A Different Anti-Virus Program to Consider by Don Trauger – Kennett
For many years I have personally used and recommended Avast Anti-Virus as a good choice for an anti-virus program. It is free and it also carries a very good reputation for protection. Lately things have changed. Don’t be concerned that Avast’s protection level has degraded. That is not the case. It’s how Avast’s programmers actually code the program for use with older computers such as Windows XP. Avast works well with newer operating systems such as Windows 7 that can handle the demands from Avast. It seems, even with enough memory installed in an XP computer, its operating system does not function well with Avast installed. Here’s a typical example: You boot the XP computer and it displays the Desktop screen in a timely fashion. Avast does not materially affect boot times. But shortly after that you click an icon to open a program and it hangs for a minute or so leaving you with a situation in that you can’t do anything. You may have the patience to wait it out and that’s fine because the computer will eventually respond after a minute or so. But if you are like me why should you put up with this frustration of waiting?
I’ve researched the latest field of free anti-virus programs and have decided Bitdefender is the best choice. Why a free Anti-virus program? Simply because Bitdefender ranks among the top in protection and the program code works well with XP. I also recommend it for newer operating systems such as Windows Vista, 7 & 8. In a recent test by an independent security company, Bitdefender had an 82% detection rate. Avast measured 79%. The highest was a paid-for brand at 84%
If you want to change to Bitdefender here’s what you need to do. Go to the Bitdefender web site (http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html) to download this free version. Save it to your Desktop or Download folder. Once it’s downloaded proceed to the Control Panel in Windows and click Add/Remove Programs for XP or Programs & Features for Vista and newer. Click Avast and uninstall (change/remove) it. This is a must because having 2 anti-virus programs installed is a recipe for crashes and slow operation. After Avast is uninstalled, locate the Bitdefender download file and double click it to install it.
After installation Bitdefender updates the program code and the virus definitions automatically. Register with your email address and receive free lifetime virus protection. Bitdefender is one of the simplest anti-virus programs I’ve seen. You don’t have any options to set other than to allow/disallow Auto Scan or disabling the Virus Shield, both of which must remain on for protection. Two levels of scans are automatically determined by the program. One is a deep level scan that takes place weekly; the other is a daily scan that takes a minute or so to run. I’ve not found the scans to materially slow the computer.
We will discuss Bitdefender at the PC Club December 10th meeting. Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the upstairs Ardmore room of the Community Center.