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#1 J@ck

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 08:32 AM

Mod Edit:  Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/574279/av-for-old-laptop/ - Hamluis.

 

Hi all, I've just completed a cleaning procedure on a friend old notebook.

  1. Uninstalled all software also drivers and Acer varius apps (excluded MS updates and MS system software such as .NET and so on).
  2. Run MBytes (uninstalled after cleaning)
  3.  Run AdwC (uninstalled after cleaning)
  4. Removed unneeded services and auto start up programs
  5. Re-installed proper drivers

Here the notebook specs:

 

Model: Acer Aspire 5510

CPU: Pentium M Centrino 1.6 GHz

RAM: 1 GB

HD: 60GB

OS: WinXP Pro - SP3

 

So cleaned, system seems smoother and reactive when I browse file system and so on...

Now I have to choose a security set of tools to add.

 

Main goal is to not overload system resources too much and maintain system as light as possible.

WinXP support has ended and this notebook will be used as a temporary backup machine in case of main PC breakdown or corruption. So there is no need to set up a (wanna be) invulnerable security configuration, since it will be based on a died insecure OS.

Instead I'd focus on usability of the system, ready to go when it will be needed.

 

Could you suggest an "essential" security configuration for that machine?

Thanks in advance!   :)


Edited by hamluis, 20 June 2015 - 09:07 AM.
PM sent new OP - Hamluis.


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#2 Aura

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 09:25 AM

Hi J@ck :)

So there is no need to set up a (wanna be) invulnerable security configuration, since it will be based on a died insecure OS.


Sadly this is should be the opposite here. Since Windows XP is outdated, it is highly vulnerable to malware and exploits, which means that you would want a better security setup on Windows XP than a newer supported version of Windows like Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. On top of that, free Antivirus won't cut it on Windows XP anymore, you need a fully equipped paid version, even maybe an Internet Security suite (which would include both Antivirus and Firewall, even an Antimalware). If you are to work with these specs, there's not a lot of choice to be honest. I would recommend ESET, Emsisoft and Panda. Panda would be the wisest choice so it's a cloud-based Antivirus and it'll take close to no resources on your system, but ESET and Emsisoft products are also extremely light-weight. With only 1GB of RAM and a 1.6GHz CPU, you want to get an all-in-one solution and not multiple programs on top of each other since your resources will be eaten faster that way.

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#3 J@ck

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for your answer!  :)

 

Owner of the notebook requested a totally free solution.

As explained it will be used as a back-up machine, few days when main PC will not be working.

 

I agree for an all inclusive security suite (aV+AMlr+FW), but which one is free and very very light?

Are your suggested solutions ( ESET and Emisoft or Panda) related to paid version of those software, or free?

 

Thanks again!



#4 Aura

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:11 AM

I'm relating to paid version of these software. Like I said, a free solution/setup will not cut it when it comes to Windows XP. If it's only a back up machine and the owner cannot secure it properly, its at risk. Better off just disconnecting it from the network at this point. And I would go with a Panda product.

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#5 Sintharius

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:19 AM

Just FYI... there is no free product in the world that offers AV + AM + FW all in one - the only two suites with that much capability are Emsisoft Internet Security and ESET Smart Security, and both are paid products.

#6 J@ck

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:45 AM

Well time ago, I've installed Comodo internet security on a similar outdated PC, if I well remember it was a all in one suite, but I can say It had visibly slowed down the system.

 

As regards Panda: it is a cloud based database. But how it works ? I mean, why it is so lighter?

Isn't a "panda" process running in background?

My friend uses an internet connection based on 3g mobile broadband. Could be a problem for Panda?



#7 Aura

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:50 AM

What are her download and upload speeds? Also, since Panda isn't scanning the system using conventional methods, but via Cloud-based detections it doesn't requires as much RAM and CPU as other products.

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#8 Sintharius

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 10:52 AM

Comodo isn't very good in the AM department IMHO. It's probably AV and FW at most.

Panda and other cloud AVs work by storing parts or all of their components in the cloud, and access them via the Internet when necessary. This allows them to have small footprints on the system, but the main bottleneck will be the upload and download speed as Aura said.

#9 rp88

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 12:55 PM

In XP, since the os is no longer supported by ms, you MUST NOT use internet explorer. Internet explorer on XP has been accumulating unpatched security holes for over a year now.

Instead you should use firefox or chrome, if you use firefox you can install the extension noscript, which lets you block scripts which could otherwise be used to perform exploits/drivebys and infect your computer. On XP this is a must.

Also for anti-driveby protection you can probably (I think it still works on XP) run malwarebytes antiexploit, this acts as a layer behind the browser to make it much harder for drive by attacks to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities and infect you. It works well alongside firefox and noscript.

noscript is free, malwarebytes antiexploit comes in a free version and a paid version, the paid version gives protection to extra things (like office programs and media player programs) where the free one just does browser and some plugins.

Noscript will make your browser faster, not slower, as it won't be loading un-necessary content on pages. it wil basically just load the images and text, except on pages where you allow certain domains so that you can play videos, or log into sites or other more interactive things.

Malwarebytes antiexploit won't make things noticable slower.

Also I suggest you reinstall malwarebytes, even if you only go for the free version that will atleast provide a good second opinion scanner. If you go for the paid version that gets you realtime protection as well.

You will need an antivirus as well, combined with malwarebytes antiexploit, noscript and malwarebhtes a free one MIGHT just be enough, but a more powerful paid one is a better choice if it is within your budget.

Also make some system images, XP does not have this facility buolt in so you will need to use a third party program to do it. Macrium has a free version, others also exist and are mostly paid programs.

Edited by rp88, 20 June 2015 - 12:55 PM.

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My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#10 Aura

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 08:03 PM

At this point, I would use Mozilla Firefox since Google Chrome might eat all of the RAM present on the system. Don't forget that we are giving advice for a computer with 1GB of a RAM and a 1.6GHz CPU. If you know Moores' Law, you know how irrealistic it is to secure a Windows XP with these specs. Also, if he uses Mozilla Firefox, he should use uBlock instead of AdBlock Plus to save RAM once again.

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#11 quietman7

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 04:29 PM

These Anti-Virus Software Products Will Continue to Protect XP after the End of Support

...The best news where this issue is concerned comes from the manufacturers of security software: with security suites continuing to provide updates for their software on XP systems after 8th April for at least one year or even longer depending on the manufacturer in question. Some companies have even promised to keep providing updates for two years and others have yet to plan any deadline whatsoever for the end of support. At the end of this article, you will find a list of all of the statements made by manufacturers of security software with regard to this matter that we have compiled for your information...


Forced to use Windows XP past April? 10 ways to make the best of a bad situation

...those XP users left out there are wondering what they can possibly do to mitigate their risks as much as possible. The best course of action without a doubt is moving to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, but if you can't or won't make such a bold move, then here's the best of what's left on your plate of options.

#1: Ditch the Free AV - Get a Paid Solution


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#12 J@ck

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 05:54 PM

First of all thanks a lot folks for your many answers!  :)

 

As regard Panda and bandwidth resources, we have a connection of about 1 Mbit/s both for download and upload speed...

 

Just to be clearer, that old machine purpose will be internet browsing, and a bit of video playing. Nothing more... But above all, It will not be a "production machine", I'm talking about just a home purpose system.

So, there isn't nothing so important to lose on that pc.

Our primary goal in this case is to obtain a simple configuration to be as quick as possible when we open a browser or an other application. We could also afford an infection or a system breakdown, it would not be a so great problem.

 

I'm just looking for a minimal set of lightweight free tools to block some viruses and other malware. We could also risk to go without any security software at all, but we would be likely infected too early..

 

So, the idea of security related usage could be:

- a recovery image of the system to be faster than a total re-install.

- regular backup of few important data to keep

* an antivirus software as lighter as possible

* a suggest also for a free light firewall solution would be greatly  appreciated

* a set of browser extensions to block pop-ups and so on, but without visibly influencing too much on ram and cpu usage.

- a regular manual scan with anti-malware, also portable tools (such as Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner), to install/run/uninstall after about a week of system use.

 

That will not be ultimate total security solution, but I think it will be enough for that system purpose.

I've marked with " * "  solutions I'm looking for:

 

1) Which free AV

2) Which firewall

3) Which extensions

 

PS.

Firefox lighter than Chrome? On my pc Chrome seems a bit more reactive than Firefox...



#13 Sintharius

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:07 PM

It's just my opinion, but any machines running Windows XP should never go to the internet at all. Being connected to the Internet creates a great risk of infection that no security solution will be able to stop.

That said, if you are looking for software...

- Antivirus: I suggest Panda Cloud Antivirus for free and Webroot Secure Anywhere for paid. These are light and do not bog down the system much comparing to traditional antivirus.

- Firewall: Try PrivateFirewall. There is also Comodo Firewall or ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall (no antivirus), but I don't know how much resources they consume unfortunately.

- Browser extensions: uBlock Origin (Firefox version here, Chrome version here). This extension blocks both ads and scripts, is lightweight and has no whitelists.

For an on-demand scanner, consider Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

Regards,
Alex

#14 quietman7

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:43 PM

It's just my opinion, but any machines running Windows XP should never go to the internet at all. Being connected to the Internet creates a great risk of infection that no security solution will be able to stop.

It's not an opinion, it is fact. Using unpatched and unsupported Windows systems on the Internet is a security risk to everyone as they are prone to attack from hackers, Botnets, zombie computers and malware infection. When there are compromised computers connected connected to the Internet, malware spreads faster and more extensively, distributed denial-of-service attacks are easier to launch, spammers have more platforms from which to send e-mail and more zombies are created to perpetuate the cycle. Without upgrading, you are wide open to infection and other high security risks which are prone to an outdated operating system.

We make no judgments here so if you're adamant you certainly can use a free solution such as Bitdefender Anti-virus Free Edition.

avast! Free Anti-virus, Avira Free Anti-virus and AVG Anti-Virus Free are other options but none of them are lightweight which you say you are looking for.

Starting with Windows XP, I have always used Windows built-in Firewall.

To protect my browser and help prevent advertisements & block websites, I use the following:
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#15 Aura

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

Just to be clearer, that old machine purpose will be internet browsing


This only can put the machine at a high risk.

So, there isn't nothing so important to lose on that pc.
Our primary goal in this case is to obtain a simple configuration to be as quick as possible when we open a browser or an other application. We could also afford an infection or a system breakdown, it would not be a so great problem.


You cannot really say that to be honest. No one can "afford" an infection since you never know what kind of infection you'll end up with. If you end up with a worm, the whole network will be compromised, not just the Windows XP computer. This computer is one big open security hole in the network right now.

I'm just looking for a minimal set of lightweight free tools to block some viruses and other malware. We could also risk to go without any security software at all, but we would be likely infected too early..


Not only that, but that computer might be infected with a malware that will infect any other devices on your network like mentionned above. Windows XP still have its share of worms.

PS.
Firefox lighter than Chrome? On my pc Chrome seems a bit more reactive than Firefox...


Does your computer have a 1.6GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM? Chrome is based on Chromium which works in a multi-sandboxed processes schema. For a computer with only 1GB of RAM, it'll take everything.

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