Can I trust AntiVira Av?

Jacqui February 23, 2011
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Since I’ve purchased the AntiVira Av from Windows, do I need to renew my subscription for Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security?

  1. Paul @ PMB Enterprises, L.L.C.
    March 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Over 90% of the machines that come into my shop are found to be infected with malware, in some cases the client not even aware theirs is. The majority of these were running all the brands mentioned here. A study done last year stated that on average AV programs available today are about 65% effective -- not much better than a coin toss. This reflects what I have always stated to my clients: your first line of defense is between your ears, and when that fails your AV program should come to your rescue. My recommendations come from years of professional treatment of PCs, but of course is still subjective and cannot be considered sole remedy.

    I install Avast Free Version on clients' cleaned PCs with a strong recommendation to upgrade to the paid version for better protection. In the past two years, I have only had two clients come back with infections their AV couldn't remove -- both were self-inflicted wounds from not listening to my advise on how to stay safe.

    Reasons for using Avast:

    - Avast is light armor where is counts. It's fast. The system reacts quickly to attacks because it isn't overburdened with an intrusive, top-heavy protection scheme that often is the reason attacks sneak by.

    - Avast offers Scheduled Boot-time Scanning. The thinking is the scanning is taking place before Windows has loaded the complete operating system, before stealthy infections have awakened. This will not always work, but it has saved many of my clients from a return trip to my shop.

    - Avast is the only AV that has effective virtualization: "sandbox technology." Komodo's offering has received many complaints from users for being ineffective and troublesome.

    - Avast scanners can be stopped for a time period or until rebooted. This a critical feature when scanning the system with Combofix or doing a defragmentation/optimization of the system files.

    - In the latest version 6, definition updates are instigated and completed in seconds after the desktop comes to life. Nice.

    - Cost. The authors have been able to keep the cost of a paid version to where most anyone can justify and afford to opt for the best protection and pay for it. If you want people to buy your product, price it right. They have.

    Keep in mind that there is no AV offering that can guarantee to keep your PC safe. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or worse yet, 'living' in places where infections are bread and wait for their victims, will surely get your PC in trouble.

    Rogue applications, especially AV promising ones, are in fact a form of malware infection. There are many hundreds out there with names designed to be close to those that are legitimate. Some can be uninstalled. Most can't without programs like Malwarebytes or Combofix doing the fixing.

    Some AV applications cannot be uninstalled completely. One reason I give AVG low marks is that it is the epitome of uninstallable applications. Reinstalling to remove does not remove all the components. Symantec/Norton and McAfee have their own uninstallers, which can be found through search on the Web. Installing a new AV without completely removing active components of others will cause all the problems Tiny has mentioned here and can cause the one last installed to become crippled.

    A word of caution on FIDELIS's recommendation to use beeepingcomputer.com: Combofix is not an application set to be used by individuals without the skill and knowledge of the Windows system. It is a professional application that assumes you know what you are doing and there are no in-depth instructions for its proper use. I do NOT recommend this to everyone.

    I owe no allegiance to Avast and I would drop the product in a heartbeat if I found something that did better everything that it does so well. For the past two years it has been my choice, based on preferences and real-world results, personally and professionally.

  2. FIDELIS
    February 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Hello, if it is Antivira AV you need to uninstall it because it is a rogue malware. For more information and how to remove it, check the following link:
    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-antivira-av

  3. Aibek
    February 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Hey Jacqui,

    What is the website you purchased the antivirus from? Was it from avira.com? I just wanted to clarify that there is a good antivirus called 'Avira' but NOT 'Avira AV'. As Tina pointed out the 'Avira AV' is a fake antivirus program and not related to 'Avira'.

    You should remove it immediately. Let us know if you need any assistance with removal. As Josh pointed out it can be pretty difficult to get rid of such craplets.

  4. Josh Fox
    February 24, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Tina's right on all parts here. I would like to add something though. Fake antivirus programs can be the worst to deal with because some will essentially hold your computer hostage by locking it down to a point where it's unusable and then ask you to pay in order to remove the virus it put on your computer. You should always choose an antivirus that you've researched or already know of. Especially when you see one pop up out of nowhere.

    As for free solutions, I've been recommending Microsoft Security Essentials, which is listed on the page Tina linked to. It really surprised me with its performance and capability.

  5. Tina
    February 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Jacqui,

    AntiVira Av is a fake antivirus software. So the answer to your question is that you definitely need another antivirus program.

    If you have been happy with Trend Micro PC-chillin, then by all means do renew it. However, you should know that there is free software out there that can protect you just as good. Please see our The Best Of: Windows Software page for our recommendations.

    BUT you should never install more than one antivirus program at the same time!!! Before you install a new antivirus program, make sure you remove a previously installed antivirus software. This is how you do it:
    1. Download the new program.
    2. Physically disconnect your computer from the internet.
    3. Uninstall the old program (> Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs).
    4. Then install the new antivirus tool.
    5. Finally reconnect to the internet and run virus definition updates.
    This is the securest way to switch antivirus programs.

    As for AntiVira Av, you have to remove it! Please follow this guide. Good luck.

    • fruitgeek
      February 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Why is it such a big deal to never install more than one legitimate antivirus program? I on my Windows partition (I have bootcamp), I have Avast, Malwarebytes, and Microsoft Security Essentials. I assumed that having programs from different companies increased the chance that a virus would be found if I had one- since they use their own databases. Could you explain this please?

      • Tina
        February 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Actually, Microsoft Security Essentials is an exception. You can have it installed along with a second antivirus program. Malwarebytes is not an antivirus software.

        The problem is that antivirus programs protect essential system files. If two programs end up trying to protect the same files in real-time (as opposed to just scanning), this most certainly will cause a conflict. Moreover, the programs may identify each other as a virus and attempt to block each other.

        Apart from that, antivirus programs are resource intensive and running more than one means giving up a lot of extra resources.

        • fruitgeek
          February 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm

          Thanks. I knew of some of these issues but not all. What sort of conflicts does it cause? I've done this on a few different computers in the past but none of them seemed to have any conflicts that adversely affected the system. Also, why isn't Malwarebytes an antivirus software? Aren't the terms malware and viruses largely interchangeable?

        • Tina
          February 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm

          Well, my guess is that you co-installed antivirus tools that don't offer real-time monitoring and protection of system files, but just passive scanning of files in the background. Either that or the software you used allows multiscanning. However, these programs are usually not free.

          The conflicts are caused when two programs are trying to protect critical system files at the same time. This usually locks up the computer. I made this mistake once a long time ago (Norton and another program I don't remember)...

          The free version of Malwarebytes is a removal tool. It doesn't protect you from virus / malware infections, but it assists in finding and removing them. Only the paid version offers real-time protection.

          The main characteristic of antivirus programs is the prevention and protection of infections, although they can also remove viruses. Also, they are not limited to just addressing viruses anymore, most will detect worms, trojan horses, rootkits, and other malware.

          A little more information can be found in this Wikipedia article.

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