Go ahead, nag me away

We’ve been trying out Avast! on the Windows machines here. No more.

A few months ago we got hit with another wave of malware that got past Microsoft Security Essentials (MSSE). A couple of hours of Malwarebytes (MBAM) scans later I decided to give another real time scanning product a try. After some research I settled on Avast! and set up all our Windows PC’s and my Android phone with the free version.

About a dozen nag screens and some failed software installs later it was time to throw in the towel, especially after one machine apparently got re-registered with the trial-to-pay version. It only took about an hour of frustration with the maze of help screens, FAQs and menus for me to regret ever having changed products. On a technical level Avast! is very good security software, but its interface design and product-borne marketing leave something to be desired.

Of course by now everyone knows (or should know) that MSSE failed to make the grade in tests by the independent IT security organization AV-TEST the last two years. It comes as no surprise that Microsoft has challenged these results, but there have also been questions raised from other quarters. For example in a critical review by Eugene Kaspersky, someone not known to be a Microsoft shill, that focused on changes in test criteria. I also have my own questions about just how 3 out of the 4 top-ranked products tested by this German lab just happened to be from German companies.

Still, I can’t help but empathize with the guy who made this comment to a story about MSSE’s ranking:

I still use MSE in combination with Malwarebytes AM, and will continue to do so. The best protection is not clicking everything like an idiot.

At this point I’m thinking it may be time to invest in a bunch of Malwarebytes Pro “lifetime” subscriptions to supplement the middling protection offered by MSSE, as well as updating and using the MSRT more often.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).