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Free Anti Spyware Apps.-Common Misconceptions
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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 8:56 am
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The free version of AVG has enough features for most people.

Scheduled scans, real time protection, on demand scanning, and automatic updates. What more do you need?

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 10:39 am
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I would like to have rootkit scanning for one thing, and on their website, they seem to make a distinction between the level of protection (seemingly realtime) between their free AV and other products that contain the AV, it seems as though their free version is starting to have a "dumbed down" version of their engine. That's just the way I read stuff on their site and it's obviously open to interpretation, I could be wrong.

At the end of the day though, you are right, AVG is good enough for most people, and especially for people that have been using it for a long time, it's probably best that they don't switch, they are used to one thing, and so let them just stay with it. And the scheduled scans really are helpful, I do miss that in Avast.

To each his/her own though,

Matt

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Mindblower
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September 27, 2008 - 11:04 am
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Those looking for a REALTIME rootkit (which not only runs in the background, it does not take forever like other rootkit scanners) should visit the Trend Micro site and check out RUbotted at http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US ... s/rubotted .It's still a Beta, but it does work quite well, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 12:25 pm
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Thanks Mindblower... I checked out the site and it looks interesting and worth a shot, but I checked out the system requirements and Vista64 (what I'm running) is not supported. So it's not useful to me, and since I have Avast, it's also not needed. For someone who has something like AVG Free though, or any other free AV that has no rootkit scanning, this would be a great program in my opinion.

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 3:57 pm
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AVG used to have a rootkit scanner out. I still have the old install file for it, so that's what I use.

I bet some judicial google searching would reveal an old download link too...

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 8:37 pm
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I did a bit of research myself and if you're looking for just a rootkit scanner, Panda has one out that's supposed to be top of the line. It's free which is nice, and it's supposed to be better than the AVG Free one (which is still free by the way) or something like Sophos or any of the other ones, maybe even better than the Trend Micro one mentioned earlier. Just figured I'd throw that in here.

Matt

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Jim Hillier
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September 27, 2008 - 10:53 pm
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Hey Matt - Panda rootkit scanner does not work for all...in fact, there is a significant percentage for whom it will not work. I have never been able to get it to complete a scan in either XP nor Vista despite trying all new versions as they are published.
Sophos is reputed to be a very good RK scanner. The Trend Micro product that Mindblower mentioned..'RUBotted' is not a scanner but a real time monitor which will notify you of any real time infections, you still need some sort of scanner/remover to get rid of them....this from the site:

[i:2qdc0ett]"RUBotted monitors your computer for suspicious activities and regularly checks with an online service to identify behavior associated with Bots. Upon discovering a potential infection, RUBotted prompts you to scan and clean your computer.
If you have an antivirus program installed, download the latest update and scan your computer."[/i:2qdc0ett]

Trend Micro do have a fee RK scanner/remover too...it is relatively new and so not that well known:
http://www.trendmicro.com/down.....buster.asp

Another not so well known is the rootkit scanner included in the excellent HIPS program Threatfire (free)

Also, I agree with you on the Avg v Avast comment......AVG used to be very good, I think the latest version was a backward step, I prefer Avast myself.

cheers...JIM

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 10:55 pm
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Hey,

Sorry to all about my Panda comment, the reviews I read were positive but maybe I didn't dig deep enough. Sorry!

Matt

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Jim Hillier
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September 27, 2008 - 11:02 pm
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Hey, no need to be sorry Matt...Panda anti-rootkit has received high praise from some well respected sources. The fact that it will not work for many is not as well publicised and still shouldn't put anyone off from at least trying it....who knows, it may well work for them.

JIM

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SEGMAT
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October 5, 2008 - 10:19 am
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By the way, I just figured I should mention that due to the feelings expressed on here about AVG Free, I went and gave it a shot, downloaded the newest version and installed instead of Avast on my machine. I am sorry to report that I really don't like it. I like the ability to do scheduled scans but I don't like the speed. There is a difference between Avast and AVG, you can actually notice it. I found my computer instantly was a lot slower doing anything, the program takes significantly longer to open up than Avast does, and although I have a fast machine and the differences shouldn't really bother me (Quad Core, 4GB RAM, beautiful video card etc.), it still annoys me that it is significantly slower. I'm going to go back to Avast and just count on running scans every once in a while, initiated by me. I'll miss the scheduled scans but it's worth the speed to go back, at least for me.

Other than the speed, I do find it to be a good program, although when you ramp the protection level all the way up to the highest it can go, you get popups all the time telling you that it has found a tracking cookie, and it's just browsing things like Hotmail which put cookies on your machine but they're not malware! So AVG should just leave them alone and only report the bad things. I turned that off though, so it doesn't bother me, and so I don't have maximum security, but other than that I find it to be just as capable as Avast, just slower.

Matt

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gatehill
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October 5, 2008 - 12:07 pm
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I do some part-time basic computer teaching, generally to the older generation (like myself!) and consider myself reasonably computer literate. I have Windows XP and a few months ago my local PC shop had to reinstall Windows as I crashed! All my files and emails were saved but I lost all my other main programs.

The shop installed Avast (I had previously used AVG) and Windows Defender, saying that I did not need other programs such as AdAware and Spybot S&D.

I found some excellent reviews of the latest free versions of AVG and Avast, with AVG coming out marginally higher, though both were considered very good; so I am about to replace Avast with AVG. I do notice that once I have booted up, the PC is running slightly slower than usual - I assume this is a brief scan by Avast. However, I have installed AVG on a number of my clients' PCs. I always turn off the Daily Scan as it slows the machine down, but I do insist they do regular full scans - the frquency depending on how much they use the internet. I notice in this thread that it is possible to stop AVG picking up all the cookies - how do I do that? Also should I run Spybot, AdAware and Defender or is that OTT?

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SEGMAT
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October 5, 2008 - 2:13 pm
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Hi gatehill, welcome here! I would recommend you getting rid of Spybot and Adaware, but keep Defender. I like Defender because it has a runtime which is always helpful and it's not all that bad of a program. Adaware stopped being useful a long time ago and Spybot is still widely used because of it's reputation but it too has really gone down in quality over the last year or so. I only run Defender and whichever AV happens to be on my machine but nothing else. SuperAntiSpyware has gotten better as Spybot and Adaware have gotten worse and so if I ever fear that I have an infection I would install and run that but I wouldn't have it on my machine and scan with it regularly unless I thought I was infected.

As for AVG, right click on the icon in the system tray and go to "Open AVG User Interface". Once it opens up, go to the "Tools" menu at the top and click on "Advanced Settings". Click on the words "Resident Shield" in the left hand column, uncheck the box that says "Scan For Tracking Cookies", and then click OK and you are done. This will prevent the pop-ups telling you that you have accepted a tracking cookie. Keep in mind though, this does disable some legitimate protection as sometimes you may pick up a tracking cookie that you don't want and it might be useful to know when you are picking one up. However, generally you don't have to worry and I leave mine turned off. I will likely be putting Avast back on but now that I am testing some programs I might put on AntiVir in the mean time since it generally gets better reviews than AVG and Avast, but people don't like it because it has a big nag screen telling you to buy the full version and it's updates are really slow usually. Nag screens are the other thing I don't like about AVG, the screen that pops up below the main window telling you that you should buy their full internet security package gets annoying. I like how Avast doesn't do any of that. It's free and has no nags or anything telling you that you need to pay for it in order to get a certain feature.

Matt

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Mindblower
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October 5, 2008 - 2:54 pm
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One program which seems to have excaped this topic is SpywareBlaster, which helps in making sure you avoid certain pitfalls. Link at ( [u:15ig02ye] https://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html[/u:15ig02ye] ), Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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SEGMAT
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October 5, 2008 - 2:57 pm
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The problem with programs like that are that they often don't help browsers other than IE. I use Google Chrome for all my browsing and so Spybot's immunization and SpywareBlaster and all those programs won't help me at all.

Matt

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Mindblower
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October 5, 2008 - 3:14 pm
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Well Matt, besides the obvious (Crome is new), have you ever written to, or posted at their forums (if applicable), your wish to have a program included. I have and it was a nice exchange for both of use. It's very different from complaining (which I do quite often ), so hopefully we'll have a chance to read about your latest adventure, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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