Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

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Free and Paid Security Softwares...

by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 9:54 AM PDT

I would like to ask people around here a couple of questions regarding the title above.

1) If you're to buy a security software, whether it is an anti-virus, anti-spyware or a security suite, what software(s) would you really consider buying?

2) What free security softwares would you really consider is worth downloading? (i.e. how much can they protect you against malwares?)

3) What kind of security softwares can you trust, whether it's free or paid?

I would like to hear opinions on the questions above. And I hope that the answers will be organized and easy to read. Thank you.

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1. Security suites = No and never again.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 10:09 AM PDT

Sorry but all the vendors have bombed here. No matter how they try there always appears to be issues with the "suites." I don't care to retell the tales.

2. Avast, AVG (all titles), Zone Alarm.

NONE CAN PROVIDE A "MAGIC SHIELD". You are part of the security system so let's slay that myth right here and now. If you are expecting these items to protect the machine from your actions and choices then it's game over.

3. None. And there is no sign it's getting any better.


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Zone Alarm... Firewall...?
by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 10:21 AM PDT

I would like to know more about this firewall. The last and only firewall I used is Comodo.

And is there a firewall that is able to filter websites, including advertisements?

Hope that you're still around to answer the questions, Proffitt.

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Comodo is fine too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 10:53 AM PDT

But a recurring question is... What is a firewall?

There is no ironclad answer it seems since each person has a new definition. ZA or Comodo, for "Windows" you need it.

"And is there a firewall that is able to filter websites, including advertisements?"

This doesn't appear to be a FIREWALL's job. But I have one nice solution. It's one of the Mozilla web browsers and AdBlock Plus.


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(NT) PS. Did you read the forum Stickey?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 10:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Comodo is fine too.
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Yes, but...
by santuccie / May 27, 2007 4:53 PM PDT

Yes, there are firewalls that can do this. One of them is Kerio (paid version), but it tends to filter more than you want it to. Another way to filter ads is to use a suped-up hosts file, although this too may impede your browsing activities. But in case you're interested, you can get a better hosts file here: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

Until recently, I cared for nothing but plain-old SPI, the standard. Recent events have changed my mind. All the same though, and contrary to what some believe, I see the future placing more defense responsibilities on the firewall. Reasons being, you have a better chance of defending yourself before code compiles than after, and it's far easier building signatures for protocols than for individual malware samples (there are infinite possibilities for malware code, but only so many attack surfaces on a networking device). This has proven increasingly challenging for even the best antivirus products, particularly in cases of polymorphic code. According to virustotal.com, the two best in terms of heuristics are WebWasher and AntiVir, yet neither of them reaches 100% or even 90% (AntiVir only got 66%).

SPI is still important, as it can block worms and traditional port scanning attacks, but NIPS/NIDS (Network Intrusion Prevention Systems/Network Intrusion Detection Systems) is the thing now. Firewall products like Kerio, BlackICE, and the latest versions of McAfee (to name a few) have these capabilities, and can actually protect you from browser vulnerabitity exploits as you surf the web. However, they still cannot stop you from opening an infected file locally, so you still need to use some form of discretion. In addition, some cable companies are starting to work on speeding up their connections. I don't know how much traffic the average software firewall/IPS can filter, but it's less than that of a hardware appliance, to be sure.

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Security Suites -- I agree, No and Never
by inrpce / May 26, 2007 2:49 AM PDT

I went for the whole Norton package recently and it slowed my computer down, made several software apps cease to function at all and gave me error messages galore. I uninstalled all but Norton Internet Security which gives me a firewall and virus scanning and all immediately functioned just fine. All the extra utilities proved much more trouble than they were worth.

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Free and Paid Security Softwares
by tomron / May 23, 2007 10:24 AM PDT

"1) If you're to buy a security software, whether it is an anti-virus, anti-spyware or a security suite, what software(s) would you really consider buying?"

I use the freebies.


2)" What free security softwares would you really consider is worth downloading? (i.e. how much can they protect you against malwares?)"

In the case of anti spyware,adware and such,more is better since one program may notice something that another program might miss.Regarding anti virus and firewall,have only one AV and one FW enabled.


"3) What kind of security softwares can you trust, whether it's free or paid?"

I dont like,nor trust Norton.

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If I were to answer the questions I asked...
by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 10:33 AM PDT

1) Perhaps Kaspersky AntiVirus would be enough, given that it's current version is one great antivirus software. But as for security suites, Maybe BitDefender.

2) Adaware 1.06, Spybot Search and Destroy seems enough with my own PC-cillin security suite. Perhaps AVG's antispyware and antirootkit products too, without the suite.

3) I'd rather trust paid, but it depends.

Perhaps introducing some really good security programs, paid or free, would be fine.

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(NT) so why ask then?
by tomron / May 23, 2007 10:36 AM PDT
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You would save yourself a lot of time
by roddy32 / May 23, 2007 10:33 AM PDT
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More thinking...
by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 2:13 PM PDT

I've only read one page of the forum thread you've provided, but I still kinda don't understand about something: are free security apps really that good in detecting malware compared to paid ones?

And I need a site that gives good and very accurate specifications on security softwares. Checked PC World, but they didn't seem to update a lot on this year's products.

A couple more questions I wanna ask:

- Does antivirus softwares nowadays detect not only viruses but also other malware?

- How do I manage my firewall, like say, Comodo, on what I should allow and what I should not?

- Is there a good way to block ads, filter websites, and more online protection as I surf the web? (AdBlock Plus and HOST files are some suggestions I'm told.)

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The reason for posting this thread...
by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 3:44 PM PDT
In reply to: More thinking...

As it appears, it's a bit too early to post this thread, as I still got about 6 months to my subscription with PC-cillin 2007. I know that there'll be a lot of updates in most security products by the end of this year. But what I am wondering, is that if there is any good security softwares, whether free or paid, that I can look out for by mid-November. I've read the first thread of this "Viruses & Security Alerts Forum", but find little interesting softwares to look for.

In any case, I'll look into getting Norton 360 or Kaspersky Antivirus by November. As for good and free ones like AntiVir, I find certain problems that forced me to look for other alternatives. As for AntiVir, my only problem is with the updating process, as it appears I can't connect to the company's server to update. In any case, Kaspersky Antivirus appears pretty good in my search for security softwares that can search and remove nearly all malwares without affecting my computer/laptop's performance.

But if I would want to get a security suite, BitDefender will be my choice.

I'll just wait for the next version of most of the security softwares I'm watching.

I would like to say this again: the aim of this thread is to look for any good security softwares which I can watch for, particularly when they have a new version released soon.

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Suites are not working for us.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 9:16 PM PDT

There are some that want a single source solution. My view is this is not working.

You write your current suite has not expired so let's try this test.

Perform an online scan from http://www.ewido.net/en/onlinescan/ and besides cookies did it find any spyware?


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Combination software...?
by darkdestiny7 / May 23, 2007 10:43 PM PDT

Sometimes... I wonder why I keep coming back to the same route of security. But perhaps this will do some good when my PC-cillin expires.

Talking about putting different kinds of security softwares inside my computer, I feel that it's sometimes a pain to do that. It's not only the problem about how many threats it can detect, its also the problem about how much the performance.

As my work requires me to do extensive research, I would need things like McAfee SiteAdvisor and a couple of anti-spyware softwares, like Ad-Aware and Spybot. But regarding Spybot, I would like to know what does the program's TeaTimer really do?

By the way, about antivirus softwares, I've seen PC World's 2007 ranking chart on that. Kaspersky appears promising compared to Norton, with little effect on a PC's performance. Maybe I'll see to getting v7 of that software when it becomes available.

Anyway, would like to know: is Norton 360 considered an internet security suite?

And also, would like to know more about ZoneAlarm v7.0 (firewall), as it appears promising to use.

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is Norton 360 considered an internet security suite?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 10:51 PM PDT


I find your question about Zone Alarm interesting. It's like asking me about what I think about lightbulbs. One would have to be offline and away for a very long time to avoid hearing about Zone Alarm.

I'm going to decline writing one word about Zone Alarm since you could find reviews and more. I don't duplicate web content.


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What is your point?
by jwcharle / May 25, 2007 6:01 PM PDT

So, you correct someone for not finding readily available reviews by wasting everyone's time with your meaningless ramble? If you have nothing constructive to contribute, stop replying. You are just as bad with your attitude as the newbies asking questions.

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Time to close case...
by darkdestiny7 / May 25, 2007 6:10 PM PDT
In reply to: What is your point?

jwcharle, I do not know who you're referring to, but I hope you can try to compose yourself a little better. I'm here to ask some questions, and isn't it OK to do it here?

Anyway, I've already decided what I wanna get when PC-cillin expires. In any case, I'll just keep watch in this forum about the updates available when I had the time.

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time to close case...
by jwcharle / May 25, 2007 6:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Time to close case...

Hello, sorry my reply didn't tie to the person I was talking about. I was referring to R.Proffit who seemed to be chastising you for asking questions. I was referring to his post where he replied that he wouldn't bother giving you a response. I thought your posts were good.

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I don't really mind...
by darkdestiny7 / May 25, 2007 7:09 PM PDT
In reply to: time to close case...

This is meant to be an open question, so anyone can answer. I haven't realized much about the digital world of malwares, as well as security. Used to be satisfied with just a Norton AV back in 2000, but internet security suite, apart from its laggy performance, have been excellent in protecting computers.

I look forward to several new versions, free or paid, by the end of this year. Hoping Ad-Aware would be more than twice as good as it is before, and that it'll be free. I also look forward to a much better Spybot S&D 1.5, since I've used and trusted it as one of my anti-spyware scanners. Kaspersky AV, too, had attracted me to its scanning capabilities, although I'm not quite sure if it have real-time protection computers against malware in some way.

I don't know anything much about security programs though, except AV and anti-spyware, while only know a bit of firewalls.

Closing case would really be a pleasure, but I would like to ask several general questions before I can take this my mind off this load.

Firstly, is there a software (other than Spybot) that I can control the real-time changes or additions in registries? I know that Spybot's TeaTimer and currently, my PC-cillin IS 2007 has the capability to do that, but the former appears too vague and a little complicated (in my sense) to use. Perhaps that's a software that can do such things with better ease of use?

Also, are there good anti-spyware products that I can really buy? This question can be disregarded if there are AVs that can fight spyware.

Ok, I think that's all for my enquiry on security softwares. I would like to say this again: I don't usually depend completely on security softwares for protection; I only use them to advise what websites I should not visit and protect myself against the online threats. For that, I'll really ease myself back to my studies without asking questions about software here that can affect my homework. Thanks again.

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totally agree
by hyper viper / May 25, 2007 11:01 PM PDT
In reply to: What is your point?

These people are asking legitimate questions, and getting gibbber gabber and wise cracks!!! If the people out there are not willing to help out with these peoples questions........don't bother posting!!!!!

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What to do?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2007 2:12 AM PDT
In reply to: totally agree

This is not a true tech support site. It's people helping people. That is a SELF SUPPORT help site.

The goal is not exactly to give you support but also to get you to be more self supporting and help others along as well.

If you demand support then you want some site that you pay for and the moderators are paid as well. You'll be better off if you pick your support site with care and see what it is for what it is.

Feel free to flame me but I will always ask that people try to get the easy answers on their own by checking former replies, the forum sticky or even google.com. It's those hard questions that need the most attention?


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The "best" security apps?
by XPonMac / May 26, 2007 3:27 AM PDT

The answer to this question is very complicated, since no single app can do everything needed to keep your computer relatively safe. Ultimately, the job of keeping your computer safe is YOURS, not a piece of software.

As to whether a free product is better (or worse) than a commercial product, well, the old saw, "You get what you pay for." is still true.

My list:

Commercial products
1) NOD32 Antivirus (latest version, with latest A/V signatures <http://www.eset.com> I use the XP/Vista firewall with NOD32, along with IE 7 and its built-in "phishing" and "Popup" controls. NOD32 also looks for and removes Trojans, dialers, root-kits, and other forms of Malware, including unreported ones, using advanced heuristics. I've never been infected while NOD32 was installed. In addition, NOD32 A/V is the FASTEST scanner on the market.
2) Trend Micro Internet Security (PC-Cillin Security Suite 2007), with latest A/V signatures <http://www.trendmicro.com> PC-Cillin is pretty-much the best "suite" on the market. Like NOD32, it looks for root-kits, "phishing", Popups, and other forms of malware, in addition to being the second-best A/V product. It's also a great way to save money, and still get excellent protection. TrendMicro was the first company with a Vista-compatible product available to users. However, it has a SLOW scanner.
3) Kaspersky Internet Security 6.x, with latest A/V signatures. Like the two above, it looks for and removes not just "traditional" viruses, but also other forms of Malware, using advanced heuristics. Many say that the Kaspersky A/V engine is the best on the market. But I say that Kaspersky, while a great A/V product, uses too many Windows resources, and slows the OS down considerably during scanning. In addition, its download servers are NOT the kind one wants to use with their Broadband connections, since the FASTEST download speed I've seen using Kaspersky and my 12Mips cable connection was in the range of 3KB/sec-20KB/sec. I certainly wouldn't put it on a slow machine, or one with dial-up access to the Internet.

"Free" products:
1) Avast A/V Home Edition, from http://www.alwil.com This one is excellent for the price. It also has a very interesting GUI, and most warnings, etc are vocal. Updates for the A/V signatures are not often enough for me, however. The Pro Edition (commercial) has "push" updates as often as you want them. That's pretty much the only difference between the Home Edition (free) and the Pro Edition (costs). The free product is updated about every three days. Avast A/V (both the free and commercial product) has a beautiful GUI. But while its GUI is great, its efficiacy as a good A/V product is not so great, having one of the lowest scores at finding and removing viruses and other malware. But it is probably the "best" free A/V product.
2) AVG A/V Home Edition (the latest version, with the latest A/V signatures) is a fair-to-middling A/V produt. It seems to be the most popular of all the "free" products. But it just does not measure up as well as it could, or should, having a very low score when it comes to finding and removing malware.

I can't think of another "free" product which is efficious at it's job of finding and removing malware, so there is no third product in the list.

Any of the three commercial products above are relatively "trustworthy", and do a good job of protecting the user from attacks which are out of his control. Knowing my aversion to "free" products, I cannot say with any certainty that either of the two listed "free" products are "trustworthy".

I can say with certainty that I've never gotten infected using ANY of the 5 products listed above. But I use OTHER methods to help keep my computer clean.

Which brings me to the MOST IMPORTANT methods for keeping malware-free:
1) NEVER click on links in E-mail. This is the NUMBER ONE way viruses get onto computers. Which is why so many hackers use "social engineering" in e-mail messages to get their malware on unsuspecting user's HD's.
2) STAY AWAY from Internet Porn sites. PERIOD!!!
3) STAY AWAY from P2P programs!!! Get your music and software the HONEST way, and BUY it, and you will be kept from a GREAT DEAL of malware. P2P programs are probably the SECOND-MOST dangerous programs, after e-mail clients, that hackers use to insidiously take over machines.
4) Do your BEST to STAY AWAY from websites which are based BEHIND the former "Iron Curtain". While the best A/V products are produced by programmers and companies which are based in the former Soviet Union, the best hackers are also based there.
5) ALWAYS make sure your Browser's "Phishing" controls are TURNED ON when entering unknown territory.
6) KEEP your computer education UP-TO-DATE!!! Many older viruses and other forms of malware are STILL taking a hugh toll on ignorant and misinformed users, when they should have all fallen by the wayside by now, and consigned to the bone-yard of useless malware.

As you can see, the individual user is the MOST-IMPORTANT link in his anti-malware "fence". NEVER depend on others to do what only you can do for yourself. Ultimately, NO anti-malware product can do what only you can do.

And NEVER let your EGO get in the way of proper security measures. Personally, I would rather be safe than sorry. In the end, YOU are the ONLY ONE you can trust.

Donald McDaniel

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You're right
by darkdestiny7 / May 26, 2007 12:45 PM PDT

I've been recently visiting P2P websites for song downloads, partly because there's no retail stores that provide the album at all! Am forbidden from buying things via online that is UNNECESSARY. SiteAdvisor had listed that site as "safe", compared to another source that was proved to be a moderate threat.

Have also come across sites like a web browser game in Swirve.com many times, but I didn't know it has a moderate threat to spyware (partly because of the many ads, gruesome or meaningless, that had been appearing on that site too many times.

The rest of the pointers you listed out are already taken care of, except for the last bit. I usually get myself updated on whatever that had infected my computer for the past few years. But most of them are forgotten as I move on to my work.

Well, I believe getting a new AV will be just enough for spending my own money on. Suites disappointed me for years, slowing down my computers that has less than 1 GB. ZoneAlarm Firewall, although I don't know how effective it is, will be my firewall choice, unless I find a better paid one in retail stores.

Pardon me if I repeated myself from other posts.

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Which A/V?
by XPonMac / May 28, 2007 2:44 AM PDT
In reply to: You're right

Browse on over to <http://www.wilderssecurity.com>
If you are careful about which forums you have a membership on, it will surely wind up near the top of your "Most Valuable Favorites" list, if not the top.

Many security pros, as well as many very knowledgable users, post there, including employees of the featured security suites/applications.

You'll feel "right-at-home" there.

Plus, most of the posters are very polite and helpful.

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Definitely a discussion to read (see this link)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2007 4:31 AM PDT
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My opinion
by mssoot / May 26, 2007 5:16 AM PDT

Ive not tried them all but one in particular keeps coming up
Norton. Over the years (since about 486's) Ive had problems one time or another with Nortons suites. I used to really like their AV but the rest of it outside defrag usually caused major problems sooner or later. 2 years ago I was forced to dump Norton due to spontaneous rebooting directly tracked to an update to live update. I also had allot of problems with the AV being crippled by nasty malwares.
Others I have dumped have been adaware and spybot as there were also sooner or latter defeated and never seemed to be updated often enough.
From that aspect I found that McAfee has held up pretty well for AV and firewall portions. Zone alarm is OK but I dont think most problems are firewall issues as much as malware. McAfee in combination with defender and firefox mostly seem to hold up reasonably well when used in conjunction with good judgment as to what you visit and download and run.
The real crux of most problems is bad judgment generally referred to as pebkac (problem exists between keyboard and chair). This is where the real protection battlefront. Even the best software cant overcome stupidity.

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RE: My opinion
by darkdestiny7 / May 26, 2007 1:47 PM PDT
In reply to: My opinion

True. Though I am a big fan of Norton products, and have been using their anti-virus products for years until 2004, but I've been disappointed with their internet security suite; my computer runs twice as slow as compared to using Norton AV 2004.

And talking about Norton, I've been considering, together with that for Kaspersky AV, to get Norton 360. I feel it'll be great "for home and student use. Although I already got a pre-installed backup creation software (ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery function), I think Norton 360 will be one of my top choices. Will compare its price to some other security softwares in the retail market. BTW, I'll doubt Norton 360 will conflict with other softwares like Spybot and Ad-Aware.

And there's no need to go any further to find better ones. I'll do that when the time (when I'm working) comes.

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Ah, yes...
by darkdestiny7 / May 26, 2007 2:54 PM PDT
In reply to: RE: My opinion

I've just been reading some articles in PC World, and found a good network monitor program, called AOL Active Security Monitor. I'm not quite sure if it's really useful, but I'll try it someday.

I've always wanted to observe who's connected to my laptop, so may look into more products elsewhere to try.

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Anti-Spyware and Firewall
by darkdestiny7 / May 28, 2007 11:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Ah, yes...

I'm considering getting rid of PC-cillin IS 2007's firewall, since it's only average. I'm considering getting ZoneAlarm as an alternative, but I am not sure if it'll be better if I buy the paid firewall instead.

Also, I know that having more than 1 anti-spyware software is recommended. But, apart from having anti-virus protection (when my PC-cillin expired), and Spybot and Ad-Aware, what other anti-spyware products can I use?

Wish I could have continued using internet security suites without any glitches found. May get Norton 360 soon as my Norton IS 2006 in my other computer(s) will expire very soon.

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Good Luck
by mssoot / August 17, 2009 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: RE: My opinion

Unless Norton has done a 180 from recent times Id stay away from it. Ever since Symantec got involved they went down the toilet IMHO

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