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Internet Security Suites Vs. "best-of-breed" Apps?


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#1 tagman

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:22 PM

A couple of disclaimers:
If this topic should be on another forum, please feel free to move it. This seemed like the best one.
Also, if this has been debated/answered before (it probably has, but I couldn't find it), let me know and I'll check it out.

Here's the question:
Is it "better" to run a suite for firewall, antivirus, and malware or is it "better" to find the "best-of-breed" in each application and run them separately?

I realize this is rather open-ended (and highly subjective), but it seems to me there are pros and cons for each option. I have an older system and want to be as protected as possible without bogging down my machiine any more than necessary.

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#2 tagman

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:27 PM

I meant to include that this is an older HP Pavilion, Pentium class, 128m RAM, running Win 98 SE.

#3 buddy215

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 10:10 PM

The internet is getting more dangerous every day. Particularly for users who haven't taken the time to learn how to avoid the pitfalls.
IE is and probably always will be high risk. Firefox browser with NoScript is the way to go. This will protect you from driveby downloads of malware. Another good extension for Firefox is McAfee SiteAdvisor. It will help you decide if a site is safe or not.
Installing a good firewall such as Zone Alarm Free is another necessity.
Having one antivirus running will help protect you from mail borne malware and use it to scan downloads before installing. Never open email if you don't know who sent it and never click on a link in email. Use a free online mail program for general correspondence and when you have to give an email address to interact with a site. It is also highly recommended to read your email in plain text.
If you insist on using IE then you need other programs such as Spyware Blaster and Spybot Search and Destroy with TeaTimer enabled. Another good program to install and keep for occassional scanning is AVG 7.5.
In my opinion, using one program (suite) is not the best way to go. They are expensive, harder to diagnose for problems, and provide less protection and would bog down an older system.
Make a point of checking for updates on all your programs especially Windows related and Java.
You can have all the antimalware programs in existence and still get infected by one careless click of the mouse.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#4 LaFemmeMichele

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:40 AM

Tagman,
You want the best of the breed in each application. Requires a little research & trial to configure your perfect synergistic setup. Read in the application's forums. There's a lot of empowering information awaiting you.. Take a look at a security forum, like Wilders. You'll get an education & find others are responsive to you. :thumbsup:
O how I long for the days when a geek was merely a performer of the grotesque. -M

#5 jgweed

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 09:17 AM

The problem with internet security suites is that they are often strong in some areas, and less strong in other areas. Often, this is the result of their buying out a very good module and incorporating it into the suite, but not developing and maintaining it with the same dedication, focus, and passion of the original developers.
Another problem resides in your being tied to one manufacturer for all your security needs. Hopefully, it will not go out of business or be puchased by another company, or change its direction, but you cannot be sure. Having modules tied together means also that any programming problem in one part can make the others inoperable, much like having your receiver and tape player in one unit. For example, in the case of definition updates, if the company's server is down for whatever reason, you cannot update ANY of the needed modules.
Another problem can be that it is in the nature of suites to be resource hogs when compared to separate, individual security modules. Part of this is caused by the way they are developed, and part by the extra overhead interfacing each with the parent can cause. In the case of older computers, this can be a real disadvantage.
In any case, you would want several anti-spyware applications, because each company has varying criteria, and will look for and find slightly different sets of malware as a result.
For these reasons, I would certainly recommend exercising your freedom to pick and choose, for each area, the application that best works for you and for your computer.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#6 tagman

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:21 PM

Thanks for the responses. I was already of the opinion that "best-of-breed" apps were the way to go for the reasons mentioned, but wanted to see if there was anything I was missing.




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