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Q: Best antivirus ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Best antivirus
Category: Computers
Asked by: fraser999-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 18 Sep 2005 08:31 PDT
Expires: 18 Oct 2005 08:31 PDT
Question ID: 569374
I have free AVG anti-virus. Should I get Nod32 from ESET instead? I
use a router, Sygate free software firewall; Spybot Search and
destroy, Microsoft anti spyware, Pest Patrol also.
Subject: Re: Best antivirus
Answered By: clouseau-ga on 18 Sep 2005 09:55 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello fraser999,

Thank you for your question.

As with any question that asks for "best", there really is no answer.
It is always a matter of opinion. In this case, Microsoft itself seems
to trust Nod32 and so do I. I find it much better than the previous
antivirus program I had been using in its various incarnations for the
last 20 or so years. It has not missed catching a potential threat,
updates itself easily and in the background, has great customer
support and a variety of unique options. But I assume you are
reasonably familiar with the program or would not have asked the

For other opinions, Extreme Clocking has a thread of interest on Nod 32 vs AVG:

Opinions are, as you might imagine, are split - but Nod seems to be
the more popular and more highly regarded in this thread.

At Wilder's, a great website for many years on AV and Spyware
software, they say the following while discussing Norton vs AVG:

"Have you checked out virus bulletin awards website?It has independent
av tests by manufacturer and operating system.That's the site I used
as a research tool before settling on NOD32..."


"Norton ? hands down. I agree with Tester on the statistical value of
Virus Bulletin?s test data. AVG (Grisoft) has a mere 6% passing rate,
so why bother. With all deference to Tony?s point, I can?t put Dr. Web
and NOD32 in the same sentence. Dr. Web (Dialogue Science) scores less
in than 50% in test submissions ? so again, not even close. The only
thing relevant in AV are ?In The Wild? detection rates, making VB test
data the only logical source on to base performance decisions on. The
only superceding issue would be program compatibility. NOD32 is the
obvious winner, but for your purposes Murray, Norton turns in very
respectable performance. Study results carefully - then choose..."

Interesting thread. Though I personally disagree with Norton as a
choice. The bloat in recent years and the invasion into areas of the
system it just does not need to go has caused many a variety of
incompatibilities on my systems.

CNET forums on Nod32:

"Switched to NOD32 

Got tired of Norton's use and abuse of system resources, and I'm
delighted with the switch. Norton was the best 10 years ago, but I
don't think that's true anymore. I believe NOD32 is the only AV
product to score 100% against in-the-wild viruses in Virus Bulletin's
tests. Fast, tighter than a drum, and it updates virus definitions
sometimes twice a day..."

Hmmm, I could have written that myself.

The thread has votes for almost all AV programs. Again, best is such a
hard thing to evaluate. But as the threads above note, Nod 32 gets the
highest scores from AV testing companies and as I mentioned, even
Microsoft corporate seems to trust it. I am more than pleased I made
the purchase.

A few more interesting links and reads to help you make your choice:

Very interesting!

"...AV Performance Tests

The folks over at Virus Bulletin regularly test the ability of the
major AV products to detect currently circulating viruses - their "100
Top Viruses in the Wild." They award their VB100 rating to AV products
that detect all 100 in any given month.

Over a period of time it's possible to tabulate how often individual
AV products receive the VB100 award. Here are the results for some
major AV products from 2003 onwards:

Nod32 10/10 100% 
Norton 9/9 100% 
F-Secure 9/9 100% 
Trend 8/8 100% 
Kaspersky 9/11 82% 
McAfee 8/10 80% 
AVG 6/8 75% 
Norman 7/10 70% 
F-Prot 6/9 67% 
Avast 6/9 67% 

At first take this is not comforting news for users of the free Avast
and AVG products nor indeed for any user of the lower ranked products.
More so when you consider that we are talking about the ability of
these products to detect viruses and worms that were in mass
circulation at the time of the tests.

However the results are deceptive.

First a product "fails" the monthly VB100 test if doesn't detect every
single trojan in the test set of 100 trojans. A product that gets 99
right out of 100 is flunked. That's tough.

It's not only tough, it's misleading. It suggests that products are
capable of detecting 100% of viruses. This is simply not true; no
product can detect all malware.

Secondly, I strongly suspect that the major vendors put a highly
targeted effort into ensuring that their products pass the VB100 test.
That's because they have come to realize the marketing significance of
these tests.

Now there's nothing wrong with that. However the effort they put into
their products to pass the VB100 tests may not reflect the effort they
put into detecting other viruses outside of  those in the VB100 test

Put another way, it's quite possible for an AV product to pass all the
VB100 tests yet have mediocre virus detection for malware products
other than those in the VB100 tests.

That's why I treat the VB100 tests as a useful guide but no more. 

It's also why I like to run my own tests; tests which I know have not
been rigged by any security vendor.

I'm in the happy position of being able to easily run such tests. In
my role as Editor over at
I regularly test out the performance of anti-trojan scanners. When I
run these tests I usually test out the major anti-virus products on
the same data set.

In August 2004 I downloaded 1023 executable files from the KaZaa P2P
network. Of these over 38% were infected with one or more malware
products. Of the 394 infected files, 208 were infected with viruses,
worms or trojans.

Here are the test results for some popular AV products:

Product Detected % 
Kaspersky V4. 188 90 
NOD32   187 90 
Norton AV 2004 182 88 
F-Secure  182 88 
AVG V6 - free 175 84 
Avast! - free 171 82 
Panda 165 79 
F-Prot 161 77 

These results show that the best commercial AV products do indeed
out-perform the best free   products but the margin is not huge..."

You might read the entire article.

PCWorld New Zealand

"... guess we all like free stuff. I use Norton, but wouldn't hesitate to use AVG.

However my choice when I get around to it will be NOD32 which is not
free but very good..."

There are numerous discussions comparing AV products you might be
interested in. My simple search listed below brings up numerous
interesting hits in the first 100, if you care to read more:


Good luck making your choice. I hope the above has been helpful.

Search Strategy:

avg vs nod32

I trust my research has provided you with good links to help make your
AV decision. If a link above should fail to work or anything require
further explanation or research, please do post a Request for
Clarification prior to rating the answer and closing the question and
I will be pleased to assist further.


fraser999-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you for a very thoroughly researched reply. It was most help full.

Subject: Re: Best antivirus
From: mikewa-ga on 20 Sep 2005 08:54 PDT
A Mac running OSX

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