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Antivirus experience with ESO

I have been running Sophos 9.0.11 with ESO and I am curious about how other antivirus applications, in particular Avast! and Avira, behave with ESO running. A friend has suggested I switch to Avast! to improve overall system performance.

All three of these are free for Mac, and it's hard to find current reviews that are specifically for Mac, and very few that deal with Mac gaming settings.

As a matter of routine, I have on-access scanning excluded for most gaming applications. I've been running Sophos Home Edition for Mac for years.

What's your mileage with your current Mac antivirus & ESO?
  • KhajitFurTrader
    My mileage is slim, since I don't use any AV anymore. In Leopard times, when I was quite new to the Mac platform, I used ClamXav (the ClamAV engine known from Linux, with some rudimentary UI), but mostly as an on-demand scanner. I set on-access scanning only to the default download folder, since this is the place where untrusted stuff from the 'net usually lands (or so I thought).

    Since then, I don't use any anymore. I think AV scanners are snake oil, most of the time, generating a false sense of security and encouraging a more careless behavior, because of thinking "I'm save from harm, the AV's got by back". No, it hasn't.

    It won't save you from yourself and your reckless behavior, because it can't. It won't save you from zero day exploits in the OS, applications, and browsers, because it can't. It won't save you from malware with yet unknown signatures, because it can't (heuristical scanners are even bigger snake oil). All it does and ever will do is looking for known attack vectors, which have become, by definition, obsolete by being known. Luckily, since most of the AV products are still free on the Mac (why's that so, btw?), at least there's no financial harm being done from using them, right?

    Well, in the end they might cause more trouble than they save you from, but YMMV. Software incompatibilities, performance hits, false positives, these things have to be taken into consideration, too. Worst thing that could happen with a system-wide on-access scanner is that the update patch to the game goes awry and you have to reinstall from scratch. Or that the client crashes or disconnects due to desyncing, because it can't load it's assets fast enough into memory. Yes, you could make exceptions for game files and folders, but then you'll have blind spots on your disk. How good can overall "security" be, if it's compromised from the get-go?

    Best line of defense is still practicing common sense, caution, and taking care. And making informed decisions. An AV scanner can't do that for you. ;)

  • Moonraker
    I'm with @KhajitFurTrader in that I have not used any AV software for many years given the low number of potential exploits and the hassle of running one.

    I always set my Mac Firewall Off and set my router directly as my line of defence. It may sound complacent coming from a PC environment where it is essential and I do run checks and install AV and Firewall in Bootcamp Windows. But on a mac the reality is that it is one of the real pluses that it is an inherently safer environment due to a large degree to the lack of hackers targeting the OS and just using common sense will help avoid most dangers alongside a correctly configured router. Also checking the web daily for any known exploits etc.

    Sorry I can't offer anything more comparative.
  • tttopperub17_ESO
    @Moonraker and @KhajitFurTrader‌: Common sense and a hardware firewall are a great foundation for Mac Security.

    I find it helpful to know that the Mac client issues we are seeing exist for folks with no antivirus running.

    I also suspect until the known issues with the ESO Mac Client are resolved, it will be difficult to fine tune antivirus settings with any degree of confidence.

    I have aging parents who can and will click on anything or forward me files "to check". So I routinely run an antivirus to check those files. I figure a blind spot in a game folder is no worse than not running any antivirus.

    In the past I have run without any antivirus installed. I do run a hardware firewall.

    I agree about the "hassles" of running antivirus and other security software and have run into some really invasive products that do not "play nicely with the other children" and are very difficult to uninstall. Also many of the free products may have the hidden price of data tracking as those sites gather information with their software.

    Edited by tttopperub17_ESO on July 4, 2014 6:47PM
  • Moonraker
    I have aging parents who can and will click on anything or forward me files "to check". So I routinely run an antivirus to check those files. I figure a blind spot in a game folder is no worse than not running any antivirus.
    You make a good point. Decent Anti-Virus software does have it's place.

    For most users it is not needed if their hardware firewall is set correctly (itself requires some understanding and effort but essential IMO) and can potentially introduce another layer of complexity and issue/s itself.
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