Thin Defence
July 4, 2008 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Is 'Trend Micro Antivirus plus AntiSpyware' and Spysweeper (along with the firewall) enough to keep a PC clean?

I recently switched to Trend Micro; during the installation the program warned that I would have to uninstall Spybot and AdAware 2007 (free version). This leaves me with Spysweeper and whatever capability TM has in this respect. I'd like to have at least two antispyware utilities; is Trend Micro's antispyware facility as effective as either of the two that had to be removed? (The operating system is Windows XP, SP3)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Probably not to your last question.

Avast! has a function that isn't compatible with ZoneAlarm firewall - but the two companies are working to figure out a workaround and the software comes with directions to disable their function that isn't compatible.

I wonder why TM wants to monopolize something that their software suite does?

Any reason you want to stick with Trend Micro?

I loves me my Spybot (TeaTimer: asks you before a program changes something in the registry? Hell Yeah! Why didn't that ship as an option with the OS?) and wouldn't give up a favourite function to an untested program. Have alongside, sure, but not automatically replace.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on July 4, 2008

Just install windows defender if youre so worried. These apps are just resource hogs with questionable benefits. The best protection is to run as a limited user and only use the administrator account when installing software/updates. Lots of previous questions about securing windows here btw.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:01 PM on July 4, 2008

I use AVG Free Edition, Windows Firewall off.

But as far as "keeping a PC clean," a router, Firefox, and not running any shady .exe's is more than enough.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:06 PM on July 4, 2008

But as far as "keeping a PC clean," a router, Firefox, and not running any shady .exe's is more than enough.

I've been doing that for years without fancy anti-virus software and I've never had a problem. All three are really important ...

Anti-virus software is mostly a racket, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by intermod at 9:15 PM on July 4, 2008


I was in the process of upgrading to the latest version of Norton AV from the company website, where I was told I would have to uninstall their firewall in order to do so. Clicking on 'remove' for the firewall in the control panel (not before disconnecting the network cable...) threw a warning that there would be subscription problems when I re-installed. (I don't remember exactly; I think it was that I was inside a 30 day subscription expiration limit.) That was a little too much.... TM might have a lighter footprint, and I read that it has a better detection rate than Norton.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:10 PM on July 4, 2008

I use AVG and a router, and browse with Firefox. I do no filesharing or torrenting, and download executable files (if at all) only from trustworthy sources.

So, pretty vanilla web habits, and this barebones approach may not work for everyone.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:25 AM on July 5, 2008

No software is going to guarantee to keep you clean. I spent a lot of time supporting* Spy Sweeper, and doing a lot of malware removal. I would not give it high marks whatsoever. Trend Micro is the best of the "big 3", but is still only marginally effective. AVG is OK, but do not use any of the toolbar browser add-ons.

I found a program called CounterSpy works very well, and for my XP boxes I run Panda's anti-virus on them; it does a very good job of cleaning spyware and viruses, and works in Safe Mode.

Software is only half of the battle though; the user is in control of the software, and can be tricked -- this is how malware of all sorts propagates.

Things you should know:
- System Restore does a lot to remove malware, use it first before cleaning
- Use Safe Mode; if your software doesn't work in Safe Mode it is worthless

* I did fee-based advanced support for Dell for 2 years, with the bulk of the calls relating to malware. I didn't specifically support any security applications, but a large number of my customers had Spy Sweeper.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:58 PM on July 5, 2008

Sorry, forgot links:


Panda Security

For my malware removal, I don't use a lot of manual stuff. If you really want to learn about this stuff, do some reading on how to use the following tools:

Process Explorer



With these, and physical access to a system, I can remove just about anything.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:04 PM on July 5, 2008

Aaaaargh, "I don't use a lot of automated stuff", sorry for the triple posts. :(
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:04 PM on July 5, 2008

I'd recommend Spybot: Search and Destroy along with whatever else you're using. I've found that its scans tend to pick up a fair amount of malware that other programs miss. I also recommend Spyware Blaster and AdAware (though I think AdAware has some sort of conflict with Spysweeper ... I don't remember). All three of these programs are free, btw.

Also, I'd recommend staying away from Norton. It tends to be a resource hog and can cause a number of other issues.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:13 PM on July 5, 2008

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