Anti-Virus 2016

The holiday season is approaching. You may find yourself thinking of taking advantage of sales and buying a new notebook or desktop for yourself or as a gift for someone.  One of the most important decisions is one of security. Most people turn to the already installed anti-malware/virus software already installed on a computer. While this is good for some people it can be a bit concerning for others. Some of the popular suites are popular for a reason. They make contracts and force their software onto your computer. The software then becomes a burden on your system and basically is malware itself. One popular software that comes to mind is Norton by Symantec.  I used to be a Norton user until I realized it was a burden on the system and would drastically slow down any computer it installed on. After a recommendation from a Microsoft employee during my participation in the Windows 7 beta I discovered Avast. It was free and blew away Norton and did not slow down the system.  While I strongly encourage everyone to switch to Avast for all your malware needs (it is free and beats out all the paid varieties in detection) this is not about pushing one software such as Avast.

Now, to get to the real value of this writing. The first thing I recommend when buying a cookie cutter computing device from a retail store is to uninstall the security suite. The problem is now it seems 2 are three are installed on new devices which is just a horrible idea altogether. I understand it is to give the end user a choice but in reality each software suite will tend to interact with the other and slow down the device more. Usually you find Norton, McAfee, and Kapersky. Think about this I have already mentioned Norton slows down a system. The conflicting interaction of each one will slow down a system also. Imagine the issue that results when three are installed and one of those is Norton. OUCH! I think this is a future sales tactic. Most people abandon a good machine and buy new, when their machine is still relevant. Uninstall them all and keep your machine. You don’t have to do this with a new machine you can do this with older models to keep them relevant. Thankfully there is a list of “Hey our software sucks, and here is the tool to completely remove it from your system. Including the files the basic uninstaller won’t remove.” There are a few of these lists but this is one. Find the security software installed on your computer and follow the link to the removal tool.

So now your computer is security free and vulnerable. So how do you find a new good software suite. That is where an independent antivirus anti-malware testing service comes in. Personally I use AV-test.org. They still recommend the “Brand name” suites (Norton, McAfee, Kapersky) and they have to be fair. Those anti virus suites can work well, if you pay the fee. Sometimes if you try to use them without paying for them they won’t secure your computer but instead let you know you have an infection and laugh at you for the lack of coverage. I digressed. If you bought a new computer or notebook it likely has Microsoft Windows 10 installed. Here is the most recent results of their independent AV tests for windows 10. I suggest finding a title on this list that is not a name you recognize. I find these to be very reliable and more secure. You could find software on your own, but when it comes to security I feel if it is not on this list DON’T TRUST IT! Again, in order to keep this as unbiased as possible I in no way recommend AVAST for its incredibly awesome and free anti malware abilities.

While people wait in lines to get the latest iOS device it is no doubt second in line to Android devices. You don’t need any special removal tool for Android. However, there is also a list for android devices. Here it is. On this list you will notice two software packages with low prediction (detection) scores and I might avoiding these to keep a high level of security. These two titles are NSHC and Webroot. I attribute this to a small field of packages for Android because these two do not register in the top software for Windows or Mac if they have a counter part for those systems. Again, I want to keep this unbiased and will not point out that Avast is also a top performer for Android.

I will briefly touch on MacOS (formerly Mac OSX). I look only at detection rates. You need to click or tap on an image to expand the ratings and this is where you will find those results. Again I will leave this unbiased but you can guess what I may point out here.

I set out to write an unbiased review of anti-malware and if you have caught on to the ironic humor there I do recommend above all others again this year Avast for your antivirus and anti-malware detection needs. Besides, if you like pirates then you already like Avast….

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