Seeking advice...paid vs free anti-virus softare?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by nikonmama, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. nikonmama

    nikonmama Registered Member

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    Hello. This is my first post, however I have been lurking around on this forum for months. Please pardon me if this subject has been discussed already. I have been searching all morning and haven't found any thread that quite answered my questions. I am looking for the optimal security setup for my HP notebook.....basically a balance b/t great security and ease of use.

    This is my current setup.

    Comodo firewall with Defense + -- I have been using this for months with out too many issues. This is the only firewall I have tried other than windows firewall. I have thought about trying Online Armour but just haven't felt like changing things since I haven't been having any issues.

    Avira free edition -- this is a recent change. I had been using Avast home edition since I purchased my notebook this spring. I didn't really have any issues with it but decided to give Avira a try after reading some really great reviews on it.

    Superantispyware free -- This is another recent addition. I had been using spybot for months but decided to give SAS a try after reading glowing reviews. I have been impressed since it picked up a few things that spybot didn't.

    Malwarebytes free -- this is another recent addition.

    Windows defender -- I really dont know if this program is worth running or not. It was on when I started using my notebook and I just left it that way.

    Winpatrol Plus


    I primarily use my laptop for Internet browsing and photoshop work. I use Firefox 3 as my primary browser with noscript, ad-block plus and cs lite installed and running on it. For email I use gmail checked through firefox.

    So these are my questions: Right now I am basically running only free software versions. My funds are limited but I have been thinking about upgrading one of these to a fully functional paid version. If I was to upgrade what would be the most useful software to do so with? I have thought of upgrading to Avira Premium and leaving the others free. Although I don't know if I would be able to afford renewing every year. Or should I stick with Avira free and upgrade the SAS? Would I be better off going back to Avast home edition? Or is there anything else I should try? I know most of this is somewhat a matter of opinion.....but I would love to hear your opinions!
     
  2. sded

    sded Registered Member

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    The hot item this year if you want to spend money on security software seems to be NIS 2009, which has gotten lots of excellent reviews from both publications and users. I don't use it, but many of those who used to say how much it sucked are now fans. I saw a message today that had it for $29.99 for a 3 computer license from Costco. Only real issue I see is that at the end of your subscription it simply stops working, instead of just stopping updating. But it needs to suit your usage, and may not fit.
    As far as upgrade bang for the buck, either going back to Avast! or upgrading to Avira paid have a lot of proponents. I use Avast! on 5 computers, but most of those who use Avira paid have reported it is superior to the Avira free. Avast! diferences in the versions are actually pretty minor. I also use Online Armor on 3 computers, and think the paid version is worth the difference. SAS, Malware Bytes users mostly seem satisfied with the free versions (I use SAS) and there are mixed opinions on whether Defender is even necessary, although I still use it. Haven't had much contact with WinPatrol Plus. Just another opinion. ;)
     
  3. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    IMHO, your current defense is more than enough. Comodo's D+ alone should be sufficient for 95% of the cases. And there is nothing wrong with free AVs.

    If you ask me, paying yearly fee for signature based products, is a waste of money. Either stay with free antivirus (any of those you mentioned is fine) or find one with lifetime license (but i only know of Twister).

    If you do want to spend your money, then spend it for something more intelligent, like a behaviour blocker (like Mamutu) or HIPS or sandbox (Defensewall, Sandboxie paid). Your setup has already many signature based scanners. You don't need more.

    I would add Sandboxie if i were you. (there is a free version too). So you can browse in peace.

    Avira Free of Avast Home (or AVG free for what matters) , are fine, given you have D+.

    You want more free protection?

    - Sandboxie.
    - Returnil Personal.
    - Online Armor Free. (if you decide to ditch Comodo)
    - DSA (Dynamic Security Agent).
    - Threatfire (now that would be another good addition).
    - Use Dr.Web CureIT on demand.

    If you are on a tight budget, it really doesn't worth it to pay yearly for a signature based product. IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  4. robinb

    robinb Registered Member

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    As for Avira- there is no reason to go pro unless you want more features and the ability to schedule scans when you want them. It works the same way the pro does- it just has more options.

    the same goes for Malwarebytes and Superantispyware free.

    The only thing I would tell you is for Malwarebytes and Superantispyware free you need to do scans at least once a week. The free versions only allow you to scan manually.

    But I suggest since you are running Avira you should have at least one antispyware program running in the backround all the time to protect you.
    I recommend Superantispyware Pro because I have found it just catches more and has less false positives like Malwarebytes does.

    I have been using it for 5 years with no problems. Also if you do not see the special when you click on Superantispyware to get the Pro, (it is not always there), I can get it for you with lifetime updates and upgrades for a lesser amount. PM me and I will send you the link and instructions on what to do. I do not make any money from Superantispyware and I am not a reseller but I do seminars to non profit organizations on "how to keep your computer safe" and i advocate their product because I myself use it and all my clients do too, and the company helps me out by giving me freebies to hand out at these seminars.

    As for Windows Defender- in vista you cannot uninstall it, and it does work but it is not enough protection. You just need to know that you must check when it does a scan so it doesn't interfere with Your antivirus program at the same time it is doing a scan. This would also go if you purchased Superantispyware Pro.

    They all have to run different times when doing scans or something will give and you will wind up crashing the program and worse Windows.
    You also should give them (depending on the size of your HD) at least 3 hours between the antivirus program and the antispyware program.

    Windows defender and Superantispyware give you an option to do a quick scan. Those scans take about 20min-1hr give or take. I would advise you to do a full scan at least once a week and that could take around the same time as your virus scan does.

    robin
     
  5. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    comodo have an internet security, for free... id just use that

    and just have a few backup scanners 'to be sure' that you use once a week/fortnight or so, such as Drwebs Cureit and MalwareBytes.
     
  6. nikonmama

    nikonmama Registered Member

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    thank you for your advice. I do feel as if my current setup is very good. I am just trying to decide if it is worth it to go for the paid version of any of the programs I am currently using. I basically am leaning toward sticking with the free versions, but I do greatly value the opinions of others. I am also open to trying different software so if anyone has a recommendation feel free to offer it =)

    I am still debating about whether or not to purchase SAS pro to compliment my Avira free as another post suggested. I did see the special offer when I update and it is something I can afford.

    I also have been running scans for SAS and MB twice a week on different days.

    To the poster that suggested NIS 2009...I actually considered it since I do have a costco coupon for it. I have read good reviews too, but I am still wary after a really bad experience with Norton AV years ago on our computer.

    I forgot to put in my original post (I'll edit that in) that I have also been using threatfire as well. I know there are mixed opinionso on whether or not threatfire serves any purpose with comodo defense + but I have read that they can compliment each other and for right now I am running both.

    I have never looking into sandboxie.........but I am off to do that now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  7. sded

    sded Registered Member

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    Free seems like the way to go unless you have some special needs
     
  8. Tarq57

    Tarq57 Registered Member

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    I would think that you're fine with what you have. And, money being tight, possibly the best value usage of it would be to pay for something with a lifetime license, like SAS.
    Regarding AV, the detection/cleaning of the free and paid versions of Avast are the same. Scheduled scans are unavailable in the free. (Personally, I can live with that, no trouble.)
    I don't know what scanning and cleaning functions in the free version of Avira are reduced.
    But, frankly, they are both considered very good AV's, and you should run the one you find best to use.
    If it were me, I'd certainly not be closed to the idea of trying out NIS2009 - I've had some issues with some Norton programs in the past myself - but if you have been permanently put off, and can't get over that, maybe give the coupon away, if you can.
     
  9. gery

    gery Registered Member

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    Avast free is a very very good stuff for personal protection and just complement it with a good firewall like Pctools or ZA paid if you can afford to do so.Sanboxie returnil and all this stuff it is so boring that one can never be cought and never have some fun with software. Personally i have ZA pro with antispyware turned off and SAS free plus AVG paid. All i deal with is cookies and some .
     
  10. nikonmama

    nikonmama Registered Member

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    I am not totally against giving norton another try......although my husband might be. I have been doing some research on it this afternoon and i am intrigued. The coupon for costco is great and I am contemplating the idea of replacing my free avira and comodo with NIS2009. but then again I am sure when it is time to renew that the deal won't be so good......So I am more leaning toward sticking with freeware.
     
  11. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    nikonmama,

    I'm going to agree with some of the other posts. Your current setup is fine. If it's running well and nothing is getting through, save your money and continue with what you have.
     
  12. nikonmama

    nikonmama Registered Member

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    Thanks. That is most likely what I will do. I still value different opinions though =) I guess if anything I may for the SAS pro version since it has a lifetime license........but I may still stick with the free version. And I am still trying to decide if I prefer Avira free or Avast free. I used Avast free for several months and only recently decided to test Avira. I have researched the two a lot and the camps seem pretty split.
     
  13. emperordarius

    emperordarius Registered Member

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    Who cares
    MBAM's license is lifetime too.;)
     
  14. chris1341

    chris1341 Guest

    Norton IS 2009 is really good compared to previous versions but I went back to Avira Premium. I keep trying others but none convince me like Avira.

    In the end it's about confidence in your set-up. If your happy with the free stuff you have I'd stick with it. Looks pretty good to me. Good AV, decent Firewall/Hips combo and yop on-demand scanning for comfort. Although with Avira and SAS I don't think you need MBAM. There is only so much scanning you can put up with.

    You might want to consider some virtualisation and back-up to finish it off. Sandboxie and Returnil have free versions that will give you a simple additional security layer at no extra cost. Plenty of back up options noted in these forums.

    Cheers
     
  15. TrojanHunter

    TrojanHunter Registered Member

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    I'd say Avast is the better Free Anti-virus, but I prefer to buy Anti-virus like Kaspersky. kaspersky seems to do well detecting all kinds of Malware, so I'll stick with it. Webroot firewall is free at the moment, so I'm using that and unlike others I have tried Webroot can get along with Kaspersky.
     
  16. 3xist

    3xist Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2008
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