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advice on antivirus software and firewall


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#1 frustrated 24

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 10:24 AM

I currently had Norton 360 running on my computer, (which is now in the shop getting repaired). I still have about 60 days left on the subscription. I was wondering if I should continue using N 360, or is there another program I could try instead. I have tried Trend Micro in the past, but had problems with updates. I would like to have a reliable spyware remover, trojan remover, and firewall. When I run the hijack this log, it doesn't recognize that norton as having antivirus or firewall protection...
So I'm looking for some recommendations on reliable anti spyware and firewall programs. How good are the free programs such as zone alarm and AVG?

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#2 trollocks

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 10:44 AM

i also have norton 360 currently but wont be renewing when subscription runs out

i am going to try avira (free) for antivirus and comodo firewall(also free)

i already have malwarebytes and superantispyware (both free) for spyware removal

#3 Bambo

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 11:47 AM

There are tons of free security software if you are ready to leave comforting life of being a Symantec customer. Dont worry. Quite a few services are better even.

If you want directions, or yet another suggestion, wait for free Avast 5 or Microsoft Security Essentials. You can get MSE right now but not after the book since not final. Soon... AVG means you dont expect to get rootkits, that must be nice to be sure of, heh. It is popular though. Use what you like but check out those 2 when they are officially released.

At least a handful of free firewalls to play with. My favorite on 32bit is Online Armor http://www.tallemu.com/free-firewall-prote...n-software.html easy yet powerful if you believe in such gadgets as "better" firewalls :thumbsup: For 64bit try Privatefirewall or Outpost. Too lazy to find link right now...

Edited by Bambo, 05 September 2009 - 11:52 AM.


#4 Irvine_himself

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 12:15 PM

I have never used AVG but it does not have the best of reputations.

I personally use Avast, it is free, has good reputation and offers a full spectrum "on-access protection". I have been known to Browse risky subjects and have nothing to complain about. I have used Zone Alarm a couple of times, I even had a paid subscription. It has some nice features but it can be can be buggy and fall over without warning.

An important consideration about personal firewalls is that because of the way Windows boots, if you have an "always on" internet connection then, unless you use the "Windows firewall", there is a period of vulnerability before "Zone Alarm", (or your Firewall of choice,) becomes operational. Although this vulnerability is only a few hundreds of milli seconds if you are unlucky, (or being targeted,) it is an open barn door!

For this reason, it is probably better to stick to "Windows Firewall", it is not glitzy and if you run XP, it lacks outbound monitoring and protection, but the truth is that it is a good as any other personal Firewall. By the way, I am not a great fan of MS products and am always delighted when I find good alternatives but in this case....

A useful trick to achieve pseudo outbound monitoring is by using a combination of "Net Meter" and a browser link to the Windows firewall log. If you notice unusual traffic on Net-Meter, bring up the log in a new tab and with the link below you can estimate the threat level. It is crude, but it works.

Analyzing Windows Firewall Log

#5 Bambo

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 12:55 PM

You must remember that security industry will be pushing hard to tell you of needs. This and this, that too. If you get caught into that you might as well go check out Kaspersky Suite or other "relevant" alternative. They are not payware for nothing. Nice interface, more features that you can imagine. Who knew a virtual keyboard could be so fun! So what you are buying? What you really need in actual computing or what you think or are told you need? By who and why? ;) Going freeware does mean you should dismiss the idea of big packages or rather underlying idea that without you are not "safe". You are not sure and why ask right? I know people who insist on seeing Norton icon or they dont feel good! With firewall and all even if more than on/off button is a challenge. Industry has worked public for years and why there are no problems, just follow upgrade path and you are safe :thumbsup: You are not going to find a free exact copy of 360 - simplifying task a bit, activate common sense factor = less is better, then no problem getting something just as good or better for free. Likely to improve your overall security too since you might open eyes to supplements like Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware. What works and what does not is the question. Dont know you but have the feeling many use Norton stuff or similar payware taking care of the whole family as a sleeping pill. Under influence from certain family members I will say that some simply dont know what risk are and truly believe this more or less invisible program is securing safety on a daily basis. Or in other words if it can go wrong it will = hopeless secuirty setup :flowers: Dont think you are taking a chance dumping Norton life. Loads of crap in free area of course but how it is with most things.

Take a look at the pinned posts at top of most forums. More options and security strategies than you can chew in a day.

Edited by Bambo, 05 September 2009 - 12:55 PM.


#6 Someones

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 08:20 PM

How good are the free programs such as zone alarm and AVG?

These are both programs that were the best several years ago but now have fallen behind the times.

Basically, IMHO he top choices are AntiVir/Avast for antivirus, ThreatFire for behavioural blocker, Superantispyware and Malwarebytes Antimalware, and OpenDNS and Firefox with WOT for prevention. If you want more details you could check out the reviews here.

#7 Stang777

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 04:54 AM

I have used ZoneAlarm antivirus and firewall for many years and still love it, have no intention of ever changing. Obviously, since I am using the antivirus program, I am not using the free version, but I find the paid version is well worth the money.

#8 frustrated 24

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 12:21 PM

i also have norton 360 currently but wont be renewing when subscription runs out

i am going to try avira (free) for antivirus and comodo firewall(also free)

i already have malwarebytes and superantispyware (both free) for spyware removal



Do any of these programs interfer with the performance each other?

There are tons of free security software if you are ready to leave comforting life of being a Symantec customer. Dont worry. Quite a few services are better even.

If you want directions, or yet another suggestion, wait for free Avast 5 or Microsoft Security Essentials. You can get MSE right now but not after the book since not final. Soon... AVG means you dont expect to get rootkits, that must be nice to be sure of, heh. It is popular though. Use what you like but check out those 2 when they are officially released.

At least a handful of free firewalls to play with. My favorite on 32bit is Online Armor http://www.tallemu.com/free-firewall-prote...n-software.html easy yet powerful if you believe in such gadgets as "better" firewalls :thumbsup: For 64bit try Privatefirewall or Outpost. Too lazy to find link right now...


i also have norton 360 currently but wont be renewing when subscription runs out

i am going to try avira (free) for antivirus and comodo firewall(also free)

i already have malwarebytes and superantispyware (both free) for spyware removal



Do any of these programs interfer with the performance each other?

There are tons of free security software if you are ready to leave comforting life of being a Symantec customer. Dont worry. Quite a few services are better even.

If you want directions, or yet another suggestion, wait for free Avast 5 or Microsoft Security Essentials. You can get MSE right now but not after the book since not final. Soon... AVG means you dont expect to get rootkits, that must be nice to be sure of, heh. It is popular though. Use what you like but check out those 2 when they are officially released.

At least a handful of free firewalls to play with. My favorite on 32bit is Online Armor http://www.tallemu.com/free-firewall-prote...n-software.html easy yet powerful if you believe in such gadgets as "better" firewalls :flowers: For 64bit try Privatefirewall or Outpost. Too lazy to find link right now...



Thanks for the suggestions...I'll check out th ONline Armor program, as well as the AVast 5...

#9 frustrated 24

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 12:25 PM

I have never used AVG but it does not have the best of reputations.

I personally use Avast, it is free, has good reputation and offers a full spectrum "on-access protection". I have been known to Browse risky subjects and have nothing to complain about. I have used Zone Alarm a couple of times, I even had a paid subscription. It has some nice features but it can be can be buggy and fall over without warning.

An important consideration about personal firewalls is that because of the way Windows boots, if you have an "always on" internet connection then, unless you use the "Windows firewall", there is a period of vulnerability before "Zone Alarm", (or your Firewall of choice,) becomes operational. Although this vulnerability is only a few hundreds of milli seconds if you are unlucky, (or being targeted,) it is an open barn door!

For this reason, it is probably better to stick to "Windows Firewall", it is not glitzy and if you run XP, it lacks outbound monitoring and protection, but the truth is that it is a good as any other personal Firewall. By the way, I am not a great fan of MS products and am always delighted when I find good alternatives but in this case....

A useful trick to achieve pseudo outbound monitoring is by using a combination of "Net Meter" and a browser link to the Windows firewall log. If you notice unusual traffic on Net-Meter, bring up the log in a new tab and with the link below you can estimate the threat level. It is crude, but it works.

Analyzing Windows Firewall Log

Thanks for information...although it's a little too technical for me, I'm kind of new at this .....

#10 Bambo

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:15 PM

Remember if you test several products then be sure to only test one at a time. No 2 firewalls or AVs. Also doublecheck uninstall went smoothly. Most of these tools will have an uninstaller.exe on their website. Norton certainly do. Can go wrong and having a partly working firewall messing up Windows is no fun.

So right now on 360 you cant really do much testing. You know and why you ask? ;) Just saying because you can run into big problems if not aware that taking small steps with this is only safe way to go. 1000s of different setups so dont take success stories for more than hints.

#11 voltronDefender

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

Hi :thumbsup: ;

Get Avira Personal(free) and the new version of Comodo Internet Security 3.10 (just install the D+). For on-demand use Malwarebytes free and SASpy free. You can also try HitmanPro3.0 as on-demand. Prevx 3.0 is good but you have to purchase it. If you member in wilderssecurity forums, Prevx Help will assist you with a trial license.

And use Sandboxie ver3.38 to isolate your applications on-line.

Other firewall suggestions are Online Armor free and Outpost Firewall free. GesWall is also good.

For reference you can check out the links below for some review inputs:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/view/recently-popular


http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread....andboxie+issues

Stay safe!

Regards,

voltronDefender :flowers:




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