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Windows 7: Is paying for antivirus a waste of money?

04 Mar 2016   #1

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
Is paying for antivirus a waste of money?

Commentary: It's been a long time since anti-malware suites have found anything on my computers. Maybe the Windows Defender that comes with Windows 10 is good enough?

I always run an anti-malware security suite on my PC. Over the years I've made a point of running a variety of products.

At least for many years, perhaps more than ten, they've found no malware on my computers. None.

Perhaps I'm a more sophisticated user and I'm less likely to be taken off guard, but that can't be the whole answer. By the same token of expertise I take certain risks with dangerous files and sites that I would urge others to avoid like the plague.
But now comes news that could change the calculus: Independent test lab AV-Test's December tests of Business security suites on Windows 10 showed marked improvement for Microsoft's anti-malware engine, the one that comes free for Windows 10 users as Windows Defender. This program used to be limited to "antispyware," a strange and purposeless distinction from malware generally.

Microsoft has long had a free anti-malware product, Microsoft Security Essentials, for users to run on earlier versions of Windows, and it has always been used as a baseline in AV-Test rankings because it was so reliably at the bottom of the pack. Microsoft is also working to improve its protection by adding a cloud-based retrospective analysis service to detect breaches that have slipped through.

The results are for System Center Endpoint Protection which is its managed solution. The user experience is different, but the engine is the same and the AV-Test results should be closely comparable to tests on Microsoft's consumer product at the same time (November and December).

It's definitely not at the top and it's definitely not "industry-leading," but is it good enough? What do you really get from paying for the full AV subscription? The answer is complicated...

Read more: Is paying for antivirus a waste of money? | ZDNet

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2016   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium

Yes unless you're Uncle Scrooge.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2016   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Yes it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Mar 2016   #4

Windows 7 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Yes it is.
+1. Likewise I finally admitted to myself that banging on the traffic light button at the pedestrian intersection is only for placebo effect. Now when I watch impatient people bang on the button repeatedly I just smile to myself.

Edit: Just imagine that they debit your account $1 every time you bang on the traffic button and you have the AV industry in microcosm. heh heh heh
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2016   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

From the article.

Security products can try to eliminate the human factor, but those pesky humans keep finding new ways to let the barbarians past the gates.
In my opinion this is the number 1 problem are humans.
For 20 years people have been told do not open these kinds of things and what do they do, but open these kinds of things.
What security program can fix humans?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2016   #6

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM19.2 MATE, W10 Home 1703, W10 Pro 1703 VM, #All 64 bit

I've always used the free versions of AV software (Avast & AVG) and they seem to have done the job.

I haven't had any major issues with malware (almost all false positives) since I stopped using IE 6 on XP (~2006).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
What security program can fix humans?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2016   #7

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1

[/QUOTE]In my opinion this is the number 1 problem are humans.
For 20 years people have been told do not open these kinds of things and what do they do, but open these kinds of things. What security program can fix humans?[/QUOTE]

As a pilot, one must be aware of and avoid the "it won't happen to me" syndrome. Even so, there are still licensed qualified pilots who fly a perfectly functioning aircraft directly into the eye of a storm thinking, "it won't happen to me."

In a computing environment there might even be an unsolicited email that may actually state "VIRUS INSIDE, DO NOT OPEN" and there will be someone who opens it. Guaranteed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2016   #8


This is a 2014 article, but worth a read...

"The function signature-based AV serves has become more akin to ghost hunting than threat detection and prevention,"

Antivirus is dead, says maker of Norton Antivirus | PCWorld

I use a free AV now, however for years I bought the Norton Suite. I steer clear of all paid AVs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2016   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

I gave up on an assortment of paid-for AV suites after many years of having my home computers bogged down by bloatware and constant false positives. I ended up following the advice of my local repair workshop and sticking to MSE supplemented by twice-weekly manual scans with Malwarebytes Anti-malware. During the last year I also installed Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free.

The only change I probably need to make now is to upgrade MBAM from 1.75 to version 2, but I've held back on that as I've had no issues with 1.75 which is still supported, and because every time I look at version 2 there seems to be some sort of issue with it that makes it look like it is still in beta even tho' it is not.

The other associated changes are in relation to browsers and email clients. I switched my main browser to Chrome a while back and have also upgraded IE9 to IE11 although I rarely use it. I am still using Windows Live Mail 2011 which I know is no longer supported, but then I can't recall when I last got an update for it when it was supported. I can't decide what to switch to and have left well alone for the moment. I only use it for my ISP's email account and they do a pretty decent job at filtering out spam etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2016   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I think it's mostly a waste of money, yes. If you feel that you want an AV, some of the free ones are fine. I've used Avast for years without any problems for example. I stopped paying for AVs over 12 years ago...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is paying for antivirus a waste of money?

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