Over the past couple of months, we have had more than a few of you come in asking about a good anti-spyware program that will keep you protected from all the new viruses that seem to be coming out. Right now, it seems that every anti-spyware program on the market is having trouble keeping up with the amount of spyware that is being written and released on a daily basis. So we’re going to take a look at the top anti-spyware programs and give you our opinion and recommendations on each of them. That’s not saying that you will not get any viruses if you download what we recommend, but it should keep you at least a little better protected.
- Norton - N
Norton has been on the scene for a really long time. In fact, it almost seems as if it’s been around since consumer computers came onto the market. Back in it’s day, Norton really was the leader in all things anti-virus. It set the bar for what an anti-virus program should do and be. That was back before it was sold and bought by several companies before finally winding up in the hands of Symantec. Over the past several years, more and more problems have begun arising with Norton; the least of which is its needless drain of resources. One of the major problems, is that Norton white-lists (allows) certain known viruses to be installed on your computer (rare, but it has been known to happen).
- McAfee - ?
Another old name in the game of anti-virus programs. McAfee’s story is very similar to that of Norton. It started off as a good program, but over time many things have been added onto the program, making it drain resources. McAfee does not seem to have as many problems as Norton does when it comes to actually blocking viruses though.
- BitDefender - N
Two years ago, this anti-virus program was top dog. It ran smoothly and didn’t take up any considerable resources to run. This program wasour recommendation back then. However, times have changed and the old adage “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.” proved itself once again. As it stands right now, BitDefender is one of the worst when it comes to slowing your computer down due to resource use. It also has known issues with updates causing your computer to see every program as a virus and quarantining them; which makes all those programs unusable.
- AVG - Y
AVG seems to be the new kid on the block. It hasn’t fallen into the trap of hogging all the resources and making the computer run slow. As of this post, this is the program that we’re recommending to all of our customers. It runs smoothly, finds viruses that others seem to miss, and even has a free residential version. There have been a couple of complaints of the computer running slow when AVG first starts to run a scan (especially if another program [such as a video game] is running at the same time).
- Computer Associates (CA) – N
CA is another one of those programs that we used to recommend and install back a couple years ago before they added things to it. This virus protection software is one we see problems with all the time, on computers coming in due to slowness. It’s almost a guarantee that if you uninstall this anti-virus software, your computer will speed up dramatically. So if you have this one installed, you might want to look into having your local computer repair shop change it for you.
So there is a brief look at the top anti-virus programs out there at the moment, and our thoughts on each one. As you can see, there is a pattern with most virus protection softwares out there. Once they reach a certain point, they all start adding things that slow computers down. We’ll keep you up to date on when the next best thing comes to our attention.
“Hey, a friend of mine told me about this free software that cleans the registry of my computer. It says on their website that it will make my computer run faster. Should I download it?”
We have had quite a few of you ask us about registry cleaners lately, as you have heard that they can “greatly increase your computer performance“. Though a clean registry might make your computer a tiny bit faster, it is not worth the risk involved. Many registry cleaners can corrupt Windows files to the point where you have to reinstall the entire operating system. All it takes is one wrong file being deleted to send your computer into an irreversible nose-dive.
Often times, many of these “free” registry cleaners can come with malware built into the back side of the program. So just downloading and installing that free software, you wind up opening yourself up to virus attacks and potentially a system failure. We can not stress enough how potentially dangerous any type of registry cleaner (be it free or otherwise) is to the well-being of your system.
So if your computer is running slow, it’s more likely to be that you need more RAM or that you have malware infecting your computer. At which point you would be best off taking it to a local computer store and having them take a look at it for you.