edpatino

Opinions on Antivirus for flightsim PCs

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Hi folks:

One of my A/V licenses (on my laptop) is about to expire (in about 1 month) and want to hear your opinions about the best A/Vs out there to protect our flightsim computers and, at the same time, being not so rude or aggressive in detecting files that are not really viruses or malware, or taking to much attention from you as user, but that run as smoothly as possible in the background instead. It's also important that it would not affect the performance of your machine.

Please suggestions?. Anxious to hear them!.

Thanks, Ed

 

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virus software has been deprecated by blackhats who now favor Malware delivered via links.  I simply use Windows 10 defender which does the job well IMO.  Don't compare it to past Defender versions or even the virus Scanner Marketeer versions.  They all do the job well but Defender is the least obtrusive IMO.  Make sure to exclude you sim folder in any case.

 

Regards

jjs

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I turn Eset off when am flying on my sim machine. Never had any problems with it.

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I turn Eset off when am flying on my sim machine. Never had any problems with it.

 

And if you forget to turn it off, it will drag your performance down like a boat anchor. 

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And if you forget to turn it off, it will drag your performance down like a boat anchor. 

 

I had to uninstall its latest version and changed for the one I use now which is also not good for me. Previous versions of ESET worked fine, until the latest version came out with a lot of glitches IMO.

Thanks, Ed

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And if you forget to turn it off, it will drag your performance down like a boat anchor.

With respect, Bob, that's nonsense. I've been using ESET NOD32 A/V exclusively for many years since first recommended by the late Michael Greenblatt and never had any performance related Issues. Mind you my experience ihas been confined to Windows XP 32bit and Windows7 Pro 64bit.Perhaps it's a Windows 10 thing, an operating system I'm endeavouring to steer well clear of for as long as possible. Oh, and by-the-way I NEVER turn it off expect during new software installations and it's always fully up to date. All that is necessary is to exclude any sim-related folders from being scanned.

 

Regards,

Mike

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With respect, Bob, that's nonsense. I've been using ESET NOD32 A/V exclusively for many years since first recommended by the late Michael Greenblatt and never had any performance related Issues. Mind you my experience ihas been confined to Windows XP 32bit and Windows7 Pro 64bit.Perhaps it's a Windows 10 thing, an operating system I'm endeavouring to steer well clear of for as long as possible. Oh, and by-the-way I NEVER turn it off expect during new software installations and it's always fully up to date. All that is necessary is to exclude any sim-related folders from being scanned.

 

Regards,

Mike

 

I and a friend of mine both ditched it a couple of years ago and switched to Web root, and saw an increase in performance on both P3D and Train Simulator. Wasn't nonsense for me. 

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This is actually a subject that I have a lot of professional experience with.

 

I'm sure that, like similar threads, we'll hear from people who damn this, damn that and even say that antimalware isn't necessary.  As a computer engineer with network management experience at the base and ISP level who has worked with end point security I certainly have a different opinion.

 

First, just using an antivirus can provide you with a false sense of security. What is recommended is a full computer security suite, but I'll tell you that this too can lead to a false sense of security depending on how it's setup, updated, monitored/used and of course there is user behavior.  Most of us know these things, but I say them to avoid people picking apart a recommendation.

 

The three best rated security suites (in no particular order) are Bit Defender, Kapersky's and Nortons.  They all have their nuances, but are all pretty much equal.  I've used Norton's for several years because the price for 10 licenses... yep, I'm running Norton's on three desktops, three laptops, and the rest are Android devices.  Two of the desktops are Flight Sim Beta Test rigs - which CAN NOT be hindered by performance issues, and they ARE NOT.  I don't even know Norton's is running (remember, I'm a computer engineer so I at least know how to monitor such things) so all the scary boo-boo stuff about Norton's or other security suites is just not accurate and I say again it's all how you set up your software.

 

If anyone is interested, I made the case for mandating use of a computer security suite for those who fly shared cockpit (which is becoming more and more mainstream) in the OVPA Shared Cockpit Setup Guide, which also contains Norton's Security Suite settings.  You can find the guide in the AVSIM Shared Cockpit forum, Aerosoft Connected Flight Deck forum or the OVPA Website.  It not only applies to shared cockpit, and it's something that everyone might read and ponder over if they think that PC security is not a big deal so long as they watch which websites they go to... that is an important part of one's security plan, but only a part of it.

 

I hope this has been helpful, and I'd be happy to answer any related questions anyone might have.

 

My very best wishes to all my flight sim brothers and sisters.

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virus software has been deprecated by blackhats who now favor Malware delivered via links.  I simply use Windows 10 defender which does the job well IMO.  Don't compare it to past Defender versions or even the virus Scanner Marketeer versions.  They all do the job well but Defender is the least obtrusive IMO.  Make sure to exclude you sim folder in any case.

 

Regards

jjs

I agree. It is my AV (Windows 10 defender) and I use MalwareBytes. The combo has been 100% effective, and I do a lot of variety in my web surfing! And the combo does not seem to affect my system performance. That to me along with 18 months of 100% effectiveness is the decisive factor!

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Speaking also with professional experience, I agree with DaveCT2003.   If you have a Windows PC and it isn't completely airgapped from a network it is reckless to not run antivirus and antimalware on it.   MSE is a solid recommendation, because the cost is zero, but if you're worried about maximum protection it's not the way to go.   There are a number of organizations that do serious AV testing, but I really like AV Comparatives.   They consistently rank several AV packages in the top tier, with probably the two best scoring ones usually being Kaspersky and BitDefender.    MSE usually falls one, if not two, classes behind.

I run Kaspersky on all of my Windows machines, with game mode configured for activation where suitable.    I also routinely scan with MBAM.  (MBAM v3 is out and now does real-time AV scanning in addition to its malware scans.  I've been thinking about giving that a spin, but I want to wait for some independent tests on it.)

If you don't want to run AV, keep your machine off the network and never install anything you don't 100% explicitly trust on it.   That's the best way to be safe.

(Really, though, the best, cheapest AV is common sense and a little education, but we all know how common common sense is.  :D )

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Been using Kaspersky Total Security, multi-licence from day one on FSX, FSX-SE, P3D and XP10and 11. The only issue I have ever had was when it thought the Milviz 737 FSX install was installing malware and quarantined a few files, I just added those files as an exclusion and it installed no worries. And Kaspersky recognize loyal customers and offer great discounts to renew when it's time.

 

Prior to Kaspersky I used Norton and had no end of warnings and quarantining of files when I tried to install a flightsim Addon.

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If anyone is interested, I made the case for mandating use of a computer security suite for those who fly shared cockpit (which is becoming more and more mainstream) in the OVPA Shared Cockpit Setup Guide, which also contains Norton's Security Suite settings.

 

Great input Dave!

 

I didn't realize your technical background... similar to mine (ex-Systems engineer/network consultant/CNE/CNI )in my heyday, and that's a great comfort to know that there is someone Who not only shares your deep interests, but also one whom you trust, and most importantly, is "current".

 

Regards,

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My 2c: Kaspersky for about 6-7 years now, not a single issue with it, FS is running great (excluded), performance degradation on todays (FS PCs usually) is almost negligible, here and there a false positive, other than that, all is well. And this is coming from a sys-admin (not security expert however).

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I removed AV software from my machine about three years ago. I just backup everything regularly to an external drive and keep away from opaque websites. Its a dedicated fligthsim machine, so flightsim payware is about all that gets downloaded. My machine has been much less brattish without AV software.

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I removed AV software from my machine about three years ago. I just backup everything regularly to an external drive and keep away from opaque websites. Its a dedicated fligthsim machine, so flightsim payware is about all that gets downloaded. My machine has been much less brattish without AV software.

Same here dont use any AV, all I do is run malwarebytes once a month and CClean once a week. I dont keep anything on PC that needs hiding or is of any use to anyone. 

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all I do is run malwarebytes once a month and CClean once a week

 

Yup.  That''s my regime too

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I and a friend of mine both ditched it a couple of years ago and switched to Web root, and saw an increase in performance on both P3D and Train Simulator. Wasn't nonsense for me.

Hi Bob,

 

Certainly can't argue with that. However, it does raise the question about the differences in our Setups that could explain our experiences. It's funny, because in the days of Windows XP I too was happily using Webroot A/V until Michael Greenblatt steered me away from it and also the free offering of AVG A/V which I had tried previously. Can't say I've ever felt disappointed. ESET seems to handle things nicely, has a relatively small footprint and, like the other poster, most of the time I'm unaware of its presence. I guess we all have made our choices and will defend that choice vigorously irrespective of whether it would be considered the best option. In the end I suspect it has much more to do with our browsing adventures and the maintenance of an appropriate level of caution than the technical finesse of our security products which are there simply to cover our backs.

 

All the A/V solutions have improved over the years in terms of capabilities and degree of intrusiveness. I remember it said about Norton having such deep rooted code embedded in the operating system that it was extremely difficult to uninstall cleanly without using Norton's bespoke tool. I'm sure things have changed for the better over the years and no matter the choice we make most of the better products will do a pretty good job for us.

 

Cheers!

 

Mike 🍺

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I use Windows defender and once in a while I run the free version of Malwarebytes.  One thing I think makes a lot of sense for flightsim is to turn off the A/V when flying.  I usually just kill the program with a startup manager.

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There are a number of organizations that do serious AV testing, but I really like AV Comparatives. They consistently rank several AV packages in the top tier, with probably the two best scoring ones usually being Kaspersky and BitDefender. MSE usually falls one, if not two, classes behind.

 

Humm, quite interesting and thanks for sharing!. Downloaded their AV Comparatives latest survey dated Dec. 2016 and surprisingly to me they rated Avira as product of the year, and also give big awards to Kaspersky and Bitdefender. Adding all those valuable comments so far, it seems that most users prefer either Kaspersky, Bitdefender or Webroot. Picture is mot clear now to me.

Thanks to all of you, Ed

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I've seen some pretty effective buzz words and phrases here, such as "reckless" and "false sense of security", and while I believe they make for good argument, I firmly believe that the best anti-virus out there, bar none, is abstinence.  If you use your computer to check email, browse the web, purchase products from an online retailer, engage in social media, then yes, you are exposed, but in the general sense.  We've bought into this perpetuation of fear, brought about by the big name security firms and anti-virus developers, and sure, there was a time when worms, viruses and malware ran rampant and our chances of contracting such things were pretty high, but now, it's all about staying informed, educated and vigilant.  With those three things, under our belts, we don't have to worry about being attacked, infected or otherwise inconvenienced by viruses.

 

My point here is that in the three years I've been not using anti-virus, my computer has stayed clean.  I say three years, because I'd been around the bend with paid and free anti-virus and I found overall, they were more trouble than they were worth.  Whether they touted their program to be "light on resources" or "unobtrusive", the fact remained that it was just another process having to run all the time on my machine, and I still never knew whether it was truly protecting me.  On top of that, it was yet another thing to configure, watch over, and worry about when I fired up my sim. I also thought perhaps it was all part of a "placebo effect", in that having an anti-virus program installed on my machine was somehow fooling me into believing that I was protected and that i could go anywhere I wanted online, knowing I couldn't get a virus or be subjected to malware, when in truth, it was all about my browsing habits and how diligent I could be to just avoid the possibility of getting attacked.  

 

The only "anti-virus" I have running is Windows Defender, because by default, it is a part of Windows 10.  Would I still be safe without it? Who knows, but I don't give it a second thought, with the operative phrase being "do I even think about it anymore?".  What I do know though is that anywhere I go, whatever I do, i am responsible for those actions and if by chance, I get infected, it's my fault.  Choosing to go to shady websites, or make purchases that may not be from a verified vendor, is just asking for trouble, so this is where abstinence comes into play.  If you stay away from questionable sites, you're fine.  If you get an email from someone you don't know, mark it as junk, delete it and move on.  If the news says that a certain site was hacked, don't go there.  It's all that simple, but people seem to believe that having that protection in place would somehow satisfy their fears.

 

Fear and paranoia seem to be the driving force for anti-virus program developers.  I have had my fair share of viruses in the past, and I can honestly tell you exactly how I got them, through no fault of my own.  I was given links to downloads that were bad.  I went to questionable websites.  I brought all of that on myself.  Now, I am wiser and learned from those mistakes, but not through installing anti-virus, rather I changed my habits.  Not too long ago, I performed a quick experiment by downloading Malwarebytes trial and I ran a deep scan on my computer, which had been exposed to the internet through several websites without any type of protection.  The results were not surprising, since MB found nothing.  My due diligence paid off, and all through alternative methods of protection.  There are many extensions for Chrome that blocks trackers, bad ads and the like...all free.  I only browse to sites that are necessary and my email inboxes are spam free.  I educated myself on the ins and outs of safe browsing without the need for additional software that has to inject itself into the browser to protect me.  Another aspect of the net that is pretty popular is the inclusion of social networking, which I abstain from as well.  From what I have read, it is a haven for trouble, but that's my opinion, and with that, I don't engage in it and it's become yet another level of protection for myself.  It's all pretty simple when you think about it.

 

If you believe anti-virus works for you, then great, keep using it.  My own experience tells a different side and if you can live without a lot of those things that can contribute to possible attacks, then you save yourself a lot of time, money and frustration.

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my computer has stayed clean.  I say three years, because I'd been around the bend with paid and free anti-virus and I found overall, they were more trouble than they were worth.

+1

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