Avira AntiVir or Microsoft Security Essentials for new netbook?

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Pooder

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Hello! I just received a Compaq Mini CQ10-525DX netbook. It has Windows 7 Starter as the OS (soon to be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium), a 250GB hard drive and 2GB of memory. I want to install antivirus software and have been reading about Avira AntiVir free version & Microsoft Security Essentials. Both are light on the PC's resources (a big plus for a netbook) & have been given good reviews. Does anyone have an opinion on which is the better software and why?
I also would like an opinion of Windows Firewall for this netbook. Is it good enough or do I need something else that is not too difficult for someone who is not too experienced with firewalls? Thank you in advance for any opinions & help.
 

TheShooter93

Cody
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I would suggest Microsoft Security Essentials, but I have never used Avira, so you might want to wait for some additional opinions. Why? Because MSE is light on resources, but not light on protection. Great, free antivirus that I install on all machines I work on.

And about Windows Firewall, there are definitely better options out there for you. I'll let someone with a bit more experience using firewalls to suggest some and help you configure it.
 

flavallee

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Here is the support and software site for your Compa Mini CQ10-525DX netbook. You should add and save this site in your browser favorites/bookmarks list so you can refer to it when needed.

According to its product specifications section, it comes with Norton Internet Security 2011(60-day trial). Make sure that you uninstall it and then use the Norton Removal Tool to remove all remnants of it before you install an antivirus program.

Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0.657.0 is a good choice because it's light and very user-friendly.

I personally use the built-in Windows firewall and stay away from third-party firewalls.

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Pooder

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Thank you Flavallee for your reply. I am already aware of the support & software site at Compaq & will remove the Norton software that came with the netbook. I have read that it is a resource "hog" and will slow the operations of the netbook. I have no intention of using it. I do appreciate the advice. Right now, I am siding with you about the Windows firewall. Again, thanks for your thoughts. One more thing - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
 

flavallee

Frank
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You're welcome, and happy holiday to you too! :) (y)

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tomdkat

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As for Microsoft Security Essentials being "light on resources", that might be true for memory consumption but I'm finding it tends to consume more CPU resources than I would have thought. Sometimes when I'm using a system with it installed and it feels a touch sluggish, Task Manager usually reveals "MsMpEng" (I think that's the process name) as taking 40+% of the CPU, sometimes much, much more. I'm not sure if it's scanning running processes or what. I've stumbled upon this while tracking down Windows Defender processes, which are sometimes known to slow down computer performance.

I vote for looking at both Avira AntiVIr and Microsoft Security Essentials. (Of course, install one at a time and then uninstall before installing the other). AntiVir consistently ranks high in anti-virus application comparative reports and it doesn't use much system resources at all. The only downside I've seen with AntiVir is the relatively high false positive detection rate.

Peace...
 

Pooder

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Tomdkat, thank you for the info. I will have to weigh both the good & bad of each security software. If anyone else out there know of any other pros & cons of these programs, please let me know. I want to make an informed decision. Tomdkat, you can be sure I will use the info you gave me. Thanks again! Peace to you also.
 

tomdkat

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Maybe some AntiVir users can post memory usage information as well as Microsoft Security Essentials users for some comparisons. :)

EDIT: Attached is a screenshot of the memory usage of AntiVir 10 running on Windows 2000. I believe the two processes highlighted are the only two active/loaded when there isn't a scan in progress. The resident shield IS active.

Peace...
 

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flavallee

Frank
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The default setting for CPU usage during scanning with Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 is set at 50%, but you can reduce it in 10% increments.

In an older slower computer, I would probably set it at 20 - 30%.

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tomdkat

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That's good to know. I can see increased CPU usage during a scan but the CPU usage I mentioned above wasn't during a scheduled or manually started scan. So either MSE was scanning running processes or doing something else as part of its real-time protection. Either way, the performance hit was noticeable. Of course, on a faster system it would probably not be.

Peace...
 
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