gunner-joe 14:28 17 Sep 2004

I would be very interested to hear the voice of computor users on this subject: Should we be using standalone firewalls and Antivirus products or should we use the microsoft pop-up blockers, firewalls and other utilities. I think Mcafee and Norton amongst others have a lot more
to give us in terms of safety and security. I have disabled the microsoft firewall and pop-up blocker and rely on Mcafee myself. I feel I am doing the "RIGHT THING" but, am unsure of the view of others in this insecure and devious world (at times!) What do you think? Also, as a footnote; why are we reliant on free anti spyware products when there is no alternative, it seems. Are these free products RISK-FREE? Regards to all GJ

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:59 17 Sep 2004

I have yet to see any convincing argument as to why a home user should pay for a firewall or AV. For home users the freebies are more than adequate. I haven't used a firewall in 2 years but I use AVG toi stop viruses. This 'insecure internet with all nasties aimed at me' is a little OTT.


  gunner-joe 15:10 17 Sep 2004

I am not insecure and I do not believe that all the nasties are aimed at me. For one, I did not say that. What I am not raising my point for a dig! The opinion of other users is what I was looking for. I am sure others, like myself would feel more secure and have a litle "piece of mind" if they were happier overall. I am not against FREEBIES and never have been.

  zootmo 15:51 17 Sep 2004

Use whatever app you feel most comfortable with, I,m using McAfee FW & AV at the moment on this machine. Microsoft's firewall does nothing to stop any outbound connection attempt, so if you you have a spy on your computer it can "phone home" and you wouldn't know.

Nor would you be warned of mass-mailer sending from your machine. I would not dream of going online without a decent firewall. There's no need to pay for either a Firewall or Antivirus program but I,m quite happy to.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:00 17 Sep 2004

I was not replying to you but to questions about 'spyware' etc., in general, which is why the quote did not refer to your posting.


  gunner-joe 16:26 17 Sep 2004

As you responded to my posting, I was led to believe your statement was aimed in my general direction, but My main concern is seeking more opinions on this subject. I am grateful for all the feedback I get. I feel quite strongly for the beginners in computing who, when faced with a problem have to part with money to be told "Sorry but we don't deal with that!" PC ADVISOR should be congratulated on having this outlet and long may it continue! I want to hear doubt and success stories altogether. Microsoft aren't that bad are they?
Regards GJ

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:08 17 Sep 2004

Indeed Microsoft are excellent. They have a superb OS that is used on (IIRC) 95% of all desktops. Contrary to popular belief, it is stable and very easy to use. If Linux was easier to use it would be put on more computers, simple as that. Microsoft gets more press because of it's popularity and as a target for all geeks. Again IIRC, I can't be bothered to Google, I do believe that Unix servers have as many attacks as MS. If you are streets ahead in the popularity stakes then you will be numero uno in the firing line.

MS do not make a home AV as far as I know so you need one from another manufacturer. For the last 2 years I have run an AVG alert list that now has over 90 people on it. They are all delighted with it and this is a better real life test than any of the lame lab tests that people are fond of quoting. Again, there is no reason for a home user to pay, if you think that paying for an AV is better then so be it but I feel that it is wasted money.

I use Avant which is a layered browser that slots over IE, is less than 1Mb and is free click here. It has a pop-up stopper that seems to work well.

Again, if you feel the need to use a firewall, as far as I can see, they are all much of a muchness. You will not get 'hacked' on a home computer but they might be useful for those on dial up to halt outward bound messages.

Generally speaking there is a lot of paranoia about viruses and the like. Yes, there are many about but in the unlikely event that you do get infected, it is usually easy to sort. Tales of hackers taking over home computers as a DNS weapon are a tad exaggerated. Items that take over your browser and tracking cookies are either double easy to get rid off or can be shifted with a little self application and this forum. Tales of viruses eating hard drives are apocryphal in 2004.

Most of the problems with spyware and tracking cookies are due to them clogging up the temp files after a few months and slowing down a computer. This is easily sorted using Ccleaner click here If you have Ccleaner, Adaware click here and Regseeker click here, AVG click here and any free firewall you will have no need to worry.


  Forum Editor 18:08 17 Sep 2004

No they're not, but aren't you contradicting yourself by saying that? In your original post you said that you have disabled the Microsoft firewall and pop-up blocker and you rely on McAfee.

I do think there's a little too much emphasis placed on locking down the average computer as if it was about to be attacked by hordes of wailing banshees from out there in the big, bad internet. Provided you don't visit dodgy sites - i.e. porn or warez - and you don't say 'Yes' to any downloads unless you know exactly what they are you're likely to be safe enough. A free anti-virus application like AVG will protect you from nasties that come in the mail, or via shared files on removeable media. Let commonsense prevail and all should be well.

  mbp 20:59 18 Sep 2004

Well said FE!

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