windows cant find them to give me the properties so now got rid of.

    one thing that i cant quite udnerstand is kaspersky has a great detection rate but it cant always get rid of what it detected in an on demand scan. so it can block viruses that havent got on pc yet. but if they are already on pc it might not be able to. and this is the same story for nod32 and other av's. so a great detecton rate may be all well and good.
    but what about having a separate removal and treating of malware already on the pc because whats the point in being able to detect it if you cant remove it sometimes people using these av's dont have a clue about pcs and would have to pay an pc guy to fix it for them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2006
  25. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    You could always disable the active shield whilst creating snapshots. Altho I don't use BitDefender, I always disable the real-time protection when creating or updating snapshots anyway. This prevents any possible errors within FD-ISR whilst copying.

    As for NOD32 scanning every snapshot, I'm sure it was Arcadia who said it was possible to exclude the ones you don't want scanning, but I could be wrong there.
     
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