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Anti-virus software ratings

  1. May 3, 2012 #1


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    The latest issue of Consumer Reports has a discussion of anti-virus software (free and pay). Between free and pay there isn't any significant difference in performance between the four free programs and the better pay programs. The main thing that pay programs offer are complete packages including firewall and anti-spam. Since you can get free firewall and anti-spam separately, there seems to be no advantage to buying anything.

    The four free packages studied (in rating order) were Avira, AVG, Avast, and Microsoft security essentials. However the differences were quite small.
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  3. May 3, 2012 #2
    I'd agree. I used all four and only use AVG because I'm most used to it. The security package deals really aren't needed. AVG Free + MS Firewall + behind a router, will sufficiently protect 99% of responsible users.
  4. May 4, 2012 #3


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    I prefer AVG also among the first three. The main reason is that it has two features (schedules sweeps and e-mail check) while the other two each have only one (Avira has scheduled sweeps and Avast has e-mail check). I have never tried the Microsoft security.
  5. May 4, 2012 #4


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    A specific "email checking" option is probably a historical left-over now. Since MS provided an programming interface with a clean way to get access to email attachments just the same as any other files on disk, any half reasonable anti virus program should scan them anyway without needing a special options.

    Of course clicking on links in an "unknown" email is a different issue, but it's rather hard for any software to fix user stupidity, only the consequences of it after the event!

    Rumor has it that the equivalent of MSE will be bundled with Windows 8. I believe it would have been bundled with earlier versions of windows, except the other anti-virus companies started howling about anti-competitive busness practices.
  6. May 5, 2012 #5


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