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Will these programs best protect my pc?


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#1 piggylubber

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 02:57 PM

I am currently in another post for a family members pc that had been infected. This pc is on my network and has gotten me to take off my rose colored glasses on a one stop program to handle it all (Verizon Security Suite).

So starting today, I want to go through my 4 pc network and install the best security for them. I am a novice and learning as I go. With the exception of the pc being worked on in another thread, the others all are using the Verizon Security Suite.

I have a laptop wirelessly connected running Vista (mine)
2 pc's running XP Pro one wireless and one wired (these are older hand-me down pcsz)
Host pc running just XP

From what I think I have learned, I need 4 different programs to cover Firewall, Anti-Virus, Spyware, and Malware. Yet none should conflict with each other.
So..

Firewall- Zone Alarm
Anti-Virus- Avira or Avast or AVG? Is there a difference? I did not really care for the feel of Avira, so leaning towards the AVG..have no experience with Avast
Spyware- Spybot S&D, or Spywareblaster, or SuperAnti Spyware (have used this one a little and feel comfortable with it)
Malware- Malware Antibytes Anti-Malware

Note: All of these would be the free versions off the net.

CCleaner Needed..not needed?
I have this installed on my laptop. When I had trouble running Verizons Games on Demand it was referred by their tech service.
1.) Is it safe to run the registy cleaner and trust the program to know what it is doing? (Gulp..because I have)
2.) Does this conflict with any of the above mentioned programs?
3.) Vista, XP, XP Pro...can they all run the same configuration of the above mentioned programs?

Thanks for any insight you can provide. This site has already provided to be an invaluable resource!!!
Dawn

#2 Budfred

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 04:15 PM

I am currently in another post for a family members pc that had been infected. This pc is on my network and has gotten me to take off my rose colored glasses on a one stop program to handle it all (Verizon Security Suite).

So starting today, I want to go through my 4 pc network and install the best security for them. I am a novice and learning as I go. With the exception of the pc being worked on in another thread, the others all are using the Verizon Security Suite.

I don't know what programs are used in their security suite, but they are probably adequate... The main objections I would have is that security suites tend to be inefficient and Verizon apparently charges on a monthly basis which makes their suite more expensive than most... That said, their protection is probably about as good as any other set of security programs... The point is that any security programs will not work unless behavior is part of the security approach...

From what I think I have learned, I need 4 different programs to cover Firewall, Anti-Virus, Spyware, and Malware. Yet none should conflict with each other.
So..

Well, no, not really... Spyware and malware are basically the same when it comes to protection programs... And you can certainly add several other protections if you wish...

Firewall- Zone Alarm
Anti-Virus- Avira or Avast or AVG? Is there a difference? I did not really care for the feel of Avira, so leaning towards the AVG..have no experience with Avast
Spyware- Spybot S&D, or Spywareblaster, or SuperAnti Spyware (have used this one a little and feel comfortable with it)
Malware- Malware Antibytes Anti-Malware

I do not recommend ZoneAlarm at all anymore... It has become bloated and it has some of the worst customer service you will find... If you are not careful when you install it, you can end up with a toolbar you didn't ask for... One that is recommended often lately is Online Armor... I use Sunbelt's Kerio free version (trial includes features I don't use and they go away after 30 days, use simple mode if novice)... Comodo and Outpost are also good options that are available for free...

Any of the antivirus programs you mentioned are okay, though I don't recommend AVG lately because it is becoming bloated and has had some problems... I use NOD32, but it is a paid program...

SpywareBlaster is a passive protector and can be used along with any of the other programs... Spybot, SuperAntiSpyware and MBAM are pretty much the same type of program... If you wish to run the resident protection in one of them, it is important to make sure the others are turned off... In the computer running Vista, you need to turn Windows Defender off if you wish to use one of these for resident protection... It is okay to have them all installed as long as you only use one for resident protection and the others for occasional scans... MBAM is probably the strongest of them right now...

It is a good idea to consider using Firefox with the NoScripts Add-on, though it is more hassle and requires some knowledge of when to allow scripts and when not to... If you visit any sites that might be infected, this is one of the best protections around...

CCleaner Needed..not needed?
I have this installed on my laptop. When I had trouble running Verizons Games on Demand it was referred by their tech service.
1.) Is it safe to run the registy cleaner and trust the program to know what it is doing? (Gulp..because I have)
2.) Does this conflict with any of the above mentioned programs?
3.) Vista, XP, XP Pro...can they all run the same configuration of the above mentioned programs?

I do not recommend CCleaner at all anymore... They include a toolbar that you have to be careful not to allow to install and they can cause damage to the Registry if not used carefully... There are other options like ATF which are more focused...

NO, it is NOT safe to run a Registry cleaner and trust it to know what it is doing... If you feel a need to run one, it is important to back up your Registry first... If you already ran it and your computer is still working, you are probably okay, though you may find a program or two that won't run properly anymore...

Each of the Windows versions you mention can run all of the tools you mention as long as none are operating in 64bit mode... If they are, it is a matter of checking each program to see if it will work in 64bit...

If you wish to use ATF, here is the link and instructions:

http://www.atribune..../click.php?id=1

* Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
* Under Main choose: Select All
* Click the Empty Selected button.

If you use Firefox browser

* Click Firefox at the top and choose:Select All
* Click the Empty Selected button.
* NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click
* No at the prompt.

If you use Opera browser

* Click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
* Click the Empty Selected button.
* NOTE:If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.

Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#3 piggylubber

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:49 PM

Thank you so much BudFred for responding!

I have to make a correction. Apparently the pc being worked on in another thread is Verizon Internet Security Suite and the rest of us have McAfee Security Suite **through** Verizon. If memory serves, they only allowed 3 pcs and than we had to pay for the 4th.

Can you explain what you mean by ZoneAlarm and AVG being bloated? I am not sure I understand...does it make the pc run slower?

Would you say that the use of MBAM with say SpywareBlaster is better/equal to/less than Windows Defender? Honestly I didn't even know I had this...such a novice LOL
And if I used MBAM as the resident (which means it runs all the time?) I would only run SpywareBlaster on occasion for added protection...BUT if I keep defender, d/ling any of these is counterproductive?

Thanks so much for the insight! My tiny tech brain is busting LOL

Dawn

#4 Budfred

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:04 PM

I have to make a correction. Apparently the pc being worked on in another thread is Verizon Internet Security Suite and the rest of us have McAfee Security Suite **through** Verizon. If memory serves, they only allowed 3 pcs and than we had to pay for the 4th.

Chances are good that they use McAfee for that as well since they already contract with McAfee for the other purpose... McAfee is a good suite as suites go... The drawback to suites is that they often include things you don't need and they tend to share their holes, so if they miss something with one part, they miss it with all parts... They tend to take a lot of resources without clear value...

Can you explain what you mean by ZoneAlarm and AVG being bloated? I am not sure I understand...does it make the pc run slower?

Essentially yes -- they load them with excess programs, like I said with the suites, and they tend to begin bogging down the system as a result... I once had McAfee installed (many years ago now) and struggled to find out what was wrong with my computer because it was so slow... Finally I took McAfee off and it ran like new again... Of course, I put other programs on to replace it, but none took a hit on the computer like that suite... ZoneAlarm and AVG are both marketing suites now and tend to throw extras into the free versions to promote the paid ones... I wouldn't use a suite, although I might use parts of one if I have paid for the software...

Would you say that the use of MBAM with say SpywareBlaster is better/equal to/less than Windows Defender? Honestly I didn't even know I had this...such a novice LOL
And if I used MBAM as the resident (which means it runs all the time?) I would only run SpywareBlaster on occasion for added protection...BUT if I keep defender, d/ling any of these is counterproductive?

It is not really a direct comparison... SpywareBlaster simply needs to be turned on every once in a while (about once a week) and updated... It then sets the computer to block certain known malware, so it doesn't need to be on to work... It can be run with any of the other programs without concern about conflict... MBAM versus Windows Defender is a fair comparison for resident protection... However, there is no easy answer... I installed Vista on this computer and I use Defender as a result of not bothering to turn it off... I think MBAM may be the stronger program, but you need to actually purchase it to use the resident protection... Probably the best free protection is either Windows Defender or Spybot's TeaTimer... Defender is not default in WinXP, so you would either need to download it from Windows or put another program in...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#5 piggylubber

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

BudFred,

Thank you so very much. I feel like I can now make a more informed choice...where as before I felt totaly clueless. All of your insight has proven to be extremely helpful. It feels better to be pro-active about all this. :yahoo:

Thank you!
Dawn




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