I have been using Eset’s NOD32 as my antivirus. When I first built my new system in 2012 it was more or less the top-rated one and above all, had the least impact on your system, especially in fullscreen/gaming, which was an importance to me since it was primarily as gaming rig.
Nowadays however, seems like it’s scoring pretty poorly in AV-Comparatives. In fact, Windows Defender seems to be constantly performing better…. at least in detection (Not sure about performance impact).
However, I am not sure if I want to switch back to Windows Defender, as I have many issues with it. Main thing being in how aggressive it is in classifying perfectly fine software as “malware” or a pup, and how it acts first and then asks questions later.
A lot of tools and utilities, especially stuff from NirSoft which I have used countless times to fix issues or repair broken setups, it classifies as malware and attempts to block/delete them. There seems to be no way to prevent it from doing this either. I set it to “allow” many times… and within 24 hours it ignores me and complains about the same file again. I can set the folder to be ignored, but if I ever move/copy it, it will complain again and try to block or delete it. This is a massive pain when I am performing a backup of large drives as it will constantly mess up the backup trying to intercept files it considers malware that no other AV gets set off by.
And then there is how it acts first and then tells you what it did later with no way to change this behavior. One thing I really liked about Nod32 is when it identifies something it considers a virus or malware, you can set it so it blocks it but asks you what to do before taking further action…. Windows Defender does not, it will delete/quarantine the file first and THEN tell you what it did, with it being up to you to then un-do the action if you didn’t want it. It has actually damaged some of my archives because of this behavior, where it will try to delete a file WITHIN the archive, and end up corrupting the entire archive.
If I could make Windows Defender behave like Nod32 in the sense that it stops trying to classify software that is perfectly fine and no other AV considers malware as malware (funny how a lot of tools from NirSoft set this off…) and acting first and only telling me after the fact, I would prefer to switch to it. I actually would like to stick with Nod32, but I am worried that the software is going south, and there is not much point to an antivirus, especially a PAID one, that is worse than your free built-in one.
If there are any other alternatives, I am not sure. Most of the ones in the top of the list I used years ago, but I dropped them for being useless/intrusive back then… not sure how they are now. Avira is one that I remember distinctly as being near-malware itself is how aggressive and naggy it’s free version was. I mean, I get it, freeware is not free to make so they wanted to advertise…. but when I last used it they basically spammed your desktop and every update seemed to care more about making sure you can’t stop the nag over their own engine, so I had blacklisted them years ago. I don’t know what else to turn to, if there is a way to make Windows Defender stop messing with files that are perfectly fine, or if I should stick with Nod32.