Can I Install And Use More Than One Antimalware Application?

image If one is good, then two should be better, right? If your counting dollars, then the answer is pretty obvious. But, if your counting installed security applications – then the answer may not be that obvious.

We get a lot of questions here on Tech Thoughts, and the following question (in one form or another), is a regular – “If I have one antimalware can I download and use another as well.”


If the question is, can you install and run two antimalware applications concurrently (both of which perform the same task), the answer is – not without the potential for conflict.

As a rule of thumb, it’s never really a good idea to run two antimalware applications concurrently. At the very least, system resources take an inappropriate, and wasteful hit. Beyond that, serious issues, including system crashes are common.

It’s always a good idea of course to scan your machine with a second antimalware application, say once a week or so, since there is no one application capable of identifying all malware. So yes, go ahead and install another AV solution; but use it as a secondary on demand scanner.

Don’t run both programs both programs concurrently. That is, don’t allow both programs to start on Windows startup. Instead, launch the “on demand” scanner from the program menu, or the desktop, when needed.

Two highly recommended antimalware applications that excel as “on demand” antimalware applications, follow. It’s important to note, that the real time protection module is disabled in the free versions of these applications. But, this is actually perfect for your purpose.

SUPERAntiSpyware Free:

I’ve been using SUPERAntiSpyware as a secondary scanner for years, and I have no hesitation in stating that this application deserves its reputation as a first class security application.

SUPERAntiSpyware is fast, efficient, and effective, and I highly recommend that you add it to your security toolbox, as a secondary line of defense.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware:

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has an excellent reputation (shared by me), as a first class security application, for its ability to identify and remove adware, Trojans, key-loggers, home page hijackers, and other malware threats.

A simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface, makes Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware straightforward to setup, customize and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike.

Note: Virtually all free security applications are programmed to autostart after installation, so be aware of this, and make the necessary adjustments using MSConfig.

We’re not quite finished yet.

If the question you’re really asking is – can you run an online antimalware scanner while your principal onboard AV application is running? The answer is – yes.

Here are some Online scanners that have developed a good reputation for accuracy; be sure to read the Terms of Use or Privacy Statements carefully, and be aware, that not all Online scanners will disinfect.

Panda NanoScan

McAfee FreeScan

Symantec Security Check

Trend Micro’s HouseCall

ESET Online Scanner

Kaspersky Online Scanner

Now that I’ve given you the “rule of thumb” – let me break it!

There is one class of antimalware application that can run currently with your principal AV, and that is – a cloud based security application. Specifically, those that are designed to be “companion”, security applications.

A terrific application in this class of security applications, and the one I use personally is – Immunet Protect.

Immunet provides cloud-based protection that is always up-to-date against viruses, spyware, bots, worms, Trojans, and keyloggers without slowing down your PC. No need to download any virus signature files.

Immunet Protect is compatible with existing antivirus products and adds an extra, lightweight layer of protection, for free

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, Online Malware Scanners, Panda Security, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, SUPERAntiSpyWare, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

36 responses to “Can I Install And Use More Than One Antimalware Application?

  1. Nice article Bill.

    I use Threatfire, Superantispyware, and Malwarebytes as you suggest….

    SAS has just found a Trojan, so I am totally pissed off.

    Do I need to reinstall my OS?

  2. g

    Great article Bill.

    I personally have found great success running one antivirus prog – Microsoft Security Essentials, and two real time anti malware/hueristic progs – Threatfire and Superantispyware pro.
    Also very important to my line up is WinPatrol. It keeps nasty exe’s from having their way at startup.

    Once a week a do a ritual scan with Malwarebytes and end it all with Ccleaner and a defrag.

    Once a month I do a scan with online scanner TrendMicro just to make sure.

    This has worked for me successfully for years!

  3. Liam O' Moulain

    Thanks for this Bill.

    Another great article I can point my newbie friends toward.


  4. David f

    Thanks Bill for the tip on Immunet protect.
    It just found a trojan on my machine that Avast missed.
    Good job I haven’t run the program yet!.
    Great save. Thanks again.

  5. Mark

    Hi Bill,
    Good sound advise although I do occasionally run more than one scan at a time, but I usually max out ram on my machines and keep things pretty clean otherwise.
    For Marcus, make sure you run scans after multiple reboots to make sure this thing isn’t reloading itself. I also like Hitman Pro for another good second opinion.

  6. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    This is the kind of article I like. I use all of the above (except Immunet, doesn’t work with Zone Alarm on XP3). I do on demand scans with Malwarebytes and SAS every day. Another one I’ve been running regularly lately is Emsisoft Emergency Kit, a good app that you reviewed recently.

    A couple of times a week, I might run online scanners like ESET or Trend Housecall, just to be sure.

    Am I paranoid? Yep. Am I infected? Nope.



    • Hey Mal,

      “Am I paranoid? Yep. Am I infected? Nope.” Maybe the best few words I’ve heard in a long time, on how to avoid infections.

      Thanks for this.



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  8. Cheers Mark, Bill, and everyone,

    I am checking out all the suggestions, AS I TYPE….

  9. Am I paranoid – Yep! Am I infected – I don’t know, unless one of these antimalware applications tells me that I am. Just because they give my machine a clean bill of health doesn’t mean there isn’t something nasty lurking there.

    Just a thought.

    Dave K

    • Hey Dave,

      I know Mal to be a very high level user – he knows the tools to use. If he states that he’s not infected, then I’ll trust that’s the case. Just as if I determine that I’m infection free, I *know* that’s the case.

      If you, on the other hand, don’t know if you’re infected or not, and you don’t trust the tools you use, to be accurate (false positives aside), then you need to expand the range of tools that you use. Antimalware applications are only one class of tool used to check for infection. We’ve covered a whole range of additional tools here, that dig much deeper than Antimalware applications.



  10. marcus

    Winpatrol discovered this start up program.

    rundll32 netman.dll.ProcessQueue

    Good bad or ugly?

    • Hey Marcus,

      When you’re in WinPatrol, click on this file and then click “info” which should tell you what this is, along with the startup location.

      In its moduler form, this is part of the network connection manager, but in addition (and this is important), it can also be used by other applications. If you’ve run the tests I recommended and they were clear, I don’t think you have an issue.


  11. marcus

    Cheers Bill,

    Symantec security scan says I have an Open port.

    Symantec and Panda Virus scans wouldn’t work.

    • Hey Marcus,

      Open ports are normal when you’re connected to the Internet, even if your Browser is not active. Depending on the applications you have installed, you could have a ton of open ports. * You’ll need to be very specific here before we can go further.*

      Why do you think you have an infection?

      What syntoms is your machine showing?

      What results did you get from the scans I recommended?

      When you say “Symantec and Panda Virus scans wouldn’t work”, what do you mean *exactly?* Did any of the online scanners work?

      What did the Symantec open port report say exactly?


  12. marcus

    Port 4567 was open,

    system has been slow the last 2/3 weeks, and frozen, and SAS found a Trojan,

    all my scans are clear now,

    except that Panda firefox plugin won’t install, (script error),

    and Symantec virus scan won’t work… (something about enabling active X and scripting – but can’t find them in advanced internet options)


    • Hey Marcus,

      Let me take this back to front;

      Firefox doesn’t use Active X and so Symantec’s Online scanner won’t work. This is an IE only service.

      If the Panda plugin won’t install you have an issue with Firefox.

      If you have followed my original recommendations, and the scans show clear, then you do not have a malware issue.

      Symantec seems to be the only AV that seems concerned about Port 4567 which by and large is used for pinging. If you’re still concerned, you should write a rule for your Firewall which closes this port. As well, be sure your Firewall is set to stealth mode.



  13. marcus

    Cheers Bill,

    Malware problems are like…..hmmm…

    being arrested by angry Chinese speaking guards carrying rifles?

    My analogy means that to a non-techie, its intimidating and confusing…….so to have this blog to get help is a great boon.

    all in all I think I’m clean now, but I will run symantec on IE…


    • Hey Marcus,

      Well, trying to do this sort of thing by email, is akin to performing brain surgery in the dark with a spoon – at the bottom of a mine shaft. 🙂



  14. marcus

    You mean its a tough nut to crack?

  15. marcus

    I think I will need to change all my passwords though.yawn….

    I wish these malware bastards would just shrivel up and die………well their businesses at least

  16. marcus

    But what is strange Bill, is that I have the Hello Dolly plugin reappearing in my plugins on wordpress.

    Even after I delete it.

    I thought initially it was something to do with the WP upgrade…


  17. yup bill malwarebytes and superantispyware that you mentioned both are good apart from these on demand scanners i use kaspersky,asquared counterspy and zemana real time protection without any issue since years apart from zemana that i added when i got it from your post

    now might be you and others would be thinking why i am using so many security ,as i own few websites and do a loads of online stuff cant take the risk so using all compatible security and they run without disturbing each other

    • Hi Neeraj,

      No, I don’t question your use of these products. In fact, i totally agree. It definitely pays to take all the precautions possible.


  18. Hi Bill, thanks for the mention in your post about running two AV products. We think Immunet can help users no matter what AV they are running, and of course it’s free. We also have Immunet Protect Plus that includes anti-rootkit and email protection, and are running a 50% promo for August (coupon code “AUGUST”), in case you want to share it with readers.

    • Hey Denise,

      We’ve actually reviewed Immunet in full, twice this year, and the last one (in June) drew 40 comments and drove 100’s of downloads. So, we’re big supporters of Immunet, and the community concept in malware protection.

      Actually, I have Immunet Protect Plus scheduled for full testing in the first week of September, so your email is a timely reminder.

      I’ll include you special offer in tomorrow’s Tech Net New column.



      • Hello Bill!

        Thanks and glad to hear you’ll be reviewing Immunet Protect Plus shortly.

        Just wanted to let you know too that we added a new member to the Immunet team today, and now have a Chief Scientist on board who is also this year’s General Chair at Crypto 2010 (next week), Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan.

        If you are interested in interviewing him or Al anytime in the future, please just ping them directly ( / Twitter: zulfikar_ramzan). Here’s some info:

        Thanks for the support,