Goodbye AVG, Hello Windows Live OneCare

I’ve always been frustrated with anti-virus software. Reducing your computer to a sloth as it scans for viruses, delaying your system’s start-up while it checks for updates, and then blocking you from opening various applications, email or websites because of potential risks. This pre-emptive “war on viruses”, is enough to drive you mad.

Third-party access to Vista

When Vista launched, I was hoping Microsoft had gotten their way and blocked third-party access to the core of their OS, effectively keeping viruses out. Unfortunately lawsuits from Symantec made sure Microsoft couldn’t kill off the anti-virus industry just yet.

Going without Anti-virus software

For a number of years, I went without anti-virus software altogether, opting to track and remove any viruses manually on the rare occasion my PC got infected. Eventually, I started using AVG because it was free and not as in-your-face as Norton and co.

AVG updated itself off my computer

AVG wasn’t without problems of its own, failing to complete updates, or recognizing that it had already updated itself and didn’t need to do so again.

Last week was the final straw as AVG pushed out another update which didn’t just fail to install, but it meant I was unable to access all my programs, including Word and Excel. Without any hesitation, I uninstalled it and started looking around for an alternative.

A Microsoft alternative

Funnily enough, my own mother had just bought herself a new Vista PC, and with it came a trial of Windows Live OneCare – a new anti-everything solution from Microsoft. Could this be what I was looking for? A program designed to protect Vista, actually written by Vista developers?

Needless to say, I downloaded and installed the trial for myself, and within a few hours was convinced that this was an application worth paying a subscription fee for. The only aggravation was that the payment page defaults to the language of the country you reside in (Japanese in my case), but once you’re over that hurdle, everything else works in English and it seems to do the business. It backs up your system on a schedule you choose, tunes up your PC (removing unnecessary files and defragmenting your hard drive) at times you decide, and of course, it scans for viruses, malware and all the rest of it.

Vista and OneCare – a lovely couple

Best of all, it integrates beautifully with Vista, so instead of third-party software which is always wrestling with your OS, Windows Live OneCare makes the perfect tag-team.

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

7 thoughts on “Goodbye AVG, Hello Windows Live OneCare

  1. I dont think anyone would recommend you using a security suite provided to you by the same company supplier of the operating system.

    1. Well, let’s see…

      Version 2.0 of Microsoft’s security and utility suite protects a PC better. Narasu Rebbapragada, PC World

      OneCare is a solid product at a reasonable price and I highly recommend it for home PC users. Tony Bradley,

      Windows Live OneCare 2.0 is excellent, and I’ll continue using it on all of my PCs. Highly recommended. Paul Thurrott,

      Any further comments, Ed?

  2. What’s the sticker price for a subscription? My wife’s Vista notebook is slower than a Daihatsu goin’ up the mountain to Takayama 😛

  3. 5,775yen a year, and that covers up to three machines. Don’t let me mislead you though. Scans and backups do slow the computer down, but if you schedule them at suitable times, you can avoid the worst of it. Give the 3-month trial a shot.

    1. Hmm … that’s pretty cheap considering what it does. Online backups are handled by my own custom app (which backs up an encrypted copy of the important files to some extra storage space on my web server), but the others are just as important 🙂

  4. Wow, Nick, don’t say I have actually done something right on my computer at last! I must say I have had no trouble at all with my ‘One Care’ protection so far. Let’s hope it continues.

  5. Viruses?
    What are those…?

    Oh, that’s right, the things Window PCs get…

    Score a point for Linux! 😛

    But anyway, for Windows this looks really good (I might buy it for my laptop)!

    Have any of you used threatfire or pc tools. Threatfire ( is supposed to be good in combo with a general antivirus program.

    PC Tools was good but I’ve heard Symantec (the dark-side) bought them so I guess that option is gone… 🙁

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