Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

I Answer A Common Question

Is antivirus “X” better than antivirus “Y”?

Both in my “real job” as a Support & Repair Tech, and as a World Renown Tech Blogger (Ahem), I am frequently asked about various programs folks can use to prevent computer infections, or clean up an infection up after “my teenage son/grandson downloaded something.” ¹

If I had a nickel for each of the times I have been asked “is antivirus “X” better than antivirus “Y”? ” and/or “which anti-spyware do you use, Paul?” it would have added up to a pretty nice pile of nickels.
Like.. maybe.. oh.. twenty gazillion dollars worth.

Identity Theft Yes. I get asked a lot. But I don’t mind and I don’t charge a nickel. Because there’s an organized, criminal enterprise bent on using the Internet to turn our PC’s into spam “bots” in a “botnet”, steal our personal information (“identities”), and are always hoping to hit the jackpot by recording a bank login and/or credit card number.

[Fact: Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade. The Internet shadow economy is worth over $105 billion/year.  No country, no person, no business and no government is immune from Cybercrime.]

I hate repeating myself, so I refer the askers to Top 10 things you should do to your computer and Basic Steps For Protecting Your PC. But they come back with, “yeah, yeah, yeah, but I want your private and personal recommendations.”

So.. always give the same baseline answer — if you connect a Windows computer to the Internet you should have:
1) a firewall turned on (just one).
2) an up-to-date antivirus (just one).
3) One up-to-date anti-spyware with “active shielding” (heuristics)
4) One “passive”, up-to-date, anti-spyware that you run once a week to catch what the other one misses.
5) A healthy stock of “paranoid common sense”. (No. You did not just win the Irish E-mail Lottery.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I want your private and personal recommendations.

Well, folks, Okay. I will tell you about a tool I use that I haven’t mentioned here before. It is an anti-malware scanner that I use on the job, and on several of my own machines. And I install it on the PC’s of my friends and family. And, I’ll tell you why — it’s simple and it’s effective.

Typically, I install the free version to use as a “passive” scanner. On the job, I use it as one of my “go to” detect-and-remove tools. And to my clients and friends, and since prevention is better, I reco’ that they purchase the Professional version so they can have the real-time (“active”) protection and auto-scheduling — set it and forget it. (Another reason I do this is because this tool “plays very nicely with others”.)
This has been true for years.

The program I’m about to name will be (um.. should be) familiar to my geekier readers, but many folks have never heard of it — it’s called SUPERAntiSpyware (aka “SAS”). I  am not going to run through it’s details here (this post is already lengthy) but instead refer you to this Bill Mullins article, SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – The Name Says It All!

I also want to say that I admire the people behind SAS, and they get a big tip of my geek hat. They are hard working and generous and they know their stuff. Their motto is “Remove ALL the Spyware, NOT just the easy ones” and I like that attitude!SAS_shrtcut_icon

Tip of the day: The good folks there at SAS have generously donated five Professional licenses to me, “lifetime” licenses no less, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing from folks who “enter” by posting a comment (below). The drawing will be held early next week, so act now.
Simply click on “comment”, and enter a name and valid e-mail in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but multiple entries will result in disqualification.

Today’s free download: Why not get a jump on the game and download a trial version of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional today.. you just might get an “activation” as a winner. And if not, you can either purchase (if you do, I advise getting the lifetime upgrade) or it will revert to the free version. Check it out here.

¹ I use quotes, because, well, that sounds a bit like “the dog ate my homework” to a tech.

[update: The contest ends today (Sept. 10th) at 12 noon, Pacific. Winners will be posted at 5pm.]

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 4, 2009 - Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, firewall, how to, Internet, PC, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Comments »

  1. I should get one just because I’m the first comment :)

    Like

    Comment by Dave Brooks | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. i win!

    Like

    Comment by zain | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] with the prevalence of hacking and cybercrime, let me offer you this quote from my good friend TechPaul, “The Internet shadow economy is worth over $105 billion/year.  No country, no person, no […]

    Like

    Pingback by Smart Meters Make Us Dumb « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. Nice article. I’m going to refer people to your Top 10 from now on, when I’m asked.

    Like

    Comment by Kirk | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  5. _

    Like

    Comment by Evan Tatarka | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  6. Well I am going to try this out since everything else you have recommended has been working great for me!

    Like

    Comment by Richard | September 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Richard,
      You are very kind to say that.

      SAS is one of the very few programs I reco’ considering the ‘for-pay’ version… and I use it everyday, so I am very confident you will find this one a ‘keeper’ too.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  7. TechPaul,

    What a great opportunity for your readers to get a terrific product at a “super” price.

    Bill

    Like

    Comment by Bill Mullins | September 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Mr. Mullins,
      Yes indeed it is. As you know, the folks at SAS can be very generous, and their product is “super”.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  8. Nice article! I’m entering the draw…

    Anyway, can I run SAS together with NOD32? Will they conflict with each other?

    Adrian

    Like

    Comment by Adrian | September 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Adrian,
      As I have mentioned, SAS is very compatible with other products. I am running it with Eset’s NOD32 (on a Vista Home Premium 32-bit) on the machine I am typing this with right now, as a matter of fact.

      The forums and FAQ’s at SAS are sure to have more on this, and questions like this.. and if not, you can post a question there. Maybe.. even get an answer from one of the engineers. They are very good at Support there.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 4, 2009 | Reply

  9. The stars must be aligned Paul! I was fortunate enough to win a lifetime license from Bill’s site. I finally got around to activating it tonight.

    I had been using the free version and can’t say enough good things. SuperAntiSpyware should be in everyone’s antiviral arsenal. I use it once a week to do a complete scan.

    Take care!

    Like

    Comment by g | September 4, 2009 | Reply

    • G,
      I read Bill Mullins every day so I saw your name listed in the winners — congrats on that fersher.

      I hope you will forgive me, but I am not going to count this as an entry in my drawing… Let’s give others a chance, okay?

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 5, 2009 | Reply

      • LOL paul! I figured I could win enough activation codes and have my own contest!!

        Like

        Comment by g | September 5, 2009 | Reply

        • G,
          I guess I really shouldn’t have “counted you out” simply because you had entered a different contest.. and if you were going to turn around and do a good deed…
          Okay. You’re entered.

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | September 5, 2009 | Reply

  10. I’m an AVG fan. Served me well through the years.

    What’s your take on this anti-virus software?

    Incidentally, I’m from the El Cheapo fraternity and only use the free version.

    Like

    Comment by James | September 5, 2009 | Reply

    • James,
      AVG was my first choice in AV’s all the way up to and including v7.5. I did not like v8.0, but find that v8.5 has eliminated most, if not all my complaints. I like the LinkScanner tool a lot.
      I also use (freeware):
      Avast!
      Avira
      PC Tools AV Personal Edition.

      For pay, I lean to Norton, Eset NOD32, and Kaspersky, and a few others.

      If you want to learn more about AV’s (and anti-malware products in general) and/or see how yours ranks currently — I have long respected Neil J. Rubenking (PC Magazine Labs).

      BTW — there is a strictly free version of SAS. It just doesn’t have the “active” component, nor scheduled scanning (so you have to remember to run it).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 5, 2009 | Reply

  11. I thought my Norton 360 ” all in one” covered everything, but I guess not.
    Thanks for this.

    Like

    Comment by Gaia | September 6, 2009 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      Norton 360 is a good product. But you always want to supplement your primary malware protection.
      (Malware = viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, adware, keyloggers, browser hijackers, crimeware, etc.)

      Here’s why: One product may be just fantastic at detecting worms and trojans, but not so good at detecting/removing rootkits and keyloggers; while another product is just fantastic at detecting/removing adware and browser hijackers.. for example. Also, modern malware is capable of “mutating” as it hops from machine to machine.

      So, your Norton 360 is fine as your primary, but you do want to come along every so often with another anti-malware just to see if any mutant has slipped past. This can be an onboard program, or you can visit an online scanner (or.. do both!).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  12. SuperAntiSpyware… Great Software!

    Folks, jump on this offer from TechPaul and get a chance to win a free copy. SuperAntiSpyware is on every PC I use!

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | September 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I couldn’t agree more.

      Folks, Rick knows a thing or two about computers! And he writes a terrific daily. Take a look.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 8, 2009 | Reply

  13. I should get it because I’m late and I pay dearly for one-care every year.

    Like

    Comment by Jay | September 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Jay,
      Due to “writer error”, I have extended the cutoff to noon tomorrow. So you are entered.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 9, 2009 | Reply

  14. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Margaret

    Like

    Comment by Margaret | September 15, 2009 | Reply

  15. Norton 360 is a good product. But you always want to supplement your primary malware protection.
    (Malware = viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, adware, keyloggers, browser hijackers, crimeware, etc.)

    Here’s why: One product may be just fantastic at detecting worms and trojans, but not so good at detecting/removing rootkits and keyloggers; while another product is just fantastic at detecting/removing adware and browser hijackers.. for example. Also, modern malware is capable of “mutating” as it hops from machine to machine.

    So, your Norton 360 is fine as your primary, but you do want to come along every so often with another anti-malware just to see if any mutant has slipped past. This can be an onboard program, or you can visit an online scanner (or.. do both!).

    I AGREE BRO..!!

    Like

    Comment by fadli | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  16. thank you for this nice Article.

    Like

    Comment by Obdulia Balmaceda | December 2, 2010 | Reply

    • Obdulia Balmaceda,
      I am glad you found my writing useful.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | December 2, 2010 | Reply


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