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I've been researching antivirus software, looking for a good product with a small footprint, and have noticed Kaspersky, BitDefender, and ESET seem to be excellent choices. Has anyone here used any of them before? Pros and Cons?

Also related, is it possible to install AV software on its own drive, and the AV monitors a different drive? e.g., install to D:\ and monitor C:\
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MSE is good, it's lightweight and has good detection rates. That said, the best antivirus program is without a doubt Common Sense 2013. And yes to your second question.
chrisname wrote:
That said, the best antivirus program is without a doubt Common Sense 2013.

Is that a free AV, or paid? :P

I do get what you're saying, and I completely agree.
But in addition to Common Sense 2013TM (c) All Rights Reserved, I suppose I can add MSE, MBAM, and Deep Freeze*

*Because my computer shall be as a fortress, mighty and impenetrable. :)
Adding all those to Common Sense is like putting paper on the walls of a castle for extra protection.
+1 @ chrisname.

In my experience... AV programs are worse than any virus.
How about no resident antivirus?
Just download the Kaspersky scanner when you feel it's needed.

Cons: you can't prevent getting infected.
Pros: no performance penalty induced by constant scanning in the background.
how about some sandbox software?
I've used the free version of Avast for a few years now without any real issues.

Every now and again I'll forget the speaker volume is on high and the woman's voice informing me that the virus database has updated will scare the bejesus out of me.

To be honest, though, if I'm not programming for university I'll be running OS X where viruses are less of a concern.
I've never gotten a virus before (that did any noticeable damage) and my AV software has never detected or stopped real viruses or attacks. Usually, either Chrome prevents me from going to an actually bad website, or my AV software deletes harmless files and interferes with my workflow.

I've heard that sandboxing software like Sandboxie and the likes is good, I've had people tell me they've downloaded and run the worst viruses in it with no harm, and it even works with various activex plugins and the likes. I've never needed it though.

If I want something but it's risky, I'll just watch someone else take the risk on youtube :p most people I know who get viruses are those who download game emulators for the old games and they download hacks and cracks and such.

Oh, and I highly recommend Adblock Plus, most of the times I've ever been threatened by some kind of virus has been from an ad due to some security vulnerability.
Oh, and I highly recommend Adblock Plus, most of the times I've ever been threatened by some kind of virus has been from an ad due to some security vulnerability.

I would recommend setting your browser to not play flash files and java script all willy-nilly, in other words only play flash files when you click on the frame and manage what sites you want to allow to run java script manually. I'm personally in the no AV camp. If you can't tell where infections are probably going to come from then you'll learn it the hard way.
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Common Sense 2013(TM) has a circular dependency on having the source of the program you are running, which is generally unsatisfiable on MS Windows leading to:

# apt-get install common-sense
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 common-sense : Breaks: windows-nt (6.2) but linux (3.8.1) is to be installed
               Breaks: visual-studio-meta (2012) but eclipse-cdt (8.1.2) is to be installed
E: You have held Broken packages
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MSE is good if you don't want to pay for an AV. It's super lightweight, and usually lets you decide whether or not you want to delete a "potentially unwanted program", (unlike McAffe).
If you're going to pay for an AV, ESET is an absolute tank. Although, there's no such thing as a 100% guarantee against viruses. I've seen them get by anything, which to me, defeats the purpose of paying for an AV at all.
So MSE is what I use.

I don't have any experience with Kaspersky, but i've had some problems with BitDefender in the past. Similar to McAffe, I've seen BitDefender completely block network access until it's uninstalled for no apparent reason. Perhaps it's just taking security really seriously? But yeah, I wouldn't recommend BitDefender.
Or McAffe. McAffe is probably the worst AV that's ever been created.
McAfee is definitely a bad AV.

I have a problem; my new laptop came with Norton-everything preinstalled, and I can't figure out how to uninstall or disable it.
I'd rather not resort to overkill. It doesn't interfere with my workflow too much except occasionally removing things that I can tell it to restore/ignore.
I probably should have mentioned the reason for all this in my first post. Viruses and "traditional" malware, I can handle; it's rootkits that bother me. I would like to prevent root/boot kits as much as possible.

I've been doing some more digging, and found that Kaspersky is actually more heavy handed than the "low footprint" touted on its website. A lot more :/

I've not found anything related to BitDefender blocking network traffic recently; only an issue in 2007-08 regarding a Windows update that broke some functionality of the AV (read: BitDefender went all Gary Busey)

As to the sandbox suggestion, I found some good things about SandBoxie, but there seems to be some issues with it and Win7 Pro x64 (my current OS). Has anyone used SandBoxie with this OS, and does it work just as well as with x86? Is there another sandbox program that you would recommend?

Rootkit Revealer works only with XP x86 and Server 2003 x86.

I love SysInternals in general and that was one the first places I checked when researching this stuff. They update alot of their other programs; I really wish they'd update RR someday soon.
@L B
You should be able to open up "Add or Remove Programs" and just uninstall everything that has "norton" in the title.
Not entirely. Just buy an HP and try uninstalling everything with "HP" in it's title; most of it isn't even listed in the Add or Remove Programs area.
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