Welcome to the Anti-Virus world in the Green Mountain State.


Quickie Reviews

      We have installed or administered antivirus or "internet security" programs from several of the well known software houses. All of them can work quite well but all of them have issues. Here's a quick look at the most important ones.

  • Avast!
          We are using Avast! now and find it slightly quirky but reasonable in size and operation. Protection includes an on-demand and resident scanners which moderately slow the system during email send/receive cycles, file transfers, and application access. The email protection is adequate for POP3, SMTP and IMAP accounts.
          The Avast! update feature checks for product and virus definition updates automatically; although the intervals can be user-defined, the Avast! scheduler seems to override the setting and often posts an "update available" alert even when no Internet connection exists. The update process has worked flawlessly.
  • CA Internet Security (originally known as eTrust)
          We started using eTrust because it was lean and fast. Unfortunately, it has become bloated. The CA site is s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w for the 18GB download during the initial installation. When the download fails (which it will) the firewall locks out network access. On one XP Pro system, the       CA Common Tray crashed shortly after almost every computer start.
  • McAfee
          Big and clunky. We discovered a major glitch in the McAfee line when it ran unattended on a peer-to-peer Win2K-based server in a small law office; the automatic update feature will not operate unless the program is running within an administrator login. We were unable to force updates without a login or with any "run as" adminstrator settings.
          That's a serious security issue in a security program.
  • Norton AntiVirus and Internet Security
          Probably the most bloated set of programs in this market. We stopped using or recommending the Symantec lineup because it consistently eats system resources in all current Windows-based operating systems. The automatic update regularly crashes systems that still use dial-up networking.
          Note that NAV works reasonably well in a managed environment (meaning when it is pushed from a dedicated IT department).

How to protect your email


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