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OK, let’s all let out a big whoop and holler. Vista is launched and that means no more Vista Launch hype! On the downside there will now be all kinds of Vista IS launched hype. I was just reading some this morning. A competitor of Microsoft’s (and ours) was quoted as saying that in their testing (not independent testing) “the new Windows Defender program failed to block 84% of viruses – including 15 of the most common pieces of malicious code.” To put it bluntly, well duh! Defender is anti-spyware, not anti-virus. It is not expected to detect much in the way of viruses. That’s why you need anti-virus software for Vista in addition to the anti-spyware it comes with. If you don’t believe it, ponder this… When I worked at Microsoft we were required to have anti-virus software on our PCs or we could not get on the network. Even our home PCs had to have the required AV software if we wanted to use them to connect to Microsoft. Do you think Microsoft has changed this policy for users of Vista? I seriously doubt it.
So how do you find a good anti-virus product for your new copy of Windows Vista? You look for know how and you look for performance. When it come to know how you want a product that has been supporting 64-bit Windows XP for a while. Why does this matter? You see, when Microsoft released the 64-bit Windows XP is when they first used Kernel Patch Protection (KPP). KPP is designed to make a whole bunch of malware not work right. It also makes a whole bunch of other products not work right. Early on ESET developed a 64-bit solution for Windows XP. KPP is a tricky technology to work around so you want a vendor who has rolled up their sleeves and dug in to the nitty-gritty to figure out how to effectively protect computers with KPP. Your other option is to use a product from a company that has spent months whining about how Microsoft has locked them out of the operating system. I put my money on the doers, not the whiners. As it turns out, those of us who burned the midnight oil figuring out how to protect your 64-Bit WinXP were already working out how to protect 64-bit Vista.
One other thing about Vista: it uses a ton of resources. It likes a very fast CPU and a lot of RAM. This means that the last thing you want to put on it is an anti-virus product that uses a lot of CPU cycles and requires a lot of RAM. If you do you will find your computer has little ability to do much other than run the OS and the AV software.
Lucky for you, ESET’s NOD32 has a long history of being light on resource use, and able to work with Kernel Patch Protection technology. If you haven’t used NOD32, feel free to download a fully functional 30-day evaluation copy at http://www.eset.com/.
I see good times on the vista :) Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET