Windows Vista forum

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What Security Does Vista Need?

by Howlleo / August 20, 2007 11:42 PM PDT

My new laptop is around 6 times as powerful as my former one, but thanks to Vista, it runs about the same speed. I'm not eager to slow it down with protective software, so I don't want to load anything unnecessary.

I hear that Vista has a decent firewall, if you can turn on the "outbound protection".
- Is it really good, or should I disable it and download ZoneAlarm?

Also, there's that nuisance of a program that pops up every time you try to make a change; does that replace Spybot?

And Microsoft Defender: is it any good, or do I need Ad-Aware, AVG Anti-spyware, etc?

And so on.

On my last computer I had AVG Anti-virus, rootkit, anti-spyware. I also had Ad-aware, Zonealarm, Spybot, and Spyware Doctor. How much of that do I need for Vista?

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Since Defender doesn't protect against ALEXA...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 21, 2007 3:41 AM PDT

I'll pan MS Defender since it allows spyware such as ALEXA a pass into the system. But I'll move on to what I'm using without any issues.

1. Free AVG AntiVirus.
2. A browser other than IE or any that is IE based.
- This sidesteps the issues with IE so I don't have to deal with it.
3. For spyware I may scan with the microscanner from but nothing nasty is found due to the non-IE use.

Since I have a fine backup system I am currently testing with the stock firewall and so far so good except for those sites that Microsoft deems to be fine but I disagree (Alexa for example.)

Let me close that as long as Microsoft give a pass to ANY spyware such as Alexa or others they own then they are not a viable vendor for antivirus or other protection software.

To answer your question, for me the Vista firewall is fair but I'll move to Zone Alarm or another when my testing time is up. The reason is simple. Microsoft has a less than airtight solution.


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Simple suggestion
by santuccie / August 24, 2007 11:28 AM PDT

Vista's self-protection is considerably stronger than that of previous Windows operating systems, and news articles are now starting to say it's actually more secure than Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS-X. But it's not invincible (at least not out of the box), and you should still deploy at least the traditional, three-pronged security apparatus. How about a free, all-in-one solution? Open up an e-mail account with AOL, and you can download McAfee SecurityCenter absolutely free:

Let me quickly point out that my opinion of McAfee was not always a positive one, and I do pay attention to more than just consumer reviews or market share. McAfee's performance last fall left me with a bad taste in my mouth, after two worms broke right through its defenses (and the defenses of many other products) and installed an IRC botnet Trojan. But McAfee greatly impressed me when they turned right around and added NIDS to their personal firewall products, as well as a few other nifties.

McAfee SecurityCenter special edition from AOL includes contiguous antivirus/antispyware, as well as personal firewall, Intrusion Detection, IP tracing, and even script blocking, which can defend you against the new MPack that's being installed on servers everywhere. Although not of particular importance, a fun fact to know is that McAfee happens to be the only security vendor with ICSA certification in all three categories of traditional endpoint security: antivirus, antispyware, and PC firewall.

After a few months of using this product, and not without a bit of noxious browsing to test its resistance to attack, let me say that I am VERY impressed with it. I have been working on a website with pictorial, step-by-step instructions on locking the core to make Windows invincible, yet all has been quiet since I deployed McAfee by itself. Periodic on-demand scans of my system with AVG Anti-Spyware, Trend Micro, a-squared, Windows Live OneCare, and McAfee; as well as frequent checkups with HijackThis and IceSword have revealed no infections at all; not even simple adware. A visit to a hostile webpage caused Internet Explorer to freeze for several seconds, before an alert popped up on my screen to tell me that a script was causing it to run slowly, and could make my system unresponsive if allowed to continue. I was able to terminate the perpetrator right there, preventing the compromise of my XP machine.

McAfee SecurityCenter, while surprisingly powerful, is actually quite reasonable on system resources. If it can run on my $500, bottom-of-the-line Compaq desktop machine; it should be light as a feather on your powerful, new Vista workhorse. If you want extra outbound protection, you could install PC Tools ThreatFire ( ), formerly Novatix Cyberhawk; but the average user shouldn't need much (if anything) more than SecurityCenter by itself. Hope this helps!

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