Anyone have suggested alternatives to Avast? Seems they’ve absorbed Norton LifeLock and CCCleaner and have become the thing that they say they protect you from. Like LogMeIn when they bought LastPass and ruined them. Props to BitWarden and their family plan. Not quite as good as LastPass and separating and sharing password databases across a family (4-6 people and multiple PC and mobile devices).
Apparently they got caught selling all of their customers url tracking and apps installed details to pretty much anyone that paid them - Walmart, HomeDepot, Google, etc.
Remember, these “we block your browser from bad sites” work because they have to check every URL your browser is fetching (even invisibly to you) to see if it is a “bad” site you’re being tricked into visiting or loading something. Even the “secure” sites are inspected.
The same for using custom DNS servers (like google or cloudflare). They see every hostname you ask to turn into an IP address.
Incognito mode and VPNs don’t affect them doing this - it’s in your browser or the network library itself (on PCs).
Also, I already have a VPN. So I don’t need to see ads for all the other crap in their “suite” - especially if it’s too dumb to see or let me tell it that I will never be interested in “upgrading” to their extra side order of whatever.
I used to use IOBit, but they got into the “would you like fries with that?” every 10 minutes nagware game a few years ago.
Even Acronis has abandoned their “just rock solid backups” to get the cancer of forcing a subscription “security suite” product as the only way to get their backup functionality.
Ugh. What do folks use that’s preferably free beer/open source, does one thing well / best, and doesn’t require constant attention to upgrades and rejecting “helpful offers from our partners/other products” popups.
I am tired of the IT support burden this places on me. I worry that my family won’t know all the separate software updates they have to perform and all the hoops of dark patterns to avoid installing or signing up (free trial!) for some bullshit other thing if something happens to me.
I don’t mind paying for a lifetime license. And reasonable every couple of years optional upgrades (i.e. none of this constant “activation check” bullshit - how do I know your shit’s not gonna brick my stuff because your servers go offline?).
So, shout out your faves. I would put my VPN up on my router, but it isn’t smart enough to know that I don’t want my streaming and game services and my bank/pay bills/financial websites (and some shopping sites) to go through the VPN. Except when I do, and I can fire up the VPN from that client.
I’m using FF as my main browser with ghostery and DuckDuckGo Privacy extensions. On mobile, I’m trying out Brave and liking what I see so far. I also started using Vanced (post-pulldown) and Ytube. Because, well, fuck youtube with 3 to 5 unskippable ads now.
If I can use the same product on WinPC as well as Android and IOS (family account multiple device style?) then bonus.
@mike808 as a Anti virus on both Win & Mac I use Sophos free, Malware bytes free, although I have a lifetime License on my windows, and which given a yearly subscription for to for my Mac. Yes, I also use ccleaner on both Win & Mac, but highly dislike the new front end on the Mac… to kid like. Yes I like Duck, Duck Go!
@mike808 Since both AVG and Avast turned evil several years ago, I’ve just been using the built in Windows stuff with no problems. But then I’m not trying to protect a computer against people with a compulsion to click on every link they see.
@mycya4me My challenge with DDG is I can’t allow some cookies and tracking (mainly blocking social media crap). Its either all or none and maybe they get the “required” ones right, maybe they don’t.
Ghostery gives me that fine-grained block everything, trust everything, or pause (no blocking) while you figure it out and see what the fuck the site is actually doing, and the best part, even if I’ve blocked stuff wholesale, I can still allow individual cookies and trackers within a category. Like partner tracking - if I want to allow it.
Unfortunately, they can’t get the Ghostery session cookies to stick in Firefox. However, I think it is one of the other blocking extensions that is the culprit - i.e. DDG is blocking some buried redirect login flow logic or Firefox’s own security is. Or Firefox is blocking one and DDG is blocking a different one and both are required for Ghostery to keep its shit straight. It doesn’t help that Firefox is in the middle of completely overhauling its whole cookie isolation and tracker blocking and containerizing cookies a completely new way to stop Google from bypassing ad and tracker blockers to force advertising and tracking to into the Google walled garden (like Apple has done), and breaking other browsers and ad networks that aren’t Google is … well … an unfortunate coincidence.
So, I am willing to cut Ghostery some slack here. Firefox is getting fucked by Google to break blocking of their advertising and tracking by doing it in a “new way” at the same time they’re building that “new way” into their Chrome browser.
So essentially it breaks advertising for non-google advertising and tracking (aka “analytics”) customers by making “old way” tracking and advertising simply non-functional in Chrome. And with the dominant browser share on desktop and mobile, they can exert and boost their dominant share into a complete monopoly with only ineffective, token competition. i.e. “That’s a nice advertising ecosystem you got there. It would be a shame if nobody ever saw your ads or tracking analytics because we took that shit out of Chrome”.
The problem with Google’s “new way” is that it gives them a back door to their own advertising and marketing analytics ecosystem. Chrome IS the ad/marketing distribution app itself!
Much like forced ads on YouTube. And content creators trying to create their own influencer revenue streams are getting the smackdown from Google not getting their share of embedded ads (“and now a word from my sponsors for this weeks episode of stuff I’m pimping for dollars”) in their videos.
It’s all about cutting off the little guy and funneling ever more disparity into the offers of the oligarchy/cabal/mafia at the top.
Had you asked that @ 15 years ago when I was an Admin on IObit forum (couldn’t code security to save their ass) and beta testing several security programs, I would have said free - Avast or Avira. Paid - Webroot, Eset, or Kaspersky. But the landscape has changed dramatically in terms of code, origin, delivery, and deployment. I still try to keep up by reading, but no active participation on my part in years. First I’ll piss some people off regarding Norton. Their program(s) were as useful as a sieve against my then collection of over 1500 “canned nasties”. So I have no reason to believe they are anything more than the living on an old name,over spending on marketing and keeping their name at or near the top of every “best” list hype they always were. End rant. The consensus among the independent community is that Bitdefender is writing some great code for the last few years. Their Antivirus Plus is very effective and novice user friendly. See https://www.techradar.com/news/which-bitdefender-antivirus-plan-should-i-get. Check out https://www.bitdefender.com/media/html/consumer/new/get-your-90-day-trial-opt/index.html?cid=inf|c|LTT|r for an extended trial of their top suite. This is just a personal opinion from a “Joe PC user” and nothing more. Cheers!
@detailer I’ve been having reasonably good results from Trend Micro, and I will note that probably 95% of retail users have never heard of them - but they have some relatively hefty commercial accounts.
@werehatrack I did beta testing for that years back, and it was quite popular on most “best lists”. I recall it fared well,but a little heavy on system resources. That could easily have been remedied by now. If you like it,stick with it. It’s not a one size fits all world for AV anymore.
The feature I do like from Avast is the “red alert” that goes off if you’ve stumbled onto some site (or more likely, some legit site that’s been compromised). That’s my wife’s cue to get me to take a look and see what the new scam is this time.
I’ve heard good things sbout BitDefender too. And TrendMicro is decent. And, the AV review sites also note that just using MS Defender ain’t too shabby as a default.
There seems to be a couple of main approaches and features in common:
scan yo shit. This is too late, you’ve already gotten malware on your disk.
Intercept everything that goes through your browser. Unfortunately that means telling someone every URL you visit so it can be scanned against crowdsourced “bad actor” sites. Think dshield, shieldsup, or the new hotness, cloudflare for the crowdsourcing checks.
Monitoring document and OS sensitive areas and registry for abnormal access or write access. There is a small risk if there is a problem, the AV might block you from doing what you want in the “protected” area.
#2 seems to be the main vulnerability, so having an AV that works with all of your browsers is something to look for. Unfortunately, the AV vendors are now moving to shipping proprietary browsers (i.e. a custom chrome for the most part) which have their own maintenance issues over using extensions. Sorry, I’m not going to switch to my AV’s browser. So, extensions it is.
Completely separate from that are the privacy interests - blocking ads and trackers and social media.
With almost all big sites embedding craptons of third-party metrics, customer support/chat, partner integrations, “URL fixups”, social media, trackers, frameworks, CDNs (akamai), and security outsourcing to protect them (cloudflare), etc, pretty much every site I want to block some of the cookies and trackers and such, and others I want to allow.
MS Edge is just Chrome that sends everything to MS instead of Google.
Recently, I’ve found infighting going on that breaks websites, or breaks linkages between sites with intentional tracking - a lot of discounts and deal bundling (that I want!) between sites depends on it.
Particularly with Firefox security/privacy turned on, DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Essentials extension, and Ghostery. And then add in an AV extension, its a hot mess.
And when shit be broke, it’s hard to tell which one of them is the fuckup and unblock everything until the site works again.
Some are blunt instruments, like DuckDuckGo and Firefox (and I suspect the AV products) are all-or-nothing. Only Ghostery seems to let me do things like “this site is OK, just block the social media trackers”. On the other side, Ghostery treats every URL/host separately, and now, all sites pretty much, are really composite beasts pulling in pieces from lots of places that aren’t the main site you’re blocking/allowing, and so those parts break. Bit because you don’t see them in the URL bar, you don’t know what to tell Ghostery to unblock.
Still looking for that perfect balance and ability. And I’m an IS pro. Average users just don’t have a chance, which is sad. Only corporations get the good stuff, it’s insanely expensive, and the most vulnerable (regular folks) get the crap stuff that half-ass it (because they want to sell you the good stuff, not give it away). Sigh.
I’d go the pihole route too, but there are times when I’m shopping, and I want to see ads. Also, my wife’s business has a facebook presence, so she’s got to be on there. Complicating things is I already have a router that can run VPN, but I don’t want the Tivo to get VPN’d and the gaming PCs for their game networks, and I’d rather not have my Microsoft telemetry go through my VPN so Microsoft can fingerfint them (by comparing all the IPs my PCs connect to them through - the VPN farms are not unlimited).
Margins are low to begin with. It was noted in the video that despite GPUs being 78% of EVGA’s revenue, it’s a third of the profits of their PSUs – lots of work, not enough reward for an increasing risk of the market.
The 3090 were sold at $1500+ MSRP, which given the <5% margins that are typical in the industry by both a retailer and manufacturer, means costs are probably around $1400.
Nvidia is selling their own board at $1000; the formerly $2000 3090 Ti is $1100 right now. The AIB partners have to lose several hundred on every sale just to match the price.
Due to the glut, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nvidia is also forcing AIBs to take on more 3000 chips or else their 4000 allocations will be cut. This while used GPUs are entering the market due to Ethereum going proof of stake.
Latest thrift store purchase: parts of someone’s former build.
Asus Prime Z390-A motherboard for 8th/9th gen (with a couple bent pins). No CPU/memory/storage. $50, eBay value.
Corsair H100x 240mm AIO cooler. $100 new, though it’s at least missing some thumbscrews on the CPU mount.
Corsair Obsidian 500D case. $160 new, but some scratches from handling. Glass is intact, so there’s that, at least.
It may be hard to justify a higher performing CPU for the board, however. $200 for a used i7-9700 that gets beaten by a new $120 i3-12100 and trounced by a $140 5600G – the performance/value just isn’t there.
Still not the worst $30 I’ve spent before, I suppose.
@blaineg I find that many of the ones in use commercially spew nonsense to begin with, thanks to the canned response scripts they’re given which seldom actually address the question or concern posed. I ran into that with Home Depot the other day.
My personal take on AMD Zen4 launched this past week:
CPU prices are okay; not completely overpriced but not some super value either.
At the higher end, performance is evolutionary, but not revolutionary. 7900x and 7950x are pushing it, but they’re pushing the power and thermals too. 95°C is crazy hot no matter how they try to spin it.
Mid-range, the 7700x and 7600x, meh because of Intel 12th gen. They’re only matching the performance on the most part.
Nothing for the lower end again.
AM5 platform costs are a huge factor. New motherboards are $$$ and being DDR5 only means added costs on the memory side too.
With Intel 13th gen coming soon, I expect Intel will be snatching the performance/value crown this time around. Existing 600-series boards, DDR4 support, and a lower announced price on the top end i9-13900k already.