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Here, you can find the latest general computer news! Read below to find out more information about what's going on in the computer 
world, organized from newest to latest post. To collapse the view of all posts, click here.

iPad Two Ships Within 24 Hours, Skype Released for iPad

posted Aug 2, 2011, 8:25 PM by Nathan Eliason

In March of this year, getting the latest tablet from Apple would include a wait of up to four to five months before the product even shipped! Companies often have a problem with supply/demand with new products, and unexpected jumps in demand (like at the launch of the iPad 2) throw them for a loop. Finally, Apple has created a delicate balance between supply and demand, and equilibrium some companies never achieve. On their website, it shows now that a new iPad will begin its journey into your hands less than 24 hours from the time of purchase, a first. Even so, their sales show that 4.69 million more iPads were sold this quarter than last, a whopping 9.25 million. Of course, now we wait for the third generation device, rumored to have an even lighter weight, higher resolution, more power, and a possible increase in battery life. 

Also, the long-awaited Skype app for iPad has finally arrived. On August 1, their App appeared in the store, taking advantage of the built-in camera on the second-generation iPad as well as larger screen. However, within hours, it disappeared, after reports of glitches and constant dropped calls. The next day, it was released again, and it seems for good. Now, you can even video chat with your Skype contacts over 3G, unlike Apple's own FaceTime, which only works over Wi-Fi.

What's the Deal with Macs and Viruses?

posted Jul 31, 2011, 8:45 AM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 31, 2011, 9:18 AM ]

Remember the age of "I'm a Mac" ads when everything was simple? PCs got viruses, Macs didn't, end of story, right? Apple made sure that everyone who watched an ounce of TV knew that Macs were superior in simplicity and functionality, as well as creativity and security. In many occasions, the ads depicted a PC sick and infected with the latest viruses, while the Mac plainly denied even being able to get any. That's not really the case, as many people know, but why are PCs still so linked to viruses so commonly, while Macs seem to still be impervious to 90% of everything thrown at it?

(Note: although there are many other types of malicious software able to infect your PC, I'll stick with the generic term "virus" throughout the course of this article to represent each and every category and subcategory of nefarious program designed for evil purposes.)

Not too long ago, the decision between a computer running Windows and Apple's own creation wasn't much of one. The market was completely dominated by PCs, and if you wanted compatibility with all your favorite programs, and the ability to play the newest game as it came out, you got a PC. Because there wasn't much competition, developers wrote mainly for PC, while Mac users were stuck with the limited availability of programs in there operating system. If you were a hacker in this environment, you would most definitely write viruses for PC and not Mac, because your audience is so much greater, and you had a much better chance of getting anywhere with your virus. There were so few Macs on the internet (in comparison to PCs) that it didn't make much sense to aim for anything but PC. Of course, now the tables are turning, and Mac is rapidly expanding, with a growing potential for mass audience. This brings along a greater risk for viruses because there is a much broader Mac audience now, and the chances of success for a Macintosh virus, based simply on the number of computers connected to the internet in comparison to that of PC, is much better than that of just ten years ago.

At the core, Windows 7 and OS X, the most current operating systems for PCs and Macs respectively, are constructed from vastly different approaches, but both boil down to the same concept. Most claim that the reason Macintosh computers are so impervious to viruses is because they are based on UNIX. This is debatable, as any computer running an advanced operating system with much capability is susceptible to viruses. 

Later builds of OS X Snow Leopard, a newer operating system on Macs, includes an anti-malware program designed to detect and quarantine, then remove evil programs. Quietly confirming to the world that its computers aren't completely immune to the nefarious schemes of the internet. Even so, most Macs don't have anti-virus protection, and probably won't need it within the next five years. The entire structure and audience of Macintosh computers seems to repel most viruses itself. 

Don't mistake that I'm telling you not to protect your new shiny white thing from Apple. By all means, this article should be here to inform you that times are changing, and a new fleet of programs with evil intent is on its way. Macs can get viruses, and with a new consumer base, "hackers" and developers with evil on their mind are now beginning to write viruses for a type of computer that is less often protected with anti-virus programs. 

How do Satellites Work?

posted Jul 24, 2011, 3:41 PM by Nathan Eliason

Now, when we think of satellites, we see daily services like television and internet using space to deliver better performance. Just more than a generation ago, however, the launch of a satellite would put the nation in a standstill, as the 1957 Russian satellite Sputnik fueled a Race to the Moon. Panic swept through the nation as we feared the potential danger we were in with a potential enemy’s aircraft above our heads.

In reality, a satellite is any object in orbit around another object, whether it is natural or man-made. Currently, there are about 3000 total artificial satellites (man-made) in orbit around Earth, only around 600 of which are reported to be active. They aid us in our everyday lives, and many of us couldn’t live out our lives as we are without them.

A satellite is composed of three basic parts (this is all extremely simplified. This is rocket science, after all): A power source, a control system, and communication capabilities with transmitters and receivers on Earth. These man-made satellites most often include cameras, solar cells, radio receivers and transmitters, rocket motors, rocket fuel, communication and command antennas, and batteries.

To put a satellite in orbit, complicated math is involved. The launch must be precisely planned to create a delicate balance between Earth’s gravity pulling the machine back to Earth, and its own momentum pulling it around and away from Earth.  When a ball is thrown, for example, its own momentum pulls it up and away from Earth, yet the gravity from Earth on the ball pulls it back to the ground. Throw it too hard, and it will escape Earth’s orbit and fly into uncharted space with no gravitational pull back to Earth. The trick with satellites is to get in between the two regions, as to where Earth’s gravity will pull it back to Earth, but its own momentum will cause it to move around the planet, causing it to continually “fall” around the Earth. Any slower than 17,000 miles per hour, and the satellite will crash back to Earth’s surface. Too fast (around 13,500 mph), and the satellite will leave Earth’s gravity and become useless.

Satellites in low orbit, closer to Earth, circle the planet about 14 times daily. Its footprint, or viewing area of Earth, is always slightly below half of the planet, like we (at a full moon), can only view nearly half of the moon at one time (and incidentally the same half all the time, but that’s a different story). Satellites that are further from Earth, high-altitude satellites, travel around Earth in the same amount of time as its revolutionary period (one day), meaning that the satellite will always be looking at the same patch of Earth, enabling users on Earth to keep their satellite dishes (such as DIRECTV® and Dish Network®) focused on one location, while the satellite stays in the same spot in our sky (as viewed from Earth) all the time. This requires the satellite to be almost exactly 22,237 miles from Earth’s equator.

For example, your satellite television provider (assuming you have one) launches a satellite into space, which reaches 22,237 miles above Earth and flies around once each day in the same direction our planet is turning. Then, with the satellite dish on your house, they simply calibrate the dish to point exactly to that satellite, and because the satellite doesn’t appear to move from the surface of Earth, you don’t have to move your dish ever.

If you have a satellite-powered GPS, then you use a number of satellites every time you navigate somewhere. There are 24 satellites in low-orbit around Earth, whose location is precisely calculated at all times. Your GPS then finds at least four satellites and measures the time that a signal goes from the GPS to the satellite and back, and then uses that to find the distance from each satellite, giving you your exact position on Earth. Your GPS is actually intentionally inaccurate, to protect civilians for security reasons. The military, however, can rely on their GPS units to be accurate within a centimeter 95% of the time.

 

Google+ Games coming Soon

posted Jul 23, 2011, 11:29 AM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 23, 2011, 11:42 AM ]

As Google+ begins to look more and more like Facebook by the day, Google is now reportedly planning to bring in more revenue with games integrated into Google+, a feature included in Facebook that has gained massive revenue with the social network. Of course, this is not official, but companies like Slashgear, TechCrunch, All Things D, and Engadget have rooted through the code and pulled interesting bits out that very likely indicate a games feature in the future. For example, a Google Games logo was found, and code meant to link up to play the game on another server. Also, code for game invites and a job posting last month for Games at Google manager were also found.
 
Although the details are even more sketchy from here, Google is supposedly going to take less that 35% of the revenue from games integrated into Google+. Because Google+ may require less of the revenue than Facebook, developers are likely to jump onto the newer social network (now over 20 million strong) with new titles instead of Facebook.

Mac OS X Lion Available for Download

posted Jul 20, 2011, 2:42 PM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 5:49 PM ]

Today, many users are upgrading their Mac computers with the latest operating system update from Apple, Mac OS X Lion. Continuing with this eighth installment of the "big-cat" OS theme, one wonders what could possibly be better than a Lion, a possible indicator that this may be the last installment before Apple completely rethinks its operating system.

To install Mac OS X, make sure your Mac has the latest updates for its current operating system, then go to the Mac App Store (in Snow Leopard), purchase it from there, and it will begin downloading. Note that this requires an Apple/iTunes account, and the download size is about 4GB. After the download is complete, the installer will appear in your dock and should launch automatically. This installer keeps all of your documents and will restart after completion, and then you're done. If you can't download it, you can purchase Lion on a flash drive beginning in August. Keep in mind that if you haven't already upgraded to Snow Leopard, you are required to do so before purchasing Lion, a great annoyance to those who have decided to wait for the next big operating system before upgrading.

The newest features in OS X Lion deal a lot with multi-touch and gesturing. Using either the external trackpad or the built in one, you will definitely notice an improvement in navigation. The animations for actions such as zooming and momentum scrolling have been redesigned and now feel much smoother. Scrolling is now also rethought, now more like an iPad where you actually "grab" the page with two fingers and drag it down or up. This takes some getting used to, as the traditional scroll bars we are used to (and now usually only appear when scrolling) travels in the opposite direction from the page. For example, to scroll down to the bottom of a webpage, you would normally push the scroll bar down, whereas now you actually drag the page up out of view. This makes scrolling much more intuitive in my opinion, and I find it easier now switching from this to an iDevice (scrolling on iPods, iPhones, and iPads is the same way). There are also many more gestures changed/now included that are simple and easy to learn, such as the 3-finger swipe in either sideways direction to change between full-screen applications.

Speaking of full screen apps, there is now a diagonal icon of an arrow in the top right corner of many native Mac apps that lets you go full screen with one click. If you don't see this on some programs, make sure you go to the App Store and upgrade all of your applications. Moving the mouse to the bottom of the screen reveals the dock when full screen. 

Mission Control is one of the more exciting aspects of Mas OS X Lion. This allows you to display all of your open programs. A much better alternative to the confusing Exposé, you can move programs between Spaces when here as well. A 3-finger upward swipe opens Mission Control.

In addition, the Mail app as been completely reworked. Functionality has increased tenfold as this app becomes easier than ever before to use. Much like the iPad version (a reoccurring concept), Mail now shows your inbox on the left in a sidebar with subject, date, sender, and a preview of the email's contents. The main window, on right, then shows the contents of the selected message, allowing you to browse your inbox with an email opened at the same time. Searching within your mail has also improved, so that you can create criteria within a search so Mail will only search for messages with a specific date, subject, etc. Also, your messages are organized into conversations, much like Gmail. 

Not to forget web browsing, Apple's Safari has become more intuitive with its own gestures as well. Including pinches to zoom, swipes to navigate through history, and the new scrolling method, you will be surprised at just how productive you can be. 

 Although less and less recently, sharing files over a local network has always been a hassle. With AirDrop, this makes it incredibly easy. While in Finder, a single click on the AirDrop button will bring up a graphic display of the users around you. Just drag and drop a file and the user will receive your file, as simple as that.

Taking another page from the iPad's book (not a bad idea), Apple has created a Launchpad feature much like the home screen of an iDevice. Showing all of your applications in a grid-like manner with a simple click in the dock or four-fingered pinch, it provides easy access to all your apps, even with advanced features like folders, jiggle-reordering, and multiple app pages (also from iOS). While the Dock is great, and an essential part to any Mac computer, having lots of apps makes for cluttered, small icons and difficulty even with magnification. Even so, this feature really makes the programs somewhat out of the way, and seems like it will be a feature not widely used. Although great for iOS devices, having the Launchpad in addition to the Dock, already with folder capability, and the Application window in Finder that will show all you apps anyway seems to be a bit pointless.

As well as all of these great features, there are many more (over 250), and while Lion doesn't come perfect (the Launchpad feature and Snow Leopard requirement), for the nice price of $30 (US), it is well worth it to upgrade. For those of you reading on your PC's, upgrading now is easier than ever! Apple will transfer over all of your documents, pictures, and assorted files over to your new Mac...




Giving away free Google Plus invites!

posted Jul 19, 2011, 4:19 PM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 3:42 PM ]

Read the previous article for a brief introduction to the massively anticipated Google+ (Google Plus) social network. Of course, Google hasn't quite allowed the masses in yet, but if you have a Gmail account, feel free to fill out this form and we'll get you in to G+ within 24 hours! You don't want to miss out on this exciting beta. 

If you feel so obliged, you can "like" Nomonga on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Head to our homepage at www.nomonga.com to do so, or search for "Nomonga" and @Nomonga on Facebook and Twitter respectively. Thanks!

The Era of Facebook May Indeed Decline (Google+)

posted Jul 16, 2011, 10:19 AM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 3:42 PM ]

The social behemoth we know as Facebook has dominated the industry. Making billions of dollars a year off of its hundreds of millions of users, it won't be easy taking down the social network. Even so, Google has made an attempt by launching its new social network, called Google+ (Google Plus).

Undoubtedly, Google is already a part of our everyday lives. Whether it be Youtube, GMail, or a quick web search, all of it is powered and owned by Google. To some extent, many are wondering if we give the company too much power. It knows our lives, our interests, our searches. But certainly Facebook has had its share of criticism as well, over a deteriorating privacy policy, spam gone wild, and account snatching and hacking left and right.

Even with its cons, Facebook has been integrated into our lives in a way that we can't easily let go of. Slowly, our conversations, pictures, messages, friends, and lives have converted to our online profile. Events, news, and gossip accompanied by a flurry of pictures, pages, and applications create walls, and games let us linger even longer. With mobile integration, Facebook on the go, and applications for iDevices, Facebook has become the place to be, all the time. Businesses have long realized the benefits of staying up with technology, and countless start-ups and massive corporations alike depend and use Facebook for advertising and contests, as well as traffic to their website.

Also, this isn't Google's first attempt at denting Facebook's user base. Little services like Google Wave and Google Buzz have tried (and failed) to create a social network within Google's web. But Google Plus (Google+) is different. First of all, it is a network that spans the gap between Facebook and Twitter, creating just one social network for all your needs and desires. Posts and conversations are easily directed at groups (circles) of people or the whole world. Conversations, unlike Twitter, are handled expertly and delicately, and there are no strings attached, no applications or spams that steal personal information. Hangouts, a response to Facebook's video chat, allow for a user to set up a Hangout video room, then others can join in on a group video chat, something never incorporated into social networking before. This allows for much more realistic socialization, and you won't have to video call or send messages to individuals at a time.

Another feature, probably the most exciting, is a way of categorizing contacts into Circles. Rather than a long list of friends, co-workers, and family, you can organize and fit your life and relationships into circles, making it easier than ever to communicate. No longer do you have to remember who was involved in that project and need to supply a message to each person individually, you just issue a message to the circle and they are all kept in the know. This also mimics human socialization a lot better than Facebook, where you can keep your professional and private lives separate and in different circles, rather than an ugly mesh of everything on a profile wall.

In addition to this is the news feature, named Sparks. In this, you simply search and customize what you want and like to know about, and a page of news comes up featuring only what you want to know. This isn't quite revolutionary, but it is a nice feature that really adds to Google+.

With Streams, all your acquaintances' messages and posts are organized by circles, which allows you to see what you want to see and separate the different facets of your life into a manageable GMail-label like setting. Incoming streams are from people who have put you in a circle ("circled you"), but you haven't circled them. Almost like the friend feature of Facebook, this allows you to filter out those people who don't really seem to understand that you hate them.

With registration on Google+, your Google Bar on any Google webpage now includes a link directly to Google+. This is an advantage for Google, as users of GMail can simply click once to switch between email and social network. Also, all those sites you've probably +1'ed, a newer feature from GMail that allows you to recommend websites to your contacts, is entwined with Google+. They have used the best of their network to include all social features possible (including group Youtube video watching. You can watch that funny cat video with your grandma and cousin in different continents.).

So Twitter and Facebook may indeed have a single replacement that will take over the industry, giving Google even more power than it currently has. But don't try and deactivate your Facebook account just yet, give it a whirl first, and see who's in your circle.

When is it a Netbook and not a Tablet?

posted Jul 14, 2011, 8:38 PM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 3:43 PM ]

Looking at the increasingly fine line between notebooks, netbooks, and tablets, functionality is the key determining factor. As models and capabilities of mobile computer steadily improve, the difference between all this terminology is blurred.
    One would think that a tablet computer stands out from the rest of the mobile industry. A tablet is normally a touchscreen computer that is thin and rectangular, with no external keyboard. (The device on the right side of our logo is a great example.) Normally, there is just the one screen for input, with the possibility of a few buttons around the edges for power, volume, and the like. Apple's renowned iPad is a classic example of a tablet.
    On the other hand, a notebook, or laptop (essentially the same thing) is a mobile computer with a single screen and external keyboard. The keyboard is physical, and laptops usually have a track pad as an alternative to moving the mouse around. As shown on the left side of our logo, the screen and attached keyboard fold up into a very compact and mobile computer. This enables users to take their laptops places and use on their laps, hence the name.
    A netbook is a smaller version of a laptop, usually made for browsing the internet and checking emails on the go. These netbooks usually come with a data plan through cell phone carriers, where users pay a monthly fee for 3G and 4G internet on the go, as well as hook up to WiFi at coffee places and the like.
    Each term therefore has a cookie cutter example of what it should be. With recent advances in technology, however, it is becoming less clear when something is a tablet, laptop, or netbook, or something entirely different altogether. For example, the Nook and Kindle, portable tablets for reading books in electronic format, are not actually usually considered tablets at all, but in a new class called e-readers. 
    In another example, a new product from Toshiba, the Libretto, defies any categories previously placed. Although not game-
changing in the industry, more of its kind are popping up on the market, and we can't exactly place them. Shown in this image, we see it includes two touch screens as well as a folding capability like a laptop or netbook, but no external keyboard, instead an on-screen one. With Windows 7, it does have its capabilities, and also drawbacks, as processor power is a bit limited. Click on the image to go to the Toshiba website where it describes this product in better detail. When it comes down to it, this mobile computer turns out to be a nice tablet with an annoying bar (where it folds) running down the middle of the screen. Indeed, though, the portability of this product is far better than that of tablets, whose large area make it almost as bulky as a laptop. Though many places are describing the Toshiba Libretto as a laptop, it is much too small, with no keyboard, and is missing many key features. Plus, with a price tag of over a thousand dollars, this really isn't living up to the expectations of its "25 years of laptop innovations", as claims the website.


When it comes down to functionality, I guess it doesn't really matter whether these products on the fence really have a category or not, and it's not worth it creating one for every misfit product on the market, but just know that there is probably a product out there that fits your mobile needs, be it a laptop, netbook, e-reader, tablet, or something in between.

I've Got a New Computer. Now What?

posted Jul 14, 2011, 4:22 PM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 3:46 PM ]

This guide explains some of the steps every user should take after purchasing a new Windows PC, based purely on my own experiences with them. Let's get started!

Install Internet Security

First, and most important of all, install internet security. Whether you like McAfee, Norton, AVG, Kaspersky, or any other program, make sure your PC is protected before you hook up to the web. It is absolutely essential and the first few minutes on the web without security may make your computer lose its potential quickly. If you have a CD, stick it in right after the initial start-up and install the complete version of your favorite anti-virus suite. If you don't, your computer will probably come with 60 or 90-day trials. Activate them (start them up) and make sure everything is set to ON, then venture on to the internet and immediately buy a licensed copy. If there are no trial anti-virus programs and you don't have any CD's, do not hook your computer to the web until you physically go to a store and buy some internet security. You may be excited and anxious to get on the web and see what your new PC can do, but it will immediately be the target of hundreds of spyware, malware, etc. even staying on sites you trust.

Get your PC on the web

After you've gotten internet security, and only after, you can start thinking about hooking your computer up to the internet. If you have a cable directly from your modem, then (especially with new computers) the process is extremely straight-forward. Find the right port on the back of your computer and hook it up! If you don't have the right cable, search for "ethernet cables" and there will be plenty of results. After you physically plug your PC in, it should automatically connect and you'll be good to go. If you have wi-fi, however, the process can be a bit more annoying.

For users with wi-fi: 
First of all, you have to make sure your computer supports wi-fi. To do this (on Windows 7 and Vista), Click on Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. If you see a link anywhere that says "view available wireless networks", then you're wi-fi ready. If not, then check out USB wi-fi adapters, available all over the internet. Anyway, now that you're wi-fi ready, you need a router hooked up to your modem. If you already have a wi-fi network set up, then just use the icon in the taskbar or go to the Network and Sharing Center with the instructions above and hit "connect to a network", select your network, and put in a password if you have to. If you don't, wireless routers aren't too expensive online or in stores. Make sure you set up a password on your wi-fi, though. The initial software with your router will help you do that.

Transfer documents from your old PC (or Mac)

Also, you should probably move over the files from your old computer. You can do this a variety of ways, including moving your documents over to a flash drive (thumb drive, pen drive, they're all the same) or external hard drive, then plugging the drive into your new computer. Beware: your old computer may be infected with viruses that will travel along with the flash drive and infect your new computer. Be extremely cautious when moving over files. Also, you could use products like Windows' SkyDrive to move your files over a little more safely. Just log in with your Windows Live account, upload the files you want to transfer over, then download them from your new computer. This may be more painful, but you're a little less likely to be infected that way.

Get rid of the trial programs

Next, you should uninstall the "bloatware" on your PC. Programs like PC Decrapifier (available for download at www.pcdecrapifier.com/download) will scan your new computer for programs you probably don't want on your new PC, then give you the option of either removing them or keeping them. Going in by hand can be a tedious and difficult task to remove the programs that often don't want to go, or leave trails behind, and PC Decrapifier does a very good job of completely eradicating those trial and free sample programs.

Install essential, important, and your favorite programs

Of course, you need to install your favorite programs. Examples like other internet browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera), file sharing programs (Dropbox), and music players (iTunes, RealPlayer), eBook readers (Kindle for PC), art programs (I love PAINT.NET), games (there's a list. It's up to you), and more. Installing these really makes the computer yours. Make sure you have a desktop crammed with all the best and your favorite programs.I would specifically suggest downloading and installing iTunes, even if you don't have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. You can use iTunes to listen to and buy music, rent and buy movies, play your own music, buy eBooks, and so much more. Head on over to www.apple.com/itunes/download and get the latest version, then follow the onscreen instructions to download. Once you've installed iTunes, it will scan your computer for any music you might have on there. As far as internet browsers, I will go as far as say that I love Google Chrome, but whatever floats your boat. As for Office Software, if your computer was sadly lacking in programs to work with text files, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, then I would also suggest OpenOffice.org. Simply go to openoffice.org and download the free suite, it's very nice and compatible with loads of different formats.

Most of these programs are available for download for free if you just search for them on your internet browser.

Install peripherals

Next, make sure you install any peripherals. For those of you who don't know, a peripheral is basically a little gadget that plugs into your PC and gives it super powers, like a webcam or a USB hub. While Windows Vista is sadly incompatible with many gadgets and programs, Windows 7 seems to do a much better job. Just plug in your device and maybe put in the CD that came with it and you're off.

Make it yours!

Every new PC needs to be personalized. Simply right click on the Desktop and select "Personalize", then change the theme, background, window color, sounds, your mouse pointers, desktop icons, account picture, screensaver, and more. Just make the computer yours!

Back up and protect your files and system

Next, you need to worry about backing up your computer files. The easiest thing to do here is just to grab an external USB hard drive ($75 and up) and using Windows Backup and Restore to automatically backup your files. Some would recommend using an online service, but I find them a little pricey, and external drives are much easier and less expensive in the long run. You may think you don't need this step, but you'll regret it if and when your PC crashes. On this topic, you also need to make a system restore disc. Do this by getting a blank DVD RW disc and creating a recovery disc in the Control Panel.

Well, that about wraps up the list of essentials, and have fun with your new PC!


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How Does Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Stand Up Against Norton and McAfee?

posted Jul 14, 2011, 8:30 AM by Nathan Eliason   [ updated Jul 14, 2011, 8:32 AM ]

So, you just spent 50-70 bucks on the latest and greatest in anti-virus complete protection, but now you know you're completely safe from all the horrible things on the internet, right? Think again.

So, first of all, what is malware? According to Wikipedia, it is " programming designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior." In English, that means a program that, without your knowledge or permission, accesses your computer and steals personal information, messing up how your PC works in the process. It's basically your run-of-the-mill virus, a sneaky thing that may just watch what websites you visit, or may steal your credit card number next time you shop online. Malware actually stands for malicious software.

So how do we protect ourselves from this evil lurking on the web? We spend money on programs that set up a defense against viruses. Big names like McAfee, Symantec's Norton, and Kaspersky are the first ones to hit our minds, and some of the "premium" and more expensive programs to protect us. And then there's Anti-Malware form Malwarebytes, a free program that may indeed outperform the big suites on finding small and large nasties alike on your computer. So I set up a test. Three computers, no security, random browsing on all three for a week.

The first computer barely started up after a week of the usual websites: email, Facebook, some research, news pages, etc. The other two, experiencing the same websites, seemed to run fine. I made certain to click on three pop-up ads a day on each computer, so there had to be something on there that we could wipe clean.

Computer 1: McAfee. I ran extensive scans of the entire computer, and the results were grim. I had an assortment of cookies, spyware, a couple trojans, and some other bad guys that McAfee got rid of pretty quickly. The computer sped up a bit, but not quite the same. Scanning the computer again after updating revealed only a couple more cookies. 

Then, we ran Anti-Malware. This picked up 473 cookies that McAfee missed, a trojan, and some more spyware. Not bad, and the computer seemed to run good as new.

Computer 2: Norton. After a full system scan, norton wiped clean cookies and spyware, resulting in over a thousand less threats on the computer. Future scans after updates picked up some more. 

After running Anti-Malware, 332 more cookies were found, and 2 Trojan.Agents, as well as some more random viruses.

Computer 3: Just Anti-Malware. Running Anti-Malware the first time on the third computer resulted in an impressive number of cookies cookies, 3 trojans, and lots of malware and spyware detected and removed. This sounds impressive, and from these numbers, it may look like you don't need to invest in an expensive suite to remove and protect your system. What's the catch? 

Real-time protection, for one. While you're actually on the internet, both computers 1 and 2 are now protected live as the viruses are looking for homes. With Anti-Malware, it only protects when you search (unless you update, which costs almost as much as regular antivirus). Also, we ran both Norton and McAfee security, and they both picked up a variety of viruses that Anti-Malware missed too!

So, it looks as though Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a very good extra protection agent on top of an all-around virus protection program, but shouldn't be depended on solely for internet security. Many users recommend free suites, though, like AVG. With good Anti-Malware on top of that, you could close your wallet and open your browser in security (although no program can defend from everything on the web).

Bottom line: Cool program, as an add-on for security. Thanks for reading!

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