I am presently using Norton AntiVirus with a trial version of Norton Internet Security in conjunction with XP. Once I loaded the trial version of Internet Security, I noticed a slight delay when launching Internet Explorer and some other programs. I also started to get the occasional stutter on DVD playback which I attributed to the Norton Security program running in the background, even though I disable the Norton programs at movie time.
I use Norton Anti-Virus 2002. I leave auto-protect disabled, since I do not have a constant stream of unknown people using my computer and I do not use the Microsoft browser or e-mail programs. The system runs very well, including DVD movies from an external USB 2.0 drive.
I am a little bit biased (OK, a lot... ;-)) here since I am working for McAfee, but I am using VirusScan V7 Enterprise on my HTPC with no problems at all.
I disabled Heuristics, and only perform scans on writes. Since VirusScan 7 also do incremental scans, it will not scans files it already scanned until the next signature file. So performance wise, V7 is great.
I use F-secure. I've used F-prot products for many years and have seen these seek, destroy, and repair virus damage that McAfee and Norton could not even find. The product costs $30.00 for single users and the support is excellent.
The best AV that I've found is AVG Antivirus by Grisoft. It's free, utilizes very little processor cycles, updates automatically, integrates well with Outlook and Outlook Express and has caught every virus so far. I know a lot of people that have had their Norton AV disabled by viruses like Klez -- the newer viruses sometimes disable certain parts of the more mainstream AV programs.
I have succesfully been using my home pc's (first a P2-450MHz, and now a P4 - 1.8 GHz) without virus protection for more than 5 years. I've never had a virus cause any problems on my machine, and I staunchly advocate that anti-virus software tends to cause enough problems of its own that using them is counter-productive.
I know this is heresy among some groups, but the anti-virus software at work routinely crashes my machine. If you're not going to be downloading all sorts of dodgy executables, and are careful about launching files from email, catching a virus is actually quite hard...
I use VirusScan 7 Enterprise also -- works great and very small memory usage compared with Norton.
It also has a feature no one else has so you can configure different protection levels for different running software so I configure higher protection (scan all files) for files accessed by Outlook, IE, VBscript, etc. and configure almost no protection (ie exclude almost everything) for WINDVD, Girder, ATV2000, etc.
on my HTPC I don't use a virus software because it's not connencted to the net. It should be a "clean" system only the absolute necessary enabled. This is to avoid stutter...
On my net systems I use Norton Internet Securities but I won't do this in the future for 2 (in minumum ) reasons (personal opinion):
1) There are IMHO serious problems with this software. My systems needs several minutes to startup because of a bug in the virus software. This bug is repoted ob the net and it's noot my system only. I cannot even use the latest live update because then my systems dosn't even start.
BTW, this is one of the reasons that I changed my sdesktop system to Linix - it's great.
2) (rumour only !) I red about a new XP-like registration which should be necessary in the next version. I'm a legal user of the software but I don't like the hardware based registrations because my system is constantly changing.
I have to say something about people not using Anti-Virus on their machines: Please do!
I am a System Engineer for McAfee and believe me, the threat is real!
If you say "I am using a machine for the past (name the period of time here) without an anti-virus and I never had any problems" it's just that you don't know that you have been infected... but believe me, you most probably are!!! I have seen people with "thousands" of viruses on their machines the first time they ran a virus scanner on them - but thought that it was impossible for them to be infected...
Viruses are becoming pretty sneaky. Blended threats, Worms, Trojans, Macro viruses, etc. are now unfortunately very clever. You will have viruses living in memory only, trapping your keystrokes, copying your files, modifying your files (sometimes slighty some other not so slightly), your machine can be used as a infector to go and infect other machines. Viruses will look for vulnerabilities in the Wndows code, in Internet Explorer, in Netscape, in IIS. It will try to use simple method to crack your system; like using "Admin"/"Password" as a user id and password. Try to propagate through open shares. If you are surfing the net, Java applets, ActiveX controls uses "legal" methods to infect you or steal information from you. Adware, Malware are just a few annoying things that virus writers/hackers are playing with. With over 65,000 known viruses that propagates through all known methods, you never are too protected.
Viruses could be present on CDs that say that have been "scanned for viruses". It happened more than once. Even Microsoft shipped a CD with viruses on it... So you never know. If you are NOT connected or EVER connected to anything (no network, no modem), your risks are lower, but not nil. If you are connected to the net or on a network, if you transfer files from one machine to another - you are at risk.
I am using on ALL of my machines (networked and non-networked) an Anti-Virus software (of course I am using our own - McAfee VirusScan Enterprise V7) and Desktop Firewall as well to block all the crap from Kazaa and other things like this.
Anti-Virus by their nature are demanding in resources. They have to sit very very very close to the OS in order to trap anything that is going on. You can reduce the load by balancing your risks and the performance of the system. You could disable Heuristics scanning (this usually use quite a bit of resources), you could scan only on writes (we could say that if a file arrived on a PC clean, it should come out clean), you could skip scanning inside compressed files (you will detect the virus when you open the file) and all bunch of other little tricks to save resources if your system is a little tight.
My HTPC is running in tip top shape with anti-virus and desktop firewall installed and my DVD player does not skip. I have a P4 1.5g with 512 meg of RAM, PowerDVD, Girder, X10, MediaCenter 9 (always running in the background with three zones) , PowerStrip and a VNC server too. This thing runs like a charm.
I know it sounds a little paranoid and preachy, but believe me you are better protected than infected.
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