It's a blog.
In: Uncategorized15 Nov 2009
I’m a Linux user and Mac snob. I have a Windows laptop, but it’s sitting in a box somewhere. But I used to run Windows, and I play occasional tech support for lots of Windows users, so I spent a while researching anti-virus software.
I’ve used a few over the years, and I’ve hated a lot of them. When I was in college, we had an enterprise Symantec subscription. I hated Symantec, and it periodically freaked out and wrote multi-gig logfiles for no good reason. We used to run Norton on all our home computers. And I discovered something amazing: removing Norton made the computers much quicker. Also, removing Norton is extremely hard to do. I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop a vague reference to the fact that “slows down your computer a lot” and “difficult to remove” being the two main descriptions of viruses, not anti-virus software.
Another interesting thing about some of the popular antivirus solutions is that I read a lot of people who got horrible virus infections when using them.
Enter NOD32. A lot of people swear by it. It’s made by Eset, a company no one has ever heard of, with headquarters in Slovakia. That didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but I reluctantly tried it on peoples’ recommendations.
I don’t really have problems with viruses, so I can’t tell you any exciting stories about how I used to have some terrible virus and NOD32 fixed it. I’ve read lots of people saying it does. And a lot of professional reviewers have given it top marks. The one thing I can say with certainty is that it’s considerably faster. Removing Norton and putting NOD32 on an old computer breathed new life into it. Formerly too slow to even use, it now runs just fine. And for what it’s worth, it didn’t have any viruses. It just had Norton. (I hope it doesn’t seem like I have something against Norton. I think it’s a fine piece of software if you enjoy masochism.)
It downloads daily updates. It does it in the background, without popping up annoying windows. There is no giant toolbar you have to add to IE. You install it, and it runs in the background, keeping viruses at bay. You can also do on-demand scans. You can even, apparently, do virus scans of network drives, something most anti-virus solutions don’t allow. (Caveat: I never actually tried that.)
NewEgg sells a single-computer license for $30. If you go through Eset’s site, you can get bulk licenses (starting at a two-seat license) for pretty good discounts. Oh, and there’s a fully-functioning 30-day trial. Just be warned: you can’t have two anti-virus programs installed or they’ll fight to the death and take your computer down in their feud.
If you’re happy with your current antivirus software, there’s probably no reason to switch. But I swear by NOD32, and it has some remarkably good ratings. It just works.