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  • Internet Security Providers

    Posted on Kathy Stevens Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Internet Security Providers

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      • #2307999 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        We are reviewing our internet security software and thinking about making a change prior to the New Year.

        All of our PCs are running Windows 10 and we are currently using Norton.

        We are considering: ESET Internet Security, Avira Antivirus Pro, Avast Premium Security, AVG Internet Security, Bitdefender Internet Security, and Norton 360 Deluxe.

        Any thoughts/preferences?

      • #2308001 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        Avast and AVG (bought by Avast) used to be good. But at this point they are monsters (IMHO) and I would not recommend either of them.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2308005 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          What makes them “monsters”?

          • #2308011 Reply
            PKCano
            Da Boss

            Avast was caught recently data harvesting/selling.
            The Suite has too many different things (additional controls) it’s trying to implement.
            The last time I dealt with a computer where it was installed (it’s been a while) it was a resource hog.

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2308021 Reply
              Kathy Stevens
              AskWoody Plus

              Credibility is an important part of making a selection.

              And data harvesting/selling is a significant concern.

              All of our PC are high-end machines so being a “resource hog” is not as critical.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2308040 Reply
        ClearThunder
        AskWoody Lounger

        Since July, I’ve been using Symantec/Norton360 [now Norton Lifelock] and it’s a great suite. Covers antivirus, email scanning, port/internet security, has a great firewall that allows you to customize alerts, cloud backup and it has a built-in, on-demand VPN.  You can load it on up to 5 devices, including smartphones.  I’ve never caught a bug or had any intrusions.  I have had to use their tech support once, and pleasantly surprised how fast I got through. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have a ‘lockdown’ feature —- allowing the user to quickly block (via the system tray icon) all incoming and outgoing traffic.  The older version had it, but it went AWOL in the latest version.  I’ve complained to them about it. But it’s the only complaint I have.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2308182 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          Our ISP has provided us with Norton™ Security Online for over a decade.

          It has more than met our needs for virus protection, email spam filtering, and safety on line.

          But they are ending the “free service” at year end thus the need for us to review the offerings of the various internet security providers.

      • #2308198 Reply
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        Kathy, I have been using ESET for years. Mainly the A/V (NOD32) but a few systems with the full security suite. Have never really had any issues and it’s light on resources. I generally pick it up when on sale at NewEgg and it breaks down to about $7/per machine/year, sometimes less.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2308199 Reply
          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Quick question – hope that’s OK here.

          I use ESET on my Win 7 laptop and so far, it has been fine. When it is time to renew, can I just buy another license from Newegg and use that to extend my current product, or does the current one need to be uninstalled and the new one downloaded and installed? And if I purchased it before the expiration date – if I don’t activate it till I need it, will the new expiration date be a year from activation, or a year from purchase? Thanks!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2308202 Reply
            cyberSAR
            AskWoody Plus

            You can purchase the product and use the activation code without uninstalling. Unfortunately it doesn’t extend your current activation period, it starts the new period immediately. I usually wait to reactivate with new code a day or so before old expires.

            I’ve activated with keys I purchased 2 years in the past without issue. I stockpile when the sale is really good.

            Also, if you are running the A/V you can activate it with the higher level security suite code. I do this often as I sometimes get a better price for the security suite but want just A/V

            3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2308204 Reply
              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Great – thanks for the information! Mine doesn’t expire till May, but I thought I’d start checking Newegg after the new year for their deals. Good to know that you can buy ahead and then use it when needed!

              Thanks!

              • #2308209 Reply
                cyberSAR
                AskWoody Plus

                Hope this is OK to post here.

                You can keep an eye on this thread for sales. Sometimes has sales you may not pick up by browsing NewEgg.

                https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/newegg-com-av-specials.361072/page-124

                • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by cyberSAR.
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2308417 Reply
                wavy
                AskWoody Plus

                Do you have to be on the newegg email list to use those discount codes. That is what i it says about the codes I get in the emails newegg sends me.

                🍻

                Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
              • #2308425 Reply
                cyberSAR
                AskWoody Plus

                For some codes you do need to be on the newsletter list, but not always.

      • #2308409 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        As I indicated earlier, we are considering making a change of internet security providers and are considering:

        • ESET Internet Security,
        • Avira Antivirus Pro,
        • Avast Premium Security,
        • AVG Internet Security,
        • Bitdefender Internet Security, and
        • Norton 360 Deluxe.

        So far there has been negative reviews of AVG and Avast as well as positive comments regarding to ESET and Norton.

        Does anyone have experience using the other providers?

        Also, do we really need virus software other than Microsoft Defender?

        • #2308424 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I don’t think you need anything except Defender unless you want more features / control. They then require configuring and this may be more work than you desire.

          As always, backup is your best defence and user education is always advisable.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2308427 Reply
          cyberSAR
          AskWoody Plus

          We have quite a few of our clients running Defender and have not had issues. Matter of fact, if I wasn’t able to get ESET on sale I would probably just use Defender.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2308446 Reply
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        Does anyone have experience using the other providers?

        The two products you asked about that haven’t been covered are Avira and Bit Defender. I don’t have any experience with Avira (except for their offline CD scanner, which was good the last time I used it), but I do use the free version of Bit Defender on a couple of my computers and it seems to be highly effective, as good as Norton which I used to have on those machines. You will no doubt get more control over features and functions if you get their paid product.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2308464 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        ?No comments on Malwarebytes/Kaspersky/McAfee??

        Zig

        • #2308468 Reply
          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          Given recent history between MSFT and 3rd party security software regarding patches, no comment 🙂

          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
        • #2308476 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          My original list of antivirus software was developed based upon the results of bench testing conducted by an internationally recognized nonprofit consumer product testing organization.

          Preference was given to those products that rated highest on the “protection” benchmark.

          Some of the organization’s with highly rated software, such as products by Kaspersky, were excluded from the list due to some of our client’s concerns related to ownership and data security.

          McAfee and Malwarebytes did not make the cut due their less that stellar Protection benchmark test results.

        • #2308483 Reply
          cyberSAR
          AskWoody Plus

          We used to recommend and run MBAM on all our systems along with A/V. Never trusted it as a standalone. Over the last couple years I’ve stopped using it due to numerous issues. Just last month one of our clients was crashing almost daily. Nothing specific in the logs so I disabled MBAM and they still had issues. Uninstalled it and no more issues.

          Still have it on about 10 machines I maintain, but seriously thinking about removing it by the start of the new year.

          • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by cyberSAR.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2308482 Reply
        jayinalaska
        AskWoody Plus

        I have been a happy user of Bitdefender Internet Security for over 5 years. It is generally non intrusive and light on system resources. I use it on my PC and on my wife’s two laptops. It consistently ranks near the top of the independent reviews for the effectiveness of its AntiVirus component (Kaspersky is the other vendor that seems to consistently rank near the top).

        I don’t recall ever having any compatibility issues with Windows 10, but I do wait to install feature updates until they’re at least three months old.

        Bitdefender is purchased as a subscription and there are various price points to choose from. If you’re not interested in a subscription, then you’re limited to Bitdefender AntiVirus Free, and you have a 20 device limit for the free product. (I haven’t looked, but I’m assuming most of the other products you’re considering use the subscription model, too, so a subscription is probably a moot point.)

        I believe you have to create a Bitdefender Central account to install Bitdefender products. This is free and it’s how you track your devices and your subscriptions. You can access this from the web or, if you’re so inclined, you can download the iPhone/Android mobile app. NOTE: a mobile app is not required. I do have the iPhone app, but I don’t use it much. I prefer the layout and spaciousness of the website.

        Some neat things (I think) about Bitdefender Central is it lets you push installer stubs for your products to any device you’ve registered. It’s also easy to add/remove devices from your subscription(s) as your situation changes. Be aware that the installers you get are stubs and they will access the internet to do the complete download of your product. IIRC, each download to a machine is a little over 500 MB. I don’t know if there is a way to get an offline installer. I have “unlimited” internet, so bandwidth usage is not an issue for me.

        There are a number of things Bitdefender Internet Security provides. I use its AntiVirus, Firewall, Ransomware Protection, and Advanced Threat Defense. I don’t use Safepay or the password manager. There’s a “profiles” feature that’s on by default that I haven’t really configured. It’s supposed to intelligently figure out if you’re working, gaming, listening to music, or watching movies and adjust various things about your Windows setup to prevent you from being interrupted. I already have my system configured so that I don’t get interrupted when I’m doing “important” things, so this profiles feature is of little use to me. It’s not intrusive, though, so I let it do it’s thing.

        A note on Safepay: this is a built-in, sand-boxed web browser that you can use to visit financial websites. I don’t know what browser is used internally. As I said, I don’t use it. I didn’t like it’s look and feel nor did I like the extra step to go through waiting for it to launch. But, these experiences were all from my initial purchase of Bitdefender Internet Security, all those years ago. It may be better now. If you don’t want to use it, you do have to disable it in its settings dialog.

        Bitdefender Internet Security is highly configurable, if you so desire. I’ve been generally happy with its “out-of-the-box” configuration, so I haven’t probed to deeply into its various configuration options. There are a lot.

        I can’t say that I’ve ever looked into the company’s privacy policies. To the best of my knowledge, they’re not sharing, selling, etc., any data on any machine. AFAIK, they only access data in relation to the various security tasks you’ve asked them to perform and they never save that data in the cloud anywhere.

        Hope this helps you with your decision. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to try and answer them.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2308498 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Webroot, anyone?

        I have used Webroot’s AVs, offering the usual real-time protections, for years both with Windows and Macs and have had no malware problems in all this time, with several attempts at infecting my computers with viruses, worms, etc. via both email and browser stopped, or else revealed to me immediately, with the option to either quarantine or remove them, and then dealt with accordingly. Also practicing good Internet/Web hygiene (not going, knowingly and, or too trustfully, into dodgy, dark places), probably also has helped.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2311225 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I have used Webroot Security Essentials on 3 PCs for 8 years and have seen no issues. It was bundled with a tower I bought at Best Buy, and the yearly renewal fee is not prohibitive for the protection I get.

      • #2308522 Reply
        deuce120
        AskWoody Plus

        I use a combination of Eset Internet Security and Malwareware Bytes Pro. I have never had any issues with either in Windows 7 or now Windows 10. I like Eset due to that I can select the firewall as interactive.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2309353 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you all for contributing to our search for a new Internet Security Provider.

        Based upon your input, ESET Internet Security received the most positive response followed by Bitdefender Internet Security, Norton 360 Deluxe, and Windows Defender.

        Avast Premium Security and AVG Internet Security were nonstarters.

        Thanks again

      • #2310582 Reply
        From SF to TX
        AskWoody Plus

        My apologies…did not realize that my previous post was showing GUEST.

        Hi Kathy!

        Having run a computer repair service for almost thirty years…you tend to see a lot of what a specific antivirus can and cannot do.  As stated above…Avast and AVG (which is owned by Avast) have really made a severe downturn in the past few years. They offer driver update and system optimization components that are unnecessary…especially for those with Windows 10.  Also…Avast/AVG love to upsell components after you have made your initial purchase.  So…we stay away from them.

        I’m not going to get into a bashing session on specific other antivirus programs other than to list those we do NOT recommend.  And…we made our decisions based on extensive experience AS WELL AS working directly with some of the industries experts in the fields of antivirus and security.  Those we do NOT recommend are: Avast, AVG, Webroot Secure Anywhere, Norton and McAfee.  Those we DO recommend are: Emsisoft, Bitdefender and Vipre…and, along with those, we recommend installing Heimdal Foresight (a second generation security software) that works alongside your antivirus.

        Now…others may have had a good experience with some of those we listed as NOT recommended.  What I can say to that is: we have had  clients that were happy with certain antivirus programs (ones I’ve listed above as NOT recommended)…only to find out that the program has NOT truly been protecting (as thought).  Some…are relying about familiarity of the name…an antivirus that was good ten plus years ago that has not been able to keep up with the required securities of today.  Some…are relying upon searching the internet for “the best antivirus to use in 2020″…not really knowing that many of those results (and testing groups) are unreliable.

        Now…ESET has been known to be a good and stable antivirus over the years.  They are not on our recommended list, though, because we have not seen that installed on many units coming in in the past few years.  We did see them installed a lot on Windows XP, Vista and 7.  Feedback that I have received shows that ESET is still lagging a bit in malware protection.  Some of the “testing” results you find on the internet show a “100% protection rating” but from feedback I have received…not so much.  Therefore…they do not make it onto our recommended antivirus list at this time.

        My apologies for being a bit late to the discussion.

        Have a SAFE day!

        Brian

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2310798 Reply
        marklang
        AskWoody Plus

        While it was not on your list, I have been using Kaspersky Internet Security for many years.  Some people worry because it is a Russian company.  Nevertheless, Kaspersky and his company are very respected by malware professionals.   The software consistently scores among the best in independent lab tests.   The problem with security software is you never know for sure if the software is good or you just have been lucky.  I have gotten great support from them when I had an issue, and it has blocked a number of malware files in my email as well as a few web pages.  It also gives me warnings when I, for example, update a plugin in my browser that monitors the pages.  I have not noticed any drag on resources.  I had a friend a year or so ago with a malware infected computer who could not do anything on his machine.  I downloaded the Kaspersky bootable disk and ran the scanner/cleaner for him.  It cleaned things up completely with no manual intervention.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2311028 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          Kaspersky was deleted from our list due to objections to its use by a number of our clients who are government agencies.

      • #2310811 Reply
        d3nzen
        AskWoody Plus

        Anything provided by an ISP is suspect. Malwarebytes is all you need. You can turn of Windows defender. Norton has always been junk.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2311029 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          Malwarebytes was not included on our list due to its mediocre performance during the bench tests conducted by Consumer Reports

          • #2313516 Reply
            dmt_3904
            AskWoody Plus

            Malwarebytes was not included on our list due to its mediocre performance during the bench tests conducted by Consumer Reports

            I think had read on this forum somewhere that MBAM with Defender is a good security solution and also have seen positive comments regarding MBAM. So, since Defender had been deemed to be a viable security software (where is was not in the past), I decided to run MBAM premium with Defender. Just renewed MBAM, but I had not checked any reviews.  I did since reading this comment (don’t have a CU subscription); some reviews do say MBAM doesn’t perform as well as other solutions.  I’ve used Kaspersky, Bitdefender and ESET in the past and had issues with each of them. So far, no problems with MBAM & Defender.  Most imp is protection, of course!

            What’s the consensus here – do MBAM premium & Defender offer  a complete security solution?  I don’t want a false sense of security if what I have isn’t going to perform.

      • #2310812 Reply
        d3nzen
        AskWoody Plus

        While it was not on your list, I have been using Kaspersky Internet Security for many years.  Some people worry because it is a Russian company.  Nevertheless, Kaspersky and his company are very respected by malware professionals.   The software consistently scores among the best in independent lab tests.   The problem with security software is you never know for sure if the software is good or you just have been lucky.  I have gotten great support from them when I had an issue, and it has blocked a number of malware files in my email as well as a few web pages.  It also gives me warnings when I, for example, update a plugin in my browser that monitors the pages.  I have not noticed any drag on resources.  I had a friend a year or so ago with a malware infected computer who could not do anything on his machine.  I downloaded the Kaspersky bootable disk and ran the scanner/cleaner for him.  It cleaned things up completely with no manual intervention.

        Kaspersky interferes with your VPN. Bad news.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2310822 Reply
          Elly
          AskWoody MVP

          Welcome to AskWoody @d3nzen!

          Twice (#2310812, #2310814) you have indicated that there is interference with a VPN. Is that your experience, or can you give us a reference regarding that conclusion?

          Also, in Post #2310811 you state your opinion, but do not give us an indication of what influenced you in making such conclusions… you don’t trust ISPs? you are bashing Norton (not that there aren’t good reasons to avoid them)? Malwarebytes is certainly well regarded, but not usually recommended as a stand alone product?

          People learn from the discussion as much as someone just giving a vote for or against particular products… so help us out here…

          Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2310814 Reply
        d3nzen
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you all for contributing to our search for a new Internet Security Provider.

        Based upon your input, ESET Internet Security received the most positive response followed by Bitdefender Internet Security, Norton 360 Deluxe, and Windows Defender.

        Avast Premium Security and AVG Internet Security were nonstarters.

        Thanks again

        Bitdefender interferes with your VPN. Good luck.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2311030 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          @d3nzen

          Do you have first-hand experience with Bitdefender interfering with a VPN.

          If so, what VPN will you using.

      • #2310827 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’ve been using Trend Micro for several years with no issues.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2311031 Reply
          Kathy Stevens
          AskWoody Plus

          Trend Micro Internet Security – 2020 had less than stellar performance in the Consumer Reports bench testing.

          As a result, it was not included on my original list.

      • #2310938 Reply
        marklang
        AskWoody Plus

        d3nzen,  I have not had any problems with VPNs.  If you suspect Kaspersky is interfering, have you contacted them.   I had an issue with a particular website that I traced to Kaspersky.  They responded immediately, asking me to run software that collected information for them.  They forwarded this information to their developers, who responded with a very clear answer of an issue they were working and also a temporary work around that dealt with the issue.  All that happened across two days.  If you are having any issues with Kaspersky, I suggest you file a ticket and get their help.  I have only rarely gotten such good and timely support from software vendors.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2311488 Reply
        Robb
        AskWoody Plus

        I have been using ESET for years on my PC, Laptop and Samsung phone.
        I can’t comment on its capabilities because I have not compared it against any others. But it has caught lots of threats for me.
        The thing I particularly like is its excellent service response turnaround. I never have to wait long. And its annual renew process is excellent.
        Its user interface is simple but gets more and more complex as one delves in.
        My only complaint – the “Check for Updates” link is located at the bottom of the screen, and always seems to be off the page on my laptop screen.

        RobB

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2311508 Reply
        rexr
        AskWoody Plus

        On a dozen computers since Win98 days I’ve been using Norton A/V, Deluxe and now Norton 360 with no infections or malware (Norton auto-quarantined them). It nearly always ranked in the top three via AV Comparatives.org and Wilders security. No interference with VPNs Nord and Mullvad. Norton 360 now has its own basic VPN included, but could use more server locations.

        Norton Deluxe/360 is installed on this Win10 laptop four years and hasn’t had issues with Win10 updates or anything else i remember. Many options to use it like you want.

        Im using Windows Defender on the Win10 desktop and it has been good with no problems at all. Free. It auto-quarantined several legit malwares. Set and forget.

        (old) Used AVG Pro for a couple of years on two XP machines, but its updates had problems with Windows and i reinstalled Norton.

        WinDefender security has become so good for my use that i may just ditch paid third-party AV.

        Win10 Pro v2009 20H2 19042.610
        Backups via Macrium Home Edition
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2311556 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’m in same boat as millions of Comcast users. Currently using Comcast supplied Norton Life Lock and been happy with it for probably 20 years. Comcast will replace Norton with its own security system and I’ll try it before buying anything else. I’d expect it will be less complete but then Norton has too much stuff I never use anyway.  So it is a wait and see. OTOH good to be prepared in case Comcast security is junk or bug ridden. Norton is a low cost (for a year) fall back.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2312407 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        I would like to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts on Internet security software.

        After reviewing the available options and taking into consideration your thoughts we have chosen ESET Internet Security and will be uninstalling Norton and replacing it with ESET on our 30 PCs over the next six weeks.

        Thanks again for your input.

        • #2312447 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Be sure to use the Norton Removal Tool (download it from the website).
          Run it more than once!
          Uninstall doesn’t remove it.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
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