Friday, July 25, 2003

Interesting article about how Microsoft should bite the bullet and just build antivirus software into Windows. I think the article makes very good points. I've always felt that antivirus was a tax on the enduser that was poorly implemented in most cases. I've looked at many of these packages and they all have fatal flaws that make the cure worse than the problem. I actually do not run an antivirus package in realtime as the impact on performance is far too high - not to mention other glitches. For example, I recently installed a free copy of Platinum 7 from Panda Software which came with a free year of signature updates. After going through the faulty and laborious registration process I proceeded to test drive the realtime Mail and File monitoring features. Well, immediately I noticed I was having problems downloading my POP3 mail. It became obvious that the Panda Software was the culprit and I disabled all realtime features. I'm sure Panda Software has some excuse but in my book this is ridiculous! As with all other antivirus software, it also noticeably dragged down the performance of my system.

I've been computing on PCs for approximately 20 years and have never been infected by a virus. I do periodically run an on demand virus check but my main defences are common sense, my hardware firewall (NAT), and keeping all systems up to date with Windows security updates. One good feature is the free online antivirus test that Panda Software offers at their web site. For many people that practice sensible computing this is probably all that is needed. Essentially, antivirus software is a joke.

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