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Unbiased AV/spy-malware/firewall/rootkit Comparison?


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#1 GaryGranath

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:03 PM

At the risk of posting a question obviously on the minds of thousands (and possibly buried here on one of the many pages in this forum), where can I look to find an unbiased comparison/review of either security suites or individual programs, freeware or payware? I've spent an entire day looking at reviews and every product seems to have a glaring flaw. This forum seems to be a good place to find a place where skilled people can provide accurate advice.

There are a bewildering number of products making unsubstantiated claims. Everyone wants something that finds as much of the bad stuff as possible, doesn't bog down their system, is easy to update, easy to configure, and easy to uninstall. One guy said that a Suite is a compromise because it's limited by the weakest component, and that the best option is to buy individual products for antivirus, malware, spyware, firewall, and rootkit detection. Does that sound reasonable?

A few praised Microsoft Security Essentials with the Windows Firewall. Frankly, I find it impossible to know who to believe. Most of us probably take a shot in the dark and hope for the best. But with so many knowledgable folks looking at these forums, surely there's an unbiased review of these products. I hope I don't start the kind of thing that I got when two people once tried to teach me how to play bridge. They forgot about me and got into a big argument.

I have one Windows 7 system and two Windows XP Home systems that I need to secure. Any opinions or direction for me on this issue? (Why did I even ask that?)
Thanks, Gary

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#2 the dummy

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:37 PM

I have gone surffing for trouble with a couple different configs, and the ones that have had an a/v of some kind became infected.
The config that has not been infected as of yet; lua-sandboxie-returnil- soft and hard firewalls. This config has been tested in a vista 32, and a win 7 64. both useing ie8 for the browser. peace out.

Edited by the dummy, 19 July 2010 - 10:46 PM.


#3 Broni

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:14 PM

IMHO.....

There is either no answer to your question, or at least it's not easy to answer your question.
There are not ultimate reviews, because there is no human 100% error free, nor 100% bias free.

Two undisputed facts are:
1. Number one security tool is your brain and your surfing habits
2. There is no ultimate/best/error free security tool.

On a top of it, a security program, which seems to be very good today, may be horrible a month from now.
Let's say from my experience. I used to use AVG as my AV program for number of years and then, with ver. 8.0 I was forced to abandon it, because of number of serious flaws. It also became a hog. Maybe, maybe now it's better, but personally, when burned once, I'll never use same program anymore.
In my case, same would apply to ZoneAlarm as a firewall. Used it, some years ago. Some new version came out, which I didn't like...gone.

Same goes for antimalware programs.
Some years ago, Spybot and Ad-aware were the best.
They still exist, but barely anyone recommends them anymore.
Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, Dr.Web lead the way today.

If you stay on a top of it, read, do researches, you may have some better idea what's better, what's worse.

Then, there is also human and a particular machine factor.

Some people won't like given security program interface, or some features.
For instance, some regular computer users can't take Comodo as a firewall, because it annoys them with constant questions.
I, love it, because I feel more secure, seeing active program.

I've seen computers, where this, or that security program will not work nicely, even if it works perfectly fine on hundreds of other computers.
Some will hate McAfee and Norton, like I do, some others will swear by them as the best ever.

So, at the end...did I answer your question?
Hahaha...probably not to your satisfaction...
But, it's how it is....

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#4 GaryGranath

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 10:28 AM

Yes, I didn't expect a firm answer. I know there isn't one answer for everyone. A better question would have been:

A few of you experts out there... what do you personally use to secure your Win 7 Premium 64-bit or Win XP Home machine? A suite? Which one? Individual programs? Which ones? And maybe you could share why you chose that.

So there it is. I haven't asked for opinions - only what you want running on your own system- whether Win 7 64-bit or XP Home. Completely objective, eh? Let's see.

Thanks, Gary

#5 the dummy

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:39 PM

All i can say is re-read my last post, give it a try, come back and share your opinion.
If you asked weather or not it would be o.k. to touch a hot stove, would you like a firm answer?

#6 Broni

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:40 PM

Again, as you'll see below, you won't get straight answer from me...LOL
On different Windows installations (different computers), I run following combinations:
- Avast + Comodo firewall
- Avira + Comodo firewall
- Comodo suite
- Microsoft Security Essentials + Windows firewall
Note. I prefer not to run suites as running separate AV and a firewall is a better setup for troubleshooting purposes.

Maybe, it would be easier for me to say, which products i don't use and I won't in any near future:
- Norton
- McAfee
- AVG
- ZoneAlarm

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#7 GaryGranath

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:33 PM

No stove jokes please, or I may give you a whether report. Excellent information. Just what I'm looking for. Thanks.

I didn't understand your code. I'm computer literate, but not an expert. I think I know how to ask intelligent questions (at least I think they are). So help me a little more with the following:


lua-sandboxie-returnil- soft and hard firewalls


1. I have a hardware firewall in my router. I have Windows' software firewall but unless they've upgraded it and check both incoming and outgoing, it's probably not adequate. Do you have a name brand software firewall that you prefer?

2. lua - don't know what it means. Sounds like a Hawaiian feast. What do you mean by it?

3. sandboxie - Googled and found it. Is it anti- virus, malware, spyware, rootkit, everything else? What's meant by sandbox in this context?

4. returnil - Googling finds something that really sounds like a "sandbox." Sounds like everything runs on a virtual system instead of the "real" Windows so the real system isn't trashed if something bad gets through, and damage recovery is easier. Does it actually contain anti-anything too (redundant)?

Do you use the freeware versions of these four things or payware? (Sometimes payware is overkill.) Do they work for both Windows 7 Deluxe and Windows XP Home? Multi-PC packages available? I have three that need to be secured.

Finally, Microsoft Security Essentials - what do you think of it?

Hey, I just noticed you only have one blue square by your name. I have two squares and you're answering my questions. Can I trust you? (Let's have some fun with this while we're talking about serious things.)

Thanks, Gary

Edited by GaryGranath, 20 July 2010 - 09:37 PM.


#8 the dummy

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 10:19 PM

1-LUA- limited user account or guest account. This one thing will prevent malware that depends on admin account access to run.( do not surf on your admin level account)
2- Your firewall is fine.( reguardless of what others might say)
3- Use the free versions of sandboxie & returnil. ( see system requirements from web sites reguarding xp. Dont activate the a/v in returnil, it wont be needed)
4- mse wont be needed either.
5-Not an expert, but i did sleep at a holiday inn last night, and i know alot about stoves.
6- :thumbsup:

#9 Broni

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 10:25 PM

One comment regarding Windows firewall.
It's still one way firewall, protecting your computer from inbound traffic, but not protecting outbound traffic.

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#10 jdbaker82

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:11 AM

I do computer repair for a living and see tons of infected machines I can tell you if you want to pay for an Anti-Virus suite that is 100x better then Norton or Mcafee or any of the other popular ones give ESET NOD 32 a shot its very effective. The problem with Norton/Mcafee and all the other big names is that they have had the market for decades now on all the poor souls who do not know any better and they have nothing to prove people just buy it just because of the name company's like ESET have alot to prove and put a good product on the market because of it.

#11 GaryGranath

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for the additional information. I was planning to evaluate ESET. Had a good experience with the free version of ESET several months ago.

Why do you recommend ESET NOD 32 instead of ESET Smart Security? Do you use a standalone software firewall?
Gary

Edited by GaryGranath, 21 July 2010 - 08:35 PM.


#12 chromebuster

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

Okay ... two things. Eset is great like he said. I have it on both my win 7 Ultimate 32 bit desktop at home, and also on my laptop (both of them Dells). Eset is indeed very effective. Not only that, but they care about their customers unlike most of the other companies like Norton and McAfee. I had to call Eset over a licensing issue in order to have both my computers using the same AV, and the guy on the other end of the line was able to provide the illusion that I knew him for years and years. They are just so down to earth. My other thing. Returnil is good, but only if you want to have all of your work to be short lived. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is allowed to be saved, unless you pay for the pro version and that gives you a drive that isn't touched when the computer reboots. For me, since I have some technical knowledge, that program would be a pain. So, if you are enthusiastic and you know what you're doing, then stay away from there. and oh yeah I lied it's three things. LUA can also be referring to a general purpose scripting language used in game programming and web site development with certain servers such as the Barracuda Drive server from Real time Logic.

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#13 GaryGranath

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:21 PM

Thanks for the tip chromebuster. Same question for you please. Do you use ESET NOD 32 AV4, or like ESET Smart Security 4 (which adds a firewall) better. If NOD, which standalone firewall do you prefer?

Gary

#14 chromebuster

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 06:28 PM

I like eset NOD32 V4.0 better. I have never had an issue with the default windows 7 firewall. And oh yeah. another thing that Eset does that's pretty cool that I've seen and love is that they show their updates in a cumulative fashion so that the folks like me who care what's out there and who care about what threats they're being protected from can just look it up. You can see them by going to the following address: www.eset.com/threat-center/threatsenseupdates. And then they're right there. That's my experience.

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#15 the dummy

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:02 PM

Returnil free does save changes as needed.




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