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Everyone should have trustworthy anti-virus protection installed on their PCs. CA Anti-Virus is one solution that's been solid and reliable.

I no longer recommend CA Anti-Virus.

Please see What Security Software do you recommend? for my current recommendations.

One of my most common requests is what anti-virus software people should be using.

There are many good packages out there, but I've used CA Anti-Virus for many, many years. It's been rock solid, quietly updating its virus definitions and scanning my computers for threats every night since before I left Microsoft.

Yes, before I left Microsoft.

And that's one of the reasons I began recommending it: then called "eTrust", it was the corporate anti-virus solution within Microsoft for a few years prior to my departure. In fact, as part of Microsoft's security strategy, we were encouraged to take it home and use it on our computers there as well.

Which I did.

My logic then was simple: if it's good enough for Microsoft to recommend and license for me to take home, who am I to argue?

That was several years ago, and I continue to run eTrust and its successor CA Anti-Virus on several of my machines today.

CA Anti-Virus is a solid, reliable product that does what it does well, and with minimal interaction. Quite literally, I set it up once when building out a machine and then proceed to forget all about it, knowing that it's doing its thing.

The current version of CA Anti-Virus supports up to 3 PCs right out of the box, perfect for most home use. Daily updates, email scanning (which I actually don't use), real time and scheduled scanning (which I do use) and more make this an easy to recommend package.

One caveat: I generally do not recommend all-in-one packages. If you try CA Anti-Virus make sure that you're getting the anti-virus program, and not the larger security package also offered by CA.

Let CA Anti-Virus do one thing, and one thing well.

I recommend it.

Article C3538 - October 20, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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12 Comments
Arjun Ramesh
October 20, 2008 9:47 PM

Dear Leo
I know that you have been recommending CA antivirus and you will always be recommending that and it seems to be a really solid package as you say. But what do you think about Norton Antivirus and What do you personally think about Avast free version?

IMO Norton has a lot to overcome in its exceptionally bad reputation. Others have commented here that the latest version is much better; I'll believe that after it's had more time in the field.

So far what I've heard about Avast has been good, but I've not tried it myself.
- Leo
21-Oct-2008

Chris
October 20, 2008 10:00 PM

From what I've read, CA has one of the worst detections of all security products, usually hovering around 60 to 65 percent in tests. Moreover, the suite package looks like it was hobbled together at the last minute with little integration.

Side note, the new Norton is spectacular, departing from its stigma as a resource hog. And as for Avast!, highly recommended for its superb detection and blocking malware. Cleaning is a different story, however.

Arjun
October 21, 2008 3:35 AM

I truly agree with you Chris.. The Norton Antivirus 2009 Products including the internet security suite seems to be really efficient and does not eat up on your systems limited resources and hence does not slow your machine even a bit. Even the installation procedure is really simple and LiveUpdate is a breeze!!!
However avast antivirus is always the one i would prefer because its all free of cost and seems to do the job well - equivalent to paid software for that matter!!! east or west AVAST is the best

Rahul
October 21, 2008 8:28 AM

I have been using CA solution for 2 years now. No problems. I have the more comprehensive package. I don't understand why Leo is against it. I like it though. Now and then it tells me it saved me from a zillion threats but I can't say anything about its performance regarding cleaning as I never had to clean any of my PCs during the 2 years I have been using it.

Based on the questions a comments reported here on Ask Leo! for the past 5 years I've taken a position against all all-in-one security solutions. I don't care who makes them. I see many more problems with the integrated packages than I do with people choosing appropriate individual solutions.

- Leo
22-Oct-2008

Mike Santarcangelo
October 21, 2008 3:48 PM

I've been running CA on my XP machines and it's worked great. Unfortunately, when my new laptop came, it was loaded with Vist (64 Bit) and CA doesn't have a 64 bit version. I had to switch to Norton. It's been running only a few days, but so far so good.

Ron
October 21, 2008 8:17 PM

I've been using BitDefender and I like it a lot, it even stop the virus I don't remember the name exactly xp 2009? from downloading it quarantine right away and protected my computer, it's very well quoted too, one of the best, I recommend it.

Hassan
October 23, 2008 4:12 AM

What about Avira AntiVir Premium or Avira Premium Security Suite? Please advise....

Rgds/hassan

Have heard good things on Avira free. My comment on suites stands, no matter where they come from.
- Leo
23-Oct-2008
Hassan
October 23, 2008 11:16 AM

have installed the trial version of CA AV but seems that my pc is now slow down a little bit and not feeling good with it, don't know why! and checked with some virus files which was detected by kaspersky, bitdefender, avira... but CA does not notice anything.. hmmm what to do now?

rgds/hassan

sonya
April 25, 2009 2:28 PM

every since i installed the CA antivirus free trial my computer is so slow what should i do

hack
April 27, 2009 4:01 AM

I personally use Avast, There are plenty of good free anti-virus software that offer the same kind of protection as the boxed software you can buy at the store. Have a look at it Best Free Antivirus Software

jski
May 10, 2009 9:58 PM

I have been useing and recommending CA for years until now (April 2009)CA seems to be losing it's touch, In the last 2 months I have had several systems with CA Antivirus get viruses. I am switching all my customers to Norton 2009, It detected the viruses CA missed and finds them as soon as you open the folder not just when you access the file!!!

paul
May 12, 2009 9:48 AM

I have CA eTrust Antivirus. It just works... that is, I don't notice it slowing the PC down ala McAfee. However, the other day I noticed that it hasn't updated since the middle of March. But it acts like it is updating. What the heck? Did a MS update break something? Or did I break something? I have tried changing the FTP folder, same results or it says it is missing "Siglist.txt".

I have 3 XP and 1 Win98 boxes. CA is on 2 XP and Win98. The 3rd machine is running naked. Everything is behind the router. I have not touched the other XP box beyond checking the dates of updates.

I would like to fix this. If it's time to buy a new copy of the software, I'm OK with that. But I don't know.... I'm not finding anything on the CA site and Google, well, it's Google and links to forums of folks complaining are not very useful.

paul

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