Anti-virus advice needed please

  justjill 15:08 25 Aug 2006

I have just paid an engineer £80 to have my PC sorted out :( Apparently, despite using Avast! anti-virus, I had 256 viruses on it (it is 11 months old). The engineer recommended I use something paid-for and plugged quite a few Norton products in the hour he spent here - the company he works for sells them so I don't know whether to trust this advice or not.

I had chosen Avast! because it had been so highly recommended on here. Is Avast! the problem, or have I not been using it properly? I just let it run in the background and it updates regularly, and I occasionally run a full scan. Is there something else I should be doing?

Any advice for keeping my PC virus-free would be very gratefully received. I don't mind paying for something if I have to as I realise it's cheaper than paying an engineer every time I can't sort it out myself.

Many thanks.

  yaesu 15:13 25 Aug 2006

Hi, I run Avast and don't seem to have a problem. Which viruses did you have? I used to use Norton but found it was resource hungry and slowed my machine down. (just as an aside my son has Norton provided by as part of his package with BT)

  Belatucadrus 15:24 25 Aug 2006

Not only is avast! well regarded here, it's ICSA rated and has 100% pass rates at VirusBulletin and they're as good an independent opinion as you can get. As yaesu said, it would be more than a little interesting to have more data on these "256 viruses" as without more info it'll be difficult to say precisely what happened.
avast! has very good default settings and has yet to fail me. But if the engineer was correct and not just launching a sales pitch to bump up his commission, something has clearly gone wrong.
I'm still an avast! fan, but if this has put you off and you want to buy the best, get NOD32

  SB23 15:25 25 Aug 2006

I'm virus free, and I also use Avast. As for the plugging for Norton, if his company sells them, that why.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 15:33 25 Aug 2006

I very much doubt if Avast let through 256 viruses. I have never seen a computer with anywhere near that many including ones with no AV. I would question his *ahem* prognosis.


  justjill 15:37 25 Aug 2006

Cheers, guys. To be honest, I didn't look closely at the names, just saw a lot of red Xs and warnings on the screen. He detected them using Norton utilities and I assume he was right as cleaning up the system has sorted out my problem.

It's quite annoying, really, as I never had any problems until the PC went to Dell to have a power supply problem fixed and it came back in a virtually unuseable condition with persistent error messages (always the same message about the generic host for Win 32 services). I was convinced the problem was caused by Dell, who were next to useless in helping me sort it out, and I was rather hoping I could send them the engineer's bill!

  Wak 16:00 25 Aug 2006

I've also used Avast for about 4 years and never had a problem with it.
I would suggest that you download and install Spywareblaster from click here and CCleaner from click here which will help to protect you and keep your computer clean.
Adaware and Spybot-Search and Destroy will also sort out the spyware.
Do you also have a firewall???

  Noldi 16:07 25 Aug 2006

Problem is a lot of the Xs could have been for Cookies, I did a quick scan last night and came up with 93 Xs (all cookies).

  justjill 16:12 25 Aug 2006

Cheers, Wak. I have just downloaded Spywareblaster and CCleaner. I already use Spybot and Adaware.

Hmmm...that's interesting about the cookies, Noldi. Surely cookies wouldn't have caused the problem, though?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:13 25 Aug 2006

My guess is he cleaned out spyware not viruses.

Avast is antivirus only and is excellant.

you probably need Antispyware, if you install Windows defender as a real time scanner and Adaware as a backup scanner ansd Spyware blaster as a blocker you won't have any problems.
these are all FREE.

Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
Spycatcher express click here
a2 click here
Windows Defender click here
Ewido click here
Superantispyware click here
Hitman pro click here

  justjill 16:20 25 Aug 2006

Thanks Fruit Bat. Do I need all of those programs?

About firewalls - I don't use one (I can't remember why I decided not to. Probably for some misguided reason!) so I guess I should get one. Is Zone Alarm the one to go for?

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