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Need Free Anti-Virus That Dosen't Take A Yr To Download
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WiseTioga
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October 18, 2009 - 12:40 am
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Hey Jim;
Hope all is well with you and yours. Need some advice again so came to the oricle. (sp.?)

Was using AVG Free on my old desk-top 98-SE machine and liked it fine. Go a new XP notebook and am looking for a new anti-virus thar does not take half a day or better to download on a dial-up connection.

Have looked at AntiVir, Avast, and Microsoft Security Essentials. Not sure which way to go. Do you hace any suggestions?

Appreciate any info that you or other forum members might have to offer. Thanks so much.

Have A Great Day
Wise Tioga
aka Jon

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Jim Hillier
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October 18, 2009 - 9:55 am
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Hey Jon - Thanks for the nice greeting...right back at ya mate.

Oricle = Oracle....you were very close!!

Well, the bad news is almost all anti virus programs involve quite a large download which is going to take some time to complete via dial-up....that's just the nature of the beast. The good news is all three products you have been looking at are very good.

Here are the relative download sizes:
AntiVir = 33MB
Avast = 37MB
Microsoft Security Essentials = 4MB to 9MB (depends on which OS and whether 32 or 64 bit)......note the much smaller download size!!

Avast offers comprehensive protection via 7 shields covering just about every type of internet activity. Updates are regular and automatic, plus it is quite light on resources too. I am currently using Avast.

AntiVir is also very popular and rightly so, according to reputable test sites it has the best detection rates of the lot...albeit by a very slight margin. There are still reports circulating of update problems though, something which has always plagued the program. AntiVir also has an advertising banner which pops up after updating....some users find that rather annoying. It doesn't include any email scanner either although I personally do not see that as an issue....if the user attempts to open an infected attachment or access a malicious embedded link, AntiVir will still spring into action and block the process.

Finally the newcomer, Microsoft Security Essentials. Now I know you are going to get some rather negative comments about security products from MS...I won't name any names.
Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, this is the one I am going to recommend for you. Now MSE has been out and about for a little while there are some real positives emerging; reviewers, testers and users are issuing some very favourable comments. MSE, already, now holds the number 2 spot on Gizmo's list of best free anti virus software, just behind AntiVir and in front of Avast which comes in third......and here is the clincher:-

I have a mate who is a computer technician with his own shop, we have a business relationship too. I was in his shop just a couple of days ago and he was absolutely raving about MSE....I can assure you he is not generally a great fan of MS nor their products.
You can imagine Jon just how many machines are brought into his shop with virus/malware issues, he says MSE is literally saving him hours identifying and removing the infections. He has always used Trend Micro, Kaspersky and other well reputed software for this chore and he swears MSE beats them all hands down. I trust what he says implicitly...after all, he has been dealing with these issues on a daily basis for many years. I must admit, in light of what he told me, I am seriously contemplating changing over to MSE myself.

All things considered; my mate's recommendation, the favourable reviews, MSE's simplicity/ease of use and especially the comparatively small download.....I reckon it may be your best option.

Last word; do [i:3gh0aw8r][b:3gh0aw8r]not[/b:3gh0aw8r][/i:3gh0aw8r] even think about AVG Free, the latest versions have been stripped of features and are resource heavy. It also comes dead last in detection tests, quite a way behind the others....it has really gone downhill.

Cheers mate....JIM

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WiseTioga
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October 18, 2009 - 4:08 pm
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Hi Jim;

Many thanks as always for your quick response and good information. Great minds really do think alike. I was leaning towards the MS product myself, however, in all honesty I have to say it was because of the way smaller download not because I thought it was the best. Good to know that it will also do a good job for me. Well off to a download site to get this started. Thanks again, take care and have a great week.

Best Regards,
Jon

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Jim Hillier
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October 18, 2009 - 6:12 pm
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You are most welcome Jon...as always. Glad to help.

Once you have been using MSE for a little while could you please post back and share your thoughts on it with us....would be much appreciated.

You have a great week too mate.

Cheers now.....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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October 19, 2009 - 1:05 pm
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I won't go into my rant on MSE again. It can be found by, quite frankly, searching my posts.

However, if it's been independently certified and ranked, then I will quietly watch the world slide into the world of Cyberdyne.

I mean...Microsoft.

I will point out that those small downloads typically mean that they download the full program during the system setup, masking the true size of the download. Not sure if that's the case with MSE or not.

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WiseTioga
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October 25, 2009 - 1:16 am
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Hi Jim & Ziggy;

Promised that I would post and offer my initial thoughts and impressions of the program. Well here goes. First the equipment that I'm using so you have a benchmark to look at.

Sager NP-2096 Notebook, 3 GB of RAM, Intel Core2 Duo T9550 2.66 GHz CPU, Windows XP Professional

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Jim Hillier
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October 25, 2009 - 4:35 am
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Hey Jon - Thanks for the feedback mate....much appreciated!!!

FileHippo is a very safe place to access downloads...I often use it myself. Although, when it comes to things MS I generally look for the direct link (direct from MS that is).

The initial definition update for most security related programs is generally pretty heavy.....reason being, they do not change the original file to include latest definitions. So, if a main program is released on say 31st December and you do not download and install until the following July, you would have 7 months of definition updates to catch up with. They pretty much all work that way. I remember, many moons ago when I was on dial-up, buying a machine with 12 months Norton included for free. I am not a Norton fan but, hey, free is good. Anyway, first time I connected to the net Norton told me I needed to update the definition data base.....12 hours later it was all done.....LOL.

Subsequent updates should be much smaller and so much quicker.

Yes, MSE is pretty basic but that, in some cases, is part of the appeal....simple and easy is often what is required.

Strange to hear there is no option to opt out of the scheduled scan. Are you 100% sure of that Jon? In Windows Defender, for example, there is an option in the settings to 'Automatically scan my computer' which can be disabled simply by removing the checkmark from the little box next to it. I shall download and install MSE and have a look.

As far as Windows Updates is concerned; I always like to review any updates prior to downloading and installing so I have mine set to 'Notify but don't download or install'. That way I can pick and choose. Most updates from MS are security related so should be applied but there is just the odd one here and there they label 'Important' or 'Recommended' which I do not need nor want. I suppose it depends a little on a particular person's degree of experience/savvy. If I am dealing with someone who I know to be computer illiterate and hence unable to distinguish the mostly good from the occasional bad I recommend they set updates to 'automatic'.

Thanks again for your input.

Oh, nice laptop by the way...good specs!!

Cheers....JIM

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WiseTioga
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November 10, 2009 - 12:45 am
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Greetings, Hope all is well and the PC's are running smoothly for every one.

Jim, just a quick update on the MS Sec. Essentials Anti-virus prog. Seems to be running well, additional definition updates are taking much less time that the first two. Basically happy with the program. Would like a few more bells & whistles, however, for the cost (free) I can't really complain.

Question??? Set the M/S Auto Update Center as you suggested i.e.; "Notify But Don't Download or Install Unless I O.K." the problem is that I haven'y received a single notification in over two weeks. Is this normal or am I missing something? Thanks.

Be Well, Be Happy and Prosper.
Best Regards, Jon (aka: Wise Tioga)

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Jim Hillier
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November 10, 2009 - 3:15 am
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Hey Jon - Thanks for the update on MSE mate....much appreciated.

On not receiving any update notices; Two weeks would not be unusual. Microsoft generally release Windows updates on the second Tuesday of each month...so there is often a fair gap. It seems you have landed right in the middle and the next lot of updates (if any) should be released tomorrow.

Also, you can manually check to see if there are any updates available at any time. Just go to StartAll ProgramsWindows Updates and when the page finishes loading hit the 'Express' button to see if there are any high priority updates available. Optional updates can be checked by clicking on the 'Custom' button.

Cheers and beers......JIM

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WiseTioga
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November 11, 2009 - 12:17 am
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Hey Jim;

Thanks for the usual quick responce and good information. Guess what? When I fired up the old notebook this A.M. there was a notification from MS with a listing of 61, that's right 61, updates they think that I need if my computer is to survive the coming weeks. Some are so hugh (51.7 Mb, 45.6 Mb, etc.) that I'm just going to forget them. A lot are under 1 Mb (mostly security patches) so I guess I'll download them. A couple are for Active X . Do I need to mess with those??

Take care and as always thanks for the good info.

Regards,
Jon

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Jim Hillier
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November 11, 2009 - 5:01 pm
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Hey Jon - 61 updates!!!!!! That's a lot of updates mate...

I can understand why you are reluctant to download them all....are they all 'High-Priority' updates??

Do the large updates mention any association with installed software...e.g. Microsoft Office??

The Active X updates should be installed, [i:c0mf6zrx]however[/i:c0mf6zrx] they may be to do with IE6. I would not go ahead with anything until you have updated your browser. If you upgrade to IE8 you are likely to no longer require some of the updates currently listed but need some extra ones pertaining to IE8.

Upgrade to IE8, reboot the machine and then check the updates again.

Cheers mate.....JIM

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WiseTioga
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November 11, 2009 - 6:30 pm
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Thanks Jim;

I'll update my browser to IE-8 as per your suggestion then see what the Auto Update List shows. Most of the smaller updates (300 Kb to 475 Kb) were Security Updates for Win XP and I'll go ahead and download those. Then I'll take a better look at what's left.

Now I've never delt with MS's Auto Update before so could you please fill me in on what to expect before I go ahead and do it? Does the program automaticily download and install them where they belong? Or do I have to decide that? (Not sure I would know where to put them if that's the case)

Any help greatly appreciated.

Best Wishes & Thanks
Jon

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Jim Hillier
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November 11, 2009 - 8:28 pm
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Hey Jon - Sounds like a good plan mate!!!

Yep, once you decide which updates you want, Windows Updates will just download and install everything in all the right places...user involvement/input is not needed. More often than not, especially after installing a lot of updates, you may need to restart the computer. When the installation is completed if you get a message to 'Restart Now' to finish applying the updates. Just reboot the machine and ...all done.

cheers mate....JIM

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OldElmerFudd
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January 19, 2010 - 9:06 pm
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I won't go into my rant on MSE again. It can be found by, quite frankly, searching my posts.

However, if it's been independently certified and ranked, then I will quietly watch the world slide into the world of Cyberdyne.

I mean...Microsoft.

I will point out that those small downloads typically mean that they download the full program during the system setup, masking the true size of the download. Not sure if that's the case with MSE or not.[/quote:jp4kuzzu]

Cyberdyne? The damage's already been done. It's Skynet that's got me watching for black helicopters. Uh oh, gotta run!

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