Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/181342/whats-the-best-antivirus-and-how-do-i-choose-one/
There are a huge amount of antivirus programs to choose from, so how do you find the best one? Do you use what came with your computer or what your friend recommended? How do you know if it’s any good?
You may not need an A/V solution to protect yourself... but if you don't have an A/V and you send me an infected file that boogers up my Windoze box, I'm coming after you with a blowtorch and a rusty knife.
True, wasn't there an incident sometime back when Gawker apologized for exactly that? BTW you forgot Comodo. A full fledged Internet Security Suite. (not connected in anyway to Comodo) -)
I can't believe Hoffman said that, "You don’t need an antivirus on a Mac." Seriously? I thought he was brighter than that. Until a couple of years or so ago, that was true, but only because Mac had such a low market share, hackers preferred to go after the far more plentiful, thus more lucrative, Windows machines. The fact is, Macs can get viruses and have done so in recent years, viruses such as the Imuler Trojans and the flashback Trojan that caught around 600,000 Mac users with their cyber pants down. With Mac's market share increasing and Windows becoming a bit tougher to infect, hackers are turning to Macs and their unwary users who labor under the misconception that Macs don't need Antivirus protection.
I use Comodo Antivirus and it is from Comodo the interesting software company that has created a number of very good free and for sale programs. Comodo AV is available fo both Mac and Linux. The AV has a single process that will ramp up and down about every 5 minutes or so that may have an impact on normal browsing from time to time, I am just not yet sure but I think it may be related to Flashplayer. Overall, I have had a couple of annoying false positives but absolutely no missed intrusions. The options in it can seem intimidating, especially to the newbie but with a bit of patience and persistence this is a very powerful and capable free AV solution.
Sorry for the crufty links but that is the way they are.
Comodo offer 2 browsers, one based on Firefox called Ice Dragon and the other Dragon based on Chromium. Both are completely free and will offer several optional components such as DNS change for either your system or just the browser and a couple of custom addons to help with reducing tracking and phishing. The Dragon browser, unlike Chrome, doesn't report back to Google as to what you have been doing. I have used both for different purposes and can report that they work as well as their cousins and have no found incompatibilities.
As long as you avoid downloading torrents and using Java, you don't need an antivirus on the Mac.
The one big infection on Mac was a Trojan botnet that came via pirated software. Java has some problems as well and should be avoided in the browser.
I mean, I have barely ever used antivirus on Windows without having an issue. (And yes, I have scanned my drive so I know I was clean)
The unpopular fact is that viruses are not what they used to be. Antivirus and security has been marketed into everybody's brain, but the reality is something different: almost all malware these days is either botnet or money related, and most comes because people download crap they shouldn't. (A small number comes from browser plugin holes).
And almost all spyware is ignored by antivirus software, which will let you install nonsense like Conduit search without stopping you. Even malwarebytes and superantispyware won't stop you from installing much of it.
Over the next few months we will be running some pretty shocking articles related to malware. Reality is not what you think it is.
Panda Cloud free! Light on resources. No nags!. Installs its own firewall. Not being the absolute best is (for me) more than compensated for by virtue of these attributes.
Then do a weekly online scan elsewhere. I use Housecall.
Finally, a weekly full backup in event something gets by both of them (and Superantispyware and AdvancedSystemCare and Glary and System Mechanic and SlimCleaner). I'm not paranoid or nothing, but have really had some really bad experiences despite trying to be careful - which is why I found How To Geek. Full reinstalls are not fun, and refresh is certainly much more unpleasant than I thought it would be - it was my main reason for going to W8 and it is a great disappointment. RecimManager from Slimware is a big, big improvement over refresh, but adds about 7 to 8 Gb of usage on C drive, so I just have the program standing by to use if restoring to backup fails.
Small wonder this forum has gone south, with the forum owner and a major contributor spouting irresponsible nonsense like this. Granted, the Lowell and Chris have forgotten more about computers than I will ever know but even an old geek wannabe like me knows better than this.
It's nonsense like this and the arrogance I see from management here that has contributed to the loss of many old members and attracted so many of the idiots that frequently show up here. I've been asked what happened to me here on the forum; now you know. I was visiting the home page for the occasional article I found interesting but if this kind of irresponsible stupidity is what I have to look forward to, forget it!
Picture this: You've got a Mac or a Linux rig. Someone emails you an extremely interesting article that just happens to have an embedded dropper. In fact, it's so interesting that you forward it to a hundred of your friends, family and peers... the overwhelming majority of whom run Windoze. It (of course) doesn't infect you, but since you, in all your arrogance, don't have an anti-virus solution running on your device, you just became a 21st century equivalent of Typhoid Mary. Congratulations! You're part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The common wisdom is just wrong, and I plan to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I'm so fed up with all the myths and lies out there.
Whenever you talk to "computer people" they'll go on about manual defragging, driver updaters, always using anti-virus, using cleaner applications, and even registry cleaners or crazy things like memory optimizers. They look at the available RAM and don't understand that unused RAM is just wasted RAM. The Windows page file is not a bad thing and should not be disabled.
We've tried over the years to illustrate that these things are almost always nonsense. (apps like ccleaner or disk cleanup can be useful in certain circumstances). But we inevitably have dozens of people disagreeing with us and calling us crazy.
As long as you don't download nonsense from shady sources, you don't need antivirus on a Mac.
This would only work if you have an insecure plugin loaded in your browser like Java, and in my experience, anti-virus doesn't catch zero day threats to begin with, which is why they are called zero day.
So your claim is that the scenario I proposed absolutely, positively, 100% cannot happen? You're claiming that it is purely impossible for a Mac user to ignorantly propagate an infection that could have been halted with a viable anti-virus solution in place? 100% impossible?
I used to pay for antivirus software every year but I stopped doing that a couple of years ago as I just didn't see the point, I did pay for a cheap one off lifetime licence for Malwarebytes pro and I run that alongside Defender (on Win 8), yes defender is not great but all I need is something basic right now. I pay for all my PC games from services like Steam, all the other software is either paid or open source and I never use "cracked" apps or games, along with safe browsing habits like disabling Java and running adblock plus and Noscript in Firefox is really enough for me... to be honest my Windows laptop is only really used for playing games and using Office.
When it comes to web browsing I'm usually on my Nexus 5 or iPad and the biggest threat for me is being snooped on an open wifi network or phished, and the only real defence for that is using brains. It's next to impossible to get a virus on iOS and even Android if you avoid suspicious apks
I never said it 100% cannot happen ever, and you know that.
I'm saying that anti-virus isn't going to stop it most the time, and most of the trouble that people these days are having with malware is not in the form of "viruses", but adware and spyware, which almost all of the anti-virus software just ignores and happily tells you that your computer is clean.
Almost zero "hackers" are writing "viruses" these days -- they are writing malware that spies on you, shows you ads, and in some cases, hijacks your computer. It's all financially motivated.
I never tried Panda, but I ran an extensive virus test and HouseCall found only 4/10 viruses on my VirtualBox VM, I was using the EICAR virus test file, and compressed it with 7-ZIP and the built-in Windows .zip compressor. I used Advanced SystemCare for a while, but version 7 feels to me more like bloatware than anything else. Same with Glary Utilities version 4. Right now I'm just using Bitdefender, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit BETA, and CCleaner. I haven't had a problem yet.
Question, how do you feel about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO? I know you've said in the past that Malwarebytes is good, but what about their PRO version? I also know that you don't recommend paying for antivirus software, but Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program, and the PRO version adds some nice features, like real-time protection. Is it worth the $25?
Yes, I do know that. But you DID say:
As long as you avoid downloading torrents and using Java, you don't need an antivirus on the Mac.And my personal belief is that such a statement is simply not true.
If ten percent of the global population were immune to HIV, it still wouldn't be acceptable for them to engage in unprotected sex. Just because your Mac is immune to malicious code does not prevent you from inadvertently spreading it to others. Perhaps you, yourself, wouldn't, but you, yourself, are just one among tens of millions, and we can't count on the other 99.9998% of them to practice safe computing at your level.
Ok, I have MBAM PRO, as well as Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit BETA on all of my PCs, but I was wondering if I should recommend it to others.
Liar! Snoop a little harder.
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