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2/23/07 Is Windows Live OneCare all I need for security protection?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 22, 2007 3:58 AM PST
Question:

With all the new spyware and virus protection programs
and security systems out there, I thought I would try out the
new all-in-one system called "Windows Live OneCare." Now that
I installed it, do I still need all the other protection I
have such as (Spybot - Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware SE, and
SpywareBlaster)? I try to keep my computer clean and safe; I
hope I have the best installed. Can you have ever have too
much protection? Is Windows Live OneCare something I can
depend on solely for protecting my PC? If not, what would
other all-in-one security packages would you recommend?

Submitted by: James R.

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Answer:


James,

For what it's worth, spyware and viruses, while often lumped into one big category are, in fact, two ever so slightly different critters. It may seem like a matter of mincing words, but a virus, by definition, is something that causes harm to your computer--something that replaces program files, guaranteeing the virus runs every time you execute a program. Modern viruses tend to take over your computer to send out spam, launch denial of service attacks, and the like. They tend to make things run really, REALLY slow.

Spyware, on the other hand, by definition is a program that (as the name suggests) spies on you--it reads where you've visited on the Web, sending that information back to usually nefarious sources who use that information for whatever purpose.

Spyware's kissing cousin--adware--by definition, is a program that hijacks your Web browsing experience by serving up pop-up ads, redirecting you to Web sites that have nothing to do with where YOU want to go.

Now, here is where things get tricky. While Symantec, Trend Micro, McAfee, Panda, AVG and most of the other big name antivirus people will generally agree on what a virus is - there is NO 100% consensus on what is spyware or adware.

A few years ago, a number of companies tried creating a consortium of sorts to come up with a general agreement on what actually constitutes spyware and adware. When one of the more notorious companies that actually created (and may still be creating more) spy/adware actually was allowed to join this consortium, it was like the wolf was among the sheep and the whole project pretty much failed. The lesson learned from this: People can be bought and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

As it is now, it never hurts to have multiple solutions - i.e. spyware and adware killers - installed. Why? Because we're still at step 1 - defining what IS and what ISN'T spyware/adware. What one application (AdAware, for instance) considers spyware/adware, another might let slide entirely while the other program may find offense at an application that the first totally ignores. And the third might find something that the other two completely missed.

As far as Windows Live OneCare goes - the jury's still out. Sure, Microsoft has invested plenty in creating the product, but like any version 1.0 product, there are bound to be issues.

But then again, nothing IS perfect. There have been few issues with Symantec products in the past year - and it's been around for years. I'm sure, if someone wanted to be really annoying, they could find vulnerability in a basic "Hello World" program to exploit.

So, for what it's worth, it's probably not a bad idea to keep AdAware, Spybot and the SpywareBlaster around and run them regularly! Ok.. So the three of them might suck up maybe 100 MB of your hard drive, but disk space is cheap. At any rate, it's cheap insurance that's free for the most part.

But the key thing to remember is to RUN them periodically - once a week, at least or at the first sign that your computer is doing something funny or starting to run slower than usual. These apps will do you absolutely NO good just sitting on your hard drive unless you USE them.


Submitted by: Pete Z. of Los Angeles, CA
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Honorable mentions
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 22, 2007 3:59 AM PST
Answer:

Hi James,
the short answer to your question is "No, you absolutely cannot depend on Windows Live Onecare to protect your PC!" Look up the archives and blogs in CNET, Techrepublic, ZDNet, etc., and you will find several articles covering security exposures not picked up by Onecare. You will also find an informative article entitled "When is a firewall not a firewall? Answer - when it's Windows Vista firewall." and XP firewall is even worse, with no pretence to be two way. My advice to you is to uninstall Onecare and get some real protection. The one exception in their package is Windows Defender, the spyware scanner. This was originally written by Giant Software and was a very good product then. Microsoft inherited this quality when they bought the company. It does, perhaps unsurprisingly, ignore Microsoft products that might be regarded as spyware, such as Windows Genuine Advantage, etc. But definitely worth keeping.

My personal preference is ZoneAlarm Security Suite Version 7, about US $70 or so - see <www.zonelabs.com> where there is presently a $20 off special offer. Version 7 has only been released a little over a month, it's big advantage over Version 6 is that the previous anti-virus element from CA has been replaced with Kaspersky based anti-virus engine, generally regarded as the "Gold Standard" among anti-virus products. The VET definitions update every hour, on the hour, so you are always up to date. The only (minor) downside is that the weekly scheduled deep scan takes much longer than its predecessor, my 1.5 GHz Centrino laptop with an 80 GB HDD takes about 4 hours to scan. It does this in the background, so you can work alongside it, though disk access performance is impacted. Apart from the deep scan, the overhead on the system is minimal, much less than McAfee or Norton, for example. There is an industry strength anti-spyware element, along with anti-phishing protection and email and identity protection, as well as the strongest personal firewall around.

If you want to check it out, they offer a free 15 day evaluation, though the usefulness might be limited by its auto-learn mode. I don't think the evaluation version comes out of auto-learn mode. Essentially, the firewall has a "database" of known "good" and "bad" programs and on initial installation, it uses this database to "learn" your computer usage and set appropriate permissions. During this time, it operates in medium security mode. If you know what you want, you can override this to set your own level of protection. After 7-21 days, when it thinks it "knows" your usage pattern, it switches to Stealth mode and tightens the security settings.

There are other popular personal firewalls and integrated packages but I've never used them and I'm sure other members will explain what they do and what their benefits are.

McAfee and Norton also offer integrated suites and while they are more comprehensive than Onecare, they, particularly McAfee, are rather heavy on system resources.

If you prefer to use a cheaper solution, you can achieve a secure environment with free products, though they won't be an integrated suite. It can be argued that, in this way, you are getting the best of all worlds by mixing and matching the best individual products. If you want to try this approach, I'd suggest ZoneAlarm V7 Free Firewall, AVG or Avast anti-virus and Windows Defender active spyware scanner, with Ad-aware SE for weekly deep scans. Again, this is a personal preference and other contributors will have their own favourites.

Your second question, should you get rid of all your other spyware scanners, I'd say absolutely not. It's a well known characteristic of spyware that no one product finds all infections. You probably want only one active scanner but keep the others, or at least Ad-aware and Spybot S&D, for weekly scans. Spysweeper is an excellent product also but isn't free.

In summary, there is no such thing as a 100% secure economic consumer PC but with the with a suitable selection of the products available, you can build a sufficiently strong security fence to deter the ne'er-do-wells and persuade them to go play elsewhere. But don't forget your regular backups for your ultimate protection.

Good luck!

Submitted by: Sav. M. of the United Kingdom

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Answer:


Windows Live OneCare is just a minimal protection according to many analysts. Some do say that you may actually be better without it as it can lead you to a false sense of security.

Yes, you definitively still need your familiar set of protective programs and utilities. Start by a good firewall offering both inbound AND outbound filtering, if it also offers compartmental and change monitoring, all the better. There are some very good to excellent FREE offerings out there. Personally, I use Kerio personal firewall, free for personal domestic use (with periodic nags). That's your second line of defense, the first one been a healthy dose of paranoia and some common sense.

Your next line of defense is a good antivirus. Chose one that offers frequent definitions updates, daily if possible. Grisoft's AVG free happens to fill that spot very nicely.
Next, you need to protect yourself against spywares, adwares and various other pests. Those that you mentioned are real good at that task.

Personally, I would stay clear of those "all-in-one" solutions. WHY? If there is a breach affecting one component, it may well affect ALL individual components, leaving you completely defenseless. When you use individual applications from different developers, they all use different technology. If there is a flaw in one of them, it's extremely unlikely that it could also affect any one other application, leaving you with a shaken, but still mostly functional, security net. Also, those all-in-one will usually cost much more. Finally, you can build, for completely FREE, a better all around fortification for your computer that what you can buy from most leading security firms.
You can add another layer of protection: use a wired router between your computer and your modem. Any decent router comes with an integrated, hardware, inbound firewall, and good ones operate in stealth mode: all 65536 of your ports are acting as black holes to probes. A passing hacker won't see your computer(s) behind the router, and may not even be able to see that there is anything there if you have stealth mode.

Another good practice, is to put downloaded files in a quarantine folder for a few day. This way, if the file contains some brand new nasty code, you give time for your antivirus to receive the appropriate signature file and detect the threat.

Submitted by: Alain

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Answer:


Safety in numbers

I doubt if there will ever be a true all in one solution to the activities of online criminals and wreckers. Although some of the packages available are fairly comprehensive in nature, the task of meeting so many and varied threats is, in my opinion, best met by a number of separate defences. Personally I use Norton, Defender, SpyBot and a couple of others on a routine basis. I also like to keep an eye on the 'defence scene' through various sites including CNet. I believe that, provided you take sensible precautions, there's no need to get too paranoid about the dark side but I would also caution against an all eggs in one basket situation.

Submitted by: Peter C.

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Answer:


James - I started using WindowsLiveOneCare when it was still in beta. When Microsoft finally offered the finished product for a reduced price of $19.95 to the beta testers I bought it. What I liked most about the OneCare was the back-up feature. There are a lot of anti-virus and anti-spyware programs out there but I am not aware of them offering this feature. Not long after I purchased OneCare an icon in my taskbar came on saying that my firewall wasn't connected. I went to security and checked and the firewall was on. I couldn't get the icon to go away either. It was always flashing a red alert. The update feature also stopped working right. I contacted Microsoft support and they were very supportive but nothing they suggested I try worked. After uninstalling and reinstalling four times I gave up. Too bad, it wasn't a bad program when it was working. I do think there are a lot better anti-virus and anti-spyware programs available. And some of the best are free. After trying Norton, AVG, Ashampoo anti-virus, The Shield, and a couple of others, I now have Avast! on my computer. It is free and the best I have tried. It found a couple of Trojans in my system restore that no other program had found. It also found some malware that was missed by these programs.

You can never be too safe. Even if you have the OneCare I would suggest you back it up with a few others. I have ZoneAlarm Pro firewall (although you can get it free and it is great), spywareblaster, Ad-Aware SE, WinPatrol (great little program that is offered free), and Trend Micro Anti-spyware on my computer right now. I have used the Windows Defender and it is a good program but with my WinPatrol I didn't need it. I have also used the Spybot Search and Destroy another good program. After trying a lot of different programs I have settled on the ones I now have because they do a great job and none of them bog down my computer. I have also found that these products have a good support system which is important to me. Good luck.


Submitted by: Anita T.

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Answer:


Concerning the all-in-one protection for PC:

From my use of Windows Live security suite, I found it to be lightweight in its results. I was able to go back with other applications and find a great deal overlooked and left behind in my PC. It is best to not run a variety of the same type of security app - they will compete with each other potentially cancelling their effectiveness, or even locking up.

For over two years I have been running ZoneAlarm (the free version), Computer Associates EZ Anti-virus and System Mechanic. I am constantly on the Internet using a broadband connection with many online services for my business including banking. I buy, sell and shop regularly on the Net, along with downloading free apps, articles and more.

Once set up, these three tools are relatively easy to use and maintain. I have had no security problems at all. My e-mail delivers directly through Outlook Express, and CA EZ Anti-virus zaps anything that tries to get in (usually their first year of service is free). Get the EZ Anti-virus, not the security suite. Get the ZoneAlarm free, I bought the full firewall package - but uninstalled it and went back to the free version due to restriction hassles. Initially you have to respond to a lot of alerts for your applications that require Internet access, but that will soon subside once you have checked and allowed them access. After you get ZoneAlarm, you will likely be offered a discount on purchasing System Mechanic - which I use for their anti-spyware; registry back-up & defrag; system file & Internet privacy clean-up; and system memory optimization. Stay away from the automated clean up and optimization functions on the main screen (I have repeatedly had them 'clean up' important settings files and preferences for some of my applications). There are a few initial set up details to keep things simple, and to minimize these apps running in the background and trying to 'phone home'.

I use graphic development software, music studio software and web design applications that require my memory to be free. Most security applications (like Norton) tie into too much of your system and slow everything down. These three apps have afforded me the best use of my system's memory while giving me a secure, clean, fast PC environment for on and off the Net.

Just for the record, I am a relatively lazy person who looks for the easiest way to get something done effectively; hate conundrums with my software; and rely heavily upon my applications to get my work done for me. I don't like fiddling with tools anymore than I have to. These apps listed above have worked well, keeping my PC life safe and simple.

'Nuff said.

Submitted by: GC
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All in one solution
by toady769 / February 23, 2007 9:38 AM PST
In reply to: Honorable mentions

Hi, For years I have run multi programs to try to rid the system of nasties, anything marked microsoft I do not trust, only today an auto update put me and thousands of dial up users in Australia ofline, there is one product that catches most things it is called Bit Defender, try thier online scanner it really opened my eyes.

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Another All-in-One Solution
by EBChasSC / February 23, 2007 1:50 PM PST
In reply to: All in one solution

After using McAfee on several computers for years and having some generally bad experiences with Norton which came installed on several computers, I switched to Panda Platinum Security Suite on the advice of a friend who owns a small computer business locally. It was the program that he eventually started putting on computers he sold.

With it the computers seem to run faster since it is supposed to have less overhead and it generally updates several times a day. I'm embarrassed to say that on initial installation, it has picked up over 100 spyware programs left on certain computers which had a subscription to McAfee installed on them.

I've only had one problem with it in which it was actually too vigorous in protecting a computer. It blocked continuous downloading of real time data from Yahoo Market Tracker. This may be due to Yahoo's tendency to slip spyware in with their products. I haven't had any problems with the TD Ameritrade real time data. I e-mailed their tech support and surprisingly got a fairly rapid response and exchanged e-mails with them to work out the problem. Can you believe it ... coherent Tech support that actually responds to a customer? Now, I did try exhaustively to resolve the problem before contacting them and I think they appreciated that.

I don't know how Panda compares to some of the better programs that some people seem to praise, but I think it worth consideration in comparison to other products. I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned on this site. Personally, I know it's a lot better than Norton or McAfee. McAfee puts spyware on your computer and doesn't disinfect or block its "business partners". Also, the most recent version of McAfee makes it very difficult to impossible to share network connections with networked computers that don't have McAfee installed.

The current version of Panda can be installed on three computers per license which, I think, also makes it a value at around $70-$80 for a yearly subscription.

I'd be interested in knowing how others think it compares to more recognizable products.

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Been there done that
by leviellard / February 27, 2007 8:42 AM PST

First let me deal with Panda. Their support is awful. I imagine that they have a very slim support team here in the US. And, in regard to their product offering, not only have they never caught anything in any of the scans I've run, but their CD came loaded with the Win32.CTX virus (a very nasty beast that required I reformat my drive and reinstall all applications). Their answer was that they include some viruses in their program for comparison purposes. What an unbelievably lame response. The virus was on their CD. Fortunately (and this is a small comfort relative to the heartache I went through with this virus), I had recently installed Avast, which picked up the CTX virus and several trojans since. After trying numerous products including: Bit Defender, Norton, McAfee, AVG, Kaspersky, etc. I'd have to say Avast is tops.
In addition to my bugaboo about Panda, they have the nerve to charge for their Antispywatre Scanner, which does actually work quite well. But if you buy a suite, you'd think they'd put their best products in that suite. Not with Panda. They keep it out so as to get additional revenues from the scanner.
On the subject of scanners, Trend Micro's Housecall is a good product (and free as well), which catches spyware that others don't.
I've become paranoid about security because rebuilding your computer from scratch is not something you want to do, ever, so I run several spyware programs, all of which pick up on different aspects of spyware. These include AdAware Pro, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, SpySweeper and Spyware Doctor. Maybe I've gone overboard, but you certainly don't want to be caught with your pants down and have some intruder stealing your valuables.
I also run Norton Suite, but have found their firewall to be lacking and so will be looking to replace that component.
And coming back to anti-virus programs, I keep all the good ones on my system, and acttivate and deactivate each one separately to ensure nothing slips by: my primary program is Avast (which is free and I've found to be the best), but I also have AVG, Bit Defender and NOD32 in reserve.
Finally, one point on support which has been mentioned in several responses. I have System Mechanic Pro installed. It comes with Anti-Virus and Firewall protection, but their support sucks beyond belief, and so I've disabled these two components-not because they're bad, but because Iolo just doesn't staff their support with more than a handful of incompetent slobs who never respond to support queries. Iolo thinks that giving you back references to their knowledgebase is enough support, which it isn't of course! They search on individual words in your request rather than the concept you are questioning and if you don't like their response from the knowledgebase, they give you the opportunity to say so, but then never respond to your issue. Just try calling them and you'll know what the definition of rotton support really is!
In summary, stay away from Panda and Iolo because of support issues. Use an umbrella suite, something like Zone Alarm or Norton, but don't rely on these exclusively. Load up on the good anti-spyware programs mentioned and have several antivirus programs as backup, that you can run individually (by uninstalling and reinstalling), but use a good base anti-virus product like Avast or AVG. Finally, get a good firewall (zone Alarm seems to get high marks from everyone, but there are others), and if you have more than 1 PC running through a router, make sure the router is safeguarded with strong password protection.
Be prepared to have your computer indisposed for at least 10 hours per week, otherwise it'll be just a matter of time before you're tring to recover from some infection that has no antibiotic.

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Too much a load for too litle knowledge
by trialmanager / February 23, 2007 8:11 PM PST
In reply to: Honorable mentions

The question is a good one, because I suspect that, among us, maybe one in a million really understands the guts of a PC AND of the good or bad health of the system running.

That said, I'm an ignorant. Sorry. Nonetheless, as you all do, I need to survive and keep my main PC alive, a Dell Latitude D400 laptop with 1,024 of RAM and about 40 GB of HD. That's right, I wrote "main". Because I also bought and own a very slow and junky desktop. What for? You guessed it. To test what everyone says about this and that. To filter what is ignorance from knowledge. To filter what is stealh marketing in the "friendly" recomendations from the true value and service delivered by the product.

How do I do it? Well, I charge my junck PC against the red sites in the McAffee (free) Site Advisor. Usually I look for the really mean code cracking guys. I donwload everything and run everything. So far, so ... bad. The results were not so good. What one product blocks, the others blocks too. What one doesn't, the others don't. In the end, I wash everything (no, I don't put the PC guts in the dishwasher machine - thoug ...), by restoring the system to the previous (clean) condition.

Nonetheless, I learnt something.
To use Firefox, instead of IE, and always deleting all the private data and cookies after each session. To keep my Symantec antiv

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One Care Doesn't care
by twitch0201 / February 23, 2007 11:25 PM PST
In reply to: Honorable mentions

I purchased OneCare over a year ago and I thought it to be a good thing. Then I found myself looking at a OneCare alert about a virus that had infected my system. I ran my scanner and Onecare found the file but was unable to quarantine, repair it, or delete it. I was at a loss. Could the great engineers at Microsoft create something that doesn't work? I then grabbed the disk that came with my mobo which had Norton 2005 on it and installed it. First time through Norton scanned my system and found the infected files and either cleaned or killed them. The ONLY useful features in the whole program are the back up and tune up features because virus,adware, and spyware protection. The protection aspect is not up to par with the rest of the companies that have similar software. I actually wrote to Microsoft and suggested the maybe take a few notes from the folk over a Symantec.

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Other additional advice from our members
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 22, 2007 3:59 AM PST

Answer:

A number of software companies have developed all in one protection packages, one care from Microsoft is similar to all of these yet it has some subtle differences. As far as protection is concerned one care is as good as many others it consists of a firewall which blocks both incoming and outgoing connections an anti virus tool & a spyware tool. The main difference between one care and other software packages is that one care also has a system which backs up your system should a disaster occur.

As far as protection is concerned all programs have strengths and weakness, one care in this respect is no better or worse than any others. Some would argue that Norton, or Zonealarm etc were better and no doubt in one area or another they may have better functionality. This is simply due to the way these software packages are developed and in most instances these all in one systems are based on a collection of different components developed separately by a number of vendors who then license the technology to say Norton who then incorporate into their own protection system.

As far as relying on one care as your sole system, you would be fine as long as you remember to keep your computer updated with the latest updates, don?t open bogus e-mails and simply be internet savvy. And while it would not hurt to have a second spyware tool it would not be imperative.

While I have used one care (as part of the beta testing team) I went back to Zonealarm, only because I was used to its interface and use Firefox as my browser, which helps in protection. So if you like the interface simply use it.

Submitted by: Phil

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Answer:


In response to James R question on security I would answer "never trust one program to do it all!!"
My advice to James would be you still need a number of things but they need not cost a bundle. For more than 2 years now my PC is protected with free programs.
1) you need an anti-virus that updates daily;I have avast and it is serving me well, it does warn me when there is a virus threat.
2) if you have windows xp by all means install the fire wall
3) I have also downloaded a profram called hitman pro which is a compiation of free programs such as Spybot, Adaware and others. The beauty of this program is that it runs all of them in an automated way, removes all threats and closes your PC when its done. So I run it once a week when I am finished working and no longer need my PC
4) Finally, don't forget your plain old common sense when you go on the internet, just as there are areas in all towns you better avoid alone at night, there are website you better leave alone. If you are new to the internet download MacAfee site advisor and install it. As long as the button is green you are in a relative safe neighborhood, if the colour changes you better get the hell out of there.

Good luck

Submitted by: Willy D.


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Answer:


Well James,
It really depends on your system, particularly regarding your RAM memory and disk space. As you are using Ad-Aware SE in your system i.e. your system is Win2K or above, this should not be a problem.
It is best to use a broadband connection. A modem dial-up may slow down your connection. .
Another concern could be conflicts. You may have to configure Windows Live One Care to avoid scanning the Ad-Aware, Spybot and SpywareBlaster databases or upgrade folders and/or vice versa.
The hackers and virus programmers usually, not always,but usually write viruses to attack Windows software and operating systems, so don't uninstall your other programs. Just carry on updating them regularly.
If there are any problems with OneCare then either disable it and wait for an upgrade and install that instead or uninstall it altogether. Judging by the user reviews this product is not pulling up any trees. ZoneAlarm is a very good filtering software which is freely available. Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall 4.3.635 has just come out and looks well worth a try.
If you are going to try a few new applications, try them out one at a time to check for compatibility. That way, if there is a problem, you know the last installed application is causing the problem.
So, to clarify, you can use as many Firewalls, Spyware/Popup Killers and Anti-Virus softwares as you wish as long as there are no conflicts,
plenty of disk space and enough RAM to do these jobs simultaneously. The old saying is, 'The more locks, the weaker the door.' In this case
Win2K, XP and Vista are strong enough doors.
Regards,

Submitted by: Andr

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microsoft Live One Care
by alkram / February 23, 2007 5:56 AM PST

I have 3 computers using this software for close to a year. Previously I used Symantec and Norton, and have always has some problem with upgrading or fully removing their products. Their technical support and waiting times are ridiculous.

One care is easy to use, had no problem installing, but you should remove your old protective software prior to installing and restarting your computer.

I like the fact that is removes old files, does a complete defrag when i am sleeping, and keeps my machines pretty much clean. It updates automatically and I love the way it always tells me everything is up to date.

Since it does require active matrix upon installation, please realize that is you have any pirated software, it could fine it. I do not, so i was not concerned


So, i love it, it is easy to install and use and in my experience who do i can to protect my computer is the same company that developed the systme, knows the flaw and helps to protect me

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Vista and OneCare
by brianwolters / February 23, 2007 6:33 AM PST

I've been using OneCare for nearly a year now and while 1.0 had issues, 1.5 is running good...however, I am using Vista with 1.5 now...while it works, I have had my first ever situation where someone has found my debit card through lack of security in the browser, bad site or firewall issue..not sure if it is Vista, I.E. 7 or not but this has never happened until I was on 1.5 and Vista...

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I agree
by Ed-duh-win / February 23, 2007 7:32 AM PST

I agree with you. I run OneCare on XP and its been working flawlessly. Norton was good but I like OneCare a lot more.

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"I agree with you. I run OneCare on XP and its been working
by Sid Gibson / February 25, 2007 6:42 AM PST
In reply to: I agree

The subject is the author's quote. I want to say the same thing, but how do I know if it's working any better than another suite. The pundits call it a "lite version" of the real thing, whatever that is. I use it because it's so easy to install. Use it on a Vista Desktop and a XP Laptop and it doesn't nag me to death as much as many of the others have. I took the big plunge and installed the ZoneAlarm Z100G Security Router with active firewall and antivirus protection before anything reaches my network--software updates are dowloaded automatically to the router. Zone Alarm will soon be releasing an elaborate Vista security suite. All that, along with Spyware Doctor is as far as I'm going. Everything is setup for overnight scans.

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PC Protection

I disagree with the advice given to use multiple spyware/adware protection programs. I'm using Nortons 2007 anti virus software and it has adequately protected from the spy/adware stuff. It is not, however, the best and greatest at warding off viruses, unless you factor in the ease of use factor.

One thing I didn't see mentioned in the original answer is backdoor programs. These can be placed on your computer from virus-like programs and allow others to read and even change or delete your files. These are fairly common and again, Nortons is not particularly the best product to protect from them. I know because I just uncovered a backdoor program that has allowed someone to access our network for the past two months.

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Protection Software
by mr. stephan / February 23, 2007 1:35 PM PST
In reply to: PC Protection

Here is what i use and have never had a problem unless it was someplace i should not have been in the first place and allowed it to infest me!

1. Ad-Aware personal SE

2. Nortons 2003 antivirus and not the other junk that comes with it, the other programs that come with Symetech will slow down a pc by them selves!

3. XoftSpySE Anti-Spyware
Detect spyware parasites and quarantine the infected files
for immediate and complete protection. This Program will find stuff you never knew existed, after you clean you PC with all the other programs this Program will find and kill all the other spyware, adware and trojans and virus the others missed, and i have tested this many times on PC's I have cleaneded up.
Here is the link http://www.paretologic.com/products/

As for (Live one care) LoL It is about 25% ok i guess!

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People differ, but spyware/adware and viruses are the same.
by Themisive / February 23, 2007 7:02 AM PST

To James R

Basically, what you're asking, is will this system (Windows Live OneCare) do all the jobs of anti-virus, firewall and Adware/Spyware detection, the answer is no.

Basically, invest in a GOOD anti-virus suite, preferably with a built in firewall (one that's scans both incoming and outgoing data), and stay away from Symantec products, since they use a lot of resources such as RAM (and can be difficult to remove from your system).

1) You need a really good anti-virus suite, but ONLY one.

2) Now get a good adware detection programme (Ad-aware is fine - and free), as it will also detect spyware.

3) You need something to protect your Registry, if THAT is damaged, you'll have a lot of reloading to do unless you keep a registry backup - and even then there's no guarantee that the invader has been wiped out. I have found that the best programme for this defense is one called Spywareblaster. believe it or not, it will continue to protect your registry even when the programe is not running!

4) Another good spyware detector is Spybot Search and Destroy, you can run multiple spyware/Adware detectors without problems.

5) It may very well be a good idea to get another programme (such as AVG Anti-Spyware) to run occaisonally.

For Anti-virus and firewall, I use one of the Trend Micros anti-virus suites, you'll have to pay for it, but it's worth the money. ALL the other programmes are free. I use a registered version of Ad-Aware, since it comes with a programme called Ad-Watch this also monitors your system, and stops any unwanted Adware or similar getting on the machine.

NOTE: All programmes must be updated regularly, or they're not much use. Also you must set up a regular scan schedule, for instance i scan daily with Ad-aware, Trend Micro and Spybot S & D, and run a weekly scan with AVG Anti-Spyware.

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Go further
by socrfan / February 23, 2007 7:14 AM PST

Programs like AdAware are alright but you get what you pay for and free programs, in my opinion, just aren't effective enough. It's better to buy a proven protection program like Spyware Doctor from pctools.com. There are other good commercial products out there too but I've always had good results with SD. Using your free anti-spyware programs along with this will give you a much better chance of catching the garbage trying to find it's way onto your computer.

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Multiple Spyware/Adware at the same time
by seanmba / February 23, 2007 8:13 AM PST

While I believe in being as safe as possible there are potential hazards to running too many spy/ad killers at the same time. I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 with XP Pro SP2 and Computer Associstes Security Suite. Out of nowhere I began getting the dredded blue screen DRIVER_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error having to do with NDIS.SYS, and a stack overflow error when Internet Explorer was up. After a lot of anguish, a clean install of XP, a complete hardware diagnostic, update of all drivers and the IOS, and a reinstallation of all the applications the blue screen and stack overflow were still with me.

In despiration I uninstalled all the spy/adware protection, all the registry cleaners, and reinstalled the security suite. As if by magic the blue screen and stack overflow errors stopped happening. What is strange is that I have an older desktop with exactly the same softwaer and it never had a problem.

The point is that one should be very careful, even with Microsoft approved software, about running multiple spy/ad/virus protection programs. Even when you deactivate them they can cause trouble. To date I have not determined which applications conflict with each other, but I can't afford the time and effort to find out.

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I never trust Microsoft
by jasohara / February 24, 2007 8:21 AM PST

I'm a somewhat unique baby boomer. Old enough to have seen the entire personal computing industry evolve, and interested enough to be part of it.

In 20+ years, I've had the opportunity to see and try a lot. These days, Microsoft's core business, my opinion, is Windows and Office. I use them both, and though there may be better performers out there, I'm satified enough not to look.

But things like antivirus, antispy, Windows Defender, search, etc? From MS? Fugedaboudit. I don't understand it, but MS can't find their own rear end with both hands in these areas. i haven't tried OneCare Live, simply becasue it's Microsoft and I plain don't trust them to get ANYTHING (except Windows & Office) right.

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SPYWARE
by rangema / February 23, 2007 9:04 AM PST

Ok, here's two bits from a novice. Last year sometime my system (INTERNET EPLORER)was attacked by a really annoying pop up that required logging off and back on again to get rid of. All my usual anti-spyware programs, including microsoft, did not work or even recognise the bug. An internet search provided a user recomended fix and it worked like a charm. The product was WEBROOT and I bought a subscription. I am satisfied with the product but I sometimes wonder if the problem was generated by WEBROOT to increase sales because AD-aware etc did not even detect a problem on my system.
WEBROOT works great but I still run other free programs as well.

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FORGET LINE ONECARE

my advice is, to download NOD32, it will take care of everything for you including anitvirus and anti spyware. Just forget about the other antiviruse and adware products out there, Nod32 is the best software on the market....


Samuel

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this is one i like
by ADAMSGIRL1 / February 23, 2007 11:25 AM PST

hello well i have to say i hate windows live care i had nothing but problems with it. couls never get it to repair anything. and locked up alot. i am now use Antivir Guard and love it. i use it with adavance spyware remover. good luck

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TRUST BUT VERIFY
by RHAB / February 23, 2007 11:49 AM PST
In reply to: this is one i like

YOU NEED TO WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS TO HAVE THEM INVESTIGATE THESE ANTI VIRUS COMPANIES. I suspect that they write viruses so we have to buy more protection. I would guess that McAfee, Norton & a host of others have coffee together to work out who is going to write what.
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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spyware

there is only one very good programm to find and stop the spyware......and that's www.hotmailpro.nl

5 programms in one.
regards
j.komijn

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It is so funny
by yenaro / February 23, 2007 4:53 PM PST

My girl-friends received so many spam too.

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antivirus
by san6 / February 23, 2007 7:22 PM PST

hi, ive an 11mth old acer laptop, which has been back to shop 3 times & is going back to manufacturers on monday! cos it keeps freezing & not responding to owt & running slow, its cost me

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Acer
by mr. stephan / February 26, 2007 1:31 PM PST
In reply to: antivirus

San6, how would you antivirus and spyware lock you Hard Drive, I don't think so, it could only be a bad drive, some one just wants to make money, if the hard drive is bad they need to replace it for free. Sounds like a bad drive from the time you bought it, acer is a good laptop! But they don't make the drive, and so most Drive's are warranted for 1 to 3 years depends on model and brand some are even 5 year warranty

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Live OneCare and the rest from Microsoft.

I read with interest a clear answer given by Pete Z, except the American expression " kissing cousins". [Not sure about the intensity of American(not all Americans only Yanks) cousion relationships]
We are often forced into a tunnel vision and fail to ask simple,and obvious questions.

Why are all the demons around Microsoft products and not around Apple Operating Systems?
Do not get me wrong. I have used Microsoft OS and still use them. However I have drawn a line at XP Pro.

If Microsoft really really wanted to provide protection then Live OneCare is not the answer. A safe OS is the answer.I am sure they had a lot of opportunities to put things right.

Yes Microsoft has made millions from selling us all the stuff and we liked it, though ,perhaps doped by publicity to accept it as the only answer to our needs, not any more.

I have decided to go Apple. They are no angels if you have some experience of dealing with them but their OS is better thus far.

Shafiq Khan

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But, the question is ...
by trialmanager / February 26, 2007 5:22 PM PST

... the owner of the problem already bought a Windows machine.
Besides, no one will bother to atack less than 1% of the OS market.
And I do suspect that, if a macbook was charged with a total of 80 processes on the sartup, including the local area network software processes, I would like to see it running.

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spyware
by lrb1712 / February 23, 2007 10:44 PM PST

IMHO I have them all, Micro$oft, Trend Micro, Panda and all the rest. I received a Mal ware Trojan with Micro$oft so I tried the all. I settled on Norton internet Security and have been safe and sound so far for over a 1.5 years. This of course does not mean you will. A safe rule of thumb on surfing in surf safe, "if you walk in the mud, you will get dirty" I also dumped IE7 and went to Firefox 2.0 or Opera, these cause far less trouble and I like them better. I also went to Mozilla mail called Thunderbird. Since the change I have been safe and sound.

Best of Luck with surfing and use CNET as a close guide!

Randy

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Why PC Speed has reduced even after regular cleaning?

Hi,

I am a silent member of CNET. I have a branded PC with Windows XP Professional (Purchased in Sept., 2006), 256 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, Intel Chipset based Motherboard. I am using IE 7.0. I had Windows onecare installed previously. The speed of my PC started decreasing since Nov. 06. I thought its due to Windows onecare which used to run scans & other application quite frequently. I have uninstalled it few days back & using McAfee 10-in-1 2007. Inspite of this change, the speed has decreased drastically and sometimes, It takes almost 5-10 mins.to boot. It takes 10-20 secs. to shift to another window. Opening up a new window also takes a lots of time. Moreover, I use CCleaner regularly and Registry Mechanic to clean registry. I keep on doing defragmentation of Hard disk on regular intervals. It helps for a while but the problem persists.

Pls suggest what should I do to speedup the system.

Regards,

rupgill

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Why PC Speed has reduced even after regular cleaning?
by tigercat1963 / February 26, 2007 2:42 PM PST

1. Get More Ram
2. Get Ride of ccleaner an registry mechanic, these programs harm your registry, doing more harm than good.

3. Get Nod32, it is the Best Antivirus and adware remover on the market

An finally you may have to do a clean install of windows to fix your problems. I have used ccleaner an registry mechanic for a while an everytime I had to reinstall the operating system to fix my problems.

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