Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Is Zone Alarm Suite Worth The $$?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Mish

Mish

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:11 AM

I'm trying to set up better protection on my computer against EVERYTHING I can due to an overwhelming number of viruses, malware, etc lately.

I had been using AVG Anti-virus & didn't know the Windows firewall was worse than useless. AVG didn't pick up a single one of the 99 viruses I found on my system, so I figured I had better change.

I was doing the 15 day trial of ZA, but due to my system being re-booted a couple of times a day then 15 day trial ran out in just 5 days, so I'm still unsure if it is worth buying or not.

I obviously DO need a firewall, anti virus, etc etc and ZA seemed a good solution, but even that ahs let in 3 viruses in the past 5 days (ones I am STILL trying to find out where/what they are.) so I honestly am not sure of what is the best product to go with.

I'm on a limited budget, but if paying $$ will protect my system better, then I'm more than happy to do so.

I run Windows XP, download a LOT of graphics files & do a ton of intense graphics work, so I really need something that isn't a resource hog.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


m

#2 Budapest

Budapest

    Bleepin' Cynic


  • Moderator
  • 23,571 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:23 AM

Personally I think you can get very good protection using only freeware products. I use AVG Anti-virus and think it is very good. But you need to range of security software to keep you safe. Also, even if you have the best security software in the world, you need to follow safe computing practices to ensure you do not get infected. See the following article:

So how did I get infected in the first place?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 Mish

Mish
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for your reply,

I have used AVG free for many years & was always happy with it, but can't understand how all the scans I had done with it didn't pick up such a huge number of viruses... or how so many managed to get past the Email scanner. That's why I stopped using it as it just didn't seem to be protecting my machine.

I'll give it another try if it's worth it, I just can't stand the thought of having so many viruses sneaking past it like they have been.

Edited by Mish, 11 August 2007 - 04:54 AM.


#4 Budapest

Budapest

    Bleepin' Cynic


  • Moderator
  • 23,571 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:55 AM

What protection programs are you using besides AVG Anti-virus? Just that on its own is inadequate to secure your PC.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#5 Mish

Mish
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 05:51 AM

In the past I had AVG, AdAware, Spybot & only had the Windows firewall.... I'm positive this was pittifully lame protection.

Now I have AdAware, Spybot, Superantispyware, Spyware Blaster, ZA free firewall (I did have the full suite but the trial ran out) I just downloaded AVG again & have IE-SPYAD & MVPS HOSTS file installed.

I also have Reg Cure & WD Diagnostics installed, but I don't remember what either of those do!

Edited by Mish, 11 August 2007 - 05:52 AM.


#6 Budapest

Budapest

    Bleepin' Cynic


  • Moderator
  • 23,571 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 06:00 AM

That sounds like a pretty good combination to me. I wouldn't bother using RegCure, it is likely to cause more harm than good. I think that WD Diagnostics is a utility from Western Digital for running a diagnostic test on your hard drive. SpyBot has some real-time protection features that you can use. Click on Tools > Resident and you can check the SDHelper and TeaTimer boxes. Also use the Immunize feature. Another thing you can do is to run an on-line scan every once in a while as a double check to your installed security software. I like to use Housecall for this purpose.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#7 Mish

Mish
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 06:13 AM

I'll delete reg cure & stick with the rest then. Thanks so much for your feedback!

I swear it feels like I spend as many hours protecting this machine as I do working on it some days! oy!

I just tried your link to housecall & it didn't work, but I'll do a search for it & run that as well. I know I still have a couple of viruses on my system SOMEWHERE (ZA said they were there but couldn't fix them & didn't allow me to find where the files were) so I hope I can manage to find them soon & get those cleaned up as well as preventing any new ones!

#8 Budapest

Budapest

    Bleepin' Cynic


  • Moderator
  • 23,571 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 06:19 AM

Try running your scans in Safe Mode. Generally there is more chance of successfully removing an infection in Safe Mode.

How to start Windows in Safe Mode

If HouseCall is not working you can try the BitDefender on-line scan.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#9 Alan D

Alan D

  • Members
  • 144 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:54 AM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 07:38 AM

Now I have AdAware, Spybot, Superantispyware, Spyware Blaster, ZA free firewall (I did have the full suite but the trial ran out) I just downloaded AVG again & have IE-SPYAD & MVPS HOSTS file installed.

I don't see any real-time ACTIVE antispyware protection in that list, unless you're using Spybot's teatimer (which I know very little about). Spybot's immunisation, and SpywareBlaster, and the MVPS hosts file, etc, are excellent preventative measures, but you also need something active, like the AVG Resident shield - but for spyware, not viruses. AVG antispyware will provide this, but you'd have to pay to keep the r.t.p. once the trial period is up. Windows Defender will provide it for free, but these days I have some reservations about how effective it is (having recently seen the threats on my daughter's computer that it blithely ignored!). Must be better than nothing though.

AVG didn't pick up a single one of the 99 viruses I found on my system, so I figured I had better change.

That seems hard to believe - are you certain they were viruses? Or do you mean spyware? (And were some of them tracking cookies? If so, they really don't count.) Your AVG will protect you pretty well against viruses, but not at all against spyware, so you may be blaming it unreasonably.

Edited by Alan D, 11 August 2007 - 07:50 AM.

Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#10 tos226

tos226

    BleepIN--BleepOUT


  • Members
  • 1,568 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:LocalHost
  • Local time:11:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 11:30 AM

I use paid version of ZA suite. Looking back, and having learned good stuff here, and having tried combinations of free things, that's where I'm heading.
The problem isn't that a version doesn't protect. The problem is that you're stuck with combinations you may not want where you might get a stripped down version of a normally good product. Making your own selections, in the end, does a better job but is a bit more hassle to maintain than a single suite.

Most firewalls, old and new, do a good job stealthing ports. it's the AV that counts. My favorites are Avast, AntiVir, CA. I understand AVG is excellent as well. AS is needed but not as much as AV. Spyware by itself is harmless. It's trouble when it starts dialing out or calling home. So OS protection is most important in addition to the hosts file. AntiHook is a good example. And the only way one gets too many (or any) viruses is going to bad sites, opening email links, clicking on ads which promise to remove spyware and other bad surfing practices. And of course using Internet Explorer without blocking third party cookies and setting security to its tightest.

#11 Mish

Mish
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:54 PM

Posted 11 August 2007 - 09:06 PM

Now I have AdAware, Spybot, Superantispyware, Spyware Blaster, ZA free firewall (I did have the full suite but the trial ran out) I just downloaded AVG again & have IE-SPYAD & MVPS HOSTS file installed.

I don't see any real-time ACTIVE antispyware protection in that list, unless you're using Spybot's teatimer (which I know very little about). Spybot's immunisation, and SpywareBlaster, and the MVPS hosts file, etc, are excellent preventative measures, but you also need something active, like the AVG Resident shield - but for spyware, not viruses. AVG antispyware will provide this, but you'd have to pay to keep the r.t.p. once the trial period is up. Windows Defender will provide it for free, but these days I have some reservations about how effective it is (having recently seen the threats on my daughter's computer that it blithely ignored!). Must be better than nothing though.

AVG didn't pick up a single one of the 99 viruses I found on my system, so I figured I had better change.

That seems hard to believe - are you certain they were viruses? Or do you mean spyware? (And were some of them tracking cookies? If so, they really don't count.) Your AVG will protect you pretty well against viruses, but not at all against spyware, so you may be blaming it unreasonably.



See that's what I thought initially as well, but I had AVG updating & scanning at least once daily, sometimes more, as well as using AdAware, etc and when I did the BitDefender Scan it found 99 viruses & hundreds of Malware & spyware. Maybe I am blaming AVG wrongly, but I would have thought if I was running it as often as I was (as well as running the Email scanner) that the Emails wouldn't have been coming through.

I've also had to change my Email address because I was receiving bucket loads of Emails containing viruses also which was driving me insane & the AVG Email scanner didn't catch all of those either.

It's just weird that I was getting so much.

#12 Billermo

Billermo

  • Members
  • 110 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:54 AM

Posted 13 August 2007 - 10:02 AM

I'm not an expert, just a newbie at this topic here. I have AVG installed on a computer at my job and also my girlfriend's laptop. Both became infected. I set up my girlfriend's exactly as recommended here, with Zone Alarm firewall, Spybot (Tea-Timer on) and AdAware. Both computers were kept up to date and scanned daily.

For reasons indirectly related to the virus, my girlfriend's laptop needed to have Windows reinstalled. I made a crucial mistake in the registry as I was trying to eradicate the virus, and Windows became unbootable.

As for the work computer, a tiny local Vietnamese anti-virus program someone else installed on that machine (name: BKAV) discovered a worm virus that AVG had missed. That virus kept re-appearing on that machine, and BKAV kept finding it and AVG kept not finding it.

My own confidence in AVG is very shaken at the moment. It's not helped by just finding a PC World Comparison test of 10 pay and free products, with free AVG finishing last (10th) in performance (behind the free versions of AntiVir and Avast).




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users