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Wondering what others are using for antivirus protection on their HTPC? I have used AVG, Norton, Avast, and Windows Defender and Essentials in the past on my other PC's and it seems like windows essentials is the least intrusive. Can I get some suggestions based on others experiences? I have Windows 7 Home Premiun 64 bit and will be using WMC with a HDHomerun connect tuner. May add XMBC/Kodi in the future. Mainly using as a OTA DVR recorder and to watch live TV. Also thoughts on Malwarebytes Premium? I just received a 20% off offer from them so I could get a license for 3 computers for $19.95 for the first year. Will it cause any problems with WMC?
Thanks
 

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I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for a few years now and like you said, it seems like it's the least intrusive. I've had no problems with it and I really like it and I am comfortable recommending it to the people who ask me for advice on computer stuff. Before that I used Avast, AVG and Avira. (Norton, too, but that was long long ago.)

My question to you would be, is there something about MSE or the others you mentioned that you DON'T like?

As for Malwarebytes, does Premium do antivirus or is it just for malware?
 

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I'm fine with MSE for casual use PCs. Sometimes, the real-time protection is turned off (for no apparent reason) after booting into Windows and you have to enable it. It is by far the least intrusive/noticed security program I've ever seen, but according to tests, it's also one of the worst. Despite that, I'd still use it simply because it's free and integrates well with Windows.
 

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^^
I use MSE on HTPCs because I very, very rarely use them for browsing. AVG Free on workstations, because it's caught stuff that MSE let through.
 

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The newest version of Comodo's free Internet Security Suite is quite unobtrusive when you use its default settings. However, it's CPU and I/O intensive for about 10-15 minutes when you first power up a computer after it's been off for a while (e.g. hibernating overnight). You can set it to be as paranoid and obtrusive as you're willing to accept.

https://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/free-internet-security.php

(Their for-fee products just add real-time remote support.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for a few years now and like you said, it seems like it's the least intrusive. I've had no problems with it and I really like it and I am comfortable recommending it to the people who ask me for advice on computer stuff. Before that I used Avast, AVG and Avira. (Norton, too, but that was long long ago.)

My question to you would be, is there something about MSE or the others you mentioned that you DON'T like?


I have tried Norton a couple of times and both times it slowed my computer down to a crawl. Once was on a new machine and a fresh install. Avast and AVG seem to work ok. MSE just seems to cause the least problems.

As for Malwarebytes, does Premium do antivirus or is it just for malware?

The Malwarebytes is just for malware. I have used their free trial and it seemed to stop much of the malware that tried to get through.


Thanks to all for the responses. I think I will go with the MSE for now and also do the Malwarebytes on all 3 of my PC's If it caused issues on the HTPC I will remove it. The only time the HTPC will be on the net is for updates and new programs I will do all of my web searching on my laptop.
 

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If your HTPC is used exclusively for watching movies and TV, there's no reason to to run an antivirus program at all (or install Windows updates, unless there's a patch for a specific problem that you want to fix), since it doesn't need to be connected to the Internet. If you want the least intrusive option, then I suggest running nothing. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for a few years now and like you said, it seems like it's the least intrusive. I've had no problems with it and I really like it and I am comfortable recommending it to the people who ask me for advice on computer stuff. Before that I used Avast, AVG and Avira. (Norton, too, but that was long long ago.)

My question to you would be, is there something about MSE or the others you mentioned that you DON'T like?

As for Malwarebytes, does Premium do antivirus or is it just for malware?
If your HTPC is used exclusively for watching movies and TV, there's no reason to to run an antivirus program at all (or install Windows updates, unless there's a patch for a specific problem that you want to fix), since it doesn't need to be connected to the Internet. If you want the least intrusive option, then I suggest running nothing. ;)

As I stated earlier I will mostly be using this computer to view and record OTA HD TV. I want to keep windows up to date and may use Amazon Prime to view movies at some point so I want Antivirus protection. I just do not want to install one that will cause problems with running WMC.
On another note I just tried to install MSE and found out I cannot install it until I remove a program already installed by the shop that built it. It is called System Center Endpoint Protection. Are you or anyone else familiar with it? Is it better than MSE? I did not install MSE until I do more research. Right now I am just learning how to set up the PC to be a wife friendly DVR. I set it up to go to sleep when the Power button on the remote is pushed and so far it has finished recording a show I was watching when I put it to sleep and tonight I set it up to record two shows after I put it to sleep for the night. Tomorrow my Ortek windows remote should be here so I can use it teach commands to my URC MX-850 to control the HTPC along with my receiver and TV. Having fun with it so far.
 

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On another note I just tried to install MSE and found out I cannot install it until I remove a program already installed by the shop that built it. It is called System Center Endpoint Protection. Are you or anyone else familiar with it? Is it better than MSE? I did not install MSE until I do more research.
From a quick google search, it looks like System Center Endpoint Protection is the enterprise (business) version of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It uses the same antivirus/antimalware engine and definitions as Microsoft Security Essentials, but it's designed to be remotely managed and deployed by a system administrator. I think it also requires a subscription-based license, while MSE is free. I'd ask the system builder why they installed it on your HTPC. Are you paying them for remote monitoring/administration/troubleshooting? If not, and if you aren't planning on using business-class network and system management software from Microsoft to manage the HTPC (I'm guessing you aren't), then you should be able to uninstall it and just use MSE instead.

The best security practice, however, is not to use the HTPC for general web browsing, not to click shady links in emails (or don't use email on the HTPC at all), and not to download software to the HTPC unless you're certain it is free of malware. Make sure there is firewall software running too. For HTPC use, the Windows firewall should be fine.
 

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I've been using avast with some specific install instructions to make it less intrusive. Its a good kit still could be a little less intrusive as it is but I'm between Avast and AVG Free.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From a quick google search, it looks like System Center Endpoint Protection is the enterprise (business) version of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It uses the same antivirus/antimalware engine and definitions as Microsoft Security Essentials, but it's designed to be remotely managed and deployed by a system administrator. I think it also requires a subscription-based license, while MSE is free. I'd ask the system builder why they installed it on your HTPC. Are you paying them for remote monitoring/administration/troubleshooting? If not, and if you aren't planning on using business-class network and system management software from Microsoft to manage the HTPC (I'm guessing you aren't), then you should be able to uninstall it and just use MSE instead.


I also researched System center Endpoint Protection after I posted and came up with the same information. The system builder had built this PC as a demo unit. They also build servers and workstations and use the SCEP in the ones that they service and support. I decided to uninstall the SCEP and go with the MSE for now.

The best security practice, however, is not to use the HTPC for general web browsing, not to click shady links in emails (or don't use email on the HTPC at all), and not to download software to the HTPC unless you're certainThe system builder had used this PC as a in store test and demo unit it is free of malware. Make sure there is firewall software running too. For HTPC use, the Windows firewall should be fine.

I do not plan on using the HTPC for web browsing, email etc. Email is not installed on this PC. I may do online streaming from Netflix, Amazon, down the road so I will want protection. I am running
windows firewall. I have tried others in the past and most just cause conflicts.
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If your HTPC is used exclusively for watching movies and TV, there's no reason to to run an antivirus program at all (or install Windows updates, unless there's a patch for a specific problem that you want to fix), since it doesn't need to be connected to the Internet. If you want the least intrusive option, then I suggest running nothing. ;)
I concur.
 

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I frequently see these two sources mentioned in magazines. Both rank MS Security Essentials at the bottom.

Look at the latest Protection Test & also the Summary Report.
http://www.av-comparatives.org/

Also check out this test results from this organization.
http://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/

Currently I’m using the free Avast version which is about middle of the pack. Guess I should look at some of the other higher rated free products. The HTPC is mainly used with WMC7 for OTA recording, but once in a while it does streaming or a bit of web browsing.
 

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It consistently surprises me that people would trust Microsoft for their antivirus program. If Microsoft were capable of designing a secure product, they would have fixed Windows to begin with, and then you wouldn't need an antivirus program at all. It shouldn't be shocking to find MSE rated at the bottom of the security ladder when it's brought to you by the same company that brought you Windows.
 

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Formerly I used AVG free and now use Avast free. I'm on internet 6-8 hours a day and it work very well.
 

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Put me on the camp of no-antivirus.

I got an hardware firewall, then I make interval image backups. Any trouble, just restore from last known-to-be-good backup, 15 minutes and am back in business. When I had an antivirus, it was more housekeeping, worrying about infestation, and when infected, I don't remember how much time I spent trying to "cure" my machine, no more. At any sign of trouble, pull out my last good image backup... BAM! This also helps when I install an iffy App then decide it's no worth the trouble and wonder whether running uninstall would truly clean everything up. Image backup restore, EXACTLY how I had it before, no doubt.
 

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I got burned by MSE twice over the last few years on personal computers. Only use Nod32 or Vipre now. I'm a system admin by trade.

On the side I sometimes fix home user's computers for friends, and I cannot count the number of times I've seen MSE, McAffee or Norton installed with a bucketload of junk on the system. Once the computer wouldn't even boot properly. Ever since I cannot recommend MSE for anything.

Slightly off topic, but I also don't really understand how anyone can justify not having antivirus at this point. Computers are fast enough that a modern AV doesn't even slightly slow your computer down. yes imaging is likely still the best way to get your computer back. However, you may not know you have it, but you could easily be a carrier to some other machine. And if you do any kind of banking or any other sensitive task at all on your computer you could have a keylogger and you might not even know it.
 
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