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Zone Alarm AND Norton Internet Security AND Windows Defender

by BridgetW / February 4, 2008 8:43 PM PST

I just got a computer with Vista pre-installed; I also installed Norton Internet Security. According to Norton, I should not be using Windows Defender AND Internet Security. I'm not sure how (and if) I should undo the Defender options. ALSO, I have always used Zone Alarm and loved it...but I figured since I have a firewall installed with Norton I shouldn't download Zone Alarm. Is that correct?

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Only use one firewall
by PudgyOne / February 5, 2008 2:32 AM PST

Vista has a firewall that works both way. XP and earlier version of Windows didn't. That's when Zone Alarm played an important role.

Norton, depending on what you purchased, has a firewall. Norton is a resource hog and slows down your computer. It's your option on which firewall to use, Vista or Norton's.

Windows Defender comes with Vista. It seems to work well. Windows Defender also slows down your computer. I tried using Windows Defender with XP and since it was slowing down my computer, I decided to un-install it. Unknown if you can un-install this with Vista. I would consider disabling it.

I setup my sister's computer. She has Vista. I added Avast Free home edition as her virus protection. I left everything else install, including Windows Defender. She uses the Vista Firewall. I never really got into the spyware issue with her because she only reads her emails and does limited things. I did go to Windows Updates and installed all the recommended updates for her. I gave her the latest Java. I then told here to go here and download the Update Checker. Had her update the FREE items. If you pay for the items, I told her to let those programs update on their own. If you update a paid program, you may have to pay over again.

Hope this helps.


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Briget, just some general guidelines:
by Paul C / February 7, 2008 8:25 AM PST

1. NEVER run more than one antivirus program.

2. NEVER run more than one firewall.

3. You can run multiple antispyware applications (in fact I recommend it), but NEVER run more than one as a resident scanner; make one resident and manually scan with the others.

What Symantec is telling you is that since Norton Internet Security has a resident scanner, there may be a conflict between its antispyware component and Windows Defender if both are allowed full time resident scanning privileges. Just make sure that ONE antispyware app is resident and actively scanning at ALL times.


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Feel better now!
by BridgetW / February 9, 2008 10:43 AM PST

Thanks for your input..your reply was very helpful. One question...can recommend some antispyware applications? I'm pretty much behind in technology, so I don't know where to look.

Thanks again,

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Here goes:
by Paul C / February 9, 2008 6:55 PM PST
In reply to: Feel better now!

Freebies that work:

AVG Anti-Spyware: (trial version; after 30 days some functions are shut off such as auto updates, but can still be manually updated.)

Spyware Blaster (full time screening and blocking of spyware - needs manual updates):

Paid programs:

Spyware Doctor:

There are others, but these are what I use and have found reliable. NOTE: It's OK to use two or more antispyware programs, but it's NOT OK to let two work full time; I use Spyware Blaster as full time protection and the other two as on demand scanners.

HTH, Paul

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freebie Antispyware
by robb7thurston / February 24, 2008 7:28 AM PST
In reply to: Here goes:

Spyware Dooctor comes in three versions. Yes, you can pay for it. Yes, you can surf the Internet and get what purports to be a freebie. On the contrary, it is just a revealer--it just says--you have so many infections, etc., and cannot fix that. This is the Internet freebie Spyware Doc. Then you can download Google Pack and make sure it includes Spyware Doctor. This version is slightly less than the paid version, but it will do real time scanning, on demand scanning and also repair or eject infections.
Therefore, a big version for bucks, a middle version from Google Packs, and a little tease from freebie Internet sites of all kinds. I use the Google Pack version and find it helps a lot.

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Use only 1 firewall & 1 anti-virus
by CKinVA / February 10, 2008 11:07 AM PST

When anti-virus/firewall programs are installed they modify/replace peices of the windows operating system and/or registry. They have to 'hook' into windows API's, data port handlers, etc., in order to trap the bad guys.

Generally when they are installed they back-up what they change; however, if you then install a second anti-virus it ends up backing up part of the first anti-virus not the original windows stuff. For instance, if you have Norton/Symantec AV installed and then install McAfee AV and then uninstall Norton you will have a mess and nothing will work right (usually you'll need to reinstall windows to get things straight).

Basically, what this means is that you should uninstall the first product, reboot, and get a snapshot of the registry (ie: system restore point) before you install the second/replacement. This is required of anti-virus & firewall products (and I recommend it anytime you are 'replacing' a heavy duty program with a competitors).

1. Third party products know how to disable windows defender/firewall when they are installed so you really do not have to uninstall what comes with windows, but you should disable it before you install the replacement.
2. Spyware/Adware detection utilities generally do not 'hook' into windows the same way so you can generally have more than one installed; however if they have 'real-time' protection features (ie: Spybot S & D "immunize") you may want to make sure that only one real-time protection feature is installed at a time.

Good luck

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One caveat
by sysopdr / February 10, 2008 10:30 PM PST

I suggest that you do run more then one virus checker but to only install one.
People seem to think that a good virus program will catch eerything but, they don't. So what I recommend is that you install a good virus checker and have it running all the time in on-access scan mode and doing scheduled scans (I run a scan every night) but also use an on-line virus scanner at least once a month (or once a week if you have the time) to 'supplement' the installed checker.
These systems are written by people ad people make mistakes. The chance that two people from different companies making the same mistake gives more coverage. Just don't use the on-line checker from the same company as you installed main virus checker.
As for firewalls, you should be running two, one on the machine you are using and one in your router/firewall appliance. make sure the firmware in the appliance is updated regularly and check the settings once a month to be sure no-one has changed them on you allowing access to your network.

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by kentishhog39 / February 8, 2008 8:17 PM PST

Hi Bridget.
I too used to run ZA but found that, while it did the job, it hogged the cpu and slowed stuff down. One firewall is all you need and you can get a very good one free, Comodo Firewall Pro (Google it). I have run it for about a year now and it does the job while having a very small footprint. Not sure about Vista but in XP you have to disable the Windows firewall, maybe the same in Vista?
Best wishes

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Yes but I adivse you not

I would advise you to keep Zone-Alarm and Windows Defender, and get another anti-virus solution.

Norton is really bloat these days. You may want to use Kaspersky. Don't try NOD32, it is quite a piece of junk because it doesn't kill processes, leaving the virus itself to run until a reboot.

Zone-alarm has very good blocking techniques with anti-kill.

Windows Defender can block unauthorized changes to the registry. You can also change the auto-start options.

Norton products uses a lot of ram and slows the PC down a lot.

AVG anti-virus is free and quite good and very easy to use.
ClamWin AV is free and fast but not very easy to use.

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by Michael_York / February 11, 2008 9:04 AM PST

Hi Bridget,

This is Mike from the Norton Authorized Support Team jumping in here to hopefully give you some clarification.

In regards to what the other poster's say regarding having only 1 AV/Internet Security program running at one time, they are absolutely correct. I would remove all other AV/Internet Security applications to ensure that Norton Internet Security functions properly. You will also want to make sure that the LiveUpdate feature is Automatically updating by launching the main Norton Internet Security window and then clicking on the 'Norton Internet Security" tab at the top of the window. Next, click on the "Settings" button to expand it's options, click on "Automatic LiveUpdate" and make sure that it says "Automatic."

Since you have already purchased and installed Norton Internet Security (2008 I assume?) you may as well remove the other applications so that Norton Internet Security functions properly and keeps your system safe. Norton Internet Security contains an antivirus, Personal Firewall, Antispyware, Antiphishing, as well as host of other features that may be duplicated in the other products, and subsequently can cause problems with Norton Internet Security.

I hope my response sums it all up for you, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to respond back.

Thank you,

Michael York
Norton Authorized Support Team
Symantec Corporation

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Thank you!
by BridgetW / February 11, 2008 9:14 PM PST
In reply to: Clarification

Thank you so much for the info! Quite helpful. I do have a few issues though. I've disabled Windows (Vista) defender (because of the Norton), but there are some utilities I'd like to use that I can't because it's disabled. Well, I contacted Norton about getting 360 (what I really want is system works) and they told me I can't add either of those to my Internet Security I'm now using. I have over a year left on my subscription, so I don't really want to uninstall my I/S. I need some kind of utility program to keep things cleaned up like System Works provides. And by the way, I have the 2007 version (bought with my new Dell computer mid-2008; I'm wondering why they didn't send 2008???). Anyway, Norton Internet Security is the only thing I'm currently running. Thanks again!

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RE: Zone Alarm AND Norton Internet Security AND Windows Defe

I'm just putting in my two cents. For my computer I use Kerio Personal Firewall (recently renamed Sunbelt Personal Firewall I believe). I learned about it from a technology professor of mine back in high school. I've found it to be one of the best around. It has the options for the novice user and an advanced option, at install, to let those who know what they are doing, control the traffic in and out of their computers. Right now, I am using Symantec/Norton Anti-Virus. I believe it is the corporate edition or something similar. (It came with the laptop from the college I attend and that's the only reason I'm using it. That plus I'm a poor college student.) Finally I use Spybot S&D for the pesky spyware/adware/malware. (I love the fact that S&D stands for search and destroy. Sounds like a Star Wars movie.) For me, Spybot has found things that AdAware just doesn't find.
I don't believe people are aware of the stuff that can potentially harm their sensitive data on their computers and I feel I should pass my positive responses on to others so they too can protect their information.

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Microsoft windows system security engineer

You installed, norton... I hope you like them because your stuck with them. They have the absolute worst resourse issues on planet earth. The RTVscan will run continuously, and there is an added "new" scan that runs on top of that on boot. If you never shut off your PC you should be fine... But good luck with that in vista.. (removing norton to install another AV, you can try Nonav, but it will most likely be easier to reformat)

Removing Defender requires extensive modification of your registry, i will not tell you how to do this, as i do not want to see a post on here about how your PC will no longer boot.
I would suggest stopping the service, you will get pop-ups warning you that this is disabled..
I would also disable superfetching, which will speed up your pc, unless you use it for games alot... superfetching is just an annoyance... and steals memory to run..

I would recomend staying away from AVG as they have the highest false possitives out of any AV or spyware scanner, in other words it will tell you that your PC is infected with a print driver... helpful!

Check out this site, they will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about AV and spyware....

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