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post #1 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Getting a virus on my fresh new HTPC (once I build it in a week or two); this is a definite fear I have.


I was wondering this the other night. Should I install anti-virus on my Win 7 HTPC I am about to build? It is my first HTPC (EXCITING!) but I have no idea if I need protection for anti-virus, malware, spyware, etc. We will NOT be browsing on it. This rule has been heavily established, but there will be some Usenet access happening pretty constantly in the background... for... things... Is it better to be safe than sorry or will that software just cause my HTPC to be bogged down?

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post #2 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 08:22 AM
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Install Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and non-intrusive on Windows Media Center. If your PC has to connect to the internet for any reason whatsoever you should have an anti-virus program running. Some AV software, like Kaspersky, does a great job but tends to interfere with Media Center and constantly displays nag screens. You won't have this problem with MSE.
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post #3 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 08:23 AM
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+1 MSE.

There is a very lengthy thread on this issue somewhere here at AVS.
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post #4 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Will MSE work fine with XBMC as well? Does everyone on here tend to prefer WMC over XBMC? I hear talk of WMC much more it seems...

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #5 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

Will MSE work fine with XBMC as well? Does everyone on here tend to prefer WMC over XBMC? I hear talk of WMC much more it seems...

1. Yes,
2. About half the people on AVS use WMC in some form or fashion (link). If you want to use live TV its by far the best option currently.
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post #6 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 09:54 AM
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I can say with certainty that if you never get a virus/malware on your HTPC the best way to go is with no AV software. If you do get one MSE will likely catch & remove it with $0 cost to you and a small footprint on the HTPC.

I currently run machines both with and without AV software.

How is that for a definitive direction for you?smile.gif
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post #7 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 10:22 AM
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+1 MSE as well; several competent freebies out there, but MSE comes without the nagware, and with a very small footprint.
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post #8 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 11:13 AM
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+1 MSE. Now running on all the PC's in the house, including my main HTPC. Works like a dream.
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post #9 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 02:08 PM
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My strongest opinion is I WOULD NEVER run any computer that is hooked to the internet with out virus protection . With all the cheap or $0 cost choices out there today I think it is hap hazard to run with out one .

+1 for MSE ... I have also used Kasperski and it did a great job as well and very silent .
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post #10 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

Getting a virus on my fresh new HTPC (once I build it in a week or two); this is a definite fear I have.
I was wondering this the other night. Should I install anti-virus on my Win 7 HTPC I am about to build? It is my first HTPC (EXCITING!) but I have no idea if I need protection for anti-virus, malware, spyware, etc. We will NOT be browsing on it. This rule has been heavily established, but there will be some Usenet access happening pretty constantly in the background... for... things... Is it better to be safe than sorry or will that software just cause my HTPC to be bogged down?
Do you really think Usenet and downloading is safer than browsing?
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post #11 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 04:17 PM
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unless you are looking at some sketchy stuff like porn or stuff like that you do not need an AV. I have not used one in a long time, will run malwarebytes off a usb drive every now and then and other than picking up cookies it always comes out clean.
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post #12 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 07:19 PM
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If you will be on the internet for anything anti-virus is a must. I also like MSE, I have also used avast home and liked it also.
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post #13 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 07:24 PM
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Did I miss something? What's the downside to using something free and extremely lightweight like MSE?
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post #14 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 09:06 PM
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I've used MSE. Seems fine. But personally I like Norton Internet Security and find it completely inobtrusive running in the background. I run NIS and Windows Defender on all of my pcs (well, actually, I use Norton 360 on my wife's pc and laptops.)

I usually find Norton Internet Security 3-pc pack for around $19, and when I do, I buy several. It doesn't matter if you stock up because if you install, for example, 2010 you can immediately upgrade it to 2012.

I think a lot of people who don't like Norton are thinking of 5 years or more ago when it used to be bloated and a resource hog. It's really very good now and regularly wins "editors pick" in virus program reviews.

It runs on my htpc and I've never had it interfere with anything I was doing. Recording, playback or anything else.
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post #15 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I've used MSE. Seems fine. But personally I like Norton Internet Security and find it completely inobtrusive running in the background. I run NIS and Windows Defender on all of my pcs (well, actually, I use Norton 360 on my wife's pc and laptops.)
I usually find Norton Internet Security 3-pc pack for around $19, and when I do, I buy several. It doesn't matter if you stock up because if you install, for example, 2010 you can immediately upgrade it to 2012.
I think a lot of people who don't like Norton are thinking of 5 years or more ago when it used to be bloated and a resource hog. It's really very good now and regularly wins "editors pick" in virus program reviews.
It runs on my htpc and I've never had it interfere with anything I was doing. Recording, playback or anything else.

But is it better than free? wink.gif
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post #16 of 57 Old 06-17-2012, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

But is it better than free?

Valid question. Obviously cheap is still more than free.

It's just one of those things that if I've used something and it's worked and I haven't had any problems, then I tend to keep using it.

If they stopped making it tomorrow, (or started charging $50/pc/year or something), I'd use MSE next. I think MSE is a fine choice.
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post #17 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Valid question. Obviously cheap is still more than free.
It's just one of those things that if I've used something and it's worked and I haven't had any problems, then I tend to keep using it.
If they stopped making it tomorrow, (or started charging $50/pc/year or something), I'd use MSE next. I think MSE is a fine choice.

The last two times I bought NIS it was free after rebates, and this was for 3 computers. This was from Fry's & they have this sale every so often.

I've used different programs over the years. My HP desktop came with NIS so it was real easy to buy & activate a new subscription, especially for free. And that came packaged with Norton Ghost. This year I also got the 3 PC upgrade for free & just put one on the HTPC.
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post #18 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 01:23 AM
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MSE is built into Windows 8 as Windows Defender so it's going to be around for a long, long time. It's free, just use it.

Also download Malwarebytes and run it once a month just to make sure you don't have anything MSE didn't catch. It's about a 3 minute scan on my system.
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post #19 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 05:59 AM
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The problem with Norton or Kaspersky or any other AV software is that you have to buy a license that's only good for a year. While it's true that you can usually get a copy of most major AV programs for free, it usually means you have to deal with rebates. You also have to renew it after a year and go through the whole process again. MSE is free and never requires renewal.

FYI - No anti-virus software will detect and remove 100% of the viruses out there. Norton may pick up something that Kaspersky misses and vice versa. MSE does as good a job as any AV program I've used, and it doesn't carry any of the baggage associated with a commercial AV program. There's really no point in going with something else unless you like the hassles that go along with it. There are a lot of good AV programs out there, but in the end they're really no better than MSE.
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post #20 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I've used MSE. Seems fine. But personally I like Norton Internet Security and find it completely inobtrusive running in the background. I run NIS and Windows Defender on all of my pcs (well, actually, I use Norton 360 on my wife's pc and laptops.)
I usually find Norton Internet Security 3-pc pack for around $19, and when I do, I buy several. It doesn't matter if you stock up because if you install, for example, 2010 you can immediately upgrade it to 2012.
I think a lot of people who don't like Norton are thinking of 5 years or more ago when it used to be bloated and a resource hog. It's really very good now and regularly wins "editors pick" in virus program reviews.
It runs on my htpc and I've never had it interfere with anything I was doing. Recording, playback or anything else.

Once in a while I notice my HTPC is not in the sleep mode. I check it out & there is no reason for it not to be. However sometimes I look at Norton NIS and see that it just finished updating a few minutes ago. Would an automatic Norton update kick it out of sleep mode? Or could it be the WMC guide getting an update?
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post #21 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 AM
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I run AVG as my antivirus program. It updates the definitions everyday and I don't really notice it on my HTPC. I don't have any benchmarks to compare with MSE. I would be curious to see a comparison of various AV software and the resources they use.

I'm confused too.

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post #22 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I have used AVG a lot but wasn't sure if there was a better option now.

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #23 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I've used MSE. Seems fine. But personally I like Norton Internet Security and find it completely inobtrusive running in the background. I run NIS and Windows Defender on all of my pcs (well, actually, I use Norton 360 on my wife's pc and laptops.)
I usually find Norton Internet Security 3-pc pack for around $19, and when I do, I buy several. It doesn't matter if you stock up because if you install, for example, 2010 you can immediately upgrade it to 2012.
I think a lot of people who don't like Norton are thinking of 5 years or more ago when it used to be bloated and a resource hog. It's really very good now and regularly wins "editors pick" in virus program reviews.
It runs on my htpc and I've never had it interfere with anything I was doing. Recording, playback or anything else.

My original experience with Norton was that it behaved like a virus. It was impossible to uninstall without completely messing up the system or doing an OS reinstall. That was my experience 8 years ago and I would like to think things have changed since, but Norton lost my trust.

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post #24 of 57 Old 06-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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My original experience with Norton was that it behaved like a virus. It was impossible to uninstall without completely messing up the system or doing an OS reinstall. That was my experience 8 years ago and though and I would like to think things have changed since, but Norton lost my trust.

Norton today has virtually no similarity to Norton of 8 years ago.

And of course you can't compare it to any of these others from 8 years ago because hardly any of the others existed 8 years ago.

Norton also has an uninstall tool that really cleans it out if you want to do that without messing up anything.
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post #25 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 01:54 AM
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Can someone tell me why anyone would pay for antivirus these days? MSE is free, lightweight, and stays out of the way until needed. It's also built into Windows 8. Since all antivirus programs are basically equal, I don't understand the appeal of paid programs. I install MSE once and go through the settings and make sure it's set up the way I want it, then I never see it again until I get a virus (maybe once every 2 years?) Honest question. I guess I'm just a fan of KISS when it comes to antivirus software (keep it simple stupid).
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post #26 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 06:54 AM
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Can someone tell me why anyone would pay for antivirus these days?
Some people like software that comes with customer support. With the freeware, you basically get the support you pay for. However, there are tons of support sites for fixing PCs infected with viruses with specific instructions and utilities for cleaning the ones your AV software doesn't catch.

Here's my general approach to cleaning viruses:

1. Perform a complete scan and see if any viruses can be quarantined and/or deleted.

2. Perform a web search using the specific symptoms as keywords. Chances are you'll find discussions about specific viruses that yield these symptoms with instructions on how to get rid of them. Some require special utilities that are designed to hunt down and destroy individual viruses that your AV software can't detect.

3. Reflash your BIOS. I actually picked up a virus several years ago that infected my BIOS and wouldn't let me edit my registry or boot into safe mode.

4. Wipe your drive and start over from scratch with a fresh reinstall of Windows. This is a last resort, but sometimes it's the only solution. Note that if you have an infected BIOS, this won't do diddly squat until you've reflashed the BIOS.
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post #27 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuie675 View Post

unless you are looking at some sketchy stuff like porn or stuff like that you do not need an AV. I have not used one in a long time, will run malwarebytes off a usb drive every now and then and other than picking up cookies it always comes out clean.

This is not true at all. There have been a number of cases where virII have been injected on to a website through ads displayed by the ad networks that pay for many of these sites. This has happened to sites/communities run by people in technical/IT fields - so it's not just an issue with crappy poorly secured blogs about cosmetics (or whatever inane topic you can think of).

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post #28 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 01:03 PM
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What about a firewall?

Are most people using the Windows firewall?
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post #29 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah. Good question! I too am curious about this.

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #30 of 57 Old 06-19-2012, 01:18 PM
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Call me paranoid, but I run AVG Free, MSE, Windows Firewall and Zonealarm Free. I don't worry about the system bogging down. These new CPUs are built to run a lot more than that.
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