After having been disappointed with various freely usable virus scanners, I tried a couple paid ones. At least their scan engines are definitely better, producing less false positives.
But the three I took into close consideration managed to piss me off, too.
Kaspersky: At least I found a full download version in the support section of their website, and they didn’t demand my e-mail adress.
I started the installation and it wanted to check whether it’s the newest version. My personal firewall asked me whether I want to allow it, and I said yes and then wanted to click on the “Skip” button because it still took a moment, but right then the install button appeared right under that and I accidentally clicked it. So I canceled install and tried again. This time blocking the attempt right away. But now the install refused to let me decide. The “Skip” button turned out to be functionless, a dummy, and trying to close the installer window remained without result, too. It wanted to stay. So I terminated the process. When I tried again, I noticed that there was a checkmark for some nosy extra-feature I didn’t want that I accepted when I accidentally clicked on Install the first time. That’s why I canceled it. I know this kind of stuff.
I was so appalled by a product with that name that didn’t even adhere to some basic usability guidelines. I don’t remember whether that made me try one of the other products or whether there was something else pissing me off, but next was…
ESET: Nice download page, with options for full offline or live installer, even older versions available.
Installed, decent amount of options it seemed. I didn’t check it in detail. I wanted to test its scanning and detection performance first. And when I copied my folder with the assembler demos (some of them in packed archives) and the copying happened with 1 MB/s and the virus scanner process consuming full CPU load, that was enough for me. No other virus scanner did a scan like that in snail speed.
Bitdefender: They wanted my e-mail adress for downloading the trial version to send me pointless stuff. Oh well, I can tolerate so much. I didn’t even get an offline installer. The installer also didn’t allow me to specify the exact install path for the program, but insisted on its own brand folder plus app subfolder. It also installed in German and didn’t ask me for language. (My Windows is an English version.) So the installer was downloading a lot of data from the web, and when it had finished, it apparently did a scan without asking me, and told me it already had cleaned one infection. I was very curious, so I checked out the log. And the log reported that the action was in fact not successful, but failed, and the field for virus name was empty, and the file that caused the alarm … get this … was one of Bitdefender’s own DLLs!
Then I spend like 10 minutes finding ANY relevant settings, but all I found was extremely basic stuff, like, almost nothing at all to configure. Changing the language? Nope. There was a page with general settings which has 4 or 5 of them. I don’t know whether they settings were playing hide&seek with me, but this is totally sucky UI/software design.
I’ve had enough. I’ll again resort to using my IT expert gumption for identifying suspicious data and combine that with the occasional online scan service and my personal firewall.
Maybe all this is a result of corporate controlfreakery due to the nature of the computer system protection business.
I miss the time when proper software design was the norm. … Or maybe it never was an I simply have grown more fed up with this stuff over the years.