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Old 29. Jun 2011, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Avira AntiVir tries to enforce Ask-Toolbar

Hello after a long time!

This morning I had a bad surprise while doing my Avira update (Free Antivirus 10). Strange enough, the update required a restart (which it never did before); and Sygate noted that something tried to contact some 'ask-something.com' which I denied.

After the update (and the restart) Avira prompted to install a 'safe internet search' (the Ask-Toolbar). If you don't want the toolbar, the web guard won't work and the little red umbrella in the bottom menu stays closed. According to the Avira screen, there is no online protection. The 'Guard' active, the 'WebGuard' is not.

Now I'm not sure if I'm still protected - right now, I'm running on Timefreeze just in case I'm not.

Second - is Avira still reliable at all? In my book at least, Ask is nothing but trashware (to say the least), and I don't know what to think of an Antivirus that wants to force me to install something like that on my computer.

And last: what would be a good (free) alternate for an elderly computer (Windows XP, SP3, 2 Ghz and 2 GB RAM)?

I've used Avira ever since I have XP and was always content with it, but this now really shatters my mood. I'm not sure if Avira can still be trusted.

I'm still miffed.

Thanks all,

Feline
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 06:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just confirmed that Avira is now requiring you to install their "Avira search free toolbar" in order to use the web guard in their free version. They claim that web guard was a premium feature any way, but you can opt in to get the web guard by installing the toolbar. I am not an Avira user so I don't know if web guard was previously available or not in the free version.

Here is a quote from their site http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php...hreadID=131982
Quote:
Avira has relationships with many vendors whose products offer
functionality we believe our users will value. As an example, we have
recently established a partnership with ask.com, to develop the Avira
SearchFree Toolbar. The toolbar will be available for our “Free” users
as part of service pack 2 this summer, if opted by the user to install
they will receive additional web security features previously only
available to our paying customers.
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 06:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Even more troublesome is this link. http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r259...zeware-Vendors
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 06:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritho View Post
I am not an Avira user so I don't know if web guard was previously available or not in the free version.
It was available and little me has always thought it was essential. I never went online before the little red umbrella was opened, indicating that all components were running.

Now the umbrella won't open because Webguard won't run without the Ask toolbar.

I sure understand that companies offering freeware seek sponsors for financing, and I wouldn't say anything if the Ask toolbar was optional. But as it looks to me, you won't get a Webguard without it thus having an incomplete program.

That's not very good with a free Antivirus, and quite bad for a non-technical user like me who doesn't really have an idea which components are important and which are not. As I said, I'm so insecure right now I'm running on Timefreeze.

I'm waiting for someone suggesting a (light) alternate that my old comp can deal with.

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Old 29. Jun 2011, 07:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd heard rumors for a while that Avira was in financial trouble and these associations are no doubt the result. Not everyone of course has a problem with "Ask" so this won't concern them. For those of us who do, maybe it's time to consider an alternative? Especially if you use iE9, MSE IMO has to be one of the best options.

See also where Avast! now appears in the VB100 Rap Test table, and the miraculous jump achieved by the free suite, FortClient (listed as Fortinet)

http://www.virusbtn.com/vb100/rap-index.xml

The proactive results are the most important.

As with all tests, don't take this as being an indication of how well protected you will be by using a particular product.

A DNS filter and web site ratings agent will reduce your exposure to many threats even before you consider which AV to use.
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Its sad that it has come down to such things for Avira. I think it is time to look for alternatives for those who have been using Avira till now.

Free users were not the priority for Avira, as we have often seen how slow the definitions update were with the free version of Avira, where as there was no such problem with the commercial version.

Avast looks the best choice in the free antivirus category. It has loads of features, and still runs light. I am using it for years now, on Win XP SP2/SP3, P-IV and 1 GB RAM. You can go for it.

MSE 1.0 was amazing. But, since MSE 2.0 has come out, people have had complaints against it.
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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According to what I read, you are still protected even though the umbrella is
closed. There is a solution to make the umbrella open up if you still want to
keep Avira. Go to Add/Remove Programs and chose change, then choose all
components to be installed but leave the toolbar unchecked. After all is
done, the umbrella should be open.

If you like to change AV, I would like to recommend MSE but unfortunately, it
seems the latest version is behaving terribly on XP, so I don't recommend it
for you.

None of the remaining free AV really excite me but I guess the best choice out
of them is Avast. Thats what I recommend for you and your XP, if you want to
move away from Avira10. I don't blame you, if you do. Confusing people who
choose not to install the toolbar, by keeping the umbrella closed, makes all
they are doing, worst.

Good luck
Bo
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 09:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess this could be a symptom of whats to come for many others. Do we all remember the bursting of the DOT.Com bubble? I'm afraid the world's economy is nearing a rather substantial correction period.
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 10:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, bo.elam, that worked to get the umbrella opened and have Avira look like 'normal' again.

Still, I'm thinking of changing to another Antivirus. Avast would be an option, and I've read of someone recommending Kingsoft Antivirus. Can anyone else recommend this?

And, I'm curious how tomorrow's update will go. Maybe Avira notices that there is no Ask toolbar and the whole thing starts all over again...

Feline
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Old 29. Jun 2011, 10:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feline View Post

And, I'm curious how tomorrow's update will go. Maybe Avira notices that there is no Ask toolbar and the whole thing starts all over again...

Feline
Avira is a total mess at this time but I don't think you ll have to worry about the
toolbar anymore. Let us know if you get a new prompt, if you do, just say no,
don't click later, say no NOW.

Bo
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