Friday, February 12, 2010

Things to know about AntiVirus

Virus is always been a problem for computers powered by Windows. Even if that system is not directly connected to Internet, Virus visits often through removable media or mobiles. This post is dedicated for these naughty creatures and ways to control them, ANTI-VIRUS.

Last week I tasted 5 antivirus solution on both of systems (specifications given below)
Desktop - AMD 64X2 7720+, ASUS 68AM motherboard, 2GB RAM, 320 GB Samsung HD, GeForce 7025, powered by Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. and Laptop - HP Compaq nx 7300, Core Duo 1.6 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HD running Windows XP SP3.

These systems represent both, budget level as well as performing system. The comparison is as follows

- Good - Its Free to use. Definition Updates can be downloaded and later installed on antivirus, thus no need of direct internet connection. Popular.

- Bad - Virus scanning/detection is not upto the mark, Haven't detected few threats in the compressed setup files. More CPU usage is another bad habit.

-Opinion- BAD- not recommended unless there is no other option.

2. AVAST Antivirus home edition - http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
- Good - Again a free antivirus solution, updates are small and fast. Simple interface. Virus detection is good.

-Bad - Not too good in repairing the files, Most of the time deletes the file for the reason "Disinfection Failed"

-Opinion - OK OK type. Can be used by those, running on slow (dial up/ GPRS) networks or slow systems.

3. Quick heal - trial version http://www.quickheal.co.in/downloads.asp
- Good - Major Indian player in Antivirus market, implements unique technique to control the virus spread (claim by CAT computers, the brain behind QuickHeal), Light on system resources, Website blocking feature is available in antivirus itself.

-Bad - Weak registry shield, some virus can remove its startup entries (/runonce) thus halting its work. Fails to identify few common threats like dx.dll/scr.ini or autorun.inf.

-Opinion - Its good on performance but one should use some good anti-malware software.

4. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 - http://www.kaspersky.com
-Good - Awesome antivirus offers almost complete protection. Whole interface changes the color as a warning. Good thing to work with.

-Bad - Interface settings are quite complicated. It blocks some applications like Media Player Classic. This is a paid solution.

-Opinion - Good Antivirus, broadband is recommended with it.

5. Norton Internet Security 2010 - http://www.symantec.com/downloads/index.jsp
- Good - One of the best antivirus solutions around. Downloadable update file, thus no need of internet connection for update.

-Bad - Costly, Resource hungry, slows down the system, larger update size.

-Opinion - Excellent, but recommended for performing systems and heavy pockets.

There are few more antivirus solutions available like McAffee, eScan, NOD32, CA, NetProtector etc., which I haven't tested yet. I'll put the review here after testing.

Few more softwares to use with Antivirus -
1. RemoveIT Pro - This is anti-malware solution available free for home use. Can be downloaded here.
2. Anti-Trojan - Trojans are like spy within the computer, which checks for important information, which is used for illegal purpose. So many anti-trojan softwares available, check for suitable one.
3. RRT - Remove Restrictions Tool - Virus often blocks the access to Taskmanager, Folder Option or Registry editor. This tool is used to overcome the restrictions. Can be downloaded for free here.

Few points to remember
1. No one is perfect, so as antivirus. This provides security, but are not flawless.
2. Read the Antivirus reports carefully, do not go on clicking OK without reading it.
3. Antivirus is precautionary measure, it hardly helps when used after virus infection.
4. Its not always the antivirus which secures the system. Timely updates and Full System Scan at regular intervals are necessary.
5. Do not use pirated softwares or antivirus, Its not only the offence, but often fails to perform at-par.
6. Its not always good which comes free. Check the comparison posted above.
7. Always scan the removable media before using.
8. Try the DEMO version available at manufacturers site, before making final purchase decision.

For any further details or suggestions put a mail to me: vkrmkulkarni@gmail.com

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