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Anti-Virus software - Is it necessary to pay for it?

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Anti-Virus software - Is it necessary to pay for it?

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joannaberjoannaber Forumite
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For years we have been using the free edition of AVG and had no virus incidents but we are bombarded with messages from AVG saying we can be tracked, our computer suffers from 'clutter and slowdown' etc, etc.  And then since buying a new computer we now have a similar set of warnings from McAfee as well because the machine came with a free trial of McAfee. I am wondering, would it really improve our security, or even speed up the computer, if we started a paid subscription? If so, any recommendations about which one to go for?  AVG? McAfee? Something else? Many thanks. 

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  • debitcardmayhemdebitcardmayhem Forumite
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    No assuming it's Windows 10 delete those snake oil vendors wares and let Windows Security take care of it.
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  • edited 6 May at 8:16PM
    tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    edited 6 May at 8:16PM
    Above is the perfect answer in terms of anti-virus packages.

    The primary defence against malware is yourself and your browsing and email hygiene and checking what you click on before you do and also checking the reputation of any software you choose to install.

    Second line of defence is a good backup regime so that in the event of a malware infection you can immediately isolate and wipe your machine without hesitation and re-install clean Windows and your personal data. **

    Reputable browser based ad-blockers prevent tracking and actually provide blocking of 3rd party malware sites, something like the open source Ublock Origin is are good for this, but beware, some adblockers are potentially malware themselves.

    A clean DNS service is another line of defence, Cloudfare anti malware on 1.1.1.2 is another useful addition, other DNS providers also have similar services.

    I also use a router based malware protection from Trend Micro known as AiProtection that comes with Asus routers, really useful for whole house protection.

    In terms of a "cluttered" machine and the clean ups offered - you can do everything these packages do directly from Windows which I'd recommend because you will have a better understanding of what it is "cleaning"

    Whether all that "clutter" slows your machine down is debatable, just installing software doesn't necessarily slow your machine but watch out for things that load at start-up and run in the background, these are easy to review in the Windows settings page called "Start up apps". The fact is that most of the clean up tools are parasitic themselves lurking in the background, you are better off without them.

    In days gone by with spinning hard disks, it was more useful to clean up temporary files etc to prevent performance issues caused by fragmentation but on modern SSD machines it doesn't matter so much but again, Windows now has an easy built in way to clean up temporary files if that bothers you - just search "delete temporary files" in the Windows settings and it will do pretty much what the bloatware AV packages do. You can do the same in your favourite browser as well to clean temporary files and cookies if that takes your fancy.

    Occasionally go through your installed apps - again accessible from Windows settings and remove anything you no longer use. It might not speed your machine up but can free up disk space.

    ** It still surprises me know about how many people don't backup their personal data. If you view your PC operating system and software as something transient that you can wipe at any moment without worry of losing anything important you will sleep better at night. How many people reading this post could wipe their hard disk right now without crying about data loss and be up and running again in an hour with a clean PC?
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  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    ** It still surprises me know about how many people don't backup their personal data. If you view your PC operating system and software as something transient that you can wipe at any moment without worry of losing anything important you will sleep better at night. How many people reading this post could wipe their hard disk right now without crying about data loss and be up and running again in an hour with a clean PC?

    Unfortunately this is how people learn.  Don't back anything up, computer goes south, they lose the lot.  Once it's happened, they soon want to learn about backing up.

    Still saw lots of people though who just copied a bunch of shortcuts to a USB stick and thought that was "backing up".
  • joannaberjoannaber Forumite
    50 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Many thanks for these reassuring replies!

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