Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your needs, your technical ability and experience, features offered, user friendliness, ease of updating (and upgrading to new program release), ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include detection rates and methods, scanning engine effectiveness, how often virus definitions are updated, the amount of resources the program utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular anti-virus that works well for one person may not work as well for another. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your use and your system. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution
that works for everyone and there is no best anti-virus
. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software
As a general rule
, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Windows Defender, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, Spyware Terminator, etc. will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using only one
of them for real-time protection and others 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, competing tools may provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing as a result of the overlap in protection.
If using multiple 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. They may identify the activity of each other as suspicious and produce alerts. Further, your anti-virus may detect suspicious activity while these programs are scanning (reading) files, especially if it uses a heuristic scanning
engine, regardless if they are running in real-time or on demand. The anti-virus may even detect as threats, any malware removed by these programs and placed into quarantined areas. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of endless alerts or false alarms that continually warn a threat has been found if the contents of the quarantine folder are not removed before beginning a new security scan.
Keep in mind that you can overkill a system with resource heavy security programs that will slow down performance. Sometimes you just have to experiment to get the right combination for your particular system.
Use trustworthy security tools like:
I recommend taking advantage of the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) Protection Module
in the full version which uses advanced heuristic scanning technology
to monitor your system and provide real-time protection to prevent
the installation of most new malware. This technology runs at startup where it monitors every process and helps stop malicious processes before they can infect your computer
. The database that defines the heuristics is updated as often as there is something to add to it. Keep in mind that Malwarebytes does not act as a real-time protection scanner for every file like an anti-virus program so it is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute
. Enabling the Protection Module
feature requires registration and purchase of a license key
that includes free lifetime upgrades and support. After activation, Malwarebytes can be set to update itself and schedule scans automatically on a daily basis. The Protection Module is not intrusive as the program utilizes few system resources and should not conflict with other scanners or anti-virus programs.
If any conflicts between Malwarebytes' and another security program are reported, suggested solutions are usually provided in the Common Issues, Questions, and their Solutions, FAQs
thread. I know and have worked with some members of the research team so I can attest that they make every effort to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Choosing a firewall is also a matter of personal preference, your needs, your technical ability/experience, features offered, user friendliness, ease of updating, ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include effectiveness, the amount of resources it utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular firewall that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution
that works for everyone. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your use and your system. Windows 7 Firewall
is similar to Vista and also offers two-way filtering for inbound and outbound traffic. However, Windows 7 adds a few new features in the firewall and related network-safety areas such as separate configuration settings for private (Home or Work) and public networks.
What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?
The Vista firewall was built on a new Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) and added the ability to filter outbound traffic via the Advanced Security MMC snap-in. With Windows 7, Microsoft has tweaked the firewall further and made it much more useable, especially on mobile computers, by adding support for multiple active firewall policies.
The Windows 7 Firewall refines the much-improved firewall that was included in Windows Vista, and brings its "hidden" advanced features out into the open. Many users, including some IT professionals, were unaware that you could filter outbound traffic, monitor and otherwise perform advanced configuration tasks for the Vista firewall, because none of that was apparent from the Firewall applet in Control Panel. With Windows 7, Microsoft has created a built-in host firewall that is much more functional than its predecessors and now poses a viable alternative to third party host firewall products.
What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?
As with Vista, the basic settings for the Windows 7 firewall are accessed via the Control Panel applet. Unlike Vista, you can also access the advanced settings (including configuration of filtering for outbound connections) through the Control Panel instead of having to create an empty MMC and add a snap-in...
The Vista firewall allows you to choose whether you are on a public or private network. With Windows 7, you have three choices - public network, home network or work network. The two latter options are treated as private networks...With All-Network types, by default the Windows 7 firewall blocks connections to programs that are not on the list of allowed programs. Windows 7 allows you to configure the settings for each network type separately,...
For information about using the Windows 7 firewall, managing settings, block programs from accessing the Internet, open/close ports or disabling firewall notifications, please refer to:
For an independent review read: