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Last post Author Topic: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products  (Read 21254 times)

KenR

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I am interested in people's opinions about the best combination antivirus and firewall products. I know a number of people have one: AVG, Kaspersky, Zone Alarm, F-Secure, Agnitum, just to name a few. Does anyone have any knowledge about or familiarity with any of these products?

Thanks, Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Mark0

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 04:03:07 PM »
At home, I'm used to have the free edition of AVG.
As per the firewall, I'm satisfied with the sort of "natural protection" given by beigh behind the typical NAT/router/broadband combo, so I have no additional software firewall running on the system.
I'm simply not a fan of / too concerned with the outbound control protection. Not a popular position, probably.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 04:05:10 PM by Mark0 »

Darwin

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 05:19:18 PM »
Great to see you back here Ken! I hope this signals an active return? We've missed you!

Anyway, I interpret your post to be seeking opinions about security suites, such as Zone Alarm Pro Internet Security. IOW, apps that protect against more than one kind of threat (spyware and virus, for example). These are attractive at first flush because they can replace up to 3 different apps from different vendors. However, I've shied away from them because I'd rather have the best anti-spyware, and the best anti-virus and the best firewall and I am not confident that one company can deliver the best in all three categories.

Having said that, I note that PC World or PC Mag (can't find the reference) just handed a big award to ZoneAlarm Pro Internet Security Suite. The review (whereever it is) claims that the anti-spyware component is now class leading, besting Spyware Doctor and Spyware Sweeper in that category and that the firewall is topnotch and the antivirus (licensed from Kapersky, I believe) is also top notch. I dunno... I recently disabled plain jane ZoneAlarm Pro (with antispywar) from running at system start because it's such a resource hog! Like Mark0, I now rely on my hardware firewall and Windows XP's built-in one. If I take my notebook off site, I'll enable ZoneAlarm...

Just my rambling two bits  :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

iphigenie

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 03:03:09 AM »
It depends what kind of firewall you want

For all my grumbling about its update system which slowed my computer (it doesn't slow my laptop) I ended up staying with Bitdefender. It seems to fare really well in tests from the AV perspective, and the firewall component seems more than adequate (I have a packet filter on the router) - my only gripe with it is the lack of a firewall log.

It also turns out BD doesn't slow down things on my laptop, so i'm back to thinking something is wrong with my desktop... 

In the past I used AVG but never its firewall. It's a sturdy product and has a good pricing structure.

There are actually very few bad firewalls and bad virus scanners nowadays. Even the ones which used to be inadequate have improved. From discussions in the wilders forums I can tell that some have dry patches (where they fare lower on tests) but catch up etc.

None of them is perfect, and I think the trick is to figure out what threats are most likely to be your problem - and then pick the product that scores high in those.

I am pretty sure I won't fall for a lot of the social engineering viruses and web scams, but with all that i download i still want the old fashioned file protection to be very good. Other people who share their computer with family members who are less sceptical would probably want much higher spyware/malware protection etc.


Armando

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Hi all,

I'm sorry if I'm kind of hijacking this thread, but my question is pretty similar, so…
 
My kaspersky trial period has ended and I don't think that I'll buy the software. Every time I start my laptop, I have to wait between two and three more minutes before it becomes operational. I've tried everything — nothing will do (let's call it a bug). I've also had some weird slowdowns, and freezes. Nothing that I've experienced in the past with NOD32 trial. So I might just go back to it. The reason I abandonned the great NOD32 for Kaspersky was for the all-in-one solution: firewall/antivirus/spyware detection/etc.

Nowif I go back to NOD32, I won't have any spy ware detector or firewall. This is where I need some opinions...

I know that the Comodo firewall is pretty good (see http://www.matousec....ak-tests-results.php , for example), so is NOD32 (see http://www.av-comparatives.org/ )but what about the spyware aspect ?

Anybody uses a similar combination : NOD32, Comodo + ???? (spyware/adware preventer…)... Spysweeper???

Thanks to all who'll take the time to answer.

A.

edit : PS. for the "conclusion" of my little quest, see : http://www.donationc...79.msg73102#msg73102
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 04:41:52 PM by Armando »

jgpaiva

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 06:03:12 PM »
Armando: i can't seem to find anything relevant right now, but many many people around here defend that if you have a router at home, there's no need for a firewall.

As for a spyware preventer.. I'd go for spybot.

Curt

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 07:04:18 PM »
I was surprised to read that spybot can prevent, as I thought it will only offer to clean up the mess after the damage has been done. Maybe my (lack of) memory is confusing me, but will spybot offer more prevention than:
Quote
Permanent blocking of threatening ActiveX downloads
Permanent blocking of known tracking cookies for IE
Permanent blocking of threating downloads in IE
:tellme:

--

I have been using Outpost Pro for several years, but are not going to get the new Suite within the next year (at least), because the anti-virus part is based on Kaspersky - and my NOD32 license runs for yet another year ... :-)

Did you consider a virtual solution? It may remove the need for a firewall.

Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2007, 03:25:03 PM »
Thanks for your suggestions.

I guess I will just try different combinations and see what my computer seems to prefer...

Curt : a while ago, I used to have outpost and NOD32 installed and it seemed to work pretty well. It's just that, well, Outpost got mixed reviews in the last year, so I was wondering. I tried the comodo firewall last night and my experience was not too bright : slow connection, strange Explorer freezes...???!!!   :-\so, I might try outpost again.

jgpaiva  : although I've had bad experiences with firewalls in the past (and some of them were supposed be very good -- zone alarm), I think I need one because I'm using a laptop... and so I connect to all kinds of networks (some of them unsafe, most probably).

Lashiec

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2007, 03:52:59 PM »
Prevention of spyware... the same Windows Defender, Spyware Terminator, the aforementioned Spybot, Ad-Aware, AVG Anti-Spyware, a-squared, SpywareBlaster (for IE)... Pretty much you can protect the computer with good free software, or paying some dollars for a little more protection (including trojans and other malware). If you can don't install SpySweeper or Spyware Doctor, not only for the bloat and slowing factor, but for other (possibly paranoid) reasons :-[

About firewalls... you might as well go with the one built in Windows. Seriously, nowadays firewalls are not firewalls, but clumsy "I'll protect you from everything, but you'll get no productivity at all" suites. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but for example both Comodo and Outpost carry HIPS modules (very talkative things), and in the case of the latter, they also include the kitchen sink. For now, use a router (until I get my hands onto the subject, it's what I'm using), or light firewalls, if you can find one, of course. Scot Finnie is also conducting a firewall test on his own computers, so check up his website to see what he recommends. Word of advice: It seems the guy fall in love with methodology used for testing over there at Matousec, which means a firewall is an application monitor, and not a piece software that should prevent the bad guys for getting in there at first.

Or you could as well go with nothing. Yesterday, in the main page of Ars Technica they featured this discussion about the need of security software, and the conclusions are rather surprising. Who knows? Maybe we're a bit paranoid, but frankly, having to wade through a flood of popups just to have the feeling of security makes me uncomfortable. Probably, it's better to practice safe computing, and stop worrying about the bad guys. Or switch to Linux :). Gizmo is going to kill me if he reads this ;D

And then you read this other article, it scares the hell out of you, and you put walls around the computer.

One more thing: Layered defense (one application taking care of every type of malware) is better than a multi-layered suite, although this might not be true about Kaspersky.

Curt

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2007, 04:52:09 PM »
A virtual solution still might be a better solution.  ;)

bzicon.gif

BufferZone has a FREE version for the Internet browser and the email client.
The BufferZone PRO version is on offer at $30.


Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2007, 12:17:02 AM »
Lashiec : thank you for your opinions. I was also aware of the Matousec test results, and this is one reason why I wanted to give Comodo try. Tested it and, well, my current setup doesn't seem to like it (and I don't feel like spending hours on configuring a firewall). To me, AV or firewall are just means to reduce the probabilities of running into bigger problems. Probabilities are probabilities, and, of course, it's not because you DON'T run a firewall or an AV that you'll get attacked. Exactly like vaccination, any medical prevention, wearing a helmet when you're riding a motorcycle, etc. But I'm more the careful type, so, i'll wear a helmet.  ;)

Curt : sorry... I forgot about your virtual solution. Actually, even if I read some stuff on the subject, etc. I've never tried it.  You prefer bufferzone over sandboxie?


Curt

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2007, 04:39:56 AM »
How can I say this? I understand the benefits you get from using virtual browsing and virtual installations; its just that I only have little reason to use it myself! 1): My licenses for Outpost Pro 4 and NOD32 will run for yet another year - and I will hate to throw that money out of the window. 2): I have not excatly stopped trying programs no one else would touch, but I am much more careful than I used to be (taking a snapshot of the registry before installing a new program), and 3): I no longer download files I couldn't show to my wife (had I had any). Sorry for mentioning reason number 3, but sadly it is a very common reason for using virtual solutions.

But the most important factor and the one we care about here is that the virtual solution by far is the most secure solution. And you, being the careful type, will not find any other solution as safe.

I never tried sandboxie, so I wouldn't know - the virtual world is quite new to me - but I did try BufferZone, and for the ease of use I would prefer PRO over FREE.

Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2007, 11:49:01 AM »
Thanks Curt for you honest and detailed response! I'll see if I get into the virtual world or not (I already know VMware quite well, but that's another beast altogether — I also remember trying altiris SVS in the past, just for the fun of it… But not having much fun).

As a softwarephile, I do like to try a lot of software every week/month (depending on my schedule) and, right now, I usually image my drive before I do. I've learned that almost ANY software can have detrimental effects on my system (some might say it's MS Windows, but it's also true -- although not as much -- on Linux or MacOS... whatever others say).

You mention a certain "reason 3"... Well, apart from these, ahem, files, isn't sanboxie also good thing against viruses and other malware?

Curt

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2007, 12:18:04 PM »
... isn't sanboxie also good thing against viruses and other malware?

 :D

Yes, but being used to NOD32 and such, I seldom think about this risk.  ;)

Actually, I am more interested in First Defense ISR - be it from Raxco ?? (they show it, but do they sell it?) or from Horizon - but I thought the virtual thing would be more interesting to prevent-minded people, as BufferZone is about preventing but First Defense is about repairing. But repairing in milliseconds, that is (ISR = Immediate System Recovery)! But so far I have been troubled by the asking price, $69.

Edit: I should add that my interest in the subject in the first place, is how to fix the result of bad BETAs and such; and not to prevent vira - NOD32 and the others will do that, I trust.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 12:30:53 PM by Curt »

Curt

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2007, 06:15:13 PM »
I nearly missed it!!   :o
DC members are offered a 40% discount on First Defense!
 :)

40%.gif

Edit: Link removed...
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 06:17:46 PM by Curt »

Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2007, 10:11:52 PM »
Thanks Curt!
I'll have a look at it.

Plasma Man

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2007, 07:03:33 PM »
KAV v6.0 has turned out to be rather good. In advanced mode it offers a feature that intercepts registry entries (could be a bit annoying for general use). It also has much improved live scanning of downloads, SSL connections and email. The first releases of v6.0 did have a number of bugs which seem to have been ironed out now. My basic reason for using KAV is that I work at lot with multimedia content so I need something that is relatively light weight in the CPU dept. easy to turn off/on and efficient.

Look n Stop http://www.looknstop.com/En/index2.htm has been my FW of choice since it was first released. I've looked at a few others but I like this the best. It's small, does it's job well and has an effective rule set. You might need to take some time and learn about how to make best use of the settings but it's well worth the effort.

Andre


Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2007, 07:11:48 PM »
Thanks Andre.

Funny because I'm actually considering Kaspersky again. After all the problems I ran into (testing all the other solutions), I realize KAV isn't that bad!  :-[  And it really seems like it's the lightest of all (I'm talking about its memory footprint and "CPU consumption").

I'll have a look at... Look n Stop. It might be just what I'm looking for -- in combination with NOD32.

KenR

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2007, 07:37:20 PM »
Eset (NOD32 developers) have one malware + firewall they are now publicly beta testing. I downloaded and tried it. It looks good and I think will eventually will be the product of choice. I was having too many problems with the beta though, so I took it back off my machine. I've been using Comodo, which I have come to hate because of the never ending questions about access permission that never ever stop no matter how many times you tell it an app is ok.

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Grorgy

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2007, 07:48:57 PM »
I went with Kaspersky internet suite because of its reported excellence in all the antivirus tests and I really didnt want to hassle about getting more than 1 thing, so i took it all, seems to have all the options anybody would need.  I have a router to which says it has a firewall so i dont know, i feel safe, sort of lol

mitzevo

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2007, 10:44:23 PM »
I used Nod32 + Comodo Firewall + Adaware for a while..

I don't recommend using any suites.. Better you mix and match your security applications.. but a lot of people don't have time to do such a thing so they go for "4 in 1" (etc.) suite solutions..

Usually there are a few weak components in such suites which can allow attackers to compromise the whole suite.. So I personally try different products together.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2007, 09:21:22 PM »
I use Sandboxie now on my desktop (primary) computer, simply because I know the warning signs of viruses, malware, spyware, trojans and such. I use the Spyware Terminator program also, but when I do (really big) multitasking or open up Halo or something, I close it (and rarely use it anyways). Sandboxie is really simple to use if you know what your doing. For a free scan that you don't need to install, try Trend Micro's Housecall (http://housecall.trendmicro.com/). I use that in emergencies (when stuff does get in).

Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2007, 01:20:47 PM »
I don't recommend using any suites.. Better you mix and match your security applications.. but a lot of people don't have time to do such a thing so they go for "4 in 1" (etc.) suite solutions..

Lashiec (in Reply #8 ) seemed to suggest that Kaspersky might very well be an exception there. If I judge by what I'm reading everywhere, it seems to be the case.
To me, the most important thing is what the independent testing say.
Anyway, I agree with you. I'm tempted to go NOD32 (and, as KenR said, they're having some nice stuff coming), but, like Grorgy, I'm also tempted by the simple KAV solution...

I don't know about virtualization. Maybe in a few days I'll have a look at it when I solve some other data problems (another thread...).

Lashiec

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2007, 02:17:55 PM »
Yes, I seemed to suggest it, because I didn't try it. If I had some more information about the technologies used by the suite, I could give it the OK, but this is not the case. So if you decide to take the plunge and install it again, tell us how it goes this time.

BTW, remember that antivirus protection is not realtime scanners all the time. Both Kaspersky and ESET (this one is still in BETA phase) have their own online scanners (ActiveX based, so be sure to use IE7 for that for maximum protection).

Armando

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Re: Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2007, 02:28:43 PM »
So if you decide to take the plunge and install it again, tell us how it goes this time.

I will!  :)