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Is there a good one for all program?


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#1 barkat

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 04:37 PM

Hi everybody. Im kinda new here so dont be to hard on me. I have an older Dell pc that I am running with windows 2000. Over the years it has gotten a bit slower and Im sure a little clogged up. I went through my programs and discovered that over the years I have collected several programs all related to maintaining the pc. What I would like to do is uninstall ALL of them and do a fresh install of ONE program that does it all. Is there a program that does it all? Currently I have installed:

System Mechanic 6 Professional
Kaspersky Internet Security
SUPER AntiSpyware
Spyware blaster
Smart Defrag

I also must admit, I really dont have any problems with spyware or anything else. Like I said, a little slower than it used to be. But that is to be expected. I know that there is a new System Mechanic 8 out. I was thinking about upgrading to that and uninstalling everything else. Good idea or not?

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#2 frankp316

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:57 PM

No. I used System Mechanic several years ago. It's not worth the money. Some of the things it does can be done better by free programs and stuff like a registry cleaner you shouldn't use anyway. It's not an anti virus. It has an anti spyware but it isn't very good. And it doesn't have a firewall. Chances are pretty good that Kaspersky is what is slowing down your computer because like most anti virus programs, it's running in the background and all anti virus programs slow down your computer to some degree. You have to sacrifice some speed to get that protection because you'll get infected if you don't have it. With the exception of Spyware Blaster, none of that other stuff including System Mechanic runs in the background so they're not slowing down your computer. Ditching all your security programs just because your computer is a little slow is throwing out the baby with the bath water.

#3 tork

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:07 AM

There are lots of reasons for Slow Computer/browser?

#4 Romeo29

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:13 AM

No. I used System Mechanic several years ago. It's not worth the money. Some of the things it does can be done better by free programs and stuff like a registry cleaner you shouldn't use anyway. It's not an anti virus. It has an anti spyware but it isn't very good. And it doesn't have a firewall. Chances are pretty good that Kaspersky is what is slowing down your computer because like most anti virus programs, it's running in the background and all anti virus programs slow down your computer to some degree. You have to sacrifice some speed to get that protection because you'll get infected if you don't have it. With the exception of Spyware Blaster, none of that other stuff including System Mechanic runs in the background so they're not slowing down your computer. Ditching all your security programs just because your computer is a little slow is throwing out the baby with the bath water.


iolo System Mechanic 8.0 does have an anti-virus, anti-spyware and Firewall.
http://www.iolo.com/system-mechanic/pro/

#5 frankp316

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:31 AM

It's been a while since I used it. They might have added stuff. For the money they want, it's not good enough anyway.

#6 Papakid

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:55 AM

I have to agree with frankp316 except for one technical detail that I'll get into in a bit. System Mechanic is a waste of money--and if you have a version that includes an anti-virus with on access/real time scanner/guard, then that is what is slowing you down. I ran the Kaspersky AV and it didn't slow my system down much--the security suite might be different, but that is first class software that you should definitely keep. As you yourself say the system is not much slower than you expect from an older system.

I trialled System Mechanic a long, long time ago and after the "new car smell" had worn off my impression was that you couldn't trust the reg cleaner and that the app tries to do too many things in a mediocre way instead of doing one thing and doing it well--so there is no way I would trust their antivirus and antispyware, etc. And makes an effort to tell you how useful it is instead of actually being useful. This is just my opinion--I would dump SysMech in a heartbeat.

The one disagreement is that SpywareBlaster does not run in the background either. There is no process loaded in memory. It works by writing to the registry in such a way that some bad downloads thru ActiveX are blocked and some bad websites/domains. Very similar to a Hosts file, which also does not run in the background.

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#7 barkat

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:53 PM

Wow! I thought everyone would think it was a good idea. Now Im real glad I asked. I really liked the System Mechanic too. It could just be that I am lazy though! It was real nice just telling one program to do everything.

So, my next question would be if/when I dump the System Mechanic what should I replace it with? I do know that this probally gets asked alot and could be different for alot of people. Im sorry if you are sick of answering this question. But, I have no ideas. I would like something easy for me to understand. I really feel that if you dont understand something then you probally arent useing it right any way. And if your not useing it right, then why use it?
Cheap is also a good thing. Free is even better! But I also know that most of the time you get what you pay for.
Also, if I cant have one program do everything, I would like it to be as few programs as possiable. But I also know that may not be the best way to go.

So, in summery I want: easy, free, and powerful. I guess I really do want alot, dont I?

Also, thanks for the replies. I thought I was pretty well covered. Now after just one post, starting to see things differently. Thanks for the help.

#8 Stang777

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:20 AM

Even though your Kaspersky has virus protection, firewall and antimalware features, I do not believe there is just one program that is good enough to keep you protected.

Other than only using one antivirus program and firewall, it is better to have many products for finding malicious programs. In addtion to what you have, I would add Malwarebytes AnitMalware to your defense programs. It does not run in the background so it won't slow your system down. It is a great program, it is a powerful antimalware program that is easy to use and it is free. Malwarebytes may find some things that Kaspersky and SuperAntiSpyware miss and vice-versa.


The security program I use are....

ZoneAlarm antivirus and firewall

Spybot to immunize the system and for the tools such as managing startup programs and keeping my homepage from being hijacked (SuperAntiSpyware will also take care of homepage but I had Spybot first) and for the IE features and host files protection.

SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes for the occassional scans

With just those few programs, I feel like I am pretty well covered.

#9 frankp316

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:44 AM

I use CCleaner to automatically clean temp files, junk files, cookies and the recycle bin each time I boot up. It's free but don't use the registry cleaner. This is an example of something that System Mechanic is supposed to do but CCleaner does it better.




http://www.ccleaner.com/

#10 Someones

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:32 AM

If you want an all-in-one program Norton 360 is probably the best choice. If you want other options McAfee, Trend Micro, Panda and BitDefender also have all-in-one suites.

But I don't see what's wrong with using several software, it would provide better security and probably use less resources. For example an AV, a sandbox, a behavioural blocker for security and CCleaner and Defraggler for tune-up.

Edited by Someones, 21 April 2009 - 06:34 AM.


#11 Papakid

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:45 PM

Wow! I thought everyone would think it was a good idea. Now Im real glad I asked.

This site and forum is focused more on security than some others you might be used to. And you are asking about replacing a security tool with a great reputation (KIS) with a program that is primarily a utility suite with some security tools thrown in.

I really liked the System Mechanic too. It could just be that I am lazy though! It was real nice just telling one program to do everything.

I know, I came very close to purchasing SysMech even tho it was back in 2003 or so when it didn't have as many features as it does now and I was brand new to computers--I could easily gotten addicted to it. As far as utilities go, the idea of one program able to do several jobs is not bad at all. That's why there are other utility suites out there. I don't know if you are lazy or not, but everyone wants to save time when they can. The trick is knowing when what looks like a time saver is going to cost you in the long run. This is especially true in the security field. I have worked with a lot of infected people, the majority of which got infected because they were in too much of a hurry, so they sacrificed their computer's security--and many times their own financial security. What they thought was saving them a few seconds cost them more in the long run.

So, my next question would be if/when I dump the System Mechanic what should I replace it with?

You already have about as good as an all-in-one security suite and set of tools as you can get with KIS. Again, you are in the Security programs forum, so suggesting a replacement for a utility suite (think apples and oranges) is a bit outside the purvue. However, I will try to give a few insights in this area.

First I want to emphasize again that Kaspersky is what you should focus on for your security needs. I research a lot of software--some of it is hands on, i.e., I test and use it myself--but a lot of it is documentation research. I'm not not sure what they are using now, but Iolo bought a license from Kaspersky when they first included an AV with their program. A couple of years ago, Kaspersky licensed out their technology to several vendors, Zone Alarm and CA along with Iolo are some I recall, along with some others. What has been done with that technology since the license was purchased I can't say--I believe CA dropped it altogether and developed their own. But the point is that those other companies are security program vendors, Iolo isn't (or wasn't). Most of the time and effort of these companies is to research and develop security software. That is their focus. So even if Iolo's antivirus is fairly good, I can't see it being as good as or better than KIS. I also believe you have a greater level of control over the program with KIS--I can't imagine Iolo's being as good as or better.

The level of control may also be an issue with other, non-security utilities. For example, if I remember correctly, SysMech's junk cleaner was pretty fair. Altho it doesn't take much to make a good junk cleaner program--they're a dime a dozen--they clean what they consider to be junk. A program like CCleaner gives you much more control so that you can clean what you consider to be junk.

A junk files cleaner is only tangentially a security program. And the rest of what iolo offers are strictly computer maintenance and tweaking utilities--I looked over their features last night. Some of those components might be useful to you so would understand if you kept it--but not if you have to pay a yearly subscription for the antivirus component that can't be as good as what you already have and are paying for. The defrag program is not a security program either--as far as I'm concerned, the Windows defragger works well enough--you just can't schedule it and it's a little slower. As mentioned most of the other tools are covered by a plethora of freeware utilities and other native Windows tools. Besides CCleaner as a junk files cleaner, a startup manager is a nice tool to have as a third party utility.

Then there are the components and tools in SysMech (and other programs that are nearly always ones you have to pay for) that aren't needed and are little more than snake oil.

Registry Cleaner
Ram defragger/optimizer
Internet optimizer
General speed up "tweaks"

Altho there are some ways in which a registry cleaner can be useful, most people don't know how to use them and buy into the myth that running one will automatically find and fix errors and significantly improve performance. First, cleaning up the registry is not like cleaning up junk files scattered over your hard drive. The registry is a group of Database files more akin to a spreadsheet or or a word processor file such as Notepad. Deleting entries in the registry is like removing data from cells in a spreadsheet or a line of text in Notepad. Any savings of space and time is very small so performance improvements are negligible.

Reg Cleaners can stop a few particular kind of errors--actually only one that I know of--not all possible errors that you might get. What is common is for a program that is set to start when Windows starts, commonly known as a startup. If the file that should be started up gets deleted, and there is an entry in the registry that it should be starting on bootup, then you may get an error. A reg cleaner can fix this, but it wouldn't happen in the first place if the file's program were uninstalled correctly--a good startup manager will fix that error as well. This way you don't run the risk that the reg cleaner guesses incorrectly. That is the main danger of reg cleaners that automatically find and fix--they make educated guesses about what should be removed--human judgment is still much better at doing that.

Also those startup errors are really more common when one has done malware removal--and manual removal at that. Malware doesn't come with uninstallers, so when your do remove their files, you can get an error as malware has to set itself to startup so that it can do its dirty business. This has lead to a misconception that a reg cleaner is a security tool and in turn some companies are cashing in on this myth by aggressively promoting themselves as heal-alls and that includes malware. Nothing could be further from the truth. Reg Cleaners can find orphaned reg entries easily. But active malware--malware that has yet to be removed, is not orphaned so reg cleaners will not help cure an infection in any way.

Just as an example of how a reg celaner can screw things up, see this:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/214610/no-addremove-button-in-my-addremove-programs/
I also recently posted to a member's topic who had installed no less than five reg cleaners after becoming infected. From what I've been able to tell over the years is that anyone who thinks a reg cleaner has actually helped in their performance is suffering from the placebo effect. Snake Oil.

The placebo effect is also common for people running optimizers, particularly RAM defragmenters. Mark Russinovitch, a brilliant developer of the SysInternals utilities, wrote an in depth article about why these things are a crock. The entire article is no longer free to the public, but you can get the gist of it from the first page:
http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/...ation-hoax.html

There is a pdf download of the entire article, which is well worth the time it takes to read it, but I can't find a link at the moment. But another informative source is here:
http://www.bitsum.com/winmemboost.asp

There may be a few tweaks out there that help improve some areas of performance slightly, but there are many more myths out there that simply don't hold water. Save your money for something that you really need.

So in summary, other than a Junk files cleaner--and CCleaner is a good choice, even tho I think it is too agressive in some of its options, it does clean index.dat and java cache, which others either don't do or don't do as well--I would recommend a good startup manager. My favorite, because of its simplicity is Startup Control Panel:
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
Once you know more about startups and how to manage them, then the more advanced and powerful AutoRuns:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx
But be careful with this one--don't ever disable all startups with this program as it will make your system unbootable.

I would like something easy for me to understand. I really feel that if you dont understand something then you probally arent useing it right any way. And if your not useing it right, then why use it?

Understanding is not always easy, but knowledge is power so it is worth it to work at it. Site owner Grinler and the BC staff have put a lot of time into guides and tutorials in order to increase understanding and to make it as easy as possible. Take some time to look over the site. At the top of the page there is a tutorials tab, there are many tutorials here that should help.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/

Also in the forum check out the Mini-Guides:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/92/mini-guides-and-how-tos-simple-answers-to-common-questions/
Also scattered out in the fourms are other guides, such as this one on Startups:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/33012/how-to-use-the-startup-database/

Cheap is also a good thing. Free is even better! But I also know that most of the time you get what you pay for.

Sometimes commercial software is the only way to get what you want, but in the majority of cases you can get freeware to serve your needs. You may have a higher learning curve and less support, but the same functions. But that is why this topic is so popular:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/Fre...apps-t3616.html

As far as what all security apps you need, again, you already have it. KIS--which is one anti-virus and one firewall, along with some other tools--and SpywareBlaster. SuperAntiSpyware and MBAM to check for and remove spyware/malware, but you say you don't have much of a spyware problem, so you could do without them if that's true. Truth be told, you can do without SpywareBlaster if your surfing habits are sound. The less you need to protect yourself from your own bad habits, the fewer security tools you need.

Spybot to immunize the system and for the tools such as managing startup programs and keeping my homepage from being hijacked (SuperAntiSpyware will also take care of homepage but I had Spybot first) and for the IE features and host files protection.

Stang, my friend, SpywareBlaster is a much more thorough "Immunization" than Spybot's. It does have a fairly nice startup manager, but that is about all that I like about it anymore. Sadly, I removed Spybot from my system not long ago--for several reasons I won't get into now--and I no longer recommend it. It is sad because it was one of the first programs of any kind that I ever installed, so I know it pretty well. Please be advised that it does not lock your homepage--that is a very common misconception stemming from a misunderstanding of the feature's description. Before I get into this I want to do some testing so I don't give out incorrect information, but I'm pretty sure that malware can easily change your homepage even with that feature of Spybot enabled.

The thing about people

is they change

when they walk away.--Mipso


#12 Galadriel

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:23 PM

Stang, my friend, SpywareBlaster is a much more thorough "Immunization" than Spybot's. It does have a fairly nice startup manager, but that is about all that I like about it anymore. Sadly, I removed Spybot from my system not long ago--for several reasons I won't get into now--and I no longer recommend it. It is sad because it was one of the first programs of any kind that I ever installed, so I know it pretty well. Please be advised that it does not lock your homepage--that is a very common misconception stemming from a misunderstanding of the feature's description. Before I get into this I want to do some testing so I don't give out incorrect information, but I'm pretty sure that malware can easily change your homepage even with that feature of Spybot enabled.


I want to echo Papakid's words here and add a little note. SpywareBlaster is by far more thorough ActiveX/Cookie immunization. Spybot does have some nifty immunize features that SB does not have, like support for Opera plugins check. It also, by default, adds a rather large hosts file once immunization is active (you can remove the hosts file from the 'protected' items in the immunize page if you use another hosts management tool).

As for the homepage protection, I think Papakid is referring to the extra tools that were included with earlier versions (they restricted access to the options to change the start/search pages for users). Those indeed were not really protection from malware, but merely a 'lock' one could put in place to disable that option in Internet Options in IE. Those features have been removed in favor of the more 'useful' TeaTimer resident. Note that I emphasized useful. TeaTimer is only useful so long as the user knows what to do with the prompts. If you're looking for a quick fix or a guard dog that knows what to do without input, then teatimer is not for you and I strongly advise against its use.

I would recommend a good startup manager. My favorite, because of its simplicity is Startup Control Panel:
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml


Absolutely! Mike Lin's programs are good stuff. I hadn't seen that one mentioned in a very long time, almost had forgotten about it. Used it for years but haven't in a while. :thumbsup:
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#13 barkat

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:42 PM

First of all, let me say a big thanks to all those that replied, expecialy Papakid! I need to go back and re-read that book again. ALOT of what sounds like very good info, just a little to much for me to take in on the first read.

Still a little upset at myself. I really did think I was covered pretty good. Heck I had two services I was paying for and a couple of free ones. Everything ran pretty smooth and fairly fast for what it is. Oh well, maybe if I can stick around I will have a even better system that I thought I had now.

#14 barkat

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:55 PM

Alright, I already got and ran the CCleaner. But I left the registry cleaner alone! Little to deep for me for now.
I also got and am running the Malwarebytes AntiMaleware now. And just like Stang777 said, it found things that KIS didnt. 26 things to be exact. I did really scare me though, it found two in the first eleven seconds! I was like "oh no, here we go!"

#15 Layback Bear

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 08:50 AM

I use KIS, CCleaner, Malwarebytes ,AntiMaleware. The last three because of what I read here. I like many others here are always looking for some thing else that might be a good thing to add for protection. I have faith when one comes along I will read about it here at B/C. Yes adding a security suite to you system will slow it down and it all depends on your system how much but it will still be faster than when it gets infected and it will with out one!




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