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windows firewall..and ms onecare


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#1 nweissma

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 03:23 AM

I subscribed to the 90-day trial ms onecare package.

the ms windows firewall seems to periodically, and without annunciation, shut itself off: "windows firewall service is not running."

attempts to turn it on yield, "due to an unidentified problem, Windows cannot display windows firewall settings"

it's set for "automatic upgrade," and automatic upgrade appears to be functioning normally. yet, in an attempt to get it running by "kicking" it, I pressed the manual upgrade button; this yielded, "Windows firewall was unable to make the requested updates."

windows firewall has been problematical since the beginning (about 5-6 weeks ago): i was on the phone with 2 ms techs for nearly 4 hours (countless reboots) to have vista's "windows security center" recognize windows firewall.

i recently downloaded, from RealNetwork Website, and installed - but never actually used - Real Player. It was not until after i installed that i read RealPlayer's eula. it says that "i agree" to have RealNetwork reconfigure my firewall, open the udp port, install cookies from different companies (Rhapsody, Mozilla, to name two), and certain other liberties (details elude me at this moment).

thinking that there may be a connection between this instant windows firewall incident and the RealPlayer bundled adware shenanigans, i uninstalled RealPlayer (one day after i installed it) - notwithstanding that windows firewall has, as i've said, ceased before.

do you think RealPlayer installed a piece of malware?

anyway, what can i do about getting windows firewall turned on? .... or should i just disable windows firewall and uninstall the entire ms onecare package? i've been told that packages consume a lot of resources and are, pound-for-pound. significantly less effective than independent units. if you recommend the latter strategy then please recommend products for the units: antivirus, antispyware, registry cleaner, disk cleanup, disk defragmenter, monitor for open ports, ...

many thanks.

#2 tsitraveler

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:00 AM

I'm surprised no one's answered this yet.

I'm not a trusted adviser, just someone who's been around awhile. I have my opinions, and know a few things. I think a little more info is needed before someone can begin to address your concerns.

First thing, please tell us what operating system you're running, and whether it's an OEM setup (OS installed by the computer manufacturer), and how much RAM (memory).

As far as Real goes, my opinion of that animal is rather low, based on what is contained in the EULA, and my experience with the bloat and bugs of versions I've tested/checked out. I use an alternative player for the rare instances I wish to open .rm files.

As far as Realplayer's inpact on the firewall, best to not complicate the picture till after you get that sorted out.

Phil

#3 EnigmaChick

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:21 AM

Well this probably isn't going to make you feel a lot better since you've already forked out money for OneCare but reports on its abilities in comparison to similar products are not good. :eek: It basically doesn't offer the protection you'd expect for the price it asks you to be pay and we're just talking about a 90 day subscription, most packages offer at the least yearly ones, although looking over it you'd probably only save a bit of money that way. If you can afford it I seriously think you should ditch both OneCare(when the subscription expires) and especially Windows Firewall since it doesn't even stop outgoing traffic. If you want an all in one package that actually performs well and is worth its money there's a few around but I don't wanna look like I'm trying to sell a product here so I'll leave names out of it but it's not hard to find them, but try to avoid Norton unless you have a fast computer, it's a well known resource hog! :eek:
I'm waiting for a average computer that can't be infected with malware unless it's intentionally ........ 5 years later: I am still waiting

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#4 TheJoker

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 02:51 PM

I don't recall what review it was, but I recall seeing a review where OneCare was at the absolute bottom of the pile of all the products tested.

You can do much better with free tools:

For an antivirus, you could try Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic . Another good choice for a free antivirus is Active Virus Shield; it's based on Kaspersky AntiVirus (I use the full Kaspersky Internet Security suite myself), and it's distributed by AOL. You must however provide an email address to which AOL can send the activation code. Unfortunately, providing the address also authorises AOL and its partner companies to send you advertisement. To avoid this, have the code sent to a disposable e-mail address. It also comes bundled with an additional toolbar for Internet Explorer that shows the PC's security status and contains a password manager, but it can cause problems and should be deselected when installing the scanner.
Active Virus Shield FAQs.

For an anti-trojan and general malware scanner, I'd recommend AVG Anti-Spyware. After the trial period expires, it won't provide real-time resident protection, but it can still be manually updated (just click the update button) and it makes an excellent on-demand scanner.

For an anti-spyware, there just isn't any one program I'd rely on. I would install both Ad-Aware SE Personal and Spybot Search & Destroy and scan with them periodically.

To monitor for open ports, your firewall would do that. Two free firewalls are Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall available from http://www.sunbelt-s...e.com/Kerio.cfm, and Zone Alarm from zonelabs.com http://www.zonelabs....reeDownload.jsp. There is a tutorial from Markus Jansson on setting up ZoneAlarm at http://www.markusjansson.net/eza.html. There is a tutorial on understanding firewalls at http://www.bleepingc...tutorial60.html.

If you were looking for a free anti-spam for your e-mail, you could give MailWasher a try.

For disk cleanup I'd use what's already in your Windows Installation:
Go to Start > Run and type the below line:
cleanmgr

For disk defragmenter, I'd just use the Windows supplied defragmenter:
Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
I'm not familiar with another free defragmenter that I'd recommend.
If you were going to purchase one, there's PerfectDisk.

For a registry cleaner, I don't even know that I'd suggest one. Many have automated cleaning options, and it can be a fast track to removing entries that shouldn't be removed. If you were to remove an entry that one recommended, you should be familiar enough with the registry for you to make the determination if that entry should be removed or not, and if you do chose a registry cleaner, I'd be certain it includes a backup function.

EnigmaChick mentioned Norton being a resource hog. See this article:
What Really Slows Windows Down.

Hope that helps. :)

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#5 EnigmaChick

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 03:08 AM

EnigmaChick mentioned Norton being a resource hog. See this article:
What Really Slows Windows Down.

I know Norton have done things to improve how much of the resources they use, especially in Norton Internet Security 2007 from what I've read of a review in a PC Magazine but they're still behind many other companies that function just as well.
I'm waiting for a average computer that can't be infected with malware unless it's intentionally ........ 5 years later: I am still waiting

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