I have a 3 year old Dell Dimension C521 desktop with Windows Vista Home premium which came with McAfee installed. Now that the subscription is about to expire I 'm not sure whether to renew or switch to a different brand. I recently acquired the full version of Panda Global Security 2010 as a free bonus. I would appreciate your opinion as to whether I should stay with McAfee which runs well with the current OS and which will cost me about $60 for 1 yr, or try the Panda and risk experiencing "glitches" Thanks in advance for your input.
My first piece of advice is to NOT let your McAfee expire before making a decision. It is important that one always have an up-to-date anti-virus and software firewall installed and running resident (i.e. in the background) at all times.
My second observation is that there is no "best" anti-virus, be it paid or free (and there are many good free ones out there- you can get more info on them from the link in my signature below). One size does not fit all.
Changing one's anti-virus (or security suite) is not a trivial process. It involves not only uninstalling your current AV, but also downloading and running an uninstall "mop-up" tool: in the case of McAfee, MCPR.exe.
Full instructions are here: http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS100507
After downloading this tool, you would have to go offline, uninstall McAfee, run the tool, and install the new Panda suite, before going back online.
I can't advise you as to whether Panda's security suite is "better" than the McAfee product you use now, as I use neither. You do not indicate whether you use McAfee anti-virus as a standalone product, or a whole suite (AV, anti-spyware, firewall). Just be sure that at the end of the day, you have only one AV and one software firewall installed.
My personal bias, based on many reasons, is that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), which includes both an AV and anti-spyware, plus Microsoft's native software firewall is all that most home users need. They are all free, guaranteed compatable with your system, and simple to use. I use them both myself.
You can get MSE here: http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx
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Windows 7/sp1 (64- Bit): Malwarebytes 3.x Premium, Windows Firewall, WinPatrol PLUS, Emsisoft Emergency Kit Free and HitmanPro Free (on-demand scanners), OpenDNS, MVPS Hosts file, SpywareBlaster, Pale Moon web browser, Sandboxie, CCleaner Free.
Windows 10 Pro (64- Bit): Same protection plus Windows Defender AV.
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In addition to Joe's very good advice: I can only add my PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS. I am not an expert. I am the resident McAffe Opponent. But only because it caused me so much trouble! I got rid of a 15 month subscription and switched to the free version of Avast!. I also use the Window's Firewall and several other anticrud programs that the good folks here pointed me to. (i.e. Web of Trust, SuperAntiSpyware, Winpatrol and Spyware Blaster.)
But if McAfee works for you and you don't mind spending the money use it by all means. I would rather put the $60 towards a new toy! I have my eye on this 2TB HDD.............
I would suggest that you do some homework; at least consider some of the free AV's out there - there are several that rate near the top sometimes better rated than the paid software.
Just my two cents.
XPS 8100 i7-860(8MB Cache, 2.8GHz), 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz, 750GB SATA 3.0GB/s 16MB Cache, nVidia GeForce GTS2401GB GDDR3, Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, AverMedia G2 Combo hybrid TV Tuner, dual 16x DVD+/- RW dbl layer, Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD, Running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit.
I did check out those links you suggested. They were kind of confusing for a novice like me but I was able to get the gist of most of it. I will do more research into other types of protection and decide before my subscription expires.
Thanks Jeff for your input, I have some research to do. If I get stuck I may have to call on your knowledge/expertise again.
Let us know if you need step-by-step instructions on removal of McAfee or installation of Microsoft Security Essentials. MSSE has a very simple interface, updates automatically, and has done well in tests.
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