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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    My problem with the Free AVG, quite some years back, was it's lack of realtime protection. Sure, the manual scan would find things, but that's like locking the barn after the horses got out. I want threats caught/denied at the point of attack, which Avast Free done a great job of for 7 years (2002-2009).

    Like Joe, I did get some false positives, when I submitted them, they were clean. About the time of Windows 7 release, or shortly before, MSE was released, I began to use it. After a major infection a few months later, I broke down & started paying for quality protection. ESET has never let me down, & MBAM Pro is installed as an enforcer.

    The OP is correct, free isn't always good. But there are a few select apps that are.

    Cat

  2. #12
    Senior Member Medico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good


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  4. #13
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    Shhhhhh! It's all on my web site. If you don't see that on my public control panel, Iet me know and I'll PM it to you.
    The download links for all my favorite security programs and the Spybot setup instructions are posted there. It helps if you have them printed out and in your hand before you ever start to install the program. You could make setup mistakes on the very first screen that can come back to haunt you.

    There is a new Beta version. NOT recommended!

    I do install AVG 2012 FREE for every one of my Win-7 customers, just like Vista and XP before that. I do clean up the PC and tweak it for Max Efficiency before installing any programs, AVG, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, etc.

    On a PC that's operating correctly, AVG will cause NO problems at all.
    It's mandatory, to go into Advanced Settings and the Scheduler and set the update sequence and the scan times.

    I ask my customer when they will most likely be ON-Line each day. Once I know that, I set the updater (just one update per day for the free version, but as often as every 4 hours for the paid version) to a time that the PC will be on-line and then I schedule the scanner for about 15 to 30 minutes later. So both update and scan will run automatically, every day. I also put a check in the box, to run the update on boot up if it was missed earlier in the day, at the scheduled time. It's great for the old timers who will never remember to do updates, or the busy mom who just doesn't have time.

    Little known fact: Spybot is a manually operated program. You must update, Immunize and Scan once a week all by yourself. There is no scheduler. (Spybot updates are always posted on Wednesdays)
    BUT: There is a whole page of Command Line settings that can be used to run Spybot to update, immunize and scan, all by itself, from the task manager. I prefer to run my Spybot S&D manually, because I like to see what it's doing.

    Again, and I can't stress this enough. Clean up and optimize your PC and you'll likely have NO problems out of any program like AVG. However on the other side of the coin, a dirty or compromised PC (and boy, I've seen a lot of those, like EVERY new PC I have to work on) can have all sorts of problems. A BSOD should tell you right off the bat, that there's something dead wrong in your PC. It can be software, OS or even hardware related.
    I NEVER get them and my customers NEVER get them. I'd hear about it, if they did.

    CAT, and company, I was having some fun yesterday and didn't mean to give you the impression that I'm a big Boozer. Being a Diabetic, I take my beer and wine in moderation. I plan on taking everything nice and slow, up till I die, and then just tapering off gradually. lol

    Y'all have a great day now, Y'hear?
    TechnoMage

    EDIT: Oooops!
    My problem with the Free AVG, quite some years back, was it's lack of realtime protection. Sure, the manual scan would find things, but that's like locking the barn after the horses got out. I want threats caught/denied at the point of attack,
    Sorry Sir, but that's just NOT true and never has been. AVG has always run in Real-Time, all the way back to the beginning. That's what the little AVG icon in the system tray is telling you. It also alerts you to updates and scans. See instructions above, on how to set up the schedulers.
    Last edited by TechnoMage; 05-02-2012 at 08:14 AM.
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  5. #14
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    Addendum: Two more programs, that work GREAT.

    Another great program for PC protection is "Malware Bytes".
    The free version must be updated and scans run Manually. It does not run in Real Time, but only when you run it. But, for a FREE program it can be very effective.
    However, buy the lic. for it and then it DOES run in real time and it does get updates automatically. Again, you have to know enough, about such software, to go into the scheduler and set it up correctly.

    For some weird reason, I got an update to my Licensed version of Malware Bytes one day and it never ran again. It just refuses to run on my XP OS. I set it up on Win-8 and it runs just fine.
    Go figure. I even complained to the company, on their forum and there were NO resolutions to the problem. (and, of course, no refunds either)

    So, since I can't run Malware Bytes in XP, I paid for and installed "Trojan Hunter" which now protects me in Real-Time. I've used Trojan Hunter effectively for many years, through many versions.
    It's never been a totally free program, although they used to have a 30 day free trial, that ran exactly like it was paid for. I've used that several times to DE-louse a badly infected PC.
    It can find and remove Trojans that can hide from other programs.

    Cheers Mates!
    TechnoMage
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    MBAM Pro or Free (& a couple of other paid programs) once done this to me on XP Media Center. Would install, but not run.

    Fortunately, I had plenty of other places to put this great protection app on. And remember, MBAM Pro is Lifetime, which is self explanatory. I doubt the the corporation is going anywhere for many years, & there's plenty of help from the company through their forums. There's also Free Technical Support at (866)-279-0239, or at mbam.dsolution.ca .

    Doesn't say on my Retail Box of MBAM as to it's money back guarantee, but normally customers has a positive experience with this software. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to the rule, some software just refuses to run on some installs.

    Cat

  7. #16
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    What is so infuriating, is when you BUY a software product, like Malware Bytes, install it and run it for over a year and all of a sudden one day it will no longer run and the vender can't or won't help you.
    I've tested Malware Bytes on other PC's that I own, also running Windows XP and it runs just fine.
    But, those PC's don't get MS Updates.

    In my own case, it was indeed Malware Bytes, that stopped running on both my main (desktop) PC and my Acer Aspire ONE netbook. I don't know who or what is to blame. Was it some MS update, or was it some other program that I installed that hosed MBAM? God knows, but he's not talking.

    So on the main PC, I replaced MBAM with "Trojan Hunter" and on the netbook I just UN-Installed MBAM and do without it. MBAM is only a supplemental program anyway, not my main security.
    I'd suggest that no-one rely on MBAM 100% for their internet security.

    Cheers Mates!
    TechnoMage
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  8. #17
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    You're very correct, TM, no one should rely on MBAM or any single security app to cover everything. Too, that's not what MBAM was created for. It was created to catch the real nasties (malware) that slips by even the best of AV/IS suites.

    MBAM Pro sits back & acts as an enforcer. Known malware loaded sites are stopped from loading, I'm sure that you've seen the warning. It's databases are updated frequently. So far, I haven't had any updates to mess with MBAM's functions, & I accept all updates for XP except Windows Live products, which are now a fart in the wind.

    I don't even know if MS is going to allow Windows Live replacements on XP, especially so if they weren't already installed. MS is alienating XP more & more by the week, it seems.

    Cat

  9. #18
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    And now the REST of the story!

    Just knowing that MS wants to dump XP, I have several thoughts about continuing to use XP.
    First shut off MS Updates.
    (I've not had one MS update, since SP3, that really helped me)
    Maintain the best Security software package that you can.
    (Don't know how? Ask for help from a PC professional.)
    Keep your PC clean.
    (I don't mean wipe the dust off the case. Keep it clean inside, way inside, in the Hard Drive.
    Do periodic maintenance on it, to remove all the junk files that Windows and other programs
    like to store on the Hard Drive. Then keep it DE-Fragmented.)
    Then, keep it backed up, at least weekly (not weakly).
    (not just the data, but the entire C: drive, so you can restore it completely, in case of a
    hard drive CRASH.)

    A well maintained PC, even with XP on it, should run for years.

    The above list of 'things to do' is just a brief outline. All these things have been cussed and discussed in great detail elsewhere.

    Happy "Cinco de Mayo"!

    TechnoMage
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  10. #19
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    The only update besides the Windows Live ones that I chose to hide on any version of XP is .NET Framework 4, mainly due to the massive number of updates that follows the installation. These updates typically take much longer than others to install.

    The only exception to this, is if a program requires .NET Framework 4. I also hide this update on my Windows 7 installs, for the same reason. Looking at the description of the updates that this version of .NET requires, it's an obvious potential security risk to have it installed. Most are addressing remote code execution issues.

    If I don't need these optional updates, I don't install them. Also, I make every effort to keep my list of installed programs to a minimum, some users has multiple media players & CD/DVD burning software installed. There's absolutely no need to have 5 or 6 of each of these programs installed, mabye the OEM installed one, plus one more. The less software installed, the better the OS will run, as some always loads at startup, unless it's manually disabled. This is a major cause of the OS taking more time for the user to have a usable desktop.

    One way to avoid this, if the software has this option, is to make sure that "Run at Startup" is unchecked. This is already in the thread & other places, READ the EULA & options before installing anything, making sure to not install toolbars, run at startup, etc. If a program has no options to disable these items from installing, especially free ones, simply don't install the software.

    "A well maintained PC, even with XP on it, should run for years."

    This is very true, image the install monthly (at a minimum) BEFORE applying or checking for updates on Update Tuesday. The reason that I state "before" & not "after", is because some updates can mess up an OS. Sometimes, System Restore does the trick (the odds are more favorable with XP than Windows 7 using System Restore), sometimes not. I've had it go both ways. The best System Restore is FULL image backup, preferably with a paid backup program that allows for creation of a boot disc, that will allow for a backup outside of the Windows environment. This allows for quick recovery, should an update or program messes up the OS.

    But I'm also a realist, many cannot afford paid backup software with this option, Macrium & Todo 4 are great free choices, I've used both many times with 99% success. The 1% where both failed, were in backing up a recovery partition on my ThinkPad T42. Yes, it did backup the partition, but it was left unbootable, meaning that I could no longer use it for recovery. This wasn't the case with my HP desktop & MSI notebook, the recovery partitions were re-installed with the backup images & worked perfectly. So it must have been an IBM issue, rather than the fault of Macrium & Todo.

    After doing some research on the subject, this was a common issue with many ThinkPads, many users were able to use earlier versions of Norton Ghost to make the images, & the re-install function worked as designed to.

    Cat
    Last edited by catilley1092; 05-05-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  11. #20
    Senior Member Medico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    As I have often said, perhaps not here before, but often, I regularly create new Images. These new Images are created when changes are made to my system. For example, I had a problem a couple of days ago and had to restore Win 8 CP from an Image. The Image I used was about a month old. Shame on me. There were several additional changes I had to make after restoring the Image because there were several changes on the system that I had made after making the Image. I had not followed my own advice, although the changes did not take long to implement. Now imagine if that Image had been, say 6 months old, or 10 months old, or even more. How long would my restoration have taken then.

    I know this discussion has gotten somewhat off the original topic, but Imaging is so important that I feel this is an appropriate follow up to Cat's post.

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