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anti-virus/firewall

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by andrewq, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. andrewq

    andrewq
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    i've got a new computer and i'm getting broadband next week. on my old m/c i was using AVG free anti-virus. any recommendations please for anti-virus and firewall and do they all require annual subscriptions?
    thanks
     
  2. krusty

    krusty
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    zone alarm s free. ive used maccafee, but now use bullgaurd silver. you get 12 months cover with most of the firewall/virusscan software.
     
  3. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    I use Kaspersky for anti-virus. Good reviews, good rate of detection. I've had no problems with it and it's less bloated then Norton (but then most AV's are):

    http://www.kaspersky.co.uk/

    It requires a yearly subscription.
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    stick with avg and add zonealarm.
    For comparisson I run the ravantivirus online scan every once in a while.
     
  5. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Suppose it depends what you are looking for.

    Norton is certainly easy to use and powerful but costs. There is also a lot of people who are against Norton as their programs are bloated. I think this is less true than it was but at any rate it means you get a polished interface and it is easy to use. You can get an OEM version of NIS (anti-virus & firewall) for about £20-£30 which includes a years subscription.

    A lot of people use AVG. I have slight reservations about it as two people I know who have had infected machines recently were both using AVG and it was supposedly up to date. Being free it has developed a fanboy following who will recommend it on the basis that it is free not that it actually offers any protection they can get a bit fanatical about it. Not knocking AVG and I am sure it is no worse than Mcafee / Norton but once bitten.... Also I find it actually quite arkward to use and the interface does not seem natural etc.

    As regards firewall I would stay clear on ZoneAlarm. This has a knack of screwing your machine up and they keep trying to scare customers into upgrading to one of their pay products. It also can be funny when it comes to networks, if you have more than one machine I seem to recall that you have to go for the pay version of ZA (and pay once for each machine)

    Depending on how techie you are, there are loads of good firewalls out there. Things like Kerio, Outpost BlackICE ..... which I have tried over the years and always found them to be very powerful but hard to use. They tend to expect users to know all about protocols, ports, network settings.... which is probably far more in depth than the average user wants (or possibly needs).
     
  6. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    oh yeah, have you considered getting a router ?? A router basically sits between your internet connection and your machine(s). If you are planning on sharing the internet connection then the only real solution is a router.

    Even if you are not planning on sharing your connection between machines, a router provides a hardware firewall. Basically it means that you computer is not connected to the internet but your router is. Your machine then communicates to the internet via the router.

    This means that someone trying to find a way into your machine from the net will only be able to see your router and not your computer.

    You would still need av and firewall software though
     
  7. andrewq

    andrewq
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    thanks for the suggestions folks,what is the annual subscription for Kasperspy or any of the other av's? don't mind paying say £20-25 PA but £40+ i will consider too much.
     
  8. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I've used AVG and zonealarm for years whether this makes me a fanboy or not I 've had no problems with them.
     
  9. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    Kaspersky costs £25 per annum and is well worth it IMO but... ...if AVG is just as good and free I'd be tempted by it. I suppose with AVG you've got nothing to loose by trying.
     
  10. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Andrew

    If you can stretch to it then definately get yourself a seperate router/dsl modem rather than a USB device. The seperate boxes offer much better security, better performance, better reliability, better upgradability, better compatibility..there basically..better :)
     
  11. Steve.J.Davies

    Steve.J.Davies
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    Agree muchly.

    Still protect your PC appropriately though. It a jungle out there. A DMZ helps.
     
  12. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well I've been looking at replaceing my ADSL modem with a firewall router, but from what I can tell it will offer very little additional protection as my ISP has Dynamic IP addresses and they want an additional £6 per month for a static IP address. From looking around at the many different ISP's most of them give a dynamic IP address as standard, so a router will either not work or will not offer the firewall protection.

    As I say, the above is only what I have found by doing a bit of research and may well not be accurate. Can somebody confirm or correct the above as I am in the middle of setting up a friends home network and he is upgrading his account to get a static IP address, at additional cost.

    Mark.
     
  13. starfire

    starfire
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    A router will work with either static or dynamic IPs, it doesn't matter.

    The security doesn't come from using static or dynamic IPs, the added security/protection typically comes from the fact that the router runs NAT, which basically means than any unsolicited (ie not requested by you) data sent to your router will be rejected rather than being sent directly to Windows as with your current Modem.
     
  14. kolabere

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    Andrew, you've got a lot of useful recommendations here.

    I've used most of those mentioned above in one version or another over more than 10 years, and the consensus is that there isn't a best product (free or paid for). Its more a case of 'personal hygiene', adopting the right strategies and usage with your soft/hardware of choice, both while you're connected and offline.

    For what its worth . . I now use a Linksys router (hardware firewall), NIS 2005 (software firewall & AV), Adaware (anti-spyware) and run on-line scans regular.

    Don't forget that if you have a Wi-Fi network, this can be the equivalent of the medieval postern - that is an open door to bypass most if not all of your defenses. Make sure it is secure!
     
  15. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    As someone has said, whether you IP address is static or not is not important. You only really need a static IP address if you want to run your own server. i.e. when you type in www.amazon.co.uk you want your browser to always go to that site. To do this is uses DNS and basically contacts a naming server to get the IP address of that site. If amazon had a dynamic IP address this would make it very difficult make sure you always got taken to the correct site. The same also goes for email servers, ftp servers.....

    What NAT does is takes your IP address x.x.x.x and hence to anyone on the otherside of your router (i.e. the internet) all they see is your router. Without a router your IP address would be the IP address of your computer and hence this is what would may be seen across the internet.

    In addition to NAT, most routers now include a SPI firewall which actually inspects the packets coming in to although this is not that important to home users.
     
  16. andrewq

    andrewq
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    Thanks again for the suggestions, but the last few posts left me bewildered. I think i've settled on Mcafee Professional 8 AV(£29 to buy+£11pa) and using the firewall from SP2. Most of the people at work seem to think it's a good option for a firewall. I'm going on NTL broadband thro' the ethernet connection, would a router be a good idea? I live on my own so there will be no internet sharing using the router purely as a security device.
     
  17. pwood

    pwood
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    A bit late reading this informative thread but I'd just like to recommend Avast.com free anti virus. I wanted to find something simple for my old dears to use on their £50 PC and after much research tried AVG and found it to be overcomplicated ( difficult to integrate with Zonealarm)compared with Avast. 18 months on and I havent found anything better.
    I am now going to change from Zonealarm to Sygate free firewall to see how my PC behaves.
     
  18. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Mcafee AV is a great product, the only one I'd use both at home and professionally.

    You def. want to get yourself a router with NAT/Spi firewall too, something like the netgear DG814 would suit if they're still available (model number may have changed) :)
     
  19. Mandarin Man

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    Nobody seems to mention Windows Firewall. I used to use Zone Alarm and now I have a router with firewall + Windows Firewall. Any major drawbacks to Windows Firewall?
     
  20. starfire

    starfire
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    Windows Firewall only protects on inbound packets to your PC from the 'net.

    ZA protects outbound as well, so if you install a rogue program that you didn't expect needed access to the 'net ZA will tell you about it before it connects eg. this could stop a bad program transmitting the contents of your email contact list to someone
     
  21. Ken

    Ken
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    Andrew,
    I don't know whether or not it is any good but NTL offer a free antivirus program called Netguard.
     

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