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DCross

Free real time anti-malware protection

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This morning I was forced to uninstall my starter edition copy of Spyware Doctor 6 after receiving an error message on start-up and each subsequent time I tried to open the program. I planned to just reinstall it from CNET or the PCTools site, but found that the starter edition was no longer available there (there was a free edition, but it appears that this version does not actually remove the malware it detects). Now, there is, I think, a starter edition with anti-virus available with Google toolbar, but as I'm happy with Avast I'd rather not install it. Are there any other reputable free programs that offer real-time anti-malware protection?

I'm currently running Avast antivirus, Windows Defender, and Comodo Firewall with Defence+ in real time and perform regular scans with Malwarebytes, but I'm not sure if this is enough or not.

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Hi DCross -

The only free real time (I know of) is Microsoft Security Essentials - It replaces your Defender as well as Avast (free?) - PC Tools usually only offer free "looking" and not removal - That is when you are expected to pay for it -

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Spybot Search & Destroy has the capability of running in realtime to offer additional protection using TeaTimer, but the cost in system resources is seldom worth it. If you're looking for additional protection you might consider using a tool such as HostsMan as it will help with blocking malicious websites known to host malware, thus protecting you from the nasties they try to spread.

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Thanks for the quick replies <_< I can't find much information on how Windows Security Essentials compares to Avast, so I'm not eager to replace my antivirus just yet. Is the Security Essentials anti-spyware component significantly better than Defender? My parents computer is currently running Spybot Search and Destroy, but, as was mentioned, it really does slow the system down, so I think that one's probably out.

Anyway, having noticed that the Malwarebytes full version requires a one-off payment that can be made using Paypal rather than a subscription (the main thing that deters me from paying for security software) I think I might purchase that for real time protection. exile360 would you recommend using HostsMan in addition to the IP blocking facility available in the mbam paid edition?

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You're welcome <_<

I know MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) is good, but I've not seen any direct comparisons between Avast! and it either, so I cannot make that call. I do know that MSE contains the same anti-spyware capabilities as Windows Defender, but they seem to have stepped up the rate of updates for Windows Defender since MSE was released, leading me to believe that its detection rates have likely improved thanks to their development of MSE.

You are correct, Malwarebytes' only requires a one-time payment for life for each PC you install it on, and they offer a multi-license discount should you require more than one license. Also, should you ever get a new PC, discarding the old one, you can remove Malwarebytes' from the old PC and install it on the new one, using your license key and ID to register it on the new system per the instructions in item #16 of the FAQ located here.

As for conflicts between Malwarebytes' IP Protection and HOSTS files, no, I've never experienced any issues (I use both together myself). HostsMan is nice because of how it works, not using any resources and having the capability to block malicious sites and ads, Malwarebytes' IP Protection module is great because it's updated so frequently, much more often than the HOSTS files that are used by HostsMan, thus providing more up to date protection, but it doesn't cover all of the same territory so I prefer to use both and have no trouble recommending that others such as yourself do the same ;) .

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I use HostsMan with hpHosts and MVPS HOSTS files and HostServer the browser speedup proxy and I set Enable log plus Log referrer to see the HOSTS file effectiveness in Preferences.

HostsServer can be auto started with Vista or Windows 7.

On Vista/Windows 7 HostsMan has to be Run as administrator to have write access to the HOSTS file.

MSE can be run with avast! but its best to not have its real time protection enabled as there could be a clash if an infection is detected.

It can be used as an on-demand scanner.

I don't use MSE on Windows 7 and have Windows Defender set to run at 7:00am each day just like I have Windows Defender on my XP Pro system set to run at 7:00am each day.

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ad-aware

I've gone away from AdAware recently - Found the new version a bit ~~~ Too slow and heavy now -

Again no real time unless you purchase - That I know of - Only on demand as I know it -

But I will double check - I have been known to be wrong - ;)

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Ad-Aware has not kept up with the latest malware infections and now its not worth the hard disk space it consumes nor system resources it consumes.

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..mm..that's a lot of hosts files you use there, YoKenny1; I'm assuming that they're all merged in Windows' hosts file.

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@ Marcus

When HostsMan downloads the HOSTS files it checks for duplicates and removes them from the Windows HOSTS file.

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I would not recommend Ad-aware to anyone now, I noticed that it was in my "process" as running even though I only had the free on demand scanner, so I removed it and My boot up has quickened ^_^ I use what you can see in my sig and I have had no conflicts.

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Yes, Ad-Aware runs at startup (even the free version), and also installs a service that runs in the background as I recall.

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The long Long scan seemed to pick up things that I removed ages ago and did not 'exist' - They were not bad , just silly little items -

That's when I found I did not need it and it did no more than a quick SAS scan -

EDIT -

Ad-Aware Free Anti-Malware features

real-time protection,

a rootkit removal system,

automatic updates,and much more — to ensure that you have the power to protect yourself online.

Recent statement taken from the Lavasoft (Adaware) site about the newer 'Annversary Edition' -

Not sure how much the real time actually functions - Otherwise they would not be left with much to sell to the 'home market'

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i have ad-aware for a while now. Their real-time function has 3 levels protection processes, registry and restricted ip

their free version only protects the processes i hate how they have free version, plus version and pro version. I find that to be all marketing for money

i notice ad-aware isn't liked here much lol

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Ad-Aware used to be good but has not kept up to the times and is interested in marketing the plus ant the Pro versions.

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yes i have heard, i wasnt into software untill just recently so i never knew but i heard they were really good back in 2001 and then they cared more about marketing. I still like ad-aware even though i heard about that. Their scanner catches things malwarebytes and avast and others haven't caught and vice-versa

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