Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Live in Constant Fear of Killer Robots From the Future


The current headlines say things like "McAfee wreaks havoc with faulty antivirus update" [ 2, 3, 4 ], but the fact of the matter is that antivirus programs like McAfee, Norton, and Symantec products can actually cause more problems than they solve. They can act as a firewall and block ports to email programs and web browsers without warning, and most people don't know to check their antivirus as a possible cause of their loss of connectivity.

Their products consume far too many system resources, they have too many different products instead of one current version, on occasion their updates can cause problems and change email and other computer settings. When their products fail to work, their overseas customer service can be very unhelpful.

Some versions of these programs are written in such a heavy-handed fashion that it can be very difficult to uninstall McAfee, Norton and Symantec. [ 2 ] This has caused problems because most new computers come with one of these three programs pre-installed.

Some people swear by one of these three products, but I know for a fact how much grief that they cause for others.

One issue about antivirus programs that is not the fault of McAfee, Norton, and Symantec products is that if an antivirus program becomes popular, then people that write viruses, adware and spyware start to write code into their malicious software that is specifically written to defeat that particular program. It can actually be better in some ways to use a relatively unknown product that is ignored by the malicious software crowd. Also, many of these programs are free.

AVG is pretty good, but the new kids on the block are antivirus programs like Avast or Avira. I haven't tried either of them yet, but I heard that they were pretty good. I think that the whole subject is actually kind of annoying.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


At Fri Apr 23, 10:00:00 AM, Blogger genexs said...

Agreed that the proggies from the big boys are kinda like inviting the Giant Behemoth to sit on your computer. AVG actually gave me some problems the other day. Tried Avira, it's very good.

At Fri Apr 23, 11:36:00 AM, Blogger okjimm said...

good point. The last virus I had kept me in bed for three days. Does AVG come in capsules or liquid?

At Fri Apr 23, 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

I have a tee-shirt that says:

Smug Virus-free Mac-using Bastard

Kinda says it all.

But if yah gotta yah gotta, so I reccomend ClamAV, seeing as it's free Open source and all. ClamWin is a good Windows implementation.

ClamAV is an excellent AV program, we use it on our email servers to keep our inboxes cleaned and virus-free.

At Fri Apr 23, 08:47:00 PM, Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

I've been using Avast for a couple of years, and, in conjunction with Malwarebytes, have been problem-free.

At Sat Apr 24, 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Noaf said...

This proto-insectoid uses Avira freeware and Spybot - one scan a month with both leaves my underarms and my hard drive squeeky clean!

At Sat Apr 24, 07:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to fear - the humans are far more dangerous. Robots, like Vulcans, are far too logical to pose a threat, except around amok time.

At Sat Apr 24, 10:06:00 AM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

Wow, I had no idea that you harbored such disdain for the free market exchange of ideas and products, you godless commie.

At Sat Apr 24, 04:05:00 PM, Blogger dinthebeast said...

I'm with the proto-insectoid: Avira personal free edition and Spybot S&D work really well for me... Also worth mentioning are one's web habits... It's been a while since there was anything for Avira to even catch.

-Doug in Oakland

At Sat Apr 24, 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Tengrain said...

What's a virus?


Sent from my iPod

At Sat Apr 24, 09:44:00 PM, Blogger ThoughtCriminal said...

The effectiveness of anti-virus programs is declining. There is also the problem of a growing number of infections to scan for, combined with bigger hard drives with more files. It takes AVG about 7 hours to scan my laptop. Eventually, it will take a week.

At Sun Apr 25, 10:25:00 AM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

no matter how complicated or heavy handed they get - there will always be a way around them

At Sun Apr 25, 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Ted McLaughlin said...

Back before I bought my Mac, I used Avast and really liked it a lot.

At Tue Apr 27, 07:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least we know that humans have one thing in common - living in constant fear.

At Tue Apr 27, 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Lee_bits said...

It is a form of virtual AIDS. Malware attacks some antivirus software especially running on old XP machines. The antivirus programs have access to all the system resources in order to "protect" them.
That is why Microsoft restricted access to Norton and MacAfee starting with Vista OS. Norton and MacAfee screamed bloody murder about it.

I am alive to tell yee!

At Wed Apr 28, 03:20:00 PM, Blogger FO said...

I concur with this article.

I have Avast on my home computer which is about 2,000 years old and it does just fine.

A friend of mine's brother put McAfee on his new laptop and it runs terribly now.

At Thu Apr 29, 07:17:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Genexs: Yes, AVG is becoming problematic nowadays. I'll keep Avira in mind! ;o)

OKJimm: Jeepers! I think that AVG is made out of ones and zeros! ;o)

Bruce: Ha ha! The only reason Macs are virus free is because nobody is using them! If they became popular, then you can bet they would be virus laden. 1, 2, 3, 4 They certainly have fewer viruses, though. ;o)

I've heard of ClamAV and ClamWin, but I have never read anything about them.

Daveawayfromhome: I've heard good things about Avast! But aren't you afraid of pirates? ;o)

Noaf: Jeepers! You get malware on your underarms!?!? How distressing! ;o)

Jang-chub Ozer: In the end, humans are not so dangerous. They kill off themselves, making their eradication so much simpler! ;o)

Randal Graves: Oh, my god! I must be a socialist Nazi communist! ;o)

Dinthebeast: I have found that one hotbed for malware is those crappy clip art sites for Facebook, etc. All of those people making blogs and stuff, beware! ;o)

Tengrain: A virus is a non living entity that reproduces, kind of like a tea partier. ;o)

ThoughtCriminal: Yeah, AVG takes about 7 hours to scan my computer too. It's very annoying. :o(

Distributorcap: Very sad, but true. **sigh** :o(

Ted McLaughlin: I've heard good things about Avast! ;o)

Back before I bought my Mac, I used Avast and really liked it a lot.

Jang-chub Ozer: And so you should be - It's only 1,970 years until the Reign of Zaius! ;o)

Lee_bits: Yes, I agree. Norton, Symantec and MacAfee suck! :o(

But at least their are freeware versions of anti-malware to be found! :o)

FO: Norton, Symantec and MacAfee can do alot more harm than good. :o(

At Thu Apr 29, 09:18:00 AM, Blogger Devilham said...

I have used AVG free for years, and am very happy with the product. However, I rarely use my Windows machine (except for gaming purposes), and use Ubuntu Linux instead. The architecture of Linux makes it very difficult for virus' to take hold, so threats are almost non-existant. That being said, I do still have the linux supplied anti-virus installed on all my linux boxes (ClamAV), and would recomend to anyone going the linux route to do the same.....virus writers are relentless, and they WILL figure out how to infect Linux machines. As an IT guy, I spend the better part of my days curing machines of Malware, sometimes I wonder if products like Macafee do anything at all!!!

At Sun May 09, 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

only 1,970 years? it'll be here before you know it


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts  |  Older Posts