Anto-Virus advice please

Since buying my new Lenovo Vantage computer some months ago I have had MacAfee pestering the life out of me to subscribe to their already installed AV. I have resisted so far mainly because they seem like a hard sell outfit to me, I have lost count of the times that they have said ‘only 2 days to go’ or similar only to be told later that it is still in place and if I go with it now all will be fine.

A friend down the road does not trust McAfee and has Norton instead, but I have a memory of difficulties with them from the dim and distant past.

Some of the warnings do say if I uninstall MacAfee then I will be protected by Windows Defender, which of course, is free.

I was inclined to the latter but in the last couple of days the up to now flawless performance of the Lenovo has been punctuated by a few crashes, immediately re-started with no bad effects. But my suspicious mind urges me that it might be MacAfee making a rather underhanded point.

What do others think?

What Windows version are you running?

In my experience McAfee slows laptops a lot. Norton seems to be better.

I wouldn’t assume you have to pay for one. I think Avast might be still free. It’s a while since McAfee is what it was, got an idea their stuff is more oriented to big corporate networks now.

EDIT just checked current edition of ComputerActive, that I really rate. They say Microsoft Defender is fine to use alone now as of Windows 10 and 11. They say even amongst the paid ones there’s only 1 a bit better (and I didn’t ref the whole thing but it’s not McAfee. Think it’s Bitdefender.

Readly and Pressreader both have ComputerActive, I really rate it. They have regular update on AV, how to use streaming services or TV online, alwayd useful stuff. And they debunk a lot of old myths.
Try and get access to a magazine service such as the above via your library could be free? Then you get hundreds of magzines for free.

They also do free trials - dont take the first one you see as they may offer longer. Post if you’re interested and I’ll keep my eye out for one. It means you won’t have to pay to read magzines and newspapers - you can access other countries’ ones too. I got Pressreader from an airline.

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I view both Macafee and Norton as malware, for the way they install stuff that needs special tools to remove and nag, while slowing the machine. In fairness they may be better than that now, but I still actively distrust them from having to fix machines that were broken by this software.

If you’re on W10 then I’d use Windows defender - this is what I do - unless you sometimes visit sites that might upload something unwanted from the fringes of the internet.

If you feel you DO need av software then look at ESET, Avira, Avast or AVG. Kaspersky also used to have a good rep, but everything Russian is being doubted right now.


Windows Defender plus Ghostery and an ad blocker will protect from most threats.


change your OS to Linux (suggest ubuntu).
Much more robust and doesn’t suffer in the same way as windoze.
There is a free utility called ClamTK which you can download and install on your Linux PC if it makes you feel better but most Linux aficionados suggest that it is quite unnecessary.
The only time Linux gets “attacked” is when it is dual booted with windows (of whatever flavour).
ubuntu Linux desktop is probably the nearest you’ll get to a windows experience without using windoze.
I’ve yet to find in all the years I’ve been using ubuntu anything software wise that I have not been able to perform that I previously did when I used windoze - in fact, I would say I have been able to achieve more from the software I use and as it’s all Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), I haven’t had to pay for any of it (including the OS itself).


Many of us have our own favourite flavour of Linux - if you did go that way then I’d recommend Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop. It’s what I’ve been running at home for probably 10 years.

However I wouldn’t want a Linux machine only - there are perfectly good reasons for running a Windows machine too, and it’s completely fine to do so.

Good old Microsoft, still the shittiest (and most profitable) OS on the planet.

I can’t think of one :joy:


Don’t think @David_Spardo will be going the Linux route at this point . Personally, I’ve never used Windows Defender, so can’t comment on it. I wouldn’t go anywhere near McAfee or Norton with a bargepole. Used AVG for several years, but it got slower and more intrusive as time went on. Now use Bitdefender, which I’m very happy with. I pay for it, but you can get a free version.

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I wasn’t aware that there were Klingons living in France.

Your comment should not surprise me.

Well thanks for all the replies and here are some of my answers/thoughts. I am running Windows 10 and have resisted so far upgrading to 11 as a little icon tells me to at the bottom. I have said it before ‘if it ain’t broke don’t mend it’, particularly in an area of which I am a confused amateur. There are segments of life where I am an expert, but this isn’t one of them.

Hairbear is right, I am not ready, and may never be, to change. As long as something works, and minor recent glitches apart, this seems to be doing so (and at warp factor speed compared to my recently demoted Dell laptop), I do not want to take a step into the unknown.

I was really troubled by the frequent bullying pop-ups of this MacAfee thing but hestitated to try and uninstall it to stop the bothering. It is very many years since I paid for an anti-virus thing, and have avoided major problems for all that time, including many years of good service with a gifted pc and a couple of laptops and have only changed each time because of slowing down, it not me, or in the case of one beloved laptop, when the hinges finally wore out. That came to me pre-loaded with Vista, which I did not like and took a massive chance for me, in allowing an expert friend to swap that for XP. I was very sorry to see that go (well it hasn’t really, it is still slumbering away in my bedroom :smiley:)

So, to sum up, I am re-assured that I don’t need, and would be better off without, MacAfee and will, with nervous fingers, set about getting rid of it. Later today. Maybe. :thinking:

Thanks again for all the help. :joy:

Me too. I won’t be upgrading until it’s more mature. Possibly never on this machine.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. Are you going to just stick with Windows Defender ?

That’s my thought at the moment, yes, if it ain’t broke…etc…

Although I “grew up” on Unix, initially SunOS, then Solaris, Irix, HP-UX and a few other minor variants my first regular use of Linux was about 1995 when I installed Slackware on my first home PC - a 100MHz P5. I moved to Redhat a short while later and then to Fedora (with occasional use of spin off versions such as Centos or Scientific Linux). I generally prefer the Mate desktop - largely because early Gnome3 was so terrible.

Agree, though Linux only is increasingly viable.

Me three.

It is unlikely I will upgrade to W11 while there are security updates for W10, and I’m not sure that all of my PC hardware is even suitable given the TPM requirement.

I first started investigating Linux in about the same timeframe just out of personal curiosity on my home machine like you. All our build systems at work were run on Windows machines using CygWin :nauseated_face::face_vomiting::dizzy_face:. I tried to persuade the relevant people at work that we could migrate to Linux, but no go. So, I installed Linux (Redhat) on a machine and did the migration myself for a single product. It took some effort, but when completed I was able to show that builds would be 30 to 40 times quicker using native Linux. Once the engineers got wind of this, there was a concerted campaign to make the migration effort official, which it was.

I was a little late to the party, trying Mandrake Linux around 2000/2001.

These days I really like how Linux works out of the box most of the time, especially with older hardware. Some distros are frustrating with stupid issues over audio routing or making it hard to install non-free codecs etc, but mostly it’s good. I’m not an it professional, so my requirements are a little different.

I do have a unit with W10 installed, but haven’t spent much time with it yet. Comments I’ve read from real world users that I know are that it runs a bit quicker than WQP, even on low spec hardware.

That’s a valid point actually… I’m no longer interested in Windoze tbh but, if I were, I wouldn’t bother with a separate PC, I would simply load whichever version of Windoze I wanted on to a live USB and load it from there without affecting my primary OS setup.
ubuntu provides a useful (free) Startup Disk Creator to assist in making this task easy.