February 14th, 2004, 12:26 PM
Decisions re: firewall/antivirus. Help pls.
Hi everyone. Am new to this forum so I hope I am being mannerly enough ;-) tho am not new to being online, having chatted in icq and yahoo for about 7 years now. Yet no matter how long u chat for u always end up feeling like a newbie (lol!) cos things are constantly changing. For me, it's been great being online (esp as I met my husband in chat!) yet sometimes u have difficulties and mine is starting fresh on a comp given to us by a family member. It has XP (which I don't like too much) and came complete with a trojan, which we seem to hv successfully rid ourselves of - though there are still some strange goings on that am not sure whether are connected or not - such as msnmsgs.exe suddenly starting to launch itself even when messenger is not activated. This wasn't happening b4. I dropped it in the bin just in case. Can always get it again. Anyway, we hv been trying to sort out our security and I am hoping I can get some assistance with this.
The story thus far is:
I hv been trialling Sygate Personal Firewall Pro 5.5 which I like and feel I can use (esp like the backtrace which is helpful in making decisions about what to allow/not allow), but the only prob I have is it has no antivirus prog. Some say u don't need if u have gd firewall but I would prefer to hv. So then I trialled Symantec's package with Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus (both 2004) which I heard was supposed to be very easy to use but I have not found it to be so. I don't get enough info to decide what to allow/not allow and hv sometimes made bad decision and ended up being unable to do things I want to do then had to work out what to chg. This is proving frustrating and time consuming.
So I disabled Norton firewall, enabled Norton antivirus and enabled Sygate firewall and all has been working well - apart from one thing. My trials are almost ended and I have to make decisions and what I am using could prove expensive and we are broke half the time.
Also, even if I did choose to have Sygate firewall with Norton antivirus (and they seem quite compatible. No fistycuffs thus far!) I have questions as to whether to totally uninstall the Norton trialware which was a pkg incl firewall and antivirus together so I can replace with just antivirus part. Or can I just uninstall the firewall part? I want to do this as simply as possible as I am one of those who is intermediate with what I know (prob the most dangerous - a little info can be a dangerous thing!!!).
Can anyone assist me in making my decisions etc.?
February 14th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Welcome _ashuro in AO...well i ve been using xp for sometimes (now migrated to linux) and i used a zone alarm pro firewall (the zone alarm free version is also pretty good) and even if a lot of people will say that zone alarm is not that good i felt quite safe with it.. now i did not exactly buy it... i had a trial...but now have the full version...i think you understand (i cannot admit having done sth that is done by many people on the net just for legal reasons!!!)...Sygate is also very good idid not try it but many friends use it...i dont know if you can just uninstall the norton firewall but iwould recommend to use by any means the norton antivirus (even if your trial ends!!!!:-) ) ... i dont know if i helped you...cheers
Is that the place where I am supposed to say sth clever and brilliant so that everybody understands how clever nice guy I am????
Screw you guys I am going home!-Kartman
February 14th, 2004, 02:04 PM
If you like Sygate and are comfortable using it - stick with it. Have you checked out the FREE version? I believe it has many of the same features as Pro. Personally, I like Outpost (Free version) by Agnitum. It has extra features that allow you to fine tune your browsing like Web site content filtering, ad and pop-up blockers, mail attachment filtering and DNS cache - just to name a few. Kerio Personal Firewall and Zone Alarm also have free firewall versions. If you want to save money and still protect your computer, there are 4 free antivirus programs you should check out. Alwil Avast Home Edition, Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus System, H+BEDV Datentechnik AntiVir Personal Edition and Softwin BitDefender Free Edition Version. All 4 programs have automatic pattern updates. Avast will scan your Outlook and POP3/SMTP email, AVG will scan email for Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora and Exchange clent but AntiVir and BitDefender do not include email scanning.
If you do decide to go with the Sygate/Norton combo, I would suggest totally uninstalling the trialware package and go with a clean install. There should be an uninstall program supplied with the trialware. If you are concerned at all about program stragglers, EasyCleaner by ToniArts works well at cleaning up system and registry files, has a backup option (in case you delete something you shouldn't have) and best of all - it's FREE! I used to be an avid fan of Norton but they let me down when I least needed it so I've steered clear ever since.
You might also consider using Ad-Aware and Spybot Search&Destroy to guard against malware and spyware, both of which have free versions. A program I've been using ever since I read about it here on AntiOnline is SwatIt. It is a free Trojan scanning program that will scan individual files, folders or complete drives. You can also configure it to scan specific file types.
Whatever you decide - I'd like to applaud your decision not to rely solely on the firewall protection of Windows XP. Good luck in your deciding.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
February 14th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Well as far as my experience goes, You totally uninstall nortan package and then install only antivirus package as partial uninstalling will leave some shared files on your pc creating problems later. Or u can install any other free antivirus package like AVG (Norton You installed is trial ware) which don'y have firewall part and hence will not create problem with your firewall.
Happy surfing :-)
It\'s all about sense of power.
February 14th, 2004, 02:38 PM
Thanks to u all & sorry this is not a personal thanks to each of u but time is limited. Am trying to actually to live a bit irl lol! *stands up in front of u all and says how she is a reformed net addict...*
I will print out your replies & chew over em a bit then try to make my decision. *nods about zone alert* I was using this successfully when I lived in Australia. Virttho, I will look into those things u suggested tho sometimes it is knowing enough to use things. My son is great at this sort of stuff but the reason I hv stopped asking him is cos he knows so much that he assumes I can cope with stuff he uses which is way over my head. Am experienced in some areas but not others. Which makes me a tad worried that I won't get many points here cos a lot of u can prob help others a lot better than me! Oh well... hopefully warm caring hearts win points too? *grin*
All the best and thanks again,
February 14th, 2004, 03:40 PM
I would have to agree with rider....use AVG. It is just as good, and in some cases better than, Norton AntiVirus. As for the firewall, I'd stick with Sygate if you are comfortable with it. I use it on several computers and it is a pretty solid firewall. Ad-Aware is a must have, especially because it is free, and I would also recommend nihil's favorite, RegProtect.
Here's what you need:
Ad-Aware 6 Personal - Don't forget the latest update file!
Windows 9x: n.
A collection of 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor. Written by a 2 bit company that can\'t stand 1 bit of competition.
February 14th, 2004, 11:41 PM
Thanks for the link to RegProt. I hadn't really considered a program that could detect any immediate Reg Key changes. I'll install it shortly.