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The Internet is a hostile network like the wild west without a sheriff.

Consider using an Internet service provider or email service that includes anti-virus and spam filtering as your first line of defense. Propagation of most malicious code (virus, Trojan & worm) is done by email and is designed to take advantage of weaknesses in Microsoft products. For a good overview, see Antivirus software, PC World Magazine, Australia, August 8, 2003. Anti-virus software is only as effective as its most recent update because it is inherently reactive treating "known" threats. So when you install anti-virus software, go to the vendor's web site and update the virus definitions immediately and then turn on the auto update feature.

Notable Comparative Reviews

bullet Antivirus: Norton Antivirus 2004 [editor's choice], also tested McAfee, Norman & ViRobot Expert, Jay Munro, PC Magazine, November 25, 2003
bullet Pest Zappers, best buys Norton AntiVirus, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Ad-aware, reviews included eight anti-virus programs -- Boomerang Software EXtendia AntiVirus AVK Professional, F-Secure Anti-Virus 2003, GeCad Software RAV AntiVirus Desktop for Windows 8.6, Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal 4, Network Associates McAfee VirusScan 7 Home Edition, Panda Software Antivirus Platinum 7, Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2003, and Trend Micro PC-cillin 2003; and four anti-spyware programs -- Lavasoft Ad-aware Plus 6, PepiMK Software Spybot Search & Destroy 1.2, PestPatrol Software PestPatrol 4.2, and Webroot Software Spy Sweeper 1.5. Scott Spanbauer, PC Magazine, May 29, 2003.
bullet PC Magazine 2003, Viruses: New Threats, New Defenses, editor's choice Norton, comparative review of McAfee, NOD32, Norton, Panda & PC-cillin, Greg Alwang, PC Magazine, April 22, 2003
bulletTechTV Roundup -- McAfee, Norton & PC-cillin, Mick Lockey, June 12, 2002
bulletPC World Protect Your PC Eliminate Viruses -- Norton editor's choice, other products reviewed include ETrust EZ, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norman, Panda & PC-cillin, Robert Luhn and Scott Spanbauer, May 27, 2002
bulletPCPlus Safe from harm: anti-virus software, editor's choice Norton -- Command, eTrust EZ, Grisoft AVG, InDefense, McAfee, Panda, Softwin, Sophos & PC-cillin Frank Charlton, March 2002

More Comparative Reviews

bulletZDNet Consider these low-cost antivirus solutions -- Panda Antivirus Titanium, PC-cillin 2002, EZ Antivirus, Protector Plus 2000, F-Prot Antivirus, Quick Heal X-Gen, VCatch, AVG Antivirus 6.0, and AVAST32, Ray Geroski, Tech Republic, June 25, 2002.
bullet CNet's Antivirus roundup, part 2: the underdogs -- recommends Norman, also reviewed NOD32, F-Secure, EZ Antivirus & Vexira, Ken Feinstein, April 11, 2002; critique of review by eset (NOD32); also see open letter from Joe Wells to CNet concerning their September 21, 2000 reviews.
bullet CNet's antivirus roundup, part 1: four top apps, editor's choice Norton 2002, also reviewed Kaspersky, McAfee & Panda, Greg Keizer, March 28, 2002
bulletThe Naked PC, Evaluating Anti-virus Sofware for Ease of Use, series of articles on Grisoft, Norton, Panda & PC-cillin, Lee Hudspeth, January 2002
bulletAustralian PC Authority Labs Innoculate -- eTrust, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norman, Norton, Panda, PC-cillin, Sophos & Vet.

Anti-Virus Software Products

bulletAnti-Virus Freeware

AVG AntiVirus


AntiVir Personal Edition


Avast! 4 Home Edition



bulletAnti-Virus Payware
bulletSoftWin BitDefender Home Edition $30 download
bulletCommand AntiVirus $25 download; CD version sold as Safeworld Anti-Virus 2003 by Encore.
bulletMary Landesman review,
bulletComputer Associates eTrust EZ Antivirus $20
bulletCNet review, Jeff Bertolucci, March 19, 2003
bulletIT Resource Guide review, October 2002
bullet DrWeb Anti-Virus Home Edition $25
bulletThe "Real world" anti-Trojan tools comparison -- Dr Web, Kaspersky Antivirus, NOD32, Norton Anitvirus, The Cleaner, TDS, Tauscan, Pestpatrol, PC DoorGuard, Digital Patrol, TrojanHunter, TrojanRemover, AntiTrojan & Antiy Ghostbusters, PC Flank, July 4, 2002
bulletEset NOD32 $39 download
bullet Eset Offers Well-Balanced Virus Protection Software, Vincent Randazzese, CRN, October 17, 2003
bullet PC911 review Alex Byron, June 18, 2003
bulletClaymania review May 7, 2001
bulletFrisk F-Prot Antivirus for Windows $25
bulletMary Landesman review,
bulletKaspersky Anti-Virus Personal $46
bulletPC911 review, Alex Byron, January 28, 2002
bulletPersonal Computer World review, David Ludlow, February 12, 2002
bulletInDefense MailDefense $40
bulletSC Magazine review, July 2002
bulletMary Landesman review,
bulletMcAfee VirusScan Online subscription $30 per year; VirusScan CD $40 includes firewall
bullet McAfee Anti-Virus Gripes, April 2003
bulletCNet Home Edition 7.0 review, Jeff Bertolucci, September 12, 2002
bulletPanda Antivirus Platinum 7.0 includes firewall, download $70; or Titanium $40 download
bulletCNet review, Jeff Bertolucci, November 20, 2002
bulletVnuNet review, Ashley McKinnon, June 18, 2002
bulletMary Landesman review,
bulletSymantec "Norton" AntiVirus 2003 $50, download or CD
bullet Norton AntiVirus 2003 Gripes
bulletCNet 2003 review, Jeff Bertolucci, August 20, 2002
bulletVnuNet review, Jonathan Bennett, May 7, 2002
bulletMary Landesman review,
bulletTrend Micro PC-cillin 2003 $40 download; includes firewall
bulletPC Advisor review, Jason Whittaker, June 2003
bulletCNet review, Jeff Bertolucci, January 3, 2003
bullet Trend Micro Updates PC-cillin, Sean Captain, PC World, November 18, 2002
bullet PC-cillin Virus Protection Goes Mobile, Sam Costello, PC World, March 12, 2002

Anti-Virus Testing -- The importance of the information provided by these organizations is explained in Independent Antivirus Lab Testing, Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine, April 22, 2003; and in Continuous Protection, Cade Metz, PC Magazine, June 11, 2002.
bullet Checkmark Level
bulletICSA Labs Certification
bulletVirus Bulletin 100% Awards

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