The current darling of the antivirus solutions, NOD32 from eSet, seems to have had a problem recently. It decided that some core Windows files were virus infected, and quarantined them, making the computers unbootable. Not the best thing to do with something that people actually pay for.

Well, everybody has a bad day sometimes, but then antivirus solutions are like heart surgeons, you don’t want the mistake to happen to you.

Lately, I have become increasingly upset at the antivirus of choice in use here at Crackerbox Palace, AVG Free. Certainly the price is right, but it’s getting very upsetting to tell the application that a known good file is fine, and then the very next time I do anything in the directory where that file resides, I again get a stoppage of my work, when the program pops up yet another warning box.

The free version has a way to force the program to discontinue popping up the box, by telling it, in the form of a whitelist, that the files it’s complaining about are alright. The trouble is, it does not work. Not in the least. Not one iota.

Because that behavior was so annoying, and because the memory footprint was getting to be a bit much as well, I decided to try something else. I had tried F-Prot, with the idea that if it worked well, I would, of course, pay for it. I found out one day that if anything happens where the machine needs to be booted into safe mode, F-Prot (as of the revision from about 3 months ago) won’t let that occur. Oops.

As I’ve said before, when I have problems on customer’s machines, I have no problems, but when the machine in question is mine, I get frustrated and angry fast.

So last night I uninstalled AVG Free, assisted by  Revo Uninstaller, which is, as the English are fond of saying, brilliant! It is very good at removing all the little bits left by bad program uninstallers. I then installed Avira, which is rated by many as superior to AVG on several fronts.

All went well, and Avira does have a smaller memory footprint than AVG 8.5. The software must use the Kaspersky virus definitions, however, because the initial run flagged the very same files that AVG had. These are known good files, and notes, several times, to AVG yielded nothing in the way of change.

The good thing about Avira, is that when I unflagged the files, and told the program not to bother me unless there is a further change to the files, took my word for it – so no more pop ups, annoying me and deflecting my attention from my work.

So far so good, and the annoying behavior is also lessened because the scan time is reduced as well. (This was timed, and so it is not impression, and not an incredibly large change, but about 20% faster.)

It looks as though Avira might be the ticket for free solutions, and perhaps I’ll upgrade if the paid version has enough in upgraded features to justify it. Time will tell.

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palin_2012 the bottom line brings it home.

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