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!