Windows 7 - Options for AV, Firewall and Spyware software

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
ickeal
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:54 pm

Windows 7 - Options for AV, Firewall and Spyware software

Post by ickeal » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:01 am

Bought a new laptop with Windows 7. It came with Microsoft Security Essentials. Is this sufficient protection against viruses/spyware?

Should I buy a software package from a company already in this space? I have friends that got serious spyware using Windows Defender. Spyware was removed using spyware doctor (Windows Defender didn't find it).

My old system has Mcafee AV and ZoneAlarm Pro. Never got a virus.

I have an extra paid license of spyware doctor. Will this be an overkill with MSE?

What extra options do I need if MSE is not sufficient?

Paladin

Re: Windows 7 - Options for AV, Firewall and Spyware softwar

Post by Paladin » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:16 am

ickeal wrote:Bought a new laptop with Windows 7. It came with Microsoft Security Essentials. Is this sufficient protection against viruses/spyware?

Should I buy a software package from a company already in this space? I have friends that got serious spyware using Windows Defender. Spyware was removed using spyware doctor (Windows Defender didn't find it).

My old system has Mcafee AV and ZoneAlarm Pro. Never got a virus.

I have an extra paid license of spyware doctor. Will this be an overkill with MSE?

What extra options do I need if MSE is not sufficient?
Yes.

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Post by OAG » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:51 am

MSE is fine along with the Windows Defender already installed. KISS.

However, some would recommend several others, which are also fine and will keep a system pretty clean. Some I use are as follow:

SpybotS&D

MalWareBytes

CCleaner

SuperAntiSpyware

They all have free, for home use versions.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.

Di3hard
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:16 am

Post by Di3hard » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:18 am

MSE should be fine as your AV software. You might as well install Spyware Doctor since it's already paid for, that can be your spyware software - you probably won't need Defender.

You will also need a firewall software. Below is the best free option - just install the firewall though.

http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/down ... ewall.html

Most importantly be smart: don't download anything suspicious and don't go to any shady websites and you should be good to go.

leod
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:54 pm

Post by leod » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:31 am

i have win7 and no AV or personal firewall. create a non_Admin account and I personally use Opera for all web activities, its fast and secure. never been infected or slowed down by any means.

if you blindly accept all popups or confirm all questions the from the email/web then MSE should be fine + personal firewall to prompt you when any app is trying to change anything on your OS.

+1 for the recommendation to be smart.

User avatar
dbc47
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:02 am

Post by dbc47 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:20 am

Check this out concerning running Security Essentials and Windows Defender at the same time.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/For ... cedb9ab9fd

User avatar
theduke
Posts: 616
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:31 pm

Post by theduke » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:33 am

I wonder if a person is running a different antivirus than MS essential and it runs in real time, if the same problem could exist with microsoft defender?

blink32
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:31 am
Location: None

Post by blink32 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:20 am

theduke wrote:I wonder if a person is running a different antivirus than MS essential and it runs in real time, if the same problem could exist with microsoft defender?
The way I read that unofficial info, yes it would if that alternate AV program also scans for Spyware. But the problem doesn't seem to be a "problem" except if you have limited resources. In-fact I've seen it recommended in many unofficial ways that you should run two similar defense applications from dissimilar vendors and purposefully overlap the coverage. The idea being that no single vendor can identify 100% of what it's looking for. But if you have limited resources you could net a significant loss in performance over a minimal defense gain that could be replicated by modifying personal habits.

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:15 pm

I also have a new Win 7 system and have MSE. My old XP system ran AVG. So far I'm happy as there have been no known problems.

I understand MSE sets a restore point on each scan. My system is set to run the scan at 2am but occasionaly, like this morning, it just started running making me wonder if it really did the 2am backup. The history tab is very sparse but my understanding is that it will be augmented in a future release.

User avatar
jiclemens
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:52 pm
Location: North Augusta, SC

mse adequate?

Post by jiclemens » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Yes. Security Essentials replaces Windows Live OneCare. OneCare offered redundant services already handled by windows and they were dropped in WSE. Windows and Security Essentials cooperate to give you anti-virus protection, firewall, malware and spyware protection. You do not need to worry about Windows Defender if you are running MSE. It may not be the best that money can buy but most reviews I've seen say it more than adequately covers the needs of most home networks.

User avatar
jiclemens
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:52 pm
Location: North Augusta, SC

mse adequate?

Post by jiclemens » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:56 pm

Yes. Security Essentials replaces Windows Live OneCare. OneCare offered redundant services already handled by windows and they were dropped in WSE. Windows and Security Essentials cooperate to give you anti-virus protection, firewall, malware and spyware protection. You do not need to worry about Windows Defender if you are running MSE. It may not be the best that money can buy but most reviews I've seen say it more than adequately covers the needs of most home networks.

CrazyPete
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:42 am

Re: Windows 7 - Options for AV, Firewall and Spyware softwar

Post by CrazyPete » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:39 pm

ickeal wrote:What extra options do I need if MSE is not sufficient?
I would just run MSE, and use Firefox instead of Internet Exploder.

I've never actually had problems with malware, but security software has caused me all sorts of grief, from false positives, hogging system resources, etc. MSE at least seems to be fairly light for resource consumption.

User avatar
arthurdawg
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:47 am

Post by arthurdawg » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:12 pm

I used Zonealarm in the past, it worked very well. Norton was awful. Current computer came with McAfee which has been fine. Next time aroung I am planning to use MSE and firefox to keep it simple.
TSM / SCV / FTSE Big World / FTSE Small World / REIT / TBM / Int Term Tax Exempt

BrandonT
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:54 pm

Post by BrandonT » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:30 am

Longtime Zonealarm user here, but I'd like to second the suggestion above for the Comodo firewall. It's pretty much stomped everything else in all the tests I've seen. Install the firewall only (not AV) and uncheck all the extra stuff.

WD or MSE is probably ok for everything else. Avira Antivir (free) is a good alternative too. As a former user of Norton user I'd also say stay away from that garbage. Mcaffee isn't much better.

If you don't mind trying a new browser Firefox with the Noscript addon is very good way to surf. Not sure if IE8 has a Noscript addon though, I'd probably use that if it did.

User avatar
SpringMan
Posts: 5411
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Michigan

Post by SpringMan » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:04 am

I installed and use free AVG, version 9.0725 with Win 7. I have not installed any spyware or adware removal tools yet. I use Firefox with NOSCRIPT add on. NOSCRIPT can be a pain when many websites don't work until you "allow" them to run scripts. I guess that inconvenience is worth the cost for safer web browsing. Win 7 users need an email handler too because unlike Win XP, Win 7 does not come with Outlook Express. I installed Windows Live Mail but also use web based email. No problems with Win 7 so far, it seems very stable.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

anindeeta
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:10 am

Post by anindeeta » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:06 am

What kind of firewall sytem do banks use to keep information safe? I am debating electronic health records and I always compare the banking system with hospitals. I am saying why can't we have a secure electronic health record system for hospitals especially when banks are doing it every day? I have only heard of Citrix firewall for government and others, are there any more companies that make firewalls for banking systems, credit card systems, or any other system that need to be secure 24 hours a day?
______________________
yahoo keyword tool ~ overture ~ traffic estimator ~ adwords traffic estimator
Last edited by anindeeta on Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

benali72
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:07 am

Malware, Firewalls, etc

Post by benali72 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:20 am

Different people will have different needs for anti-malware programs, depending on their online behavior. Most are well advised to augment Microsoft Security Essentials (or its predecessor products, Windows Defender and Windows Live OneCare) with at least one free anti-malware program.

A good free guide called "How to Secure Windows and Your Privacy" is here -- http://www.rexxinfo.org/How_to_Secure_W ... rivacy.pdf

It covers anti-malware, firewalls, etc, and lists websites for downloading free security software.

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Post by OAG » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:19 pm

I have experimented with using just MSE on one of my computers and MSE along with all of the rest I have mentioned (CCleaner, Spybot S&D, and the rest). Both computers are on about 12 hours a day, are connected to the Internet (one by hard wire and one wireless), and networked via Homegroup. Both computers are running W7 (one Home and one Pro version) and frankly MSE alone is just fine. MSE contains Anti-virus, Anti-Spyware and Anti-malware components, updates itself automatically, runs in the background with little if any degradation in speed for the rest of the computer. IMHO MSE and the Windows built in Firewall should be all anyone needs (note: Windows Defender will be disabled and is unnecessary when MSE is activated).

No program that I know of will protect one from opening attachments on email or responding to requests for personal information on rouge web-sites - which is usually the way problems start.

Just my experience and suggestion YMMV.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.

TheEternalVortex
Posts: 2556
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:17 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by TheEternalVortex » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:24 pm

MSE is excellent.

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:10 pm

I'm using MSE too and it seems to have done fine over 2 months using Win 7. However, there is no report function yet that I kind find. How do you know it has run if set to scan automatically each day? Is there a way to look this up in some system log?

benali72
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:07 am

Why more than one anti-malware product?

Post by benali72 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:43 am

I second all those here who state that MSE is an excellent product. Since I posted earlier that many people would best be served by installing a second anti-malware product as well, here's a fuller explanation of my thinking if anyone's interested...

Run several anti-malware products on the same computer, and you'll often get slightly different results. The reason is that there are so many different kinds of malware (trojans, viruses, worms, browser help objects, rootkits, keyloggers, etc), and different products use different algorithms -- and heuristics -- to root them out. Different products have different success levels with true positives, in giving false positives, and in responding to different kinds of zero-day exploits. This article points out how different anti-malware products can perform against the same threats -- http://www.2-spyware.com/compare.php

Cross-checking by running more than a single anti-malware product on the same computer is ultimately the only way to verify that your primary anti-malware product has identified and removed all true positives. (It also helps you manage false positives with greater accuracy.) One doesn't have to cross-check often but every now and then can be useful.

As several folks have mentioned here, careful online behavior is more probably important than whatever anti-malware product(s) one installs.

In addition to anti-malware, use UAC, a bi-directional firewall, protected mode if use you IE 7/8, be cognizant of drive-bys, and above all exercise careful discretion in deciding to run any program (whether via email attachment, browser scripts, downloaded programs, etc).

Eureka
Posts: 1123
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:24 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Eureka » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:57 am

OAG wrote:I have experimented with using just MSE on one of my computers and MSE along with all of the rest I have mentioned (CCleaner, Spybot S&D, and the rest). Both computers are on about 12 hours a day, are connected to the Internet (one by hard wire and one wireless), and networked via Homegroup. Both computers are running W7 (one Home and one Pro version) and frankly MSE alone is just fine. MSE contains Anti-virus, Anti-Spyware and Anti-malware components, updates itself automatically, runs in the background with little if any degradation in speed for the rest of the computer. IMHO MSE and the Windows built in Firewall should be all anyone needs (note: Windows Defender will be disabled and is unnecessary when MSE is activated).

No program that I know of will protect one from opening attachments on email or responding to requests for personal information on rouge web-sites - which is usually the way problems start.

Just my experience and suggestion YMMV.
I agree. I'm experimenting with MSE on my 4-year-old laptop running XP this weekend. I've heard good things about it, and the computer seems snappier than it did with Avast! AV, which I had been running for a couple years. I had version 4 of Avast! and have heard reports that version 5 is pretty bloated, so I was looking for an alternative.

The built-in firewalls in Vista and Windows 7 are very good. If you have a hardware firewall in the form of a router, so much the better.

A semi-monthly scan with the free version of Malwarebytes is about the only other thing I might recommend you do: http://malwarebytes.org/

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Post by OAG » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:36 am

Les wrote:I'm using MSE too and it seems to have done fine over 2 months using Win 7. However, there is no report function yet that I kind find. How do you know it has run if set to scan automatically each day? Is there a way to look this up in some system log?
Check the "History" tab in the program. If it is empty it did not find anything.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.

User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Along these lines,

Post by Hexdump » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:10 am

do you also install the Windows Malicious Software removel tool ?

I keep getting those pesky popup reminders telling me it's critical and that I might be in danger.

I have been deleting the notices because I use Avira and trust it more than Microsoft.

hex

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:17 pm

OAG wrote:
Les wrote:I'm using MSE too and it seems to have done fine over 2 months using Win 7. However, there is no report function yet that I kind find. How do you know it has run if set to scan automatically each day? Is there a way to look this up in some system log?
Check the "History" tab in the program. If it is empty it did not find anything.
Maybe I wasn't clear on this question. I'm trying to see if MSE actually has scanned the system. The only time report function that seems to show is the update time and the time stamp is typically around in the early AM. MSE could have updated it's data files but not scanned my system.

I've seen some dialog on the Microsoft sight about what time MSE runs. It seems that it will run maybe an hour earlier or later then you set due to issues of Microsoft server loads. For instance, I scheduled it to run at 4am but it is running now at about 8:13am. I can see it running and since my system is a new one with plenty of memory this is not an issue but it could be on older systems. BTW, there is an indirect way to check if MSE has run since it sets a restore point and you can see the time stamp on that restore point but since MSE can run way off the scheduled time it's not always clear that MSE has set that restore point. MSE does not appear to run when the system is in sleep mode. I am guessing that eventually MSE will have more thorough reporting.

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Post by OAG » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:00 pm

I guess you could check system restore to see if the restore point was created by the program or or about the time you have scheduled it to run. The timing may not match your scheduled time if the MS server is not available at the specific time. That assumes you configured MSE to create a restore point each time it runs.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:22 pm

OAG wrote:I guess you could check system restore to see if the restore point was created by the program or or about the time you have scheduled it to run. The timing may not match your scheduled time if the MS server is not available at the specific time. That assumes you configured MSE to create a restore point each time it runs.
Yes, that's the sort of indirect method I've used just to check up on MSE. Hopefully they will provide some minimal history in the future like "Scan ran succesfully 2/21/10 @ 10:18am".

I just read a thread about MSE and sleep mode here: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/For ... 94a7d866a6
So MSE will not run when in sleep mode nor will anything else I guess. I will have to change my scan time to a time when I've turned on the system. It takes MSE ~1 to 2hr to scan my system so one should set the power settings to stay out of sleep mode for a few hours. For people with older systems that are slowed down by MSE while they work, this could be a bit awkward.

Eureka
Posts: 1123
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:24 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Eureka » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:44 pm

Les wrote:
OAG wrote:I guess you could check system restore to see if the restore point was created by the program or or about the time you have scheduled it to run. The timing may not match your scheduled time if the MS server is not available at the specific time. That assumes you configured MSE to create a restore point each time it runs.
Yes, that's the sort of indirect method I've used just to check up on MSE. Hopefully they will provide some minimal history in the future like "Scan ran succesfully 2/21/10 @ 10:18am".

I just read a thread about MSE and sleep mode here: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/For ... 94a7d866a6
So MSE will not run when in sleep mode nor will anything else I guess. I will have to change my scan time to a time when I've turned on the system. It takes MSE ~1 to 2hr to scan my system so one should set the power settings to stay out of sleep mode for a few hours. For people with older systems that are slowed down by MSE while they work, this could be a bit awkward.
On my XP computer, I found histories for the scan in Control Panel-->Administrative Tools-->Event Viewer-->System. The Source was Microsoft Antimalware. The two entries were "Microsoft Antimalware Scan has started" and "Microsoft Antimalware Scan has finished." This was a manually initiated scan. I never do automatic scans with any AV product.

I don't know whether Microsoft has renamed the Event Viewer for Vista and 7. I have two relatives with Vista, and Microsoft appears to have changed the names of a lot of things just for the sake of doing it.

One problem I noticed today with MSE is that it was shown as being up-to-date when I did a cold boot today, but it downloaded new definitions when I manually updated. A Google search showed some similar problems. In other words, there may be glitches in the auto-update feature.

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:28 pm

Thanks Eureka, this is what I was looking for. In Win 7 to get to event viewer you do Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Once in Event Viewer I expanded Information in the Summary of Administrative Events section and double clicked Microsoft Antimalware. This gives a page summary of events with timestamps -- cool.

User avatar
dbc47
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:02 am

Post by dbc47 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:10 am

Les wrote:I'm using MSE too and it seems to have done fine over 2 months using Win 7. However, there is no report function yet that I kind find. How do you know it has run if set to scan automatically each day? Is there a way to look this up in some system log?
Microsoft came out with a MSE program update this morning. It now shows when the last scan was run on the bottom of the home page.

User avatar
BlueEars
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:15 am
Location: West Coast

Post by BlueEars » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:24 am

After my system updates installed last night I now see the message in MSE too, thanks for noticing this "dbc47".

User avatar
dbc47
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:02 am

Post by dbc47 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:37 am

Les wrote:After my system updates installed last night I now see the message in MSE too, thanks for noticing this "dbc47".
No problem! Just doing my part for humanity. :D

JanetCooper
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:21 am

Post by JanetCooper » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:00 am

One of our previous setup was using eset and was pretty happy with the performance. It turned out to be light weight as compared to other counter parts.

Eureka
Posts: 1123
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:24 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Eureka » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:56 pm

I put Microsoft Security Essentials on my mom's Vista desktop a couple days ago after removing Avast! 4.8. It seemed to work until she called up Yahoo to check her mail. The computer experienced a hard lock.

I tried a system restore. That got rid of MSE but brought back a crippled Avast! 4.8 that I could not uninstall. I downloaded a removal tool from Alwil, removed Avast! and reinstalled MSE. Same lockup occurred.

Finally removed MSE and installed Avast! 5 Free. Everything is fine now.

This surprised me because most problems I've heard about with MSE have involved Windows XP.

BTW, I think Avast! 5 is more lightweight on the system than Avast! 4.8. This goes against most of what I have read but seems to be true on Vista and XP computers.

Post Reply