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AnnieMS

Any antivirus recs for win2k prof?

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I'm currently running Symantec End Point Protection w/ av & firewall on my Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ win2k sp4. I'd like to replace them. w/ a free av. I looked at comodo's free version which includes av + firewall, but it didn't list win2k. Avast's real-time protection includes web & email and anti-worm, but I'm wondering if this old system can handle it. I've heard avira is a good free av.

The laptop has a 1.8 Pentium 4, 512 RAM & a 30 GB Toshiba hd that one benchmark said had 100% cache misses. It's slow.

I connect to the internet thru a router.

Any recs for a good av that's easy on system resources?

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Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 runs on Windows 2000 and I am relatively certain the definitions continue to be updated by Kaspersky Labs. Granted, it's not a free software, but it is worth the investment; it is an excellent security software.

Then again, you can always go antivirus-less and just be more cautious in surfing the interwebs. :)

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According to av-comparatives.org's 2009 summary-report(latest), then 'Avira AntiVir' came at first place on the 'performance/low-system-impact' test.

I would personally not buy an AV-product, when both 'Avira Antivir' and 'Avast' gets such good scores on the on-demand detection tests at av-comparatives.org...

They both are Win2k compatible...

Edit: In the performance-test, then the 'Avira AntiVir' version tested is the non-free one, but i doubt there would be performance changes between the two editions... Also, the malware/spyware engine in the free/non-free versions of AntiVir are the same(according to the Avira forum at least).

Edit2: some changes in the above + wanted to add the scores that AntiVir, Avast and AVG got in the latest av-comparatives.org's on-demand test:

  • Avira AntiVir: 99.4%
  • Avast: 98.0%
  • AVG: 94.0%

(Note: Not their place in the test-result, but just their scores!)

Edited by Martin H

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Thanks to all for their replies. I don't mind paying for av+firewall if it includes understandable instructions - including what I do if I get an alert or positive scan. Win2k doesn't have a software firewall, so I might should go w/ Kapersky. I'll take a look at it.

I might not need a firewall other than the router. I use firefox w/ noscript, web of trust & betterprivacy, so I'm not as likely to wander where I shouldn't, only scripts I OK get run and regular & flash cookies get cleared whenever I close the browser. I mean to put Spywareblaster on here too [thought I already had] since it doesn't use any resources other than when its updating the forbidden cookie lists. I check Norton Safe Web &/or McAfee's software download check site before downloading any software. I do forget to do the right click > WOT when I'm following links.

Antivir seems to be maintaining its high performance scores over time and if it's also low system impact I think I'll try that first and see how this old machine handles it. I think most of the free/paid av's have the same engines and the paid versions have things like automatic updates and schedule/configure scan options.

What I really like in an av/malware program is for it to automatically update shortly after the computer boots. Avast 4.8 pro does that w/out any impact on system resources. With Symantec I have to manually update. Scheduling times doesn't work since I'm in a high lightning strike area and when I'm not using the computers they are turned off and unplugged. Symantec's updates also stop all other action [on all 3 computers it's been on] until it's done - and it quickly says it's 99% done and then goes on and on and on, grrrr.

Since I have 3 computers networked, what I'd really like is a program I could put on one computer to monitor all network traffic. I don't know if there is such a thing or if it would take me two years to figure out how to configure it. For firewall function maybe I need to look into current router choices. I remember a router that had a firewall w/ port & alert configuration options. I think it was a DLink and I do remember it got fried by lightning.

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AntiVir is pretty low on system resources compared to many others...

No, the free AVs don't use the same engines, and most do allow auto-update /scheduling, like e.g. AntiVir and Avast(both in their free versions...)

If you're sick of the popups in the free AntiVir, then you can just run this command after installing it:

cacls "%programfiles%\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\avnotify.*" /e /d everyone

(now also avnotify.dll needs blocking in addition to avnotify.exe, and hence the 'avnotify.*')

Everyone is free to set permissions on files on their OS, so i can't see the above as anything illegal IMHO...

Edited by Martin H

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Finding the right AV and FW apps is not a trivial task. I think over the last couple of years (I'm using Win2k for 10+ years now) I basically tried every program available. OK, I'm kidding.

My current recommendation for the best mix of protection, small memory footprint/CPU load, Win2k compatibility, configurability:

AV: Avast (free)

FW: Sygate Pro (non-free, still available for a couple of bucks since no longer developed or maintained but who cares)

Products which I tried but discontinued:

Kaspersky IS (free v7 Computerbild Edition, available in Germany): FW has a all or nothing approach to non pre-configured apps, fine tuning is not trivial; the free CBE edition wants a license renewal every 3 or 4 months which is annoying. Somewhat rigid support people.

Bitdefender: Free edition comes without on-access scanner, I'm only using this as an alternative for on-demand scans

Avira: Version 8 was quite OK, the only negative thing to mention were lots of false negatives (basically every packed executable generates a warning). Unfortunately, after the update to version 9 it seemed to me the latest version is not fully compatible with Win2k. Also the popping ads for the Pro version became annoying. Dumped it.

Nod32: Version 2.7 actually was quite good, too. Later versions could not convince me.

PC Cillin, McAfee, Symantec: Either not so good malware detection or considered as bloatware.

[Writing this from work, posting from a pc running XP]

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Avira: Version 8 was quite OK, the only negative thing to mention were lots of false negatives (basically every packed executable generates a warning).

Hmmm, I wonder how it manages true positives, if it throws a warning on false negatives. ;)

:angel

jaclaz

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Thanks to all for replying,

I thought free avg, avast & bitdefender all had the same engine - by which I mean ability to detect malware - as their paid versions. When I went to replace SEP on my thinkpad at the end of 2008 because a vurunda infection rapidly and totally crippled it [despite religious daily updates and SEP's real-time protection] I found out about rootkits while researching av's so I looked at av's w/ supposed anti-rootkit functions and I checked out those 3. Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

I certainly don't want a free version that is less effective at preventing/id'ing malware than its paid version. I don't want one w/ popups either but I do want low system resources. If I try antivir I'll read their license agreement carefully and if there's nothing that says not to, I agree w/ Martin H that I should be able to set file permissions and I'll try the command you provided.

That virunda or vurunda or whatever infection was the first infection I ever had. It hit so hard and fast I never found out where it came from. Since 2002 I've browsed the web behind a hardware firewall [router] w/ av & software firewalls & windows kept up to date. I'm careful w/ emails, where and what I download and what I run/install. Downloads always got rightclicked scanned by av & spybot or malwarebytes before being opened/run. Very occasionally an av scan would catch and quarantine/clean a suspected infector. Spybot scans only ever found tracking cookies and since I could configure firefox to delete all cookies on closing that only happened when I was browsing while the scan was running.

Since 2002 the malicious threats and type of threats to pc's just keep getting worse. Now w/ the emphasis on financial gain rather than trashing a computer or confounding/embarrassing big business and rootkits being published on the web and snuck onto computers by Sony cds, I'm not sure it's possible to secure one's computer. Before, if you obeyed the safety rules you might still get infected if you were unlucky or did something stupid while tired. But if you kept your data backed up, you'd just loose time reformatting and reinstalling. Now, there's the risk of someone having access to the data on your computer without you having a clue.

At the time I got hit by the vurunda, I was trying to figure out what performance counters,hardware tests & benchmarks to use on both computers I had running to find out why my windows computers always run so slow and word and paperport are always crashing despite the specs exceeding the requirements. After reading about rootkits I wondered if the slow/poor performance and some of the never-ending list of troubleshooting issues was because there were programs running that windows, av and anti-malware programs couldn't id.

I've done a lot of reading trying to determine 1.what was the likelihood that a personal computer like mine had one and 2.how to scan to make sure a rootkit wasn't present and 3.how to set up security for the current threat climate.I haven't been able to determine an answer for 1 or 3. As for 2, per my reading there are 2 kinds of rootkits. One kind can be id'ed by an in system av scan once its signature becomes known, so avg, avast etc ought to be able to detect them. The other requires a scan like rootkitrevealer for detection and that kind of scan requires an expert to read it. I'm hoping that kind is unlikely to be on a home computer.

I was looking at panda because their online scanner works on win2k and they have that cloud av that's supposed to be low resource. I didn't see any mention of rootkit detection, tho, either for the online scanner or cloud protection. I thought of them because some of my rootkit research links led to Panda antirootkits for download [still downloadable but not apparently still supported] and they were part of the group that "captured" that Mariposa botnet so I thought they'd be expert on rootkits.

I don't think the cloud has proven as effective as avast & avira, whether or not it includes rootkit scanning.

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