Antivirus/Spyware/Firewall - Order of necessity?

  compumac 11:57 21 Apr 2006

I had another thread on this forum and one of the replies prompts the question:- In what order of priority do you give to the use of Firewalls, Antispyware and Antivirus programmes? I always believed that a Firewall was a necessity.

  [DELETED] 11:59 21 Apr 2006


AV (necessity), Anti-spy (necessity), Firewall (not a necessity).

  [DELETED] 12:13 21 Apr 2006


Antivirus = must have [and must be kept up to date]
AntiSpyware = good to have, but not truly a necessity
firewall = I have not used a firewall now for about 4 years and have NEVER had any problems. I removed this as a trial after Gandalf explained the logic behind him not using one & I found that I agreed and understood. He believes that hackers want to access large, corporate systems rather than personal PCs - there is really nothing on there that they could access/use/keep them interested!

I was surprised that my statement that I don't use a firewall initiated postings that this was the worst advice anyone could ever give! Just a little bit of self control as to what websites and programs - i.e P2P, etc - are used or viewed as well as keeping your AV [& anti-spy if preferred] up to date & this becomes a pointless protection that give more 'false-positives' than it is worth.

I can only speak from my own experience.


  compumac 12:24 21 Apr 2006

Hi again
I did not myself feel that your advice was the worst advice to be given, in fact your advice made me think more about the attributes/necessity of a firewall and the reason for this thread was to see if it was a general view felt by others. I shall have to see if I can locate that view given by Gandalf.

  [DELETED] 12:26 21 Apr 2006

An AV (AVG) is a must have and I have never heard a good reason why a home user should pay for one; I also use Windows Defender and have not used a firewall for over 3 years as I believe that they are not a necessity and I have previously explaind the reasons many times before. Common sense is much better and a firewall would not have stopped Spyaxe et al. I fail to see the necessity in having several anti-spy programmes and scanning with each one daily. I also have never heard a single good reason why a home user needs to pay for any security.


  compumac 12:30 21 Apr 2006

Your comments noted and I thank you for them

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:32 21 Apr 2006

AV = must have

AS = must have (some nasty malware programs that can slow your machine or even disable it)

Firewall = What do you do with your machine?
If used for work and / or connection to work network then firewall required.
If stand alone for personal use then careful use of the net means you probably don't need it.
If connected by router then it probably has a hardware firewall built in so no need for a software one.

  compumac 12:39 21 Apr 2006

Thanks for comments, for some reason in the distant past I must have formed the opinion that a firewall was a necessity and now I cannot think what the basis for that reasoning was. Senility has a lot to answer for

  dogbreath1 12:49 21 Apr 2006

AV - Essential

Antispyware (Real Time) - Essential

Antispyware (Ad-hoc Snanners) - Desirable

Firewall - Desirable (Especially as regards catching what might try to 'dial out' as much as what might be trying to get in)

Startup Monitor - Important to be able to be warned of an attempt by a prog. to register a new startup process. click here

  spuds 13:18 21 Apr 2006

The main point whatever you have, always keep it updated. No good having a redundant safeguard if its not solving the purpose!.

Using antispyware is good for certain purposes, but some people go far overboard with a vast combination, then get very paranoid as to why one programme as found something, when another programme as not (false/positive?).

My consideration: Antivirus-AVG or Avast (free versions) Antispy- Defender,SpyBot,Spyware Blaster (free versions) Firewall- ZoneAlarm (because there's a free version).

  [DELETED] 17:56 21 Apr 2006

"....then it probably has a hardware firewall built in so no need for a software one."

How do you work that one out, Fruitbat? Broadly speaking, pretty much the only common ground between hardware and client firewalls is the SPI component. They do two different jobs/have two different specialities.

Being able to control program internet access and program launching, not to mention network security, is very useful to me. I have had the occasional trojan downloader that has tried and failed to dial out - without my being asked about it, they would only have turned up in a subsequent malware scan, by which time there would be more stuff to clean out.

I don't have any illusions about being "hacked" by the "scary evil people" out there in the WWW - that's not why I have client firewalls. We all know that they are not impossible to break anyway. I have client firewalls for the reasons in the previous paragraph and nothing else.

Though I would like to know how any "hacker" would know the difference between a single PC and the gateway to a corporate network when all that he initially sees is an IP unless he specifically knows what IP he is looking for. Surely he would have to get in first to see what was behind it. Just a thought....

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