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Old 16. Dec 2009, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
emmjay
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Default MSE evaluation

Hello, I am a newbie and this is my first post.

I have been using PCs for many years and have never really given security software any in depth thought or consideration. The corporation I worked for always used Norton, so I just purchased it for my home systems. Having read this forum I am having second thoughts. I have N360 V3 installed on 2 systems, XP and Vista and the subscription expires in March 2010. I just purchased a new laptop with W7 Pro and I am planning on installing freeware security on it (when it arrives).

I searched your forum for MSE but only found 7 hits and 2 specific comments. As MSE has been out now for several months, is there more to consider? I have been leaning towards Avast + MSE + MBAM as a combo. Please steer me straight as I could certainly do with some good advise.
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is tons of information in these forums about security options; specifically free anti-virus solutions. A couple points:

1. Most users here would recommend either Avast or Avira as a free anti-virus solution. For more information, check out this link:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...s-software.htm

2. Most users here would NOT recommend that you run 2 anti-virus programs resident at the same time. So, we would not recommend both Avast and MSE be run at the same time. (Avast certainly has almost everything you need already; except for a firewall.) Many of us add on manual scans for spyware with SuperAntispyware and MalwareBytes.

3. For specific recommendations tailored to your usage patterns and level of comfort, please check out our security wizard at:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/secwiz
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You could also have a look at the latest reports at av-comparatives.org to get another angle, and I find it interesting to look at how some of the security programs perform in use at Remove-malware.com YouTube Channel (also shows installation and setup).
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 09:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kendal, Thank you for replying so quickly. I certainly appreciate it.

I opened the links you provided and have read through them.
NB: I chose the combo because I was told by a security pro that MSE and Avast can run together without any problems ... hmmm, bad advise!!! He also told me that I did not need a firewall with this combo.

So, I have been reading posts for about 3 hours now and I am suffering from info overload. I am now leaning toward the following combo: MSE + Comodo + MBAM or Avast (V5) + Comodo + MBAM. I already use WOT and NoScript.

Need to get a better handle on MSE though. There wasn't much in the way of an evaluation on the links you provided. Maybe someone has used it and can give a bit more advise.
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 10:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would avoid Avast v5 in the near future purely as it's very new (still in Beta) so still needs time to work through the inevitable teething problems. It is eagerly awaited though. Avast 4.8 is still an excellent choice in the meantime.

Comodo Firewall with Defense + is a great product but takes a bit of learning to use properly. Remember not to select it's AV component during install if you are using an alternative AV product. You'll find plenty of useful info regarding Comodo setup already discussed on this forum.
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have been using MSE since it was released without any problems. I also just run Windows firewall. I beef up my browser with security add-ons, and so far my own system has been clean of any bugs, and runs quite well with MSE.

I have used Avira Free and Avast Home and both work quite well.

I tried Comodo for a firewall but I found I wasn't confident about setting it up properly, so I went for the no pop-up ease of Windows firewall.
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 10:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
So, I have been reading posts for about 3 hours now and I am suffering from info overload. I am now leaning toward the following combo: MSE + Comodo + MBAM or Avast (V5) + Comodo + MBAM. I already use WOT and NoScript.

Need to get a better handle on MSE though. There wasn't much in the way of an evaluation on the links you provided. Maybe someone has used it and can give a bit more advise.
Opinions of which antivirus and which firewall to use are a very individual choice. Everyone has different ideas, thoughts, perspectives, etc.

Personally, I choose Avast and PC Tools Firewall because they are the highest rated in their class according to Maltousec and AV-Comparatives. And, they play very nice together.

That is not to say that they would be the best for you or anyone else. You will find a few MSE supporters here. However, I believe that you will find more supporters of Avira and/or Avast. MSE is the relative newcomer on the scene. That's probably why you don't find much here. Again, MSE does have some very vocal supporters here. For me, it's an unknown; at least more of an unknown that either Avira or Avast.

In terms of firewalls, your best place to look is here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-firewall.htm

Again, you have lots of different opinions here. Some thinks Windows own firewall is enough. Others think that you need a firewall with a built-in HIPS (which windows firewall does not include). Most of us believe that if you have a broadband connection, then you need a software firewall plus a hardware router/firewall.

Your choice of firewall is going to also rely on your comfort level with firewall technology and your willingness to learn proper settings. In my opinion, Comodo and Online Armour (others will disagree) are for individuals with a strong knowledge of firewalls or a desire to tweak settings, etc. If you are an average user or want a basically set-it-and-forget it firewall, then you're probably going to want more of a Outpost or PC Tools Firewall.

Some of this, again, is personal choice and what works for you. I'm convinced that there is not one perfect solution for everyone. I think you do your homework, talk to people, read forums, and make the most informed choice that you can. Then, practice safe surfing habits and computer use and use things like WOT and noscript and pray.

One last thing, I personally am not a fan of adding a resident anti-spyware program to either Avira or Avast. I don't think it's warranted or needed. That doesn't mean that I don't do manual scans regularly. I do. I also use SpywareBlaster, but that doesn't run all the time.
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmjay View Post
Hello, I am a newbie and this is my first post.

I have been using PCs for many years and have never really given security software any in depth thought or consideration. The corporation I worked for always used Norton, so I just purchased it for my home systems. Having read this forum I am having second thoughts. I have N360 V3 installed on 2 systems, XP and Vista and the subscription expires in March 2010. I just purchased a new laptop with W7 Pro and I am planning on installing freeware security on it (when it arrives).

I searched your forum for MSE but only found 7 hits and 2 specific comments. As MSE has been out now for several months, is there more to consider? I have been leaning towards Avast + MSE + MBAM as a combo. Please steer me straight as I could certainly do with some good advise.
My recommendation on MSE: Very great and low memory footprint

Definitely a plus. My recommendation on security is:
  • Microsoft Security Essentials or Panda Cloud Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes Anti Malware or Ad-Aware as real time scanner
  • The other from above as on demand scanning
  • Berlac Security Advisor
  • Comodo Firewall (if you really want a firewall)
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Old 16. Dec 2009, 11:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The latest version of Comodo whilst good as gold on XP and Vista is having quite a few issues with x64 Windows 7 which is why I haven't installed it on mine

I would also run through this thread from Wilders if you're considering PC Tools because I still don't consider this as easy an option as it might first look.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=260413

I can't profess any long term knowledge of it like others here can because it's only just got round to recognizing my 3G broadband connection so until I switched to Windows 7, I mostly used Comodo.

What I would say is this.

Please don't dump Norton from your other machines just yet even if you're tempted. Quite a few of the freeware solutions are either getting another makeover for the New Year or being re-born completely like Avast! When your Norton licenses actually expire might be a better time to consider a change because many of these new offerings will have been ironed out by then. Not only that, although I'm no fan of Norton the performance is there to see if you can put up with the rest of it. Revolving windows (in the suite anyway) - lovely!

For your new laptop, the W7 firewall is a plenty good enough option for now until you can familiarize yourself with the new system and chosen AV components. Also still in development is Privatefirewall which has just seen one makeover with further improvements in the pipeline. Early in the New Year this will include an upgraded process monitor, better leak protection and full x 64 compatibility. Knowing this product and the vendor, I would suggest that this might well be one of the best W7 third party replacements when it's released, certainly in terms of usability.

For your AV, MSE is solid enough without setting the world alight. That said, and again for your own situation, it will provide an easy to manage solution which you can always change later on for something a bit more comprehensive if you feel the need. I would supplement this with HitmanPro. It's one of the easiest apps to use, the scanning is fully functional whatever, and you get 30 days worth of removal capability should you need it. As I've said in many other threads you do need to view all "tests" with a degree of caution but Hitman seems to do pretty well.

http://malwareresearchgroup.com/?page_id=2

Thanks to Fireboy241 but it's actually "Belarc" Advisor and yes this is a great program for logging your system details including any failed updates etc. Well worth having on board.

I wish you well with your new setup and hope that between us we haven't given you too much to read.
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Last edited by MidnightCowboy; 17. Dec 2009 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 17. Dec 2009, 12:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Midnight, I normally highly respect your opinion and judgment. This time, however, I have to question you referring to a test done by the Malware Research Group. Malware Research Group was determined to be dishonest and kicked off the Wilder's forum. (For details, see http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showt...research+group)

I'm sorry, Hitman Pro might be a great product, but I don't trust the results of any test done by MRG.
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