Ramblings of an old Doc
Not much has changed
Published on March 4, 2017 By DrJBHL In Personal Computing


Still no real "super winner"...each has pluses and minuses.

There are those who use Windows' included firewall and Defender and are happy with them. Others prefer to add one of the 'free' antivirals like Avast (it has a 'paid' version as well). 

There are sites like The Top 10  and Tom's Guides which review software...and express their opinions, but it comes down to what works best on your system and what you can afford.

How can you know which works best on your system? By downloading the trial version (do that from the firm's official website) and trying it. There really isn't another way, unfortunately.

I'm using Malwarebytes at present, because I don't need all the parental control options, and because it has an anti-ransomware integrated with it.

Anyway, For the curious, Bitdefender took it on both sites. It has for the past few years, as well. 

On another note, I do recommend you put a couple of anti-ransomwares on your system. Here are links to them for you.

Truth be told, while viruses/Trojans abound, the main thrust of malware has become ransomware. So, don't go unprotected.

Also, having failed miserably to get him to write a 'how to', let's activate some peer pressure on the_Monk for advice on how to set up a 'least privileges' arrangement on your machine.

Have a good Saturday!


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 04, 2017

Good advice. Thanks, Seth.

on Mar 04, 2017

I've been using Bitdefender's business product for almost 5 years.  Recently upgraded to their Total Security 2017 product which includes antimalware & antiransomware functions.  The antiransomware function is a little sensitive & has picked up a fair number of false positive "attempts to change a file", but you whitelist those as you go & it quiets down.  Seems more sensitive on Win10 than Win7 for some reason.  Also seems to be more CPU-intensive on Win10 than Win7, but not really a problem.

Being paranoid (apologies to the_Monk), I also run MWB and Cybereason Antiransomware.  They all appear to coexist nicely on Win7 & Win10.

Acronis True Image Next Generation (they're getting carried away with melodramatic naming) which I use on my Win10 rig also has an antiransomeware module.


on Mar 04, 2017

Why is Malwarebytes not listed?
Should be one of the TOP spots if not right next to BD. 

on Mar 05, 2017

Benmanns, you'd have to ask them. As I noted, it's the antimalware I chose for my system.

on Mar 05, 2017

i read something funny the other day... (don't really know the technical stuff aside from there's a screw up)

wonder which security software it is..


on Mar 06, 2017

advice on how to set up a 'least privileges' arrangement


Running as a standard user is universally recommended.  It's too bad that Windows does not guide you to this, and that clear instructions are hard to find.

These steps assume that you installed Windows 10 as a single user, making no effort to avoid being an administrator - as most of us did.  You created and have been logging in as username "John" with some password.  You don't need or want to be an Admin but that's what happened.

•  Get to "PC Settings | Accounts | Family & other people | Add someone else to this PC".
•  Select "Add a user without a Microsoft account".
•  For "Who's going to use this account?" give the new Admin account name e.g. "BigJohn".
•  Set a password for "BigJohn"; see ideas below on this*.

•  Set the "BigJohn" Account Type to "Administrator - Local account".

•  Use Ctl-Alt-Del to Switch User, and log in as "BigJohn".

•  Get to "PC Settings | Accounts | Family & other people".

•  Change the original "John" Account Type to "Standard User".

Reboot and log into the "John" account as usual.  Now you are running as a standard user.  This makes it harder for traditional malware to take over your machine.  It also means that you'll have to answer a UAC prompt more often; that's annoying but you get used to them.  After a malware invasion I've decided that it's worth the effort.  I think that an even more limited account can be created but will leave that for the those more knowledgeable to explain, with pros and cons.

* For passwords I like to use a garbled passphrase.  Take two words such as "much time" and change them into "mchu==temi".  The goal is to avoid dictionary words and include symbols, but still be easy to remember and type for those UAC prompts.  Having lots of shifted case and numbers will be so tedious that you're liable to drop back to something too simple.

on Mar 15, 2017


Seems more sensitive on Win10 than Win7 for some reason. Also seems to be more CPU-intensive on Win10 than Win7, but not really a problem.

I need to revisit this statement in light of recent events.

Bitdefender Total Security 2017 has substantial issues on Win10, the most serious being, on random machines apparently, cranking out gigabytes of temp files rapid-fire, filling up all available free space in a matter of minutes and grinding the system to a halt.  I was lucky enough for this to happen to my new Win10 notebook.  Windows dutifully deletes them on shutdown/restart, but BTS picks right up where it left off once back to the desktop.

At the same time this issue developed on my rig, the Bitdefender firewall stopped seeing my WiFi adapter so I was unable to access network resources or print to network printers.  Completely uninstalled Bitdefender and did a fresh re-install; the firewall could again see the WiFi adapter but the temp file Uzi kept firing.  Then ran a Repair of Bitdefender and that stopped the temp file writes, only to have the firewall again go blind to the WiFi adapter.  Uninstalled Bitdefender completely again and am just letting Windows Defender do its thing.

Lo and behold, the rig is way snappier all around running Windows Defender; having never previously run it without Bitdefender, didn't know what I'd been missing.  Even before the runaway temp file problem began, the Bitdefender agent process had been heavily using CPU cycles regularly, versus barely any on our Win7 rigs.

The runaway temp file issue is known to Bitdefender (we've submitted a ticket) and there have been numerous posts on their forums regarding it.  It appears to be random, affecting particular hardware/firmware configurations for as yet unknown reasons; it has not (yet) affected our other 3 Win10 notebooks but they are completely different models/configurations.  I would caution people interested in using Bitdefender on Win10 to wait until it's known these issues have been successfully dealt with, although I can't say whether their free product is similarly affected - ours is a paid multi-PC license product.



on Mar 16, 2017


I would caution people interested in using Bitdefender on Win10 to wait until it's known these issues have been successfully dealt with, although I can't say whether their free product is similarly affected - ours is a paid multi-PC license product.

Their being slow to have a compatible Win 7 version was the reason I switched to Kaspersky way back when...

on Mar 16, 2017

The Bitdefender Small Business Security version worked well for us for almost 5 years in an all-Win7 environment and the new Total Security 2017 version is causing no issues on our remaining Win7 rigs.  I'd have no reservations recommending it for Win7.  Win10... not so much.

As an aside, the SBS version was a 'business' product; the Total Security version we had to upgrade to is a 'home/consumer' product, not entitled to 'business support', never mind the 20-PC license and fairly hefty annual subscription fee it carries.  To say I was a bit annoyed when I found that out would be something of an understatement.

on Mar 16, 2017

I never had a problem with BD. I do notice that my machine is a bit snappier with Malwarebytes Premium 3.0.

I really find it interesting that no reviewer ever reviews Malwarebytes in these "Best of" type of comparative reviews.

Then I found this gem of a review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2455577,00.asp

PCMag didn't like Malwarebytes 3.0 because they prune older virus signatures which haven't occurred for 6 months in the wild, in order to keep scan time down. Duh. Of course. Because it's covered by all the other layers, anyway.

Well...at some point I just shake my head. "My contact at Malwarebytes explained that the designers could bulk up the product with features aimed solely at passing tests, or keep it nimble and focus on actually protecting users. They chose the latter." Sounds like a correct decision. 

Kaspersky is routinely rated at the top, tied for top or second...with BitDefender. Because they're also file recognition based, and therefore built to pass tests.

It's enough to drive a person crazy.

on Mar 16, 2017

My setup is:

Kaspersky Anti-Virus
Malwarebytes Home Premium
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware

 They play nicely together so all is good and no complaints 

on Mar 16, 2017

Now to cause a large number of people to start foaming from the mouth....   


I have used Norton Internet Security (now Norton Security) for about 4 years now.

As far as I can tell, it hasn't measurably slowed my PC down.

I also use MWB.

I have never been infected by any type of virus or malware during that time, that hasn't been stopped dead in it's tracks.


on Mar 16, 2017

I'm glad to hear that, actually.  No foaming.


Even though the phrase 'Norton Effect' exists for a reason.

on Mar 16, 2017

...I could swear it read..." 2017 best third party animals"....

on Mar 16, 2017