Antivirus / Antimalware Catch-All Thread

I was looking for an appropriate recent thread to post this, but failing that, I figured a virus/malware catch-all thread was appropriate.

The founder/CEO of MalwareBytes has just done an AMA on Reddit, answering some interesting questions. (Did not realize the guy was 23 years old. Geez.)

One thing I found interesting is that he seems to think very highly of Avast and less so about MSE. Interesting.

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Previous virus/malware threads:
Antivirus: Is MSE still a top option? Any supplemental software you can recommend?
Virus?
Thoughts on anti-virus on public computers
Virus scanner recommendations
AVG and other free antivirus programs
Microsoft Security Essentials

Yeah, apparently Avast! has really got its game on lately and MSE's accuracy has dropped a fair bit. It's still more than enough for the average user but even in the free space, there appear to be better options now. I find security software is a lot like wine in that they all have good and bad years.

It probably has to do with popularity.... MSE was very good when it came out, so it became very popular. So then all the malware authors knew they had to evade or disable MSE. So, now, MSE isn't as good anymore.

In that business, success leads to failure.

Well, looking at AV Comparatives, the latest File Detection test has Avast ranking in the top tier, and MSE ranks middle tier.

MSE still is tops at fewest false positives, though, which is something.

I'm not going to rush to replace MSE on the few Windows systems I maintain for other people, and it's still good enough for my SteamOS partition since Steam software is all that gets installed there, but going forward, I may have to consider Avast. That is, unless you still have to do that "free license" thing every year still.

Is Avast still nagnagnagware though?

I'm curious about their deployment and updating procedures. If it's constantly asking for reboots to update their definitions like they (and to be fair, most others) used to, then I won't be switching from MSE until they really crap the bed. With our stuff spread all over the country it just wouldn't work.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Is Avast still nagnagnagware though?

My girlfriend's Dad recently installed it on a new laptop. It still has the overly flashy UI and the annoying sound effects (that you can thankfully turn off) but I don't think it requires you to obtain a key every so often to "re-register" it which is what I used to hate about it.

Those annoyances with Avast are annoying, but at least it's free.

I switched from MSE to Zonealarm for the better antivirus and the built in firewall. It nags me about once every couple of days if you put it in game mode. So all in all not bad. It also caught a couple of things that MSE seems to have missed as well.

Seems like all techies go for free solutions here. Is there no advantage to going Pro for Avast?

I just looked at the comparison of the different editions, I don't think there's no value there, just that anyone of technical aptitude will know how to get those features done anyway. That said, I'm sure market pressure has something to do with it, once one company puts out a competent free AV, everyone else has to. The alternative seems to be bundling, especially with retail/OEM or stuff like flash.