Battle Need Help Choosing Between Three AVs

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Emsisoft Anti-Malware Home
F-Secure Internet Security
Kaspersky Standard
If you know of any other solid products, please comment below.)

Spartan

Level 3
Verified
Well-known
Apr 15, 2019
111
I've tried them all, I care mostly about system performance impact as all of them are very close to each other in terms of protection. I found only ESET and F-Secure to be pure AVs, no bloatware or toolbars or crap installed without your consent such as Kaspersky's VPN which is NOT free but just a rebadged Hotspot Shield that has very low data limit until you subscribe let alone the nagging to install the browser toolbars.
 

a090

Level 2
Thread author
Mar 26, 2023
67
Check Point suspended usage of the Kaspersky engine 6 years ago btw.


Apart from some third-tier products, all of the partners are the same, with very similar tactics and techniques that drive revenue and similar protection capabilities. The differences are very minor and unlikely to be noticed in a day to day usage.
The statements that companies respect or don’t respect privacy (any of the ones you’ve mentioned) are pure speculation and nothing has been proven. Businesses today are too global and multi-national and different laws apply to different arms of the company. Unless anyone has SOLID evidence, the privacy policy is the only thing I personally trust.

What do they use now? If it’s in-house, I’m definitely going to pass.

I vote for Emsisoft. I have a spare 1-year key for Emsisoft if you want!

I appreciate this, brother. Thank you. But I’ll pass simply because there are others who may need that key more so than me. I’m fortunate enough to easily be able to afford a license so I don’t want to take this opportunity from someone who can’t. God bless mate.

I will tally your vote for Emsisoft, however. Vote 2 for EAM. Thanks again!

Eset signatures doesn't make you feel the absence of a behavior guard.
Eset is head-to-head with kaspersky and other vendor who rely more on BB.
G-Data isn't slow.
It consumes a lot of ram but it what this is made for, being used. In facts lately on my PC G-Data consumes the same amout of ram of Emsisoft.
However G-Data has Beast and Deepray (BB and machine learning) that are top notch tech.
If you care so much about testing results you can find G-Data is on top in many those.
IMHO G-Data > Emsisoft.

I used ESET for many years and you’re correct, the sigs are good enough to handle most threats. Especially if you’re someone like me who is a paranoid user to begin with. That being said, this doesn’t change the fact that ESET is a one-trick pony. If you can get past their sigs (difficult but not impossible), it’s a wrap most of the time. I don’t like a “eggs in one basket approach” which is exactly what ESET is.

Maybe LiveGuard will change my opinion once it matures. Right now, even that new feature looks half-baked.

As for G-DATA, their UI looks like it was made in the late 2000s. Their product has odd glitches where two separate and visually different UIs have opened up on the system, depending on how the AV was accessed. I saw mention of this right on this forum, you can find it by searching for G-DATA.

Their site still says “The best G DATA of all time - Test our security software 2022.” Except we’ve been in 2023 for close to four months now. That tells me there isn’t much attention given to the site. Grammatical errors throughout the site. And they seem exclusionary, with a major focus on the German market. The awards page lists achievements from 2021 and nothing more recent than that. All of these things matter to me, which is why I excluded them from my shortlist.

The entire G-DATA setup looks low-quality compared to the likes of F-Secure, ESET, Emsisoft, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Avast, and even Norton. Even iif BEAST and DeepRay work as you say. The G-DATA software might be good but perception matters. And G-DATA gets a low score on that from me.
I've tried them all, I care mostly about system performance impact as all of them are very close to each other in terms of protection. I found only ESET and F-Secure to be pure AVs, no bloatware or toolbars or crap installed without your consent such as Kaspersky's VPN which is NOT free but just a rebadged Hotspot Shield that has very low data limit until you subscribe let alone the nagging to install the browser toolbars.

Agreed. ESET and F-Secure are quite clean. It’s a pity ESET has no real BB, it’s a superstar when it comes to sigs.
 
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a090

Level 2
Thread author
Mar 26, 2023
67
It’s looking more and more like F-Secure will be my choice. Well-rounded product. Especially after @Shadowra answered some critical questions of mine.

Speaking of, Shadowra, do you know if the F-Secure browsing extension interferes with things like Adguard which use their own certs to scan HTTPS traffic? Or are both products compatible since F-Secure doesn’t install a browser root cert?

For everyone else: I’m still open to suggestions but I plan to pick a vendor by nightfall. Will send an update here for anyone interested on what I chose.
 

Abnormal

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
8
tried all of the three av you mentioned
the three are amazing but
emsisoft seem to be missing some features like a powerful firewall or something to control windows firewall in my opinion
f-secure didn't test it for long but seems very good in all of the test done on it
Kaspersky tested it it's very powerful and full of features not just feel good interface in every test out there kaspersky always scores on top
tested it for long on more than one machine dropped it since the last events that happened and for the notes and warnings that has been issued against it

for me i would go for f-secure

as for eset compared to both kaspersky and emsisoft eset security is very light on resources the machines tested on was faster and more reliable
 

mlnevese

Level 26
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
May 3, 2015
1,553
Just a clarification about Kaspersky:

1) It no longer installs the VPN or Password Manager by default. You can easily opt not to install them.
2) Kaspersky inquires ONCE about the browser plugin. Just say no and that´s it. You can easily turn off their privacy guard and antibanner if you are using other solutions as well.
 

Shadowra

Level 34
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Content Creator
Malware Tester
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Sep 2, 2021
2,358
It’s looking more and more like F-Secure will be my choice. Well-rounded product. Especially after @Shadowra answered some critical questions of mine.

Speaking of, Shadowra, do you know if the F-Secure browsing extension interferes with things like Adguard which use their own certs to scan HTTPS traffic? Or are both products compatible since F-Secure doesn’t install a browser root cert?

For everyone else: I’m still open to suggestions but I plan to pick a vendor by nightfall. Will send an update here for anyone interested on what I chose.

No certificate is installed by F-Secure :)
Kaspersky does it
 

M4RT1NE2

Level 14
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Well-known
Mar 19, 2022
650
In my humble opinion, I also think that an excellent choice would be to choose an F-Secure product.
 
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zkSnark

Level 5
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Well-known
Jan 13, 2019
204
It’s looking more and more like F-Secure will be my choice. Well-rounded product. Especially after @Shadowra answered some critical questions of mine.

Speaking of, Shadowra, do you know if the F-Secure browsing extension interferes with things like Adguard which use their own certs to scan HTTPS traffic? Or are both products compatible since F-Secure doesn’t install a browser root cert?

For everyone else: I’m still open to suggestions but I plan to pick a vendor by nightfall. Will send an update here for anyone interested on what I chose.
I haven't seen F-secure in recent tests from AV-comparatives, or AV-test, or AVlab. Are there any other sites that have tested F-secure? Or I would like to see head-to-head comparison between F-secure and Kaspersky (keeping away political views).
 

a090

Level 2
Thread author
Mar 26, 2023
67
Thank you everyone for your help. I have indeed gone with F-Secure Internet Security (Feb 2023 version). I opted for F-Secure because of its well-rounded protection, lack of “fluff” (tuners, optimizers, repackaged VPNs—they do have their own VPN service though), and because the program seems to be extremely comaptible with Windows’ built in protections.

I’ve enabled all manner of VBS security via GPO. Hardened the device following a guide by the cyber wing of the Australian government. It’s easily available on Google. I then followed a couple of other guides, including one by @SpyNetGirl regarding hardening Windows. Keep in mind, some of the recommendations from both guides assume you’ll be using Microsoft Defender. I’m not. So I kept an eye out for anything that looked like a Defender antivirus tweak and didn’t apply those. Such as ASR rules. Or cloud protection. Kaspersky would not have let me enable my VBS settings or enable Local Security Authority Protection (hidden Device Security setting). It’s quite invasive in its implementation of a security aparatus for your device, going so far as to using its own hypervisor.

Anyway, I’m happy with the product. It’s clean, fast, and easy on the eyes. Modern and beautiful UI. Quite simple though. I’m used to tweaking a lot of settings and ESET was always great for that. Defender too with all the GPO enhancements you can do. But F-Secure doesn’t let you tweak much of anything. And that’s fine too.

Now the only thing I’m interested in is if Windows Firewall Control would be a good pair-up with F-Secure. Both apply rules to the Windows firewall itself so there shouldn’t be any clashes. And WFC would let me see notifications in real time whenever a new app wants to access the internet. Something F-Secure can’t provide me. Will make a new thread regarding this.
 

Scirious

Level 2
Feb 22, 2022
91
F-Secure just works. It doesn't interfere with AdGuard. It scans the page through the plugin in the browser, not by decrypting SSL traffic. Also, you can change the interface AdGuard uses to capture and decrypt the traffic to avoid conflicts. I had to do it for it to work with Kaspersky, but not with F-Secure.
 

a090

Level 2
Thread author
Mar 26, 2023
67
F-Secure just works. It doesn't interfere with AdGuard. It scans the page through the plugin in the browser, not by decrypting SSL traffic. Also, you can change the interface AdGuard uses to capture and decrypt the traffic to avoid conflicts. I had to do it for it to work with Kaspersky, but not with F-Secure.
Perfect. Thank you, exactly what I was looking for.
 

Thales

Level 15
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Nov 26, 2017
709
Product microanalysis will not produce the desired result. People put less analysis into their stock picks. Also, asking peoples' opinions on a forum such as this will generate a lot of well-meaning, but highly biased recommendations. They'll recommend many of the softs you already eliminated because they don't bother to read the posts....
I disagree!
When in the past I thought I was right and had strong opinions, the forum members pointed out the mistake. So, if someone suggests something that the OP has filtered out, and doesn't just write "Use this because it's good," but also justifies it, it's not something to be dismissed.
 

a090

Level 2
Thread author
Mar 26, 2023
67
My new thread regarding F-Secure and Windows Firewall Control (WFC) compatibility. For anyone in the future who finds this thread while looking for answers to this new question I had.

Also some good info in there from Binisoft dev (WFC) regarding Adguard (desktop app for Windows) compatibility with WFC (I plan to use all three programs simultaneously).

I disagree!
When in the past I thought I was right and had strong opinions, the forum members pointed out the mistake. So, if someone suggests something that the OP has filtered out, and doesn't just write "Use this because it's good," but also justifies it, it's not something to be dismissed.

Agreed! Which is why I had Option 4 listed as “Recommend me something good that I may have over-looked.” Those aren’t the exact words I used but that was the intention.
 
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