seanmcgpa

Giving up on Antivirus software

Recommended Posts

Perhaps you could try setting the preferences to ignore anything that isn't on a removable drive, and hopefully it will then only be slow when you use those CD/tape drives.

NAV has always seemed a whole lot faster than McAfee on uniprocessor systems here. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if it wouldn't work on SMP though.

And so long as you don't run those infected files (turn off webview/preview/thumbnails), nothing will happen, and you can even move them around. I have quite a collection of virii here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to some extent given up on Anti-virus software a long time ago.

Yes, I use Kazaa, yes I use irc.

Having automatic protection running makes my PC (1 Ghz Duron) much slower. It's usable (not 486 performance) but I certainly don't like having something running consuming that much power all the time and annoying me. I do have NAV installed though and scan files regularly. Hopefully this will catch a virus and if not... well it's better having to reinstall than being constantly crippled.

I would recommend this to everyone who is even a small step above complete newbie.

Maybe I'll consider this again when I get a 5 Ghz computer or something next year, but likely I still want maximum performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol, again, try out NAV Corporate 7.5 or 7.6. While the normal NAV sucks system resoruces (and always has) NAV corporate is light and fast and offers more protection than its slower consumer bretheren.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 12 years or so that I've been regularly using PCs, I have gotten one virus:

It was a Word macro virus. I got it because I let a friend of mine print his papers using my printer (he didn't have one). I discovered the virus when the company I had just interviewed with e-mailed me to let me know that the writing samples I had given them contained the virus.

From that point on, I bought and religiously updated my virus scanner. At this point, I suppose that I could just use an Internet-based service to regularly scan, but inertia has generally led me to take the simple solution of buying a virus scanner (MacAfee at the moment). As I have never noticed any slowdown with having nearly ALL the VS functionality one 24/7, I'm not exactly pressed to bother switching.

I would guess that if you are having problems with a particular VS, you could just rely on Internet-based solutions. But in any case, foregoing VS functionality entirely is, in my humble opinion, borrowing trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think I have ever had a piece of spam sent to that account

Cm'on...You've never gotten an email from Mrs. Mariam Ses-Sek? :rolleyes:

Seriously, however, I've been using NAV for years on everything from a 486 25MHZ up to my current overclocked XP2600+ and not seen any singnificant performance hit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to think I didn't need AV, that I was smart enough to get by without it. Then I bought an SCSI card with a virus on the driver disk. Lesson learned. It's easy get up on your high horse blabbering about *nix blah blah blah, but for people who like to do things with their machines aside from feel smug about their non Windows superiority AV is good insurance. A properly functioning system should be able to handle the miniscule overhead of an AV program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I would love to move back to Suns, but there is one particular application tying me to the Windows platform, and that is AutoCAD. Hasn't been an AutoCAD for UNIX since R12, and yes I know there are GNU "replacements" but they do not offer the smae functionality as AutoCAD does, and I know because I've tried them all. Some of them compare favorably to AuotCAD LT, but none to the full-blown AutoCAD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
for people who like to do things with their machines aside from feel smug about their non Windows superiority AV is good insurance

rofl!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Warmonger, I do not use a virus scanner and have had only one virus, which was in 1994 (Form A) and which did zero damage. I can't stand any of Symantec's products except perhaps their defrag program, which os okay, but which ate my filesystem several times in pervious versions, and perhaps some of their backup tools. I don't carry a neon "Come get me!" sign (I don't use Microsoft Outlook Express for email) and don't open attachments that can possible contain malicious code in Windows. Virii just don't seem to be a big problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion is to USE a virus scanner, but MINIMALLY. Disable system protection, real-time scanning, or whatever it's called. There is no need for it. If you're downloading some suspect file, scan that particular file. Any half-intelligent human being knows that when they're downloading or copying something onto their system, that this is how you're going to get infected. Scan things at that time. Don't keep the darn auto-protect running when you don't need to. It's just like keeping your car idling in the driveway all night. If you're not using it, why keep it on?

Here's what I do. Enable e-mail virus protection only. E-mail and floppies are by far the two biggest gateways for viruses into ones' computer. Now that floppies are dead, we should consider other forms of removable media, but the general principle is the same: scan files you copy from removable media onto your HD unless you know they are virus-free.

I have never used real-time scanning or system protection and despite using Outlook, I have never gotten a virus. Outlook is fine, despite what all the MS bashing bandwagoners say. Just lock it down properly by disabling auto preview, using restricted sites, etc. Patch it from time to time and you're good to go. If you don't open suspect attachments, you can never get infected. And with e-mail protection watching your back, infected attachments won't even get through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, we won't mention other possible routes of infection such as a LAN, file shares (which are quite often needed, I assure you), several instant messanging programs ...

Or the minescule amount of resources used. Having an AV running in the background is not like having a car idling in your driveway unless you're continually actively scanning. I've loaded several gigabytes of data since monday when I last rebooted my machine and my AV as consumed 5:14 CPU time, which is somewhat less than my UPS monitoring program which also runs in the background and consumed 5:19, and disturbingly much less than explorer (13:40, which is quite a bit since I only logged on this morning and don't actually use explorer), system (17:40) or how about that little widget that synches my palm pilot (6:27), or the other widget that gets the New York Times for me so I can download it onto my palm (42:13). See my point? Relatively speaking, even with the heuristics turned up all the way and the plugins to Outlook, OE and Notes all running, this isn't squat. And yes, these are programs that I keep running all of the time in the background and use all of the time, so I don't know what scanner you're running where it's like leaving your car idling in the driveway, but I'd suggest that you switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jec252 is right, consumer NAV has a lot of flashy nonsense that just makes it less reliable/compatible/stable. For a laugh, has anybody here tried Systemworks? What a joke, even Speeddisk and Diskdoctor are hosed now. Only Ghost is any use.

The corporate versions of NAV do work great, and don't seem to slow the opening of folders or start menu like McAfee corporate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Intelligent computer users who do not do stupid things do not need AV software. You need to use an email client that does not propagate viruses. You have to be wary of any Email attachment of any sort. You need to not use IE or use it only on high-security settings (disable activeX completely) , and delete or rename script interpreters (e.g. WSH.exe). Finally, you need to only install software from trusted sources (retail CDs, Cnet downloads - not fly-by-night shareware or warez sites).

Best of all, you could always switch to *nix or a Mac.

:rolleyes:

Am I wrong when I suspect that this is the *nix superiority complex? The way you do things makes a PC useless for the majority of people and really, *nix is NOT the answer. There isn't a single Linux distro that is as good for a desktop machine as Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that NAV consumer is a resource hog - I can even feel the difference on my Athlon XP1600+ with 512 MB RAM. Corp is a lot better, I hardly feel anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There isn't a single Linux distro that is as good for a desktop machine as Windows.

True for Linux out of the box, but not commercial UNIX, Slackware or Debian if you know what you're doing. Frankly, when my mother is finally in the market for a new desktop class machine (probably a laptop by then) I'll be pointing her to MacOS most likely, and if not then an IBM ThinkPad with Debian or Slackware on it, since she would sure appreciate a UI facelift and wouldn't miss the macro functionality at all. Problem is, she'll probably be looking into an MBA soon so she might have to keep Windows for a bit longer than she (or I) would like, but that's life.

However, there are alot of reasons why Windows is necessary, and it's not due to Windows per se but due to application support for Linux or UNIX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if you know what you're doing

Exactly my point. Linux on the desktop may be fine in a controlled/corporate environment but not for the average home user without some good support. It's way easier to find good documentation on Windows and Windows apps than on Linux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont have any full time AV on duty.

I use the free f-prot command line (DOS) virus scanner to manually scan stuff before opening. I scan anything downloaded, any saved email attachments and any media that I'm installing from. I used to be able to also use F-Prot for DOS to do a full system scan in Win9x but it doesn't seem to scan all the files in Win2k.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's way easier to find good documentation on Windows and Windows apps than on Linux.

Actually, I would say that it's the other way around, but it's way easier to not need support or documentation at all on Windows (aside from the included help file) than on Linux is more then point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not another Linux vs Windows debate.

Lol, that part has quieted earlier, what I was doing was just making a slight correction to the earlier comment (not disagreeing, just pointing out something).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use antivirus software. I haven't had an "infection" since Music Bug back in 1993, and I don't download anything from BBS boards anymore :) Like you, every AV software package I've found (save NAV corporate) has effectively castrated the PC. Instead, I've found that a secured Outlook, patched IE and Windows and smart policy on downloads has kept me in the clear.

I sometimes do use AV software to scan specific files but the resident piece is useless to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like Warmonger, I do not use a virus scanner and have had only one virus, which was in 1994 (Form A) and which did zero damage. I can't stand any of Symantec's products except perhaps their defrag program, which os okay, but which ate my filesystem several times in pervious versions, and perhaps some of their backup tools. I don't carry a neon "Come get me!" sign (I don't use Microsoft Outlook Express for email) and don't open attachments that can possible contain malicious code in Windows. Virii just don't seem to be a big problem.

My experience is similar to yours, Sivar. The last time that I was ever "infected" with a virus, was when I was "playing" with some floppy disks from someone else's machine infected with Michaelangelo, and accidentally booted off of one of them. Oops. User error. A quick FDISK /MBR removed the danger though.

I tried NAV 1.0 (and I think 2.0) for Windows 95 back in the day, on a 486 machine, one with a very fast (for the time) video and disk subsystem (outbenched some Pentium-class machines), and the AV scanner still made the system very sluggish.

I think that the problem is the latency. Humans are very sensitive to latency, and no matter how fast your system is, if you have on-demand scanning enabled, there will be a human-noticable latency opening programs and saving/loading files, as compared to if there was no A/V software running in the background.

I think that overall, A/V software that is constantly running in the background is a waste of cycles, a "cure" that is often worse than the disease.

For experienced computer users, I don't think A/V software is necessary. For inexperienced users, perhaps every possible layer of shielding would be good for them. (But that's not me.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now