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Microsoft Recommended Services Software Windows

Read these articles from Windows Secrets for tips on malware cleaners

ms_antimalware_tools_chart
Picture courtesy of Fred Langa/Windows Secrets

 

Microsoft’s six free desktop security tools

A dozen tools for removing almost any malware

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Recommended Software

Free antivirus AVG and Avast ready for Windows 8

AVG Free was updated for Window 8 already back in September. With the official release and general availability of Windows 8 this week, Avast also updated their free antivirus to support the newest Microsoft operating system. Update: Seems Avast already was ready for Windows 8 when they released version 7 back in February 2012.

avast! 7 is Windows 8 Beta compatible and includes specific features for Windows 8 such as the Early-Load Antimalware Driver (ELAM) against system-level rootkits and bootkits.

Another less known alternative is Panda Cloud Antivirus, which also  supports Windows 8. Version 2.0 was released earlier this year and has done well in tests performed by AV-Comparatives.org. In September 2012 Panda Cloud AV achieved Virus Bulletin VB100 award.

CNET’s Download.com rates AVG as Spectacular, Avast as Outstanding and Panda as Excellent, so you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Windows 8 already includes an anti malware solution called Windows Defender, which is actually just Microsoft Security Essentials re-branded. The Windows Defender name debuted six years ago, then only as an anti spyware product with some additional features.

In previous tests performed by AV-Test.org, Microsoft Security Essentials did poor in the repair test.

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Recommended Software

Security check for fall 2012, which antivirus to buy

Remember: Antivirus is not a replacement for common sence! Be smart when using the Internet. Don’t click on links from unkown (and sometimes even known) sources in e-mails, messengers or on social sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). Close popup windows with the red cross at the upper right, as the buttons in the image might install unwanted software without you knowing.

Only have one antivirus installed, or the programs might conflict and slow down your computer. Also keep your operating system and software up-to-date.

Once or twice a year I do a little research to find out which antivirus gives best protection for my money. By examining the results from test labs like AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives.org and reviews from renowned sites like PCMag.com, I come to a conclusion. Last year I recommended BitDefender, but this year they’re surpassed by Kaspersky. Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 got a full score with 6 out of 6 in both protection and repair from AV-Test (August 2012).

 

BitDefender Internet Security 2012 came in second place with 5.5/6 in protection and 6/6 in repair, so it’s still a valid recommendation.

Actually they both won each category for 2011.

In AV-Comparatives.org Real-World Protection Test they also did well, getting an Advanced+ for July 2012.

And both get an excellent editor’s rating from PCMag.com. BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013 gets the even more popular Editor’s Choice.

 

Free alternatives

The most popular free antiviruses has been the triple A gang the last years. Avast, AVG and Avira are frequently recommended as free alternatives. They only offer basic protection from malware, but that’s still better than nothing. I’ve used and recommended Microsoft Security Essentials since it came out, but the latest version doesn’t do well in the protection test over at AV-Test.org. It actually comes last with the score 2/6.

So I have to recommend AVG Free or Avast Free (Avira Free not tested by AV-Test.org).

AVG Free 2013 gets the Editor’s Choice from PCMag.com.

 

Both AVG Free and Avast Free get good ratings from CNET’s Download.com.

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Noteworthy

Technews for week 17

Here in Norway weeks starts on Monday and we use week numbers. Below is the most interesting technews for week 17.

Google rebranded Docs to Drive to compete with Dropbox. By installing the app in Windows, Mac, Android or iOS (coming soon they say), your files will be synced across devices and always be up to date. You get 5GB for free and at the same time Google bumped the Gmail storage to 10GB (and counting).

Microsoft also wants to compete with Dropbox, so they scaled back SkyDrive from 25GB to 7GB and have also released apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Windows Phone. If you’re fast, you can keep those 25GB. As with the others, Microsoft too offers paid upgrades.

Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows has a nice comparison of the different online storage/collaboration/sync services.

Microsoft also released version 4.0(.1526.0) of their antimalware program (includes protection against virus, spyware and other malicous software) for Windows XP, Vista and 7. Microsoft Security Essentials is free for personal use (and small businesses for up to 10 PCs).

Mozilla released Firefox 12 this week and follows Google Chrome with their new auto update service. For Firefox to be updated in the background without any user consent, installing a service is a must. You can opt out of if you prefer to be notified (like previous versions).

I’m not a big gamer, but I’ve really enjoyed the Uncharted series from Naughty Dog (The second installment being my favorite of the three.) Now you can relive Nathan Drake’s adventures as a fan has made the three games into separate “movies” on YouTube.

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Recommended Software

Security: Best antivirus money can buy (spring 2011)

Based on tests done by three renowned sites, I’ve concluded that BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 / BitDefender Internet Security 2011 is the best antimalware solution money can buy right now. It’s one of the top two in AV-Test’s report for April with 15.5 out of 18 points and full score in the protection test, it got an Advanced+ rating with few false-positives from AV-Comparatives in February and a high rating in Matousec’s firewall tests.

Prices start at 29.95$ for BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 (1 PC for 1 year) and 39.95$ for BitDefender Internet Security 2011 (1 PC for 1 year). Add 10$ for protection for 3 PCs. You can choose other combinations over at www.bitdefender.com. See the product comparison chart for differences between the two.  Also check out their free online scanner.

If you’re looking for free protection, see my post ‘Security: AV-Comparatives antivirus tests for fall/winter 2010‘.