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Recommendations For Free Protection

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#1 Billermo


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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:22 AM

I'm actually posting this to help many people I know. I'm in Vietnam, and I meet many people here who have computers who can not afford to spend what it costs to own and use commercial anti-virus software. So for them, anti-virus and anti-spyware available for free is the only way to go. In reality, a lot of pirated programs are available here for very low prices, but these are usually blocked from being updated by the companies that issue them, so they're useless.

Now I have read here and see that there are a few recommended updatable programs that are free, such as AVG and Avast for anti-virus, or Ad-Aware, Spybot and Spyblaster for anti-spyware. I have recommended these, and the first question I usually get is whether they should be using TWO anti-virus programs simultaneously or not -- if there are conflicts or potential problems with doing that. I think for the anti-spyware it's clear that this is not a problem. Also, what is a good setup to use for anti-virus in order to have real time protection?

It seems as if the firewalls described on this site are not actually free, at least not if they are going to be really effective. Zone Alarm is one example. The Bleeping Computer site describes it as free, but that free version is actually just a trial that lasts 2 weeks or so, which isn't really a viable solution.

Just so you know, the situation here in Vietnam is that pretty much the entire country is unprotected from viruses and spyware. Here there is Vietnamese language freeware called BKAV that seems to be completely ineffective protecting computers. The government very actively prevents any posted packages or travelers entering this country from bringing in any software on CD's, and it's not even possible to buy legal software here (illegal is on sale everywhere). It's not even possible to bring a disk you own into the country -- not thru an airport at least.

Last part of this question: is there a good simple no-brainer step by step how-to tutorial that shows how to delete and reinstall Windows? The other very common problem here is that computers are so hopelessly riddled with viruses and spyware that the only practical solution is to reinstall Windows fresh.


Edited by Billermo, 28 December 2006 - 01:27 AM.

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#2 TMacK


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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:51 AM

You will find many free programs in our pinned topic Freeware Replacements For Common Applications.

You are right, it is not a good idea to run two AV programs at the same time.

As far as Firewalls go,ZoneAlarm Free is totally free,as is Sygate and several others listed in the link above.
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Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

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#3 Billermo

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 02:10 AM

OK, I see, thanks. The link I found earlier in another tutorial took me to a commercial trial version of Zone Alarm, not this free one.

Another question: if Zone Alarm firewall is installed, should the Windows firewall be left on? (conflicts?)

Finally, of the free anti-virus programs, do any stand out from the pack as offering more protection or more comprehensive updates?

thanks so much, this is very helpful...

#4 arcman


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Posted 28 December 2006 - 02:29 AM

You definitely only want one firewall on at a time. Running two software firewalls, including the built in Windows one, is a great way to choke off your connection.

Of the free antivirus programs I've tried [AVG, AntiVir, Avast], AVG remains my preference. They seemed to me about the same in detection rates, and AVG's interface is delightfully unobtrusive.

If you're looking into a paid AV program, the detection rates of Kaspersky and NOD32 are top notch.
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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:40 AM

Hi Billermo

Welcome to BC!

Also follow these instructions:

Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet

Stelios :thumbsup:

#6 quietman7


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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:37 PM

Before considering a reinstall of Windows XP, try some of the suggestions:
"Last Known Good Configuration".
"Windows XP System Restore Guide".
System Restore from a command prompt in "SAFE MODE"
"Guide to Windows XP Recovery Features".
"How to install and use the Windows XP Recovery Console"

If your still having problems, try a Repair Install.
"How to perform a Repair Install".
"How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation/repair install) of Windows XP" by Microsoft.

And if that does not help, then consider a reinstall. For that see:
"Clean Install of Windows XP".
"How to perform a clean install of Windows" by Microsoft (scroll down).

Also see "What to Do When XP or 2000 Won't Boot".

To protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection, read:
"How did I get infected?, With steps so it does not happen again!".
"The Ten Most Dangerous Things Users Do Online".
"Secure Your Home Computer - A guide for online users".

Finally, keep Windows and Internet Explorer current with the latest critical security updates from Microsoft including SP2 which has enhanced security features. This will patch many of the security holes through which attackers can gain access to your computer. Further, Microsoft ended all public assisted support for XP SP1 on October 10, 2006 - see here.
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