ColonelMal

Level 1
My own tests have shown three quite different results.

NPE was fast as it only scanned my C drive. It detected certain problematic programs which it marked as "Bad". However, it detected a couple of files (dll) in a temp directory which to my mind were genuine. I think they must relate to the Opera browser installation process.

EEK was more thorough. It took way much more time to complete the scanning. I did however configure it to scan three disks in addition to C drive. Strangely, it did not detect the suspicious programs that NPE found on C drive, but it did come up with a lot of suspect files on the other drives.

Zemana only found one registry entry that it considered to be dangerous. I don't think that it scanned drives other than C.

As you can see from the above real test there was no consistency in the results. You just don't know which program to trust as wholly reliable!
 

mekelek

Level 28
NPE uses Norton/Symantec sigs.
Emsisoft probably uses Bitdefender/their own sigs
Zemana uses a few on cloud that they don't disclose

honestly I would go with either NPE or Hitman Pro, Hitman Pro uses a lot of good engines on the cloud and Norton/Symantec signatures are top notch.
 

ColonelMal

Level 1
They all are free, why not use them all??
I was hoping to come up with one that is significantly more effective than anything else. It has to do with the time taken to do the scans. Running three scans would take much more time than doing a single scan.

By the way, I already use VoodooShield and I was looking for an on demand scanner as a complement to it.
 

GonzitoVir

Level 4
I was hoping to come up with one that is significantly more effective than anything else. It has to do with the time taken to do the scans. Running three scans would take much more time than doing a single scan.

By the way, I already use VoodooShield and I was looking for an on demand scanner as a complement to it.
Oh I understand. But you know, there is no product that is 100% effective. So having more alternatives is good but at the expense of scanning time as you mention.
 
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Parsh

Level 24
Verified
Trusted
Malware Hunter
As you get more experience running each of the 3 scanners, you will find that they are all unique in their own ways.

NPE
  • detects ALMOST ALL unknown (and hence possibly risky) files and registry modifications. This point makes it different than other scanners
  • as mentioned above, unknown good and bad files can be listed, but the ones indicated as "Bad" are possibly malicious
  • there's an option beside "unknown" detected files to send them to Norton Cloud for analysis. That uses "Norton Definitions Engine" for scanning. If that says file is "bad" or "threat", it is most likely a threat
  • Rootkit scan with reboot (default scan), File reputation scan, normal quick system scan modes are available
EEK
  • uses Bidefender + In-house engine for scanning. You already use BD AV
  • The in-house engine of Emsisoft is good at detecting some forms of malware like PUPs, spyware, rogueware, trojans
  • Custom scan locations available
Zemana
  • uses cloud engine(s) to scan your system and has a very good malware detection
  • it can even identify Process Hollowing, browser hijackings, mis-configurations, suspicious root certificates, DNS hijacks etc, a combo less offered outside
  • If you install Zemana, you can scan custom locations too
As you can see, the scope and category of detections of each of them do not overlap completely. These do differ. One may detect a "kind" of infection/anomaly that other great tools cannot.
HitmanPro is another nice tool using cloud, Sophos resources, Kaspersky and BD engine for custom scans.

I was hoping to come up with one that is significantly more effective than anything else. It has to do with the time taken to do the scans. Running three scans would take much more time than doing a single scan.
By the way, I already use VoodooShield and I was looking for an on demand scanner as a complement to it.
The best is to keep all three as @RoboMan suggested. You'll find many paranoid folks here having tons of scanners & monitors in their arsenal. It's fine.
Run what you think can catch the suspected infection (say browser is not behaving well, then use Zemana first...). If not sure, run all of them weekly/monthly for peace of mind.

* A point to note is that when you run a "system scan" or a "quick scan" in such on-demand scanners, without option of choosing drives other than OS drive, it intends to scan mainly critical areas of the system, common infection locations, common hideout and malware launch places of the system and not ALL the files on all drives.
 

ColonelMal

Level 1
Thank you all for your suggestions. I come from a time when hard disk space and software was very expensive, hence I always try to minimize both! Perhaps I should move on with the times!
I have also downloaded Hitman Pro Alert (one month trial), but I think I'll finally stick with VoodooShield after the trial period ends. I'm always worried that one software program may clash with another and I'll end up in a worse condition than if I had less software running.
 

Parsh

Level 24
Verified
Trusted
Malware Hunter
I have also downloaded Hitman Pro Alert (one month trial), but I think I'll finally stick with VoodooShield after the trial period ends. I'm always worried that one software program may clash with another and I'll end up in a worse condition than if I had less software running.
That's always a valid concern. In case of on-demand scanners, you need not worry.
If you are hesitant about compatibility of any products in real-time, you can always ask or find a great deal of knowledge on different security apps on such forums :)