Random Anti-Virus thread. Opinions please!

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Tigerfishy

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On my laptop I run XP, use Firefox to browse and also use Malware Bytes Anti-Malware (or whatever the name is lol!) and Spybot Search and Destroy.

I figure I need some kind of virus protection, but I've read a whole lot of different things and I'm confused. As I will be using my laptop more often from now, I would like to know what the best kind would be.

I see a lot of people use AVG and Avast, but I'm not tech-minded and would like some opinions of which is best of all free virus protection through personal experience as this is always much more reliable than the company bias descriptions!!
 

ryanr

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AVG is good, I use it on 2 of my systems.

I've worked in IT areas, and it works very well. The free version doesn't include fire-wall options though.
 

midthought

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I'll second AVG. I don't know as much about Avast. When my university paid for my antivirus, it was Symantec/Norton, which was good as well. You could say I worked in IT while I was in college and a little after. You could definitely say (as I do) that I am a geek.

As long as your antivirus updates regularly (minimum once a week but having it check once a day is not a bad idea and can't hurt) you're probably good. To be on the safe side, have your computer do a full scan once a week when you're not using it. I have mine scan automatically at 4 a.m. on Sundays or something like that. I never see it go really, just errors if it catches them. ;D With Symantec, the window wouldn't close so I'd know that it ran the scan overnight.

I've never thought that a third party firewall was really necessary. Just make sure your XP firewall is on. It will likely warn you when it's not though (red balloon will nag at you from the system tray).
 
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Tigerfishy

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Ooh, quick replies, thanks guys, I was leaning towards AVG. And yes, that little bubble does like to crop up when it's not on lol!!
I just like gaining actual user information as it gives more acurate feedback.
 

midthought

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It tends to come up at startup before Windows realizes that everything's not on yet. It's like your left eyelid crankily telling your right eyelid to wake up when you get up in the morning.

I probably felt safest with Symantec for whatever reason. The fact that I had the corporate license maybe (through the university) and all that. I've had AVG for years though, at this point, and would feel comfortable putting it on just about anybody's computer if I were helping them set up (and they needed a free one).

But I also think that anything-but-IE as your internet browser is a huge part of safe online computing. Also love Spybot. I also use HijackThis, but I wouldn't recommend that for 99% of people (too easy to shoot yourself in the foot).
 

HitchHiker

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I have used both AVG and Avast, and both are really good, AVG is a must simpler setup and to use. So many people use AVG here at work that we went bought it for the whole company.
 
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