IT@Home: Avira Antivir irritations

aviraI have been a Avira Antivir premium subscriber for a while now. It has generally worked ok for me. But I used to have one single big source of irritation and it would crop up now and then. I just discovered one more when I went on an overseas trip recently and had to deal with bad connectivity.

Ignoring Exclusions

First, I have scheduled a weekly scan which runs on Sun night and I expect the scan to be done by Monday morning. It works fine till the scan discovers a file that its heuristics think might be an issue. so the scan pauses and waits for me to make a decision about the file. It turns out often these are my work related files that other scanners have no issue with and so I tell it to ignore the file going forward. But it seems to ignore that directive and every single time the scan starts it chokes on that file, as if the file has been updated since the last detection. It has not!

So once the scanner runs into issue with a file, every subsequent scans now blocks unless I manually add an exception. I guess I can open up the application and manually go and add the file in the exclusion list. But it should work the first time around when I responded to its scanner prompt! Some of these file names are long and are in nested folders, making it hard to remember them later on. Also if I go the event browser I see these events listed there. It would be really nice to have a feature that allows me declare the object in the event as trusted right from that event entry.

While browsing the event log I also noticed Malware detection events which I was never prompted about. On inspection I realized these events actually interfere with our office’s network login process! I have been wondering for a while, why the login script always complains it can’t find the directory to write the temporary files. This obviously happens as a part of the Win XP boot process. But if Antivir is preventing access to the needed folders/files it is supposed to prompt me since I have the handling of malware set to ‘Interactive’!

Update nuisance

The other thing has to do with the way it updates the virus definitions. I ran into it while being on a trip recently. I was limited to using poor dial up connection during this trip and I really wanted to keep my connection overhead to a minimum so I could check my office email. Every single time I dialed in, Antivir would not waste any time trying to connect to their server and try to download updated virus definition files. When the files are small it is not an issue I guess. But anything in the order of megabyte (even 1 and 2) end up slowing down the connection. You have to be on a crappy download link to appreciate this.

The Update option in the configuration controls update of the product itself. It did not seem to make any difference to virus definition updates. Would be nice if there was a way to stop this automatic attempt to update things as soon as I have a dial up connection.

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