Computer security packages formerly known as “antivirus software” almost invariably evolve in the same direction: fatter, slower, more intrusive. I went through seven years of Norton on the notebook, and each new incarnation was more blubbery. Worse, Symantec seemed to be charging by the perceived pound. Out it went, replaced by Eset, which behaves itself better.
Eset will be going on my desktop when license-renewal comes around, near the end of the year. Having banished CA’s product for a variety of offenses, I temporarily swapped in a freebie: Avira’s, which cost nothing more than the indignity of a single pop-up ad at each update. It was a very efficient program their “Luke Filewalker” routine scanned 800,000 files on this box in three hours and otherwise kept out of the way.
Then came their newest version, which wanted to install a toolbar. I went into Cee Lo Green mode and propelled it off the premises. This leaves a few months to fill, and I have filled them with, of all things, a Microsoft product.
MS Security Essentials had, I reasoned, one advantage: it might keep up with the Redmond Patch-of-the-Week Club. (This is Eset’s one small failing: if it loads up and deems you to be missing the latest and greatest Microsoft hole-filler, it whines at you.) Haven’t been able to check that yet. Its scanner, however, is thorough, if not especially speedy, and in addition to the usually-expected dubious Java exploits, it found two gag programs from the 1980s, buried in an old self-extracting Zip file, that nobody else’s scanner had so much as acknowledged.
I have also installed this on my work box, thereby saving the department the cost of one AV license. My generosity clearly knows no bounds.