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Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:02 am
by MrAl
Hello there,

What do you guys use for virus and internet protection software?
There are quite a few out there so i was wondering what might be good to use.
I'd like to be able to use it with XP SP1 too.

Ever hear of "Vipre" virus software? Any good?

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:14 am
by SETEC_Astronomy
In the past I've used AVG Free and Avast antivirus with varying degrees of success. Recently Microsoft released it's own antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials, which is what I would use. Using Microsoft Security Essentials removes pretty much all doubt of compatibility issues, should always be up to date, know how to best protect your OS and is free. One last option would be Clamwin antivirus.

Never heard of Vipre...

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:46 am
by reloadron
I have to agree with SETEC_Astronomy as to the use of Microsoft Security Essentials for systems running Windows XP SP2, Vista and Windows 7. I have spoke to people who did the BETA testing and thus far it seems to be a very good program. I also used AVG Free in the past with good results. A standing joke about anti-virus protection is that any AV software should be installed and run with commonsense.exe. :smile:


Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:12 am
by Robert Reed
Along with the others, I have been using AVG with apparent success. I also use AdAdware and MalwarBytes plus whatever MS is offering. My computer seems to be sluggish the last couple of months so I checked all the anti virus software for infections and they all show clean. I wonder if they might miss some that never get registered. Or could it be that with all these anti's the computer is doing too much scanning all the time.

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:13 am
by reloadron
Hi Ya Robert

My experience has been to find a good anti-virus software and run with it. Frequently running more than one AV is not a good idea. This is especially true of real time scanning anti-virus software. AV software among other things makes constant changes to the system and also looks for other software making system changes. This can create a clash between AV programs as each tries to do its job.

Real time scanning by multiple AV software can slow a system. All AV software uses system memory and other resources. When system RAM resources begin to run low the system will begin to use Virtual Memory which is a cache setup on the HDD. The problem is that running virtual memory is very slow as the HDD lacks the speed of regular RAM.

Let's say you are running multiple AV programs. Open the task manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del) and look at the Processes tab. Click the top of the Memory column and see which processes are using memory and how much memory. Next click the Performance tab and see what the Physical memory usage is. When a system starts pushing the limits of physical memory it will slow down considerably regardless of what is using the memory.

The same is not true for other software like anti-spy ware software like SpyBot, AdAware and a host of others which can co exist peacefully on a system.

Overall it is obviously wise to keep any and all mal-ware and AV programs up to date, especially the virus definitions data base.

Depending on use and the applications run it can also be wise to occasionally defragment an operating system's hard drive. A fragmented HDD can also slow a machine.


Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:26 pm
by MrAl
Hi again,

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

Ron, i looked at the MS software and that requires SP2 for XP too, and i really wanted something
that would run on SP1, SP2, and SP3 too. Most of the software i see requires SP2 and that's not
really what i was looking for.

Another question though is this...
Not too long ago i sampled Norton's virus and internet protection software, which i have
to say is just what i was looking for. It was able to detect incoming virus's and adjunk and
stuff like that, but the problem is that TOO requires SP2 and i really want to be able to use SP1
with it. Enter "Vipre", which i downloaded a trial version of. This runs on SP1 too, but the
trouble is im not sure if it is doing a check of anything incoming while i am surfing the net like
the Norton software did so nicely. It does allow you to scan a file if you suspect anything,
but with some virus's and junk it's too late if it already got onto the machine so you may not
even get the chance to scan it before it causes a problem. So any ideas on how to check
this other software to see if it is REALLY scanning incoming programs and infections?

Another quick question...
That Norton virus and internet software, that's rather expensive i see. What i also see is
it looks like you can only use it for ONE year then you have to renew or something like
that. What i was wondering is what exactly to they charge to renew? Is that the
upgrade?? If so, wow they want almost as much as the software itself, but i'll wait
for a reply before i jump to conclusions. Thanks.

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:58 pm
by Robert Reed
I believe my memory capacity is 520 Mbyte. It looks like about 300-350 M is being used. The big hogs (over 10 M) are SYSTEM-68M; E-MAIL-13M; EXPLORER-13 M; NAVIGATOR-30M; MsMpeng.exe (don't know what this is) 15 M; Svchost (don't know this one either) 25 M.
AVG appears here and there and totals about 10M. There are many other smaller ones that I have no clue as to what they are. Does this look acceptable?
I defrag once a week and usually shows between 3% and 15%. This operation always helps in the short term-about 1 day).

PS - I think the MS firewall may be running and I don't know if I should disable it.

I started out with Norton 5 years ago. It cost me $85 and was good for a year then $35 to update it annually. Too rich for my blood. And it really slowed down the computer. In all fairness though, it was an older computer with less C drive and memory.

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:06 am
by reloadron
Hi All

Beginning with Norton Anti-Virus (Symantec) it comes in a variety of flavors with pricing accordingly. Actually they offer from basic anti-virus to entire overall security suites. Personally I haven't used the product in years as it got to become a system resource hog. Now in defense of Norton the reviews and testing run with their 2009 product line showed great improvement. The way Norton works is you buy the software and then annually you buy a renewal of the license. Renewal cost vary based on the product version. That is pretty much the way all paid software works. If a user fails to renew their license the software will in most cases continue to work but will no longer be able to do Virus Definition Updates so the end user will not be protected from new threats. These general rules also hold true for McAfee and other comercial paid software. Between the features someone needs to really decide what they want and expect as to features versus cost.

There is another family of free versions of anti-virus software out there. Some of these offer both free and paid versions. Frequently the main difference between a paid and free version of the same software is the features. A good example is AVG which I happen to use. The paid version offers the end user more flexibility for example in scheduling scans or getting virus definition updates. My experience has been that the virus protection is the same.

Any AV software is only as good as how frequently the virus definition database is updated. Granted that many also rely on intrusic ability to detect a virus but in that area they all seem to be the same. Overall I really don't think there is a "best" AV suite as what is best during this quarter will place third next quarter year by year. That is how it generally seems to go.

Moving along to Windows Service Packs. Service packs are updates to the Windows based operating systems. They can contain many things as to improving features of the OS or improving security of the OS by patching security holes and exploits. For all software (not just AV) we frequently see terms like runs on Windows SP2 or greater. That is just the nature of the beast. Software makers try to write their software based on improvements in the OS, therefore they focus on service packs and what the service pack can do for their software. This makes it hard to find for example software today that would run well on a Windows 98 or Windows 2000 system. Since anti-virus software is constantly being updated it makes it real hard to find good reliable AV software that will run on an older operating system. Another of those nature of the beast things.

More later...


Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:00 am
by SETEC_Astronomy
MrAl you obviously have a concern or need that is keeping you at SP1 but unless you have a known incompatibility that would hose your system I would advise against not updating to SP2 or better yet SP3. The first part of staying secure is staying up to date. Leaving your system un-patched widens your attack surface and minimizes the chances any AV software will keep you safe. There are several ways to have your computer compromised through a software vulnerability that no AV will ever pick up, it not a virus, it's a tunnel that exposes your data. Just a few words of caution....

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:55 pm
by reloadron
Hi Robert

OK not that it is important but to cover a few of those processes which look normal SVCHOST.EXE may have several instances running depending on what the system is doing. In a nutshell what svchost.exe does is allows a running program to access and use .dll files. DLL files are a great thing in a programming environment but are not executable files. Therefore when a running program relies on using .dll files it relies on svchost.exe. Therefore what you are seeing is normal. Also what you see in System is normal and in most cases System uses more RAM than anything else. "This process is a single thread running on each processor, which has the sole task of accounting for processor time when the system isn't processing other threads. In Task Manager, expect this process to account for the majority of processor time unless the system is very busy processing". I snatched that quote from Google for simplicity. Anyway, the object was just to see if when running the amount of RAM (Physical Installed RAM) in the system was adequate and it would seem it is. Windows XP will run on 256 MB of RAM but personally I like between 512 MB and 1 GB. Really depends on what one is doing with a machine.

As to a slow machine beyond RAM and a fragmented hard drive there are many other causes. Each can contribute to slow a system to a crawl. This link covers a few of the things that can slow a machine down.


I could not agree more with what SETEC_Astronomy added with regard to keeping a system updated, especially with service packs. I know many people just seem to fear installing a new SP but they are important. Unless someone has a very good reason not to update an Operating System I always strongly encourage it.

Just My Take

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:59 pm
by kheston

I only skimmed the other posts so these may have been mentioned, but take a look at Clamwin and SpyBot. The combo works well for me and doesn't slow the machine down to the degree McAfee and Symantec do.

If you do get infected (which happens sometimes no matter what precautions you've taken), browse the forums at for a fix.

Good luck!

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:19 am
by MrAl
Hi again,

I have a very specific reason for needing SP1 and so i was hoping for something
that would work with that op sys. For SP2 i guess i could use my trial Symantec
but i wanted to avoid that if possible.

What i noticed is that the Symantec caught some buggers that were bothering me
over the past couple years now when all i had was my own designed virus protection
software and didnt have all the facts about all the virus's like the commercial
software does. Anyway, i noticed that it caught a particular attack that had
gotten me several times before and took a lot of effort to get rid of. As soon
as it tried to attack this time a message came up that said something like:
"The virus 'such and such' attacked Adobe and was prevented".
That's the #1 thing i need i think.
The second thing is that it found a program that was on my computer for years
that had some sort of hack program in it and it took it off the computer.
That's still #2 though, because i think most of the software does this right?

What i really want is something that works just like #1 above but runs on SP1.
That's why i was asking about the other softwares too.

So is it true then that they all look for attacks coming in when you are surfing?

As mentioned, i also wrote my own virus software but wouldnt mind learning more
about this kind of programming either if anyone knows of any sites that talk
about this in particular.

I'll check out BleepingComputer and see what i can find now too...

Thanks to everyone for the ideas and suggestions. I have gotten hit pretty
bad in the past and want to prevent this. One such attack put a message
across the screen saying something like, "You have a virus and you cant get rid
of it", and another one really nutty actually started CHANGING every single
.exe program it could find on every drive in the system! That was just nuts.
I cant remember how i got rid of it now that was a while back.

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:42 pm
by Robert Reed
"I cant remember how i got rid of it now that was a while back."

I could not help chuckling when I read that. I can't tell you how many times in trying to debug something on this computer that by the time I cured it , I was so deeply involved, I had no idea how I got there :smile:

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:26 am
by MrAl
Hi there Robert,

Im working on another such problem like that but it's not a virus, it's a virus prevention program ha ha.
Dang thing is slowing up the disk system! How stupid is that? The program should be helping the
system not bugging it up right?

Re: Virus/Internet Protection Software

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:25 pm
by reloadron
MrAl wrote:Hi there Robert,

Im working on another such problem like that but it's not a virus, it's a virus prevention program ha ha.
Dang thing is slowing up the disk system! How stupid is that? The program should be helping the
system not bugging it up right?
So MrAl would that be like a knock on the door and you open the door to see a gentleman standing there. He speaks and begins with "Hi I am from the government and I am here to help you". :smile:

What program and does it do real time scanning? During certain applications real time scanning can considerably slow a system down.

Also this is why people should use AVG as their anti-virus solution. Just don't have the volume turned up too high. :smile: