Recommended security/AV software for windows 8?
May 2, 2014 10:33 AM   Subscribe

What is the current state of the art / recommended best bet in security and anti-virus software for Windows 8? Paid options are on the table.

I'm used to administrating a Linux desktop, but various practicalities require that I use windows at work. I just got a new Windows 8 computer and my understanding is basically that, if you're going to use Windows on the open internet, you'd better have a firewall, AV program, and/or additional security software to keep from getting hijacked or infected.

So what is currently regarded as the best approach for that, with specific consideration for windows 8? This PC came with a 7-day trial of McAfee already installed, but I have heard that McAfee is super annoying and bugs you with messages every 10 minutes (which is consistent with my experience in the first week, frankly) and if there's something better I'd rather switch to it.

I am willing to pay for a good alternative, though I would prefer to minimize ongoing subscription-type costs to the extent possible.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
See if this article will help:
posted by Leontine at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender (same thing as what used to be called Microsoft Security Essentials) preinstalled, which is usually enough for most people. You shouldn't need additional protection, IMHO. You will need to uninstall McAfee to use it though.
posted by Aleyn at 11:24 AM on May 2, 2014

Also, if you want to provide an additional layer of security, you might consider logging in with a Standard User account instead of an Administrator account as is the default. Doing that will probably do a lot more to protect you in Windows than antivirus will.
posted by Aleyn at 11:31 AM on May 2, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you. I should have read up a bit more on Windows Defender before posting this... once I can get McAfee uninstalled and Defender updated and running, I will see if that does the trick.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:44 AM on May 2, 2014

Windows Defender is probably enough.

Kaspersky and Comodo, last time I checked, are generally considered the top AV software packages.

The CEO of Kaspersky (a Russian company) regularly consults for the KGB... so there's that. Comodo is based out of NJ. I use Comodo
posted by teabag at 3:53 PM on May 2, 2014

Note that Microsoft Security Essentials (aka Windows Defender in Windows 8) recently scored very poorly on antivirus threats. While it protects well against rudimentary, run-of-the-mill viruses, it won't protect well against anything relatively advanced. So if you're doing anything sketchy on your PC, you might want to invest in something better.

As for firewall, etc. if you're behind a router you should have no problems; even if you're not, you should be reasonably safe with the built-in firewall.

FWIW I have only Defender on my Windows 8 computers with the default settings for everything security-related and have never encountered anything bad.
posted by Simon Barclay at 6:16 PM on May 3, 2014

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