Truth is, today's routers, OS firewalls, and built-in defenses are pretty good, as long as one has enough common sense not to click on email links and attachments.
In addition, I occasionally run SpyBot, Ad-Aware, and Stinger, but rarely find anything out of the ordinary. I keep WOT running on my browser as well. Certainly keeping a resident antivirus program running is not as necessary as it once was, and sure makes for a leaner system.
When I'm using my editing machine, I have my router unplugged. I do have antivirus on it as well as Firefox, which connects thru my other computer. The only time they are connected, is when I need to update something on the editor, or need to push or pull something that's on the other computer. No virus on the editor in over 20 years.
I use Avast free on my internet system and it has caught and stopped many over the years. I did have one infection several months ago that took 2 days to find and get rid of, but have been pretty lucky otherwise.
I have been using Trend Micro for the last three years, was good, but the latest is a resource hog.
Switched to VIPRE, works great and not expensive.
Going without on a Windows machine is possible but you never know when you'll get a serious e-mail from someone you're working with and the e-mail contains an infection from their machine.
Why risk that?
And why use IE8 when Firefox is available? I agree that IE8 is real progress compared to its ancestors of ill repute, and is even OK, but I just don't get why anyone should think it's as nice as Firefox in any way? Just a question, not a flame fest.
I have operated ten computers for the last six years. I do not have anti-virus software on ANY of them. I also do not download any patches or updates for any software.
If you do, you cannot know, from one day to the next, whether you have the same computer. When something stops working, you cannot troubleshoot if some update program, behind your back, has changed something. I think you'll find a post in just the last week, in this forum, about someone who got hosed by an XP update.
And, I still run IE6 on all these computers. One of the computers is still running XP SP1, and hasn't been patched since 2004.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend that EVERYONE do this because getting a virus is a non-zero possibility. It IS possible.
It just isn't very likely.
For those of you who have a reasonably modern XP, Vista, or W7 computer, and don't visit warez or porn sites and don't install programs that come as email attachments from countries you've never heard of, you'll probably be OK.
The difference in speed between a computer with anti-virus software and a computer without anti-virus software is stunning. I do IT work on the side, and the number of computers that have been brought to a stand-still by Norton Anti-Virus is, in my experience, criminal. I have seen program load operations that, after I removed all traces of Norton, took less than two seconds, but prior to that removal took over two minutes. Unbelievable stuff.
Now, since YouTube and other sites tell me I shouldn't keep running IE6, and I have a nephew who tells me the same thing already mentioned in this thread (that it is insecure and lacks a lot of modern plumbing), the question is (not to hijack this thread):
what browser SHOULD I use?
My son uses Firefox, but every version I've seen has a horrendous bug that causes it to take over the CPU. I've seen it pegged at over 90% on many occasions. Totally unacceptable. A later version of IE seems like the best idea, but I don't know what version I should use. Microsoft often releases really awful upgrades (Windows ME, Vista, any media player after 9.4, etc.) so I'm reluctant. I don't know enough about Opera to have any opinion.
But as for anti-virus, you can live without it. If you do get a virus, if you have your disk partitioned so that only the O/S and program are on C: and everything else is on some other disk or partition, and if you back up the C: drive every few days, you can restore your computer to the state prior to the virus in under ten minutes, should you get one. In my IT work, I've seen computers infected, mostly with adware, but it is pretty much the same thing, and virtually all viruses and adware are exceedingly easy to spot. If you don't know how to spot a virus, you can always do an online scan or use MS's Malicious Software Removal tool as a quick assessment as to whether you have a problem.
Norton used to be a disaster, today the enterprise version is rated #1 by IT departments. No kidding. I still wouldn't use the regular version.
VIPRE does not slow down the machine noticeably.
Trend Micro used to be OK, but no more.
YouTube and other sites tell me I shouldn't keep running IE6
You go to YouTube for advice on which browser to use????
IT departments with thousands of PCs say they have never had as much trouble as with IE6.
IE8 is pretty safe, but it has all kinds of rendering problems, and the compatibility button is a pain in the hamstrings to have to use on a regular basis.
Firefox renders well, has good tab handling and great free add-ons for both security and a vast selection of timesavers.
if you back up the C: drive every few days, you can restore your computer to the state prior to the virus in under ten minutes, should you get one.
Be glad your life is less complicated...
In practice, if you're an experienced IT pro you can recognize infected junk e-mails without even having to read them.
The problem is that if you communicate with other people who are not up-to-date on their AV or Windows updates and couldn't recognize a crocodile if it bit them in the soft parts , they (your trusted colleagues) will sooner or later send you an ordinary message with an infected payload, auto-created by an install from another e-mail from Nigeria, China or other country that YOU would never accept an e-mail from.
But your colleague/friend/etc. lives in the U.S. of A., so his or her e-mails must be safe...
Better spend the few dollars (if any) and time it takes, unless you can afford to back up a couple of days.
YouTube and other sites tell me I shouldn't keep running IE6Ha! Good one. I guess if you don't use IE6, you wouldn't know what I'm talking about. When I go to YouTube, I get this message at the top of my screen:
"We will be phasing out support for your browser soon.
Please upgrade to one of these more modern browsers."
The editing machine has no internet connection at all. It contains a Windows XP SP3 without any additional updates, so I can reproduce the exact state of the installation. The only times I hook it up to the internet is to perform software activation.
For every internet related things, I use a Gentoo Linux machine. Media I receive from customers are also being read through this machine, so there is no risk for the Windows machine, no anti virus costs, and no slowdown due to anti virus.
I do not use any virus software. I have tried many, but find them to bothersome and take up too many resources.
I was always of the opinion to keep my OS updated with the latest Windows update, until last week.
The little balloon popped up telling me I had updates and if I wanted to install them.
I did, sat and watched it do this while eating a sandwich.......
"Would you like to restart now or later........." well I was on a small break and told it to restart now........ The machine rebooted and was now in a start up loop. whereby it would constantly re-start after the windows splash screen.
Long story short. I ended up spending a day and a half re-formating and re-installing apps due to what I think was a windows update (XP box)
IE8 is OK (other than for the rendering problems), but the latest version of Firefox is so nice AND capable, why use anything else?Bjorn,
Thanks for that. Everyone who knows more about this (browsers) than I do is telling me the same thing: Firefox. So, in the next few months when I am forced to finally enter the modern age of browsers, that will definitely be the first thing I try. I thought my son had upgraded to the latest version, but every time I get on his computer and bring up the task manager, it shows Firefox consuming 20-90% of the CPU. It's an older computer, so more likely to show high percentages, but that's still a lot of CPU when the page has long since rendered.
On my Video editing computer, I do not have an in-memory virus protection. HOWEVER, I have the free version of Malwarebytes installed and run a scan weekly - just to be safe. Since Malwarebytes only runs when I start it, it doesn't interfere with other processes. It's also very good at finding and removing bad actors.
On my laptop & particularly my family computer, I run McAfee. When these computers slow to a crawl, I run Task Manager and usually find that McAfee is hogging the CPU.
Back to original topic of this thread, I am still on XP Home SP3.
--- Ditto no antivirus for a long time, use SpyBot and HijackThis occasionally to see if there's anything. Mostly I just check the Task Manager for odd or new entries.
I've been online back from when Google was still barely a nerd project at Standford or thereabouts, so I'm seasoned enough to not do stupid things that could compromise my system's security (a stand alone which I use for everything).
But here is my Q for XP/Windows users:
---- What about ? Not having an antivirus but XP's Firewall active, I figure might as well at least have some protection. Necessary or not?
I'm using Microsoft Security essentials now - free and it works very well on Win 7 64 bit - I understand it will also run on Vsta and XP. Bitdefender didn't run on Win7 64 bit so I'm out a year left on a 2 year subscription - but I'm covered for free so no big deal.
My Norton subscription had expired, and now that I am behind ATT Uverse's firewall and virus scan (built into router), I didn't bother to renew. My desktop stayed clean and green, but lo and behold, my laptop (also XP) is infected with a virus that hijacks google searches to various sites. After installing Norton 2010, which cannot find anything,, and ad-aware, which cannot see anything either, I just paid Norton $139, and spent over 3 hours online with them, and they cannot fix it either. A new variant, they say, they are calling back today. This is on a 4 year old HP 17" laptop, and I can replace it for less than this is going to end up costing me in time and actual cash outlay. Food for thought...grist for the mill...arrrrgh.
I have a 3 year old laptop and 2 desktop computers and I only run an anti-virus on the laptop because that's the one I use for heavy surfing. I haven't run an anti-virus on desktop 1 [running V8] since the AVG subscription expired last year. I've never put an anti-virus on desktop 2 [running VPro9] because this machine only sees the net for updates to VPro9 and After Effects.
Agree with a lot of the other comments - smart surfing, being aware and a good hardware firewall is all you really need.
I have never run an anti-virus program and will never have to. In nearly 30 years of working over public networks, my computers have had zero viruses. No malware. No spyware.
And I figure that it will stay that way.
Computers and security is what I do for a living. Most people have been trained/taught the only way to fight viruses is by getting into a defensive posture. Applying all manner of bandaid on top of bandaid to try and keep things from seeping into the system. I take the offense as it pertains to keeping a computer safe and clean.
If you remove the methods by which viruses, malware, and/or spyware infiltrate your systems, then your systems will be safe.
The more comfortable you get with a piece of software, the easier it is to be exploited.
As to IE6. Most people will not move away from it due to the user interface in IE7 and IE8. I also find the user interfaces for those browsers to be cryptic and easily confusing. You can actually make IE6 fairly safe, but it takes some effort to do so. In its stock form, it is an open book waiting for anyone to scribble in it.
I have a theroy that Anti-Virus software companies are teh ones making the viruses - how else would they stay in business.
I too as somebody else mentioned here, never used anti virus software.... its is common sense on which web site you go to or mail you open etc. As for anybody trying to get it - I have a few firewalls in place before anything reaches my LAN anyways.
And besides... I am restoring my PCs to a safe clean image every month anyways.
Well I'm on Windows 7 and dumped AVG which I've used for a few years and it is faster for sure. I'm not flying blind though as I dumped AVG for the new free MS Security Essentials and this program has a small footprint and real time protection. Even Leo Laporte the Tech guy gives it a thumbs up.
Dump IE6 for sure as web designers scratch their eyes out trying to make web sites work in that old piece of, well you know. Firefox for me is too bloated and has some recent bugs as does IE8 but both update regularly. The latest Chrome is now my main choice.
Even now..Adobe has a fix but not coming until next month for a security issue in their reader.
Nothing is really safe and who knows what's lurking in 2010 ..
I like Avast much more than AVG free. Haven't tried MS Security Essentials.
2- If you run without antivirus, make sure you use the noscript plug-in for Firefox. It protects you against security holes such as people exploiting vulnerabilities in the Acrobat browser plug-in. (And who updates their Acrobat reader?)
Noscript is also kind of annoying and it also gets rid of many ads.
what browser SHOULD I use?
If you want fast, try Google Chrome. I typically use Firefox, Chrome, and IE because I have different emails and I can be logged into different gmail accounts on each browser. It shouldn't hurt to install them all anyways, though pay attention as to which one becomes the default browser (e.g. easy solution is to install that one last and let it become the default).