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Windows 7: Multiple Antivirus (Free) Programs

21 Feb 2016   #1
asallwey

XP - 32bit
 
 
Multiple Antivirus (Free) Programs

I now have 2 computers running Windows 7. I've looked at a number of "top ten free ..." lists, and of course they don't agree and are not identical. But it seems that AVG, Avast, MalwareBites, Panda, and Spybot, are usually listed.

Is it worth it to run 2-3 antivirus packages realtime? I figure there would be a hit to system resources that will slow things somewhat. Maybe some other issues too, I'm by no means an expert.

And on a final note, are there any programs that still support XP as I have 3 computers running that.

Thanks,

Alex


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Feb 2016   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With some rare exceptions it is not a good idea to run 2 AV programs at real time. But you can have multiple scanners that you run at different times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2016   #3
MoxieMomma

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1
 
 

Hi:

EDIT: OOPS! Sorry, @whs, I didn't notice that you had replied.

First, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is not an anti-virus and is not a substitute for one.
So, even if you choose to run MBAM Premium for real-time anti-malware protection, you'll still need an AV, either free or paid.
(MBAM (Free and Premium) does still support WinXP. However, some users on very old hardware run into issues, and new features (such as anti-ransomware) will not be supported on XP.)

There is no one "best" AV to suit all computers, all users and all budgets.
MSE is probably as good as any other free AV, though it has both fans and detractors.
Having said that, many of the "free" AVs come with a "hidden" cost, in terms of marketing popups, intrusive toolbars, reduced features/configuration options, and/or reduced support, etc.

Moreover, the cost for a robust, paid AV typically works out to pennies a day (or less). That is probably no more expensive than the cost of a game and is likely far cheaper than the cost of time, effort and lost productivity expended to recover from a malware catastrophe, data breach, identity theft or other mishap.

EDIT: This product is not supported on XP.
Having said that, Sophos currently offers a new, free AV for home use.
I have not evaluated it, so this is mentioned "as is".
More info here and here.


>>To answer your specific question about "multiple AVs", the answer is: NO.

There should be ONLY ONE installed and running AV on the system.
Installing multiple AVs is asking for trouble: clashes, conflicts, slowdowns and other performance problems. Doing so will REDUCE, not improve, your security.

>>Do not confuse "multiple AVs" with a "layered" approach using different applications with non-overlapping jobs (e.g. anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-exploit, customs hosts file, etc.).

>>Having said all that, the most important computer security component is the one between the chair and the keyboard: practice of "safe hex".

Cheers,
MM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Feb 2016   #4
asallwey

XP - 32bit
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply, and clarifications! I will follow your recommendation of just one. I've used
AVG (free) for years and have had very few problems. You are right about how the cost for a full package is not much in the grand scheme of things. I'll have to consider it.

I do have MSE running along with CCleaner and AVG. Any good posts/articles/urls that talk about layering?

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2016   #5
MoxieMomma

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by asallwey View Post
Thanks for the quick reply, and clarifications! I will follow your recommendation of just one.
You are most welcome.

Quote:
I've used
AVG (free) for years and have had very few problems.
AV selection is ultimately up to the user and his/her system, computing habits, risk tolerance, budget, preferences, and other factors.
There are many fine options.


Quote:

I do have MSE running along with CCleaner and AVG.
CCleaner is not an anti-virus or anti-malware application. It is a cleanup/maintenance utility.
It is fine for cleaning temp files, etc.
(Personally I don't use/recommend the Registry cleaner or let it touch Firefox or Thunderbird.)

However, I would not run MSE and AVG on the same computer.
They are both AVs.
I would fully and cleanly remove one or the other.

Quote:
Any good posts/articles/urls that talk about layering?

Thanks again!
Yes, there are many such articles at reputable computer fora, the Microsoft website, and other trustworthy sites that cover "best practices" for home computer security.

Cheers,
MM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2016   #6
asallwey

XP - 32bit
 
 

MM,

Thanks again! I'll do some "homework" before I change anything. Although I will move to just 1 AV.

Alex
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2016   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I've run one AV real time protection shields ON, and another only doing scheduled scans. It can be done; however, it does come at a slight hit on the resources cost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2016   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

When you get done checking out all the surveys on anti virus programs I would recommend using Malwarebytes Premium along with it.

I personally use MSE and Malwarebytes Premium on two system and have for years without any problems.
Of course both active at the same time.


OOOps
I see you are using XP. I have no idea what works with XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2016   #9
asallwey

XP - 32bit
 
 

I am running 2 machines on 7, and this is my primary concern. I've had Malwarebytes recommended by several folks and am considering it strongly.

Yes I do have XP on a three of older machines. Panda still supports XP with their free antivirus and I'm switching them to that as AVG no longer supports XP. I've also been looking for a cost-effective way to move 7 on them. I've read about using upgrade software and may try that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2016   #10
MoxieMomma

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by asallwey View Post
I am running 2 machines on 7, and this is my primary concern.

There are many fine AV choices, both free and paid.
Please refer to my original reply in this thread.

Quote:
I've had Malwarebytes recommended by several folks and am considering it strongly.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is NOT an AV.
It is a specialized anti-malware application designed to run alongside a robust AV to provide complementary, layered protection against certain types of zero-hour and zero-day non-viral malware threats often missed by the AVs.
MBAM Free is just a manual, on-demand scanner to REMOVE malware.
MBAM Premium is a realtime application to help PREVENT infection.
Either way, you still need an AV.

You may wish to add anti-exploit protection with MBAE (Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit), Hitman Pro Alert, or a similar application.

Quote:
Yes I do have XP on a three of older machines. Panda still supports XP with their free antivirus and I'm switching them to that as AVG no longer supports XP. I've also been looking for a cost-effective way to move 7 on them. I've read about using upgrade software and may try that.
Yes, most of the AV publishers are stopping support for XP.
Many of the remaining few who continue to support XP are the "cloud-based" AVs.
While light on resources, there are a few inherent disadvantages to this approach.

Bottom line: you may need to try different options to see what works best for you.
Just be sure to fully and cleanly uninstall (with the vendor's removal tool) any installed AV before installing another.

Cheers,
MM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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