6. NOD32 v 3.0.669.0
; Fast on-demand scanner and 100% ITW detection of viruses over at Virus Bulletin for several years now ( it's number 1 in the ranking). NOD has a low system impact, only 2 running processes in memory using 19-35mB. It has an excellent, easy to use GUI and there is good support over at Wilders, particularly by the very able Blackspear and HiTech_boy. There have been big changes throughout version 2/3's release, including better trojan detection, spyware detection, improved heuristics, a better unpacking engine, an HTTP scanner and a separate scanner, DMON, for Office files. One of the most improved Antivirus programs of late. Frequent updates. One of the best heuristic AV scanners with very few false positives. Now has Anti-Stealth technology and is Vista compatible.Disadvantages
; Being a small company, Eset's direct support can be patchy and some problems can take a long time to resolve. As opposed to most other AV's, it relies heavily on heuristics rather than signatures, and total database is unknown outside the Company. At times the Servers can give problems, particularly during large updates and the message is given that the program is up to-date when in fact the Servers are maxed out! Adds malware on a priority basis, so if new threat is not detected heuristically, users can be waiting longer for a fix compared to other AV's. In NOD 3 the HTTP filtering has been moved to a proxy which breaks firewall and adblocking setups. For this reason and several others, lots of users have reverted back to version 2.
7. VBA32 v. 220.127.116.11
This AV from Belarus has been around since 1997 but is very new to the "English" marketAdvantages
; Only 1 running process taking up about 21MB memory. Very lightweight, and if the "Scan only new files" is selected, the RTM runs even lighter. Now has a background scanner to cover this potentially weaker protection setting. Very strong heuristics, confirmed by a recent test over at av-comparatives. Very stable. Support from Belarus and the official forum have been superb. New additions to database are added at a very fast rate. Updates are very small and incremental.Disadvantages
; Has yet to be entered at a range of AV testing sites so its detection rate is at the present time not very clear. However, recent tests over at av-comparatives ( August, 2006 and February, 2007) suggests that zoo malware detection by the on-demand scanner is behind most of the better known commercial AV's. Also can give a high number of false positives with the highest heuristic settings, ( but this setting is not the default and is not recommended for general use ). On-demand scanning is very slow, when compared to other AV's, even when thorough mode is not selected. GUI could be better set out, and is a little rough in places and it has no scheduler. Problems with obtaining a demo/trial-key have been reported with emails not getting through.
Forum is excellent for quick replies with Dan_M and Mitya being particularly helpful; URL-http://vba32.de/wbb2/index.phphttp://www.anti-virus.by/en/
Price=$23.60.Other AV Considerations
All of the AV programs I have listed are commercial software, as in general they offer better protection than the free alternatives and much better support.
However, there are a number of freeware products, AntiVir, AVG, Avast and Rising AV which are definitely worth considering as alternatives. At the present time, however, I would not recommend AntiVir Classic as IME, their Servers are not as available or as fast as the Premium Servers; a fact which is magnified when on dial-up.
Any of the AV programs I have listed will give you good protection and just as important they will keep your computer up to speed. After all what's the point of using the 'best' AV detector on the market if it brings your machine(s) to a standstill. All of these AV's have run without any slowdowns on my
computers and are particularly recommended for the older system. But don't forget to trial the AV first as it may be incompatible with your software/hardware
Of the AV's listed, I have generally tweaked the settings to try and obtain the best results for balancing performance and protection. NOD32 and AntiVir are the only AV's in real-time that showed virtually no performance slowdown when set to scan ALL files
. All other AV Guards were set to scan by extension/format or to process new or changed files only as an ALL file setting would show a slight slowdown.
But remember, an Antivirus program is only one part of your layered defense system. Even then, common sense, a good firewall, a non-IE browser, a sandBox and/or a HIPS can reduce the risk of threats considerably. Overall, any AV by itself cannot give you TOTAL protection.
Edited by Blackcat, 16 July 2008 - 03:22 PM.