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My AV travels have led me here, confused and angry. Last year, I switched from AVG free to Avast! free because of AVG's over-reaching past being an AV product and its big footprint. This past spring, I opted to go with ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite because I wanted the pro ZA firewall and the AV came along with it. I switched back to Avast! when ZA failed to detect the Induc virus in a timely fashion and then reversed course when something snuck through Avast!. Things were going adequately until I found myself stuck with a corrupted ZA, running two scanningprocess.exe files. So, I got rid of it, installed an old Kerio Personal Firewall and then opted to try Avira. That failed out of the box, finding DOZENS of infected files that had passed muster with both ZA and with ESET's on-line scanner. Back to Avast! I thought. Well, no for that too. Suddenly everything was infected with vitro. I did a search and discovered Malwarebytes was supposed to cure it. I installed Malwarebytes and it found 13 infected files in my 2.5 TB of storage, none of which were vitro. I uninstalled Avast! and now currently have JUST Malwarebytes running.

I have absolutely NO misconceptions that I am adequately protected. One AV product, pro or not, is inadequate. What I'd like to know, is there a mix available? Are there any free AV products out there that can be installed as scan-only, so that I can double test positives (for false positive checking) and double-scan, so that I can get the greater coverage?

Right now, I am using XPSP3 on a 4G duo core machine. Will be getting Win7 quad core with 20G of memory in the very near future.

Failing a mix, I'm leaning towards NOD32 professional. I haven't tried it, because it has a bit of a rep as not getting along with others. But I'm tired of doing the AV mambo, looking for better results. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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4 Answers 4

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here's some "SCAN only" AV software, take your pick.

a-squared Commandline Scanner is my virus scanner of choice, there is a GUI variant too, a-squqred Free. the reason? it is incredibly fast and highly efficient (free for personal use)

ClamWin is another program that fits the bill.

A2CMD and ClamWin are portable, you can run them from a USB stick, which is particularly helpful when dealing with a compromized system.

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I will check out a-squared. I had found ClamWin before and remembered its updates lagging a bit. Time to update my impressions. Thanks. –  Gary M. Mugford Nov 10 '09 at 9:05

ClamWin is great for stand alone scanning and I also agree that Microsoft Security Essentials is a good active scanner (helps with spyware and virus). Running two things together never works out well though.

If you are getting infected so badly and so regularly, you may want to delve into how you are getting infected. Perhaps it would be best to setup a sandbox environment using a virtual solution to help protect you if it's file downloads that are doing it to you - or toughen up your internet security if it's your browsing. It may also be more of a spyware issue than a virus issue which Microsoft Security Essentials will help with but many AV program won't - you'll need dedicated programs for that function (Malwarebytes and SpyBot come to mind).

If necessary, it may be best to switch to an OS that has a limited virus avenue like Linux or OS X and running any PC requirements via virtual solution.

Without knowing more details about why or how you are getting infected more regularly then I can't really say for sure if ANY scanning solution would help you.

If you provide some more details perhaps we can come up with a solution for you.

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I collate date in many varied formats to produce a historical record for decision-making. I'm trying to fine-tune my predictive analysis for my roto sports teams and looking to quantify HOW I make my decisions. This leads to better review of what I did right and what I did wrong as I try to uncover my own statistical biases. This results in accumulating a LOT of files from a lot of sources. I AM using NoScript with Firefox, but stuff is obviously getting through. Given the time spent spelunking for data, I don't think I actually get hit all that often, comparatively speaking. –  Gary M. Mugford Nov 10 '09 at 9:02
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If you are already using Firefox and NoScript as well as an AV solution and you are still getting hit then I don't think any scanning function will solve the problem for you. I think one of the other options would work best - perhaps do your searching in a virtual environment - maybe VirtualBox with Ubuntu for a free solution - and only transfer information to your working environment (not files). That would be the cheapest solution for a sandbox environment that can be reset if necessary. –  Insomnic Nov 10 '09 at 16:29

Even 10 antivirus products will not be adequate to protect you from the latest threats. Strip yourself of administrative privileges, turn on Windows Update, backup your data, and don't do stupid things. Just keep one lightweight antivirus (such as Microsoft Security Essentials) running in the background as a last resort, and you'll be fine. Installing more than one antivirus program will do nothing but degrade your computer's performance. On top of that, you'll get a false sense of security, which is potentially more dangerous than not having an antivirus.

Basically, I wouldn't worry about it. :)

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I run as a power user, my OS is up to date and I keep full data backups on three different computers in my home network. I run through a router with all passwords changed and use NoScript with Firefox. No, I'm not stupid about what I am doing. What I AM doing is data-mining for a personal project and end up with lots of files of unknown origin. Files sit in a to-be-used bin for a week before touching them. Despite my precautions, things have gotten through. I wish to minimize the small amount that I don't catch (leaving aside the fact that some are false positives). That's all. –  Gary M. Mugford Nov 10 '09 at 9:09
    
Can you wait for at least a month before opening the files? That way you can be certain that the virus has been added to antivirus databases. In your case, I think doing all this in a virtual machine makes the most sense, as Insomniac suggested. Otherwise, there really isn't anything you can do. –  Sasha Chedygov Nov 10 '09 at 21:48

The only "mix" I know of is G-Data Antivirus (formerly Antivirenkit (German) or Antiviruskit), which combines the scanning engines of two other commercial antivirus programs. Needless to say, it's not lightweight and neither is it free, but you can download a trial version, and it does have a very high detection rate.

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