Antivirus Software – Part of My Story

Antivirus Software - Part of My Story

No matter what computer or computers you are using, you should always use antivirus software. This article discusses part of my story of using antivirus software.

You need to run good antivirus software on your computer devices in order to protect your computer devices and more importantly, any private data, any financial data and any health data that is on those computer devices.

Antivirus software is recommended

Antivirus troops

All users of computers should use an appropriate antivirus package that is as up to date as possible with the latest definitions. I adapt the approach that all computers should be running the latest and most modern and most up to date antivirus software in order to assist you in protecting your computer.

Running a computer that does not have antivirus software up and running with the latest updates is leaving your computer exposed. For this reason, I run antivirus software on my computer.

One antivirus package is called Avast. I had been using Avast Antivirus since at least June 2011. From time to time I have experienced some fairly minor glitches. I would have liked no glitches, however that may not be reasonable. 🙂

I stopped using Avast Antivirus in August/September 2019. Since then, I have been using Microsoft’s Windows Defender.

Avast Process To Download Latest Definitions Error

Once or twice during December 2013 and also once or twice during January 2014, the automatic process that downloads the latest definitions did not work in the expected way. However a small number of times, it reported a Host Unreachable error. To be fair this hadn’t happened to me between at least July 2014 and August/September 2019.

The first solution was to upgrade the product to the latest version. This resolved the problem for a period of a few days. Then the error was experienced again.

Although the latest version of the product was being used, the product was re-installed to see if that would sort it for me. It sorted it out on a few occasions, however it does not resolve it on all occasions.

Further online research suggested the following approach which worked on this occasion. The following tip worked when other approaches did not work. This may also work for you and save you time and effort so that you can go back to doing your thing sooner rather than later.

After doing some online research, and trying out a few suggestions which were time consuming and which also did not work, the following link was found. This link has worked for me on a number of occasions in the past. I am offering this link in the hope that it will help you also, and therefore free you up to do other more important things with your computer and help make your life more enjoyable:

The link is:
http://www.avast.com/download-update

Write it down, before you forget. 🙂

Overall, the automatic background process of downloading the latest definitions is therefore pretty solid, however it can on a few occasions not work and human intervention is needed to resolve.

If you are using Windows 10, there may be no need to buy another antivirus package

I got a new computer in the summer of 2015 which came with Windows 8, which I could upgrade to Windows 10 in my own good time. Well I got the new computer and within a week, I had upgraded to Windows 10 home edition. The process for me was painless.

When I got my new computer in the summer of 2015, it came with a 30 free trial for McAfee Antivirus. I didn’t get a chance to install Avast and transfer my Avast licence across to my new computer for a while.

I had to contact Avast support to learn how to transfer the remaining time on my Avast software license. I had extended my Avast license by two years some months earlier. Once I got the instructions, I moved the license information across. I was impressed that I could move the license over. Happy days. 🙂

I upgraded my new computer from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and did other ‘housekeeping’ tasks.

For a while I had Avast, McAfee and Windows Defender all working at the same time. The system was slow. When I reached the end of my 30 day trial with McAfee I simply uninstalled the McAfee antivirus product.

Well, it was “over the top”, wasn’t it? Having three antivirus products working at the same time. I only did it because it did not actually cost me any extra money at the time and to see if they would play well together.

My computer was quicker, a lot quicker. However I got “Critical Error with Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana”. Once I configured my computer not to use Microsoft Windows Defender, it improved again.

For some reason, at the time, they would not play well together and could cause issues. This may or may not still be the case.

If you are using Windows 10, there may be no need to get additional antivirus software. Let me explain, you need an antivirus package in place and operational. You also need to be getting regular definition updates. There could be a few definition updates every day as new antivirus definitions are added. This is because the antivirus software suppliers are working in the background. They are discovering new viruses and adding additional defences against these new viruses all the time. These defences are added to the antivirus definitions database on a regular basis. Sometimes the antivirus software itself needs to be updated as well. This is an ongoing continuous process and will never end.

Windows 10 comes with its own antivirus technology called Windows Defender. Windows Defender has an antivirus component. You would need to do more research yourself to determine if this approach is ok for you.

In the summer of 2015, I had decided that as my Avast antivirus subscription does not expire for another 8 months or so, that I will continue using them. I have been using Avast antivirus software for years now and am familiar with them. In 8 months or thereabouts, I will do research to determine what I will do. I may decide that Windows Defender software will be enough for my antivirus requirements or I may not.

I recommend using a good antivirus solution. I have used Avast Antivirus software for a number of years now. I would never recommend running a computer without running a good antivirus solution.

Avast was one of the good ones in my opinion until 2019. At which time, I experienced performance issues with my computer which I eventually traced back to running the Avast Antivirus software on my computer.

Antivirus Tips

Use a good antivirus solution. I used Avast Antivirus software between at least December 2013 to about August/September 2019.

I actually stopped using Avast Antivirus software in about August/September 2019 as I found that it was slowing down my computer big time. Basic things that used to take less than a second started to take seconds, and some things just never seemed to complete. That is a story in itself.

It look me a lot of time to determine that it was Avast software which was slowing down my computer because I expected their software not to do this. When I uninstalled Avast, my computer started to be responsive again. Then I reinstalled Avast, then my computer was slow again, so somehow using Avast slowed my computer down to an unworkable slow speed. I had to do something.

So I uninstalled Avast software completely and turned on Windows Defender. That was back in August/September 2019 and so far, it is doing its job and my computer is no longer slow. 🙂

Beware of paying for long subscriptions

Once I uninstalled the Avast software for the final time, I opened tickets with Avast in August/September 2019 for them to refund me the unused remaining time on my subscriptions as they both had some time to go.

This was about 18 months unused out of 24 months on the Avast Antivirus software. And about 14 months unused out of 24 months on the Avast Cleaner software.

I opened tickets for both Avast Antivirus software and for Avast Cleaner software. The ticket flow did not allow me to put both those requests into one ticket in August 2019. When I did not hear back from them within a reasonable period, somewhere between 7 days and 14 days, I repeated the process on September 3, 2019 – making a total of 4 tickets raised with their support department.

On September 3, 2019 my computer screen showed twice a “We’ve just received your request and you can expect us to get in touch shortly via the email you provided”. It is now after March 21, 2020 and I am still waiting for them to get in touch shortly via the email I provided.

I did expect them to reply back to the tickets as that is what support departments are supposed to do, otherwise why offer the service? And also for something called good manners and customer care. I am still waiting to hear back from them in March 2020. They get zero marks out of a hundred for the quality of their support in this case in my opinion.

Why I selected Windows Defender in August/September 2019?

I did some research and concluded hat Windows Defender might be up to the job as it had got its act together by then. The AV-TEST scores for Windows Defender for May/June 2019 were:

  1. Protection Score: 6.0 out of 6.0
  2. Performance Score: 6.0 out of 6.0
  3. Usability Score: 6.0 out of 6.0

Pretty impressive.

Remember that I only did the research because I was experiencing computer speed issues which resolved when I uninstalled Avast software. At that stage, I needed a reliable antivirus software solution.

As Windows Defender was getting good scores in tests and good reviews, I decided to give them a go. After all, Windows Defender is part of the Windows Operating System and does not cost anything extra. I simply turned on Windows Defender. And it does its thing without slowing down my computer.

It also updates its definitions automatically and regularly behind the scenes which is also good.

Happy days. 🙂

And the extra bonus, I no longer pay an annual fee for my antivirus software solution because Windows Defender is already included in the Windows Operating System.

If you enjoyed this, have a look at this list of using computer applications articles.

Hi, I'm David. I write articles such as this one. Enjoy! I like to hear from my readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this article helped you or if you have any related questions. Thanks.

2 thoughts on “Antivirus Software – Part of My Story”

  1. I use the avast antivirus on my laptop and certainly does a good job. I find it regularly scans my computer and keeps me up to date on potential threats and the threats that it has blocked. Great software and for the price you can’t really go wrong. To be honest i have only used the software for a couple of months now but everything has been smooth sailing. Do you think over time it could slow down your system? as it keeps running on start up

    Reply
    • Hi Vinnie,

      I wouldn’t expect your system to slow down over time due to using Avast antivirus software. However, if your system does slow down, you may need to find out why.

      When I got my new laptop last year, it came with a 30 free trial for McAfee Antivirus. I didn’t get a chance to install Avast and transfer my Avast licence across to the new laptop for a while. I upgraded my new laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and did other ‘house keeping’ tasks.

      For a while I had Avast, McAfee and Windows Defender all working at the same time. The system was slow. When I reached the end of my 30 day trial with McAfee I simply uninstalled the McAfee antivirus product.

      My system was quicker, a lot quicker. However I got “Critical Error with Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana”. Once I configured my laptop not to use Windows Defender, it improved again.

      Kind Regards,
      David

      Reply

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