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Posted: 5/9/2004 1:55:08 PM EST
Okay, I'm on the market for a good antivirus/firewall/internet security suite and a good system tools suite for my new PC.

I just picked up Norton SystemWorks Professional and Internet Security Professional, but after reading a few things on CNET, I've decided not to open them just yet.

I'm familiar with McAfee, but that's about it.

For internet security, I want kick-ass virus protection as well as all the privacy tools I can get (IP hiding, system scrubbing of history, etc.)

For system utilities, I'm looking for things like a good defrag, a decent file shredder, disk imaging, etc.

If anyone know reliable, downloadable alternatives, I'm all ears.

Thanks!

P.S. - Running Windows XP Pro on a 1.7GHz Pentium M laptop with 1.5 GB RAM and a soon-to-be 60GB 7200 RPM HDD.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:00:28 PM EST
Hardware firewall works good.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:02:56 PM EST
I'm using a laptop, so unless a hardware firewall fits on a PCMCIA card, then it's not going to be a practical solution for me at this stage.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:03:10 PM EST
Forgot to add, this is one of the best free, virus app, www.free-av.com/
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:06:21 PM EST
I've experience with just McAfee. I'm very pleased with it. In fact, the McAfee pop-up blocker works too damn well.

I don't know much about the firewall performance as I've got it turned off. The privacy service (i.e. erases history, etc.) does a good job.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:48:30 PM EST
Anyone else?
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:01:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 3:03:22 PM EST by Kar98]
Forget about "suites" for "internet security". Assemble your own. There's not one manufacturer who does it /all/ just right.
I'm fairly happy with the annual Norton Anti-Virus program since about 1993. The rest of their "suite" just sucks goatballs and wreaks way too much havoc upon unsuspecting computers. For a firewall, I'm using a Netopia Cayman 3546. Pop-up Stopper Pro is fighting pop-ups, and Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware share the task of eliminating spyware, malware and adware.
I wish there was a manual for fine-tuning Windows though, but in general, you can even keep it safe. Ditto for IE 6.
For those who are going to say, "Use Linux!", I'm using Windows since version 3.0 and I'm sure as hell not going to throw away more then a decade of experience. Incidentally, Linux takes as much time and knowledge to configure it to be useful and safe as WXP, if not more.

Use your favorite search engine to find the programs mentioned above. As for the router/firewall, my ISP is offering it for $378 +S/H, +sales tax, but I found one, two weeks old, on eBay for $55 incl. S/H, no tax. Original buyer just wasn't smart enough to figure the thing out, and admittedly, it took me a whole night as well.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:21:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kar98:
Forget about "suites" for "internet security". Assemble your own. There's not one manufacturer who does it /all/ just right.



Yes, forget about suites for the above reasons.

AV: PC-cillin 2004 (disable the FW) or Norton AV 2004

FW: Zone Alarm Pro or Sygate 5.5 Pro

Spyware: SpySweeper (memory resident) and AD-Aware, HighJackThis, SpyBot S&D

Cleanup: CyberScrub or WindowsWasher
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:28:40 PM EST
No suites here..
Zone alarm pro for the firewall,
AVG anti-virus. (It has picked out bugs that norton missed. Proven with my own eyes.)
PGPi for disk free space wipes. Also is pretty good with songle file wipes.
Opera for browser. You can set it up easily for no history.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:29:45 PM EST
Well, I'm running NAV 2004 right now, and I have Adaware downloaded.

Do I really need a firewall? I'm not hosting anything.

I'm going to look at that CyberScrub program. Reckon everything else can be done via WinXP or stuff you can download.

Suits me! $200 I'm saving! Thanks!
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:34:24 PM EST
I've used Norton Anti-virus and Norton Utilites for the last 12 years. They've alwayed served me well. When I got a cable modem, I tried a number of software firewalls, including Norton's, and didn't like them. I settled with ZoneAlarm Pro. It works great.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:40:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Do I really need a firewall? I'm not hosting anything.



For a number of reasons, software firewalls are useless at best anyway. Think slick50.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:43:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Do I really need a firewall? I'm not hosting anything.




If you are online you need a firewall.
If you are running XP, you REALLY NEED A FIREWALL.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:47:07 PM EST
Software firewalls work OK for general stuff.

For any kind of focused attack its like holding up your hand to stop a bullet
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:56:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By tc6969:
Software firewalls work OK for general stuff.

For any kind of focused attack its like holding up your hand to stop a bullet


True, but getting a hardware firewall for a laptop.....
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:58:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By otar:

Originally Posted By tc6969:
Software firewalls work OK for general stuff.

For any kind of focused attack its like holding up your hand to stop a bullet


True, but getting a hardware firewall for a laptop.....



Yes? You have to go online somehow anyway, no? So you have to connect the laptop to /something/. Might as well be a hardware firewall.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:07:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Do I really need a firewall?


If you have a high speed always on connection, you need a firewall.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:08:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Okay, I'm on the market for a good antivirus/firewall/internet security suite and a good system tools suite for my new PC.

I just picked up Norton SystemWorks Professional and Internet Security Professional, but after reading a few things on CNET, I've decided not to open them just yet.

I'm familiar with McAfee, but that's about it.

For internet security, I want kick-ass virus protection as well as all the privacy tools I can get (IP hiding, system scrubbing of history, etc.)

For system utilities, I'm looking for things like a good defrag, a decent file shredder, disk imaging, etc.

If anyone know reliable, downloadable alternatives, I'm all ears.

Thanks!

P.S. - Running Windows XP Pro on a 1.7GHz Pentium M laptop with 1.5 GB RAM and a soon-to-be 60GB 7200 RPM HDD.



'Utility suites' became redundant with Windows 2000.

They're a waste of money...

Get a good hardware firewall (it plugs in to your internet connection, so it has nothing to do with the laptop itself), unless you use dialup, in which case a firewall is a nonissue.

Software firewalls are all universally weak & useless, you might as well use the one built into XP as none of the aftermarket products are any better...

Get any old antivirus program, both Adaware & spybot, and you will be fine.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:09:00 PM EST
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:10:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ratters:
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?



They can.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:15:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ratters:
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?


Mine does.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:05:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ratters:
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?



No I'm running behind a Netgear FR114P( $78.00) true hardware firewall w/ SPI (stateful packet inspection) Most wireless routers are not true firewalls. Getting your computer information from Cnet/ZDnet is like believing the write ups in G&A.

Norton: System HOG , but simple to use , win doctor is only prog. of theirs I'd use. good AV/poor trojan detection

McAfee: easier on resourses, more complex FW affords more controll, good AV/ poor trojan detection

PcCillin : easier yet on resourses, little controll over firewall, good AV, good trojan detection

Want the best AV bar none ? NOD32 by ESET

IMO :
1) PcCillin Intern. security
2)McAfee " "
3)Norton " "

Just my .02

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:09:37 PM EST
A router is not a firewall. If you have a BB connection you need a router with an integrated firewall doing SPI.

It is not true that a software FW is completely useless. It does have some use even in a dial-up environment. The WinXP firewall is useless though.

Unless you have an anti-sypware program running in memory you will get infected/hijacked using IE. Programs like Ad-Aware (the free version) only detect SW after you're already infected.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:18:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ratters:
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?



All home-router devices act as a firewall.

This is neccicary because they perform Network Address Translation. Since your PC doesn't have a public IP, it is segregated from the internet. All incoming connections hit the router's IP stack (which, being based on a non-Win32 embedded OS, is immune to Microsoft bugs), and stop there.

This protects you from IP worms, by shielding Windows from the Internet. Same thing for hackers trying to take over your system. They can try to take over the router, but it provides nothing for them to take over. Unless you specifically configure it to forward ports to your PC (like if you started running a webserver at home. If you do this with Windows/IIS, you just pasted a huge 'Hack Me' sign on your virtual back.), you're safe.

Firewalls do nothing against mail viruses, that's what a virus scanner is for. The purpose of a firewall is to block unwanted incoming connections to your computer(s).

The real 'separation' between 'router' and 'firewall' comes when you start dealing with 'corporate grade' routers which can be used to route IP traffic between multiple public addresses. Then the 'router' may not neccicarily act as a firewall since it may be configured to route directly from the internet to exposed machines, a/o using NAT.

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:52:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Ratters:
I know most wired routers act as firewalls, do wireless ones act as firewalls as well?



All home-router devices act as a firewall.

This is neccicary because they perform Network Address Translation. Since your PC doesn't have a public IP, it is segregated from the internet. All incoming connections hit the router's IP stack (which, being based on a non-Win32 embedded OS, is immune to Microsoft bugs), and stop there.

This protects you from IP worms, by shielding Windows from the Internet. Same thing for hackers trying to take over your system. They can try to take over the router, but it provides nothing for them to take over. Unless you specifically configure it to forward ports to your PC (like if you started running a webserver at home. If you do this with Windows/IIS, you just pasted a huge 'Hack Me' sign on your virtual back.), you're safe.

Firewalls do nothing against mail viruses, that's what a virus scanner is for. The purpose of a firewall is to block unwanted incoming connections to your computer(s).

The real 'separation' between 'router' and 'firewall' comes when you start dealing with 'corporate grade' routers which can be used to route IP traffic between multiple public addresses. Then the 'router' may not neccicarily act as a firewall since it may be configured to route directly from the internet to exposed machines, a/o using NAT.



Um, I think theres something missing in that.
Unless things have changed routers are routers.
A couple years ago I hacked into a friends computer across town through his DSL modem and router and untlimately into the pc in question. He had told me to "try" to get into his system anytime and he didn't need a firewall. Then I e-mailed him the log of my doings along with a snapshot of the c drive directory.
He then went and got a firewall.
If you have the interest surf over to www.grc.com (link left cold intentionally) and look for the shields up. Run his test. Its not 100% because he doesn't scan all ports, but he does scan the majors. If you can stealth through his tests you should be reasonably secure.
Viri, worms, spyware, and browser hijacks are a whole other set of issues.
Just my .02


Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:06:03 PM EST
Well, I ran the grc tests and came up in full stealth mode so I guess this router is doing some good as I have no software firewall running.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:15:13 PM EST
Most all of the BB router/switch combos offer rudimentry firewall at a minimum. They block traffic that is trying to pass uninvited.

Try Knoppix 3.4, it is Linux that runs off of a CD, does not need to install to your harddrive, and when you reboot, it is all new again. No files to delete, no muss no fuss.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:22:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ratters:
Well, I ran the grc tests and came up in full stealth mode so I guess this router is doing some good as I have no software firewall running.



Hmmm,
I think I'm gona have to start looking for a new router. Mine has no firewall in it.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:32:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By otar:
If you have the interest surf over to www.grc.com (link left cold intentionally) and look for the shields up. Run his test. Its not 100% because he doesn't scan all ports, but he does scan the majors. If you can stealth through his tests you should be reasonably secure.



Your Internet port 139 does not appear to exist!
One or more ports on this system are operating in FULL STEALTH MODE! Standard Internet behavior requires port connection attempts to be answered with a success or refusal response. Therefore, only an attempt to connect to a nonexistent computer results in no response of either kind. But YOUR computer has DELIBERATELY CHOSEN NOT TO RESPOND (that's very cool!) which represents advanced computer and port stealthing capabilities. A machine configured in this fashion is well hardened to Internet NetBIOS attack and intrusion.

Unable to connect with NetBIOS to your computer.
All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED. (This is very uncommon for a Windows networking-based PC.) Relative to vulnerabilities from Windows networking, this computer appears to be VERY SECURE since it is NOT exposing ANY of its internal NetBIOS networking protocol over the Internet.

Port Scan.
All ports: There is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that a port (or even any computer) exists at this IP address!

...and so forth
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