Antimalware Software

  • Let this be a general topic to discuss everything about such software when it's not directly related to one or another Opera platform.

    For now, I have a question.
    I've no experience in antimalware software usage - meaning that I've only used one brand so far, and never tried anything else.
    Still with my Windows XP (SP3), on a laptop (not very powerful), I've encountered an issue. My MSE started failing in acquiring new definitions about 5-6 days ago: when pushed manually, it connects, shows "searching", then "downloading", then even "installing", but in the end still shows "Connection failed".
    So, bearing in mind that Microsoft were going to maintain MSE alive till this very July only, I wondered if I needed to install another application instead now, and got the answer that I should.
    Now, being absolutely unexperienced in such software, I came to ask you for advice. What should I take - what sort of Am software should I seek to replace MSE with on my moderately powered netbook?
    If you need more specs on what hardware I'm talking about, I'll point you out in a subsequent comment.
    That's my question.

    Enjoy the thread*:cheers:*

  • First of all, if you're just careful when you are on the web, I don't think you need an anti virus program. In order to get a virus, you have to download a file, run it, and give it permissions. I know I will get a lot of criticism for this answer, but this is my opinion.

    If you want an anti virus program, I recommend Kaspersky, which should be very good in many aspects.

  • Gustav, for the first part, I prefer checking EVERY download for...
    Just to be sure I haven't missed ANYTHING.
    It happens that I download and run certain media, and I've no idea how and where they could possibly hide... You know...

    Considering your suggestion now, I must clarify that the software I'd prefer should possibly be the least glitchy - bottom line being it won't ever be deleting my stuff without myself notified, preferred asked in cases.
    Considering the lack of space on the main disk here, not mentioning the moderate processor, I'd prefer something not TOO demanding in that respect.

    Apart from all that, will the Am software pertain/belong/stick to the booted OS or rather to the workstation itself?

  • Another thing you might want to define is whether you're seeking "free" anti-malware or are willing to pay for it. While some free antimalware software can be very effective, "free" does limit the number of brands of software to choose from, and some of those may come with either internal nag-ads or limitations on usage options.

  • Oh, Blackbird, thanks for coming!

    Well, for my XP?
    Definitely free: you know, will I make it dual boot or whatever, how long will it last - even with a good defender?8-) Save the hardware not being too brand-new.

  • Well, I could consider paying somewhat - theoretically.
    But, you know, I'd rather start with something not so expensive*:)*

  • What do you think of UnThreat by "Scandium" and 360 Total Security by "QIHU"?
    I downloaded both installers now...

    Also, I downloaded a Microsoft Safety Scanner - from here. And even then included, the download dialogue says "No information about security bla-bla". The address (URL) in question seemed o'k - blabla.microsoft.com or something...
    And none of those had a E-signature - is it normal?

  • What do you think of UnThreat by "Scandium" and 360 Total Security by "QIHU"? ...
    Also, I downloaded a Microsoft Safety Scanner - from here. And even then included, the download dialogue says "No information about security bla-bla". The address (URL) in question seemed o'k - blabla.microsoft.com or something...
    And none of those had a E-signature - is it normal?

    The MS Safety Scanner is a Microsoft on-demand scanner to manually scan your system for viruses. That is, it doesn't sit there and run all the time to continually check and protect you from whatever's going on. Moreover, it expires after 10 days, so you'd have to re-download it periodically to keep current.

    Regarding Qihu/Qihoo, there are several different ethics issues that have orbited around its business practices for several years (http://seekingalpha.com/article/1575722-qihoo-360-too-expensive-and-too-many-risks). In terms of performance, initially in May 2015, PC Magazine rated their 360 Product rather highly - but downgraded that to a bit above average after several independent AV testing labs found that Qihu had supplied a tweaked version for testing, rather than the one they market to consumers - an absolute no-no in the testing realm. This is another ethical lapse that raises major questions in my own mind about trusting the product, if for no other reason than that repeated questionable ethics do not bode well for a product I need to trust my computer to.

    Unthreat is not widely reported on, I've seen no lab tests of it (AV Comparatives, etc) and I have no personal knowledge of it.

    Most user reports I've encountered indicate Avira, BitDefender and Panda are all free and have very good real-world detection and low false alarm test rates. However, you would need to explore user comments about any of these to make sure there aren't other attributes in any of these that you might find annoying or unacceptable, the nature of freeware being what it is.

  • From here, I tried that 'Avira' - the download didn't work. Bitdefender didn't show any free version there, neither did Panda.

  • You might try the Avira home site: https://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus and see what happens. The world keeps changing, so perhaps Bitdefender and Panda have dropped their free products. Another you can try is AVG, but it doesn't work quite as effectively as Avira and it can annoy you with nag screens.

  • O'k, Black, I found that that link there was at that MS page, too, and got an exe now.

    So now, what about that cleaning we talked in the other thread just now?
    Shall I get exactly CCleaner or will RegScanner go?
    And what about that CCleaner after all? I've come across people mentioning issues*:confused:* Those might probably be due to the users' lack of attention? Is this thing REALLY reliable?

  • CCleaner is safe in its own right, but it is a very powerful tool and will turn up a lot of 'apparently' unlinked/obsolete registry keys in a scan. Which means a user that simply turns CCleaner loose and removes all the results (whatever they are) of a scan runs a genuine risk of messing up their registry and system software. The key to using CCleaner is to run it first to ONLY SCAN the registry... it will eventually bring up a list with a lot of questionable registry keys that it has found. Carefully remove any checkmarks from any registry key that does not explicitly contain the name of the software that was uninstalled but didn't fully remove. (This may leave behind a few obscure keys from the uninstalled software, but it will not risk taking out something else that's important to the system or other software that somehow showed up on the list for various odd reasons... my own experience is that 95% or more of an uninstalled program's orphan keys will show on the list with the name of the uninstalled program attached to it.) Once you've UNchecked everything NOT associated by name with the uninstalled program, you simply tell CCleaner to delete the named keys still checked and it will do it almost instantly. But again, back up your registry first and before you delete the keys, double-check the final list to make sure you haven't left checked something that doesn't carry the uninstalled software's name.

  • back up your registry first

    Again - what does this mean?
    Shall I back up the keys listed or..?

  • Well, I've got a CCleaner from Softonic (ccleaner.en.softonic.com/download) - if you don't mind: the file name is not making sense, so to check it up, its size is 6.2 MB and my MSE found 281 items in it (exe) to scan.
    Thank you for your advice.

    Additionally downloaded another copy of it, a "latest version" from Filehippo.
    It was (is) 6.3 MB, and the items are 281 too, while the filename does make sense this time...

  • Personally, as a safety measure, I'd get CCleaner Free from its source (Piriform) at https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download. I've found that many of the general freeware houses like Softonic, Cnet, and such perform crap-ware bundling with their freeware installers, so whenever humanly possible, I get freeware directly from the makers. That said, my CCleaner dates from 2011 and the install file is around 3Mb (ccsetup304.exe); the current version at the Piriform site is ccsetup506.exe at 6.2 Mb, so obviously the program has inflated over the last few years - probably with some added features and improved registry signature recognition for which files go with which applications, etc. In any case, my old version still works just fine for my needs.

  • "b" is for bits, "B" - for bytes.

  • True enough... I should have used MB.

  • Well, Black, then how do I know if the registry is relevant or not?
    They might contain a hint in their filename or may not, is it right?

    Well, in the case of MSE, its pusher's name is "msseces.exe". Will it always be the same pattern or is it not necessary?

  • A look at CCleaner's Data and Registry Key (especially for HKLM) columns after a scan can frequently identify the name of the product that created the problematic registry keys. A quick online search can explain some of the obscure Data filenames if the program name is not evident. Most of the time, for major-name software uninstalls that have left residue behind in the registry, the program names will be obvious in one way or another. If in doubt, leave the entry alone (unchecked) when/if cleaning. Note also that the CCleaner registry scan will only reveal registry issues of one kind or another, not normal registry entries for still-installed software (unless that software has installed something incorrectly or created registry references to subsequently update-abandoned program modules). The main categories you would be concerned about for registry cleaning after an uninstall would be Type Libraries, Applications, Application Paths, Help Files, Obsolete Software, and Run at Startup. These are the options that should be checked in CCleaner's Registry Cleaner panel.

  • Using a Microsoft Safety Scanner now. It seems to check my PF Java folder for ages now. Is it normal?

    Right, I resorted to it again - the MSE "retired" again 5 days ago. I guess I'm gonna part with it soon enough...

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