I get to use a lot of different programs to protect Windows computers from viruses and unwanted programs like spyware and malware and such, and here are some of the experiences I've had with them. Draw your own conclusions, but to me, at the moment, ESET NOD32 is the solution that I recommend for people to use. Yes it costs money, but the free programs are pretty shitty.


AVG Antivirus Free 2011/2012/2013/2014

Years ago, AVG antivirus used to be decent. But it's gone downhill so hard in 2013 that I'm completely done with it, I remove AVG Antivirus Free wherever I find it, and replace it with ESET NOD32. You might wonder why. I've always been quite annoyed by AVG Secure Search, which blatantly replaces any means to reach Google with their own little implementation of Google, but with their own shitty interface and useless search results. And then there's the problems I get with AVG where people can't receive certain attachments in mail, or crashes programs in memory, things that the other antivirus solutions don't do. There's also a browser bar that gets installed without my wishing it so, and it just basically makes your computer very annoying to use. And well, whenever I remove AVG and install the ESET software, the ESET program still finds shitloads of viruses and malware. And that while AVG has been running full scans regularly. It just doesn't see them as a threat. The same goes for aVast!, really. It just leaves them alone. ESET finds them and removes them. Also, there is a rather funny incident where I had AVG Antivirus Free on my cellphone and it found ITSELF as 'intrusive adware'. Yeah, I'll agree with that!

Trololol, AVG detects itself as an unwanted application



aVast! Antivirus

Whenever I've used it I felt like it wasn't doing its job very well, and it was being an annoying bitch too, playing a loud voice stating that your antivirus has been updated. I don't need a fancy antivirus program that talks to me and wastes system resources with eye-candy and voices. Sure, you can disable it, but meh. Also, same as with AVG, when I removed aVast! and installed ESET, it still found stuff and was able to remove it, where aVast! and AVG were like "all clean!". Bullshit. Also, aVast! has some VPN thing built-in that's pretty much a straight rip from the open source project OpenVPN, but instead of having the drivers tweaked to avoid a collision with the open source program itself, it uses the same driver name. So, running both can cause you issues that could easily have been avoided. Other than that, I guess aVast! is great.


McAfee Antivirus

Goddamnit McAfee, stop trying to make McAfee happen, it's not going to happen! It seems like every bit of software I download from the internet gets me McAfee Security Scan installed. For that reason alone, I'm staying far away from McAfee!


Norton Internet Security

Meh, I guess it's okay, if you prefer to lose 50% of your system resources to your antivirus solution. It's like the damn thing loads its own operating system within your operating system just to do its job. It also just loves to bug you about everything you do. Like seriously, EVERYTHING you do. Oh you're opening your email! *security pop-ups all over your screen*. Yegh. I suppose Norton software is doing its job but it's got so much frills and ballast around it that it just seems like you're sacrificing your system to antivirus instead of just being able to use it properly.


Microsoft Security Essentials

Haha! Ha! Hehe, don't use this. It's better to toss your computer into a fire than to trust MSE to solve your antivirus problems for you.


ESET NOD32 Antivirus

Clean, unobtrusive, does its job. Doesn't interfere with what you do on your system and gives you clear options to resolve issues (just 'leave' or 'clean'). Sure, it does popups in the bottom-right corner of the screen to let you know when an update has been done, but you can easily disable that in the interface. The GUI interface by the way is optional, you can switch that off too and save more resources. My experience has been that this antivirus program actually prevents viruses and unwanted programs BEFORE they are able to get on your system, instead of what most of the solutions above do - just let them in and detect them afterwards. For example, I prefer the program PDFCreator to create PDF files, and it comes loaded with unwanted adware. With ESET, the PDFCreator installation program will start fine, and when it gets to the point where the adware is offered, ESET blocks it and warns me about it - but the installation procedure for PDFCreator itself continues just fine, but minus the adware. Other antivirus programs either allow the adware in without a warning or hitch, or they block the entire installation without any kind of warning or message, which is annoying, or they block it completely and you're left to find another solution. ESET strikes exactly the right balance; keep the good stuff, block the bad stuff.


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