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FIREWALLS & ANTI VIRUS


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#1 cleanforu

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:19 AM



I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY FIREWALLS, ANTIVIRUS & SECURITY PRODUCTS I SHOULD HAVE ON MY COMPUTER? I WOULD THINK TO MANY PROGRAMS WOULD SLOW DOWN YOUR SYSTEM, SO I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ONLY WHAT I NEED TO HAVE FOR SAFETY. I KNOW I HAVE A WINDOWS FIREWALL, BUT I ALSO HAVE ONE THROUGH AOL. DO I NEED BOTH? I ALSO HAVE A PROGRAM FOR ADWARE & SPYWARE PLUS NORTON SECURITY, BUT AOL HAS SPYWARE AND OTHER THINGS. I WOULD LIKE TO GET RID OF THE STUFF AOL OFFERS IF I CAN.
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#2 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:03 AM

Using more than one anti-virus program is not advisable. The primary concern with doing so is due to conflicts that can arise when they are running in real-time mode simultaneously and issues with Windows resource management. Even when one of them is disabled for use as a stand-alone scanner, it can affect the other. Anti-virus software components insert themselves into the operating systems core and using more than one can cause instability, crash your computer, slow performance and waste system resources. When actively running in the background while connected to the Internet, they both may try to update their definition databases at the same time. As the programs compete for resources required to download the necessary files this often can result in sluggish system performance or unresponsive behavior.

Each anti-virus may interpret the activity of the other as malicious behavior and there is a greater chance of them alerting you to a "False Positive". If one finds a virus or a suspicious file and then the other also finds the same, both programs will be competing over exclusive rights on dealing with that virus or suspicious file. Each anti-virus may attempt to remove the offending file and quarantine it at the same time resulting in a resource management issue as to which program gets permission to act first. If one anit-virus finds and quarantines the file before the other one does, then you encounter the problem of both wanting to scan each other's zipped or archived files and each reporting the other's quarantined contents. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of endless alerts that continually warn you that a virus has been found when that is not the case.

Anti-virus scanners use virus definitions to check for malware and these can include a fragment of the virus code which may be recognized by other anti-virus programs as the virus itself. Because of this, most anti-virus programs encrypt their definitions so that they do not trigger a false alarm when scanned by other security programs. Other vendors do not encrypt their definitions and they can trigger false alarms when detected by the resident anti-virus.

Further, keep in mind that dual installation is not always possible because most of the newer anti-virus programs will detect the presence of others and may insist they be removed prior to download and installation of another. Nonetheless, to avoid these problems, use only one anti-virus solution. Deciding which one to remove is your choice. Be aware that you may lose your subscription to that anti-virus program's virus definitions once you uninstall that software.

Anti-virus vendors recommend that you install and run only one anti-virus program at a timeWhen necessary, you can always get another opinion by performing an Online Virus Scan.

In contrast, as a general rule, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, etc will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using them as stand-alone scanners. In fact, doing so increases your protection coverage without causing the same kind of conflicts or affecting the stability of your system that can occur when using more than one anti-virus. The overlap of protection from using different signature databases will aid in detection and removal of more threats when scanning your system for malware. However, if using any of their real-time resident shields (TeaTimer, Ad-Watch, MBAM Protection Module, Spyware Terminator Shields, etc) together at the same time, there can be conflicts when each application tries to compete for resources and exclusive rights to perform an action. Additionally, competing tools may even provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing.


Using two software firewalls on a single computer could cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior. Further, running multiple software firewalls can cause conflicts that are hard to identify and troubleshoot. Only one of the firewalls can receive the packets over the network and process them. Sometimes you may even have a conflict that causes neither firewall to protect your connection. However, you can use a hardware firewall (a router) and a software firewall (Kerio or ZoneAlarm) in conjunction.

A hardware firewall is really a software firewall running on a dedicated piece of hardware or specialized device (routers, broadband gateways) that sits between a modem and a computer or network. A hardware firewall is based on "Network Address Translation" (NAT) which hides your computer from the Internet or NAT plus "Stateful Packet Inspection" (SPI). It can provide a strong degree of protection from most forms of attacks coming from the outside (incoming traffic). Hardware firewalls are easy to configure and can protect every machine on a local or home network. A hardware firewall typically uses packet filtering to examine the header of a packet to determine its source and destination addresses. This information is compared to a set of predefined or user-created rules that determine whether the packet is allowed (forwarded) or denied (dropped) on particular ports. They tend to treat any kind of traffic traveling from the local network out to the Internet as safe which can be a security risk.

With a software firewall you have customized control and can specify which applications are allowed to communicate (outgoing traffic) over the Internet from your computer. Programs that are not explicitly allowed to do so are either blocked or else the user is prompted for confirmation before the traffic is allowed to pass. Software firewalls generally offer the best measure of protection against Trojans and worms but they are harder to configure and must share resources with other running processes which can decrease system performance. Many software firewalls have user defined controls for setting up safe file and printer sharing and to block unsafe applications from running on your system.
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#3 Stang777

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:18 PM

AOL HAS SPYWARE AND OTHER THINGS


What exactly does this mean?

If you mean that it has some antispyware programs and such, please tell me what programs they are

#4 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:33 PM

I believe he meant to say AOL offers anti-spyware and anti-virus protection.

AOL has been partnered with McAfee for years and as I recall they were offering McAfee VirusScan Plus -- Special edition from AOL as part of their Basic security package for dial-up and McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL for members with high speed connections.

Other security features offered by AOL as part of its protection package have included SpyZapper and AOL Spyware Protection. SpyZapper worked alongside Spyware Protection to automatically target spyware and other programs that caused connection problems, performance issues, and security risks. The SpyZapper feature scanned the computer and helped members decide whether they wanted to block any programs it identified. IMO both features were not very effective.
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#5 Stang777

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:09 PM

Thanks QuietMan. That is what I figured was meant, just wasn't sure of the exact programs that were being used.

All of those programs offered by AOL should be able to be removed easily. None of those are required for the use of AOL. I do not use any of them, never have even though I have always used AOL. Many months ago AOL started giving an alert that SpyZapper was no longer being offered through them but I do not know what that meant for those who were already using it.

I can get McAfee for free from both AOL and Comcast, yet I do not choose to use it

#6 cleanforu

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:39 PM

THANK YOU FOR THE IMFORMATION! I WILL GET RID OF THE SPYWARE, AND SUCH ON AOL, BUT IS MY WINDOWS FIREWALL ENOUGH OR DO I NEED TO GET RID OF THAT FIREWALL AND GET ANOTHER ONE THAT YOU HAD MENTIONED? ON ONE COMPUTER I HAVE AVAST ANTI-VIRUS, REGISTRY MECHANIC, AND A ANTI ROOTKIT SINCE AVAST DOESN'T CHECK FOR THAT. ARE THESE PROGRAMS ALRIGHT, AND ARE THEY ENOUGH? I AM GETTING RID OF AVAST AND GETTING AVG ANTI- VIRUS, AND THEY DO HAVE ANTI ROOTKIT SO THEN I WILL GET RID OF THE ONE THAT I HAVE NOW.

#7 quietman7

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 07:21 AM

Please do not type all in capital letters. Its difficult to read and many folks consider doing that to be a forum of shouting.

Starting with v4.8.1169, avast comes with built-in anti-rootkit and anti-spyware protection.

All-inclusive and comprehensive protection FREE avast! antivirus Home Edition includes ANTI-SPYWARE protection, certified by the West Coast Labs Checkmark process, and ANTI-ROOTKIT detection based on the best-in class GMER technology.

avast Features Overview

Windows XP firewall protects against port scanning but has limitations and it is no replacement for a robust 3rd-party two-way personal firewall.
  • The XP firewall is not a full featured firewall. Normal firewalls allow you to specifically control each TCP and UDP port but XPís firewall does not provide you with this capability. Instead, it takes a point and click approach to enabling or disabling a few common ports.
  • The XP firewall does a good job of monitoring, examining and blocking inbound traffic but makes no attempt to filter or block outbound traffic like most 3rd-party personal firewalls.
  • Thus, the XP firewall does not identify which programs attempt to initiate outbound network or Internet communications nor does it block the traffic when suspicious activity occurs.
    • This feature can be helpful in preventing many types of malware attacks that may attempt to open ports or communicate with outside servers without the user's knowledge or consent. It also means that if your system has been compromised, a hacker could use your machine as part of a distributed denial of service attack.
  • By default, Windows Firewall rejects all incoming traffic unless that traffic is in response to a previous outgoing request. If you're running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Firewall is turned on by default. If your Firewall is not turned on by default, then your using an unpatched OS and need to update your system to SP2.
Windows Vista Firewall offers two-way filtering for better security but its the bare minimum and still limited. By default, most outbound filtering is turned off (outbound connections are allowed) and inbound filtering is turned on (inbound connections are blocked). Configuration is confusing and there is no practical way to to configure outbound filtering to stop all unwanted outbound connections. You can only turn inbound filtering on or off, and through the various tabs, configure how inbound filtering works.

Before installing a 3rd-party firewall, make sure you turn off the the Windows firewallSince have a lot of questions about using a firewall, you may want to read:
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#8 ComputerNutjob

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:25 PM

I reccomend using Comodo. I am going to switch soon, and it seems to be very thorough and easy-to-use.

#9 Someones

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 08:01 PM

IMHO it doesn't make sense to switch from Avast, which is proven to have high detection rates, to the Comodo AV, which has few tests with varying results on it.

#10 ChrisMN

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:30 PM

Quote from QuietMan:

" Please do not type all in capital letters. Its difficult to read and many folks consider doing that to be a forum of shouting.
"

-----Agreed... :thumbsup:




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