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  1. #1
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    TOP STORY

    Windows Secrets Security Baseline update


    By Robert Vamosi

    Our monthly update of the Windows Secrets Security Baseline focuses on anti-malware suites — all-in-one commercial packages that fight viruses, spam, spyware, and malware that's still unknown — plus suites you assemble yourself.

    Regardless of your skill level — beginner, intermediate, or advanced user — you should be able to find security protection that's right for your needs.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/05/13/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 18:42.

  2. #2
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    The Online Armour Firewall is not supported for Windows 7 64 bit, as yet. Maybe next Year!

    Also, according to Masoutec, all our efforts to protect ourselves will be a waste of time, as they have apparently created malware that can morph and defeat any Antivirus or Anti malware engine out there!

  3. #3
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    Article was good up to a point but glaring ommissions such as AVG which is available in both free and paid editions and Avira which again is free or paid version - my personal experience among home users in the UK over the last 15 or more years is that AVG is the big favourite and does a very good job without problems.
    A large number of PCs I get in to deal with are being strangled by a version of Norton or worse by one of Mcafee's products.
    I generally recommend AVG coupled with Malwarebytes, Spy Bot or Superantispyware free.
    Martin
    Tusker Technology

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Perrett View Post
    <snip>
    I normally do not get in to these type of conversations as they can get rather opinionated so I'll keep it short and sweet. You're speaking from your own experience which I appreciate. Both companies have had their fouls as do many in the AV sector and this is something to remember and most importantly it is how the company deals with the issue at hand and stopping any future fouls on the way. The public floor is very important as they'll want to keep their reputation up to a high enough standard that they have a subscriber base to support

    Some relevant articles for each product. Personally I am a fan of neither product.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10093875-83.html
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10067148-83.html
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10789_3-9986453-57.html

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003074-83.html
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003247-83.html
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003399-83.html

  5. #5
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    Just wanted to get my 2 cents worth in here. I have been using Kaspersky AV for the past 3 years. I now have 3 pc's using KAV. 1 with Windows XP Pro, 1 with Windows XP Home, and 1 with Windows 7 Home premium. Up until this year, I have been very satisfied with it. Since then it has become a CPU hog and the techs there don't seem to either want to or can't fix the problem. Also, over the past few months, 2 of the three computers (1 XP Pro & 1 XP Home) have been compromised with the malware "Virus Protector". While KAV who claims to have the top of the line defenses for this type infection, I had to in both cases install the antimalware program...Malwarebytes Anti-malware...to get rid of them. KAV didn't even catch it during the full scan which I do every night. Personally, I am looking to change my AV protection very soon. Years ago I used Norton System Works, and left them due to its processes hogging the CPU. I tried the AV program NOD32, but had a hard time working with it. Thats another story.
    As I said, I just wanted to get my 2 cents worth in here.

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    Good article, but I was a bit taken back that NOD32 or Smart Security by ESET was not involved in your discussion. I have been using both for several years and find either far superior to Norton, McAfee or Kaspersky. I believe without telling your readers about Eset you are only giving them half of the story. Just my 2 cents................

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    2 Star Lounger cyberdiva's Avatar
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    In your article, you give the impression that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an antivirus program. You describe it as "One of the gold standards of standalone antivirus apps" and note that "It has not been evaluated alongside Norton, Kaspersky, or any other leading AV apps...." Repeatedly, the folks at Malwarebytes have emphasized that it is NOT a replacement for an antivirus program, that you should have an antivirus program IN ADDITION to Malwarebytes (MBAM). MBAM is not designed to be an antivirus program; rather, it is designed to look for and catch malware that many antivirus programs miss. It's a great program, but you do it and your readers a disservice to suggest that it is an antivirus program.

    I was also a little surprised that you list Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) as a suite. I thought that a security suite included antivirus, antimalware, and a firewall, but as far as I know, MSE does not include a firewall.

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    I think you misrepresented the reviews of Kaspersky by calling them "middling". This is what PC World actually said:

    Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 was the second-place finisher in our 2010 security suites roundup, trailing only Norton Internet Security, and not by much. It earns high scores for strong malware detection, efficient performance, and a well-designed interface. While Kaspersky executes these features well, the price ($80 for 3 users as of 3/10/2010) is more than the cost of some other suites.

    [...snip...]

    In detecting active malware infections on a PC, Kaspersky performed well. It found all malware samples and disabled 87 percent, but removed all files for only 47 percent of the test infections (that score for removal is about average; no suite managed to remove all traces of every infection). And Kaspersky tied McAfee as the top performer in rootkit detection, finding and removing all inactive and active rootkits.
    PC Mag was slightly more reserved, but perhaps a bit more positive than you implied:

    I very much like the way Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 intelligently handles Application Control without hassling the user. The new "Safe Run" sandbox is another unusual and advanced feature. In my real-world anti-malware testing, the suite came out okay but not great, and it did have a measurable effect on system performance. All in all, however, this feature-packed suite is a good choice.

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    My 2: I started using AVG free on all my home PC's/laptops as well as my kids, friends and business acquaintances, from a recommendation about 60 years ago in the Langalist. It has suited me fine, I don't want to divert any energy from my other activities to change something that doesn't seem broke. What worries me is that I never get a message saying "virus found" or "you have entered a dangerous site" or some such. Also I never get any Windows Defender messages. I periodically scan to see if the thing is working and it finds no problems. My computers work well, and nothing mysterious happens. Either I'm so blindly protected, or my clean computing practices are paying off, or my browser (Chrome) is THAT good, or something...to me, it aint broke. What bugs me is it's not in the preferred list anymore. Should I change, or should I ignore?

    free : (Admins/Eds, I *love* the forums!!)

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    I'll chime in with my $.02 regarding Symantec's top rating, but it is not concerning the suite's performance.

    Instead, based on my experience with several generations of Symantec's suites, both on my work- and home machines, Symantec's marketing tactics and the way the bury their application so deep into the system that it makes it harder to remove than the worst malware, have soured me forever on that company.

    As an example, I cancelled my subscription with Syamantec at the end of 2008. I confirmed this with a rep at Symantec. After quite a bit of work, I was able to (I think) completely uninstall their suite from my home PC. Then, just a few months ago - in early 2010 - I noticed that Symantec automatically tapped my Amex account for a software renewal, even though I hadn't used their product for over a year! I was absolutely livid. I immediately called Amex and had all future Symantec charges forever blocked. I also called Symantec - again - to have them completely delete my account. My only other similar experience was trying to release myself from AOL's slimy hold, back in the day.

    Bottom line is this: if your anti-malware provider treats you like you're some dope they can scam, and if their anti-malware app is harder to uninstall than the worst kind of virus, it's time to find another anti-malware provider.

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    ABC is best. No, XYZ is best. But what about QRS? Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. No anti-virus, or anti-spyware, or anti-anything is 100% effective 100% of the time. Whatever tests are run today by whatever testing company you care to name, will not give the same results a month from now. Virus Bulletin might list ABC as best of show in their April 2010 tests and then list XYZ as best of show two months later. Does anyone on this forum really care if their anti-malware has a 96.4% success rate and mine gets a higher 96.7%? Are you really going to switch based on that test? How about if my choice always scores 0.3% higher than your choice? Will you switch then? Most of us will never be able to tell a difference in EFFECTIVENESS because there are too many variables involved. If your computer is not running the same OS as mine, the same programs, apps, if you don't visit the same web sites, etc. etc. etc, we will never be able to get an objective test score. What we CAN determine is if ABC makes your computer run slower than XYZ. Or if you get more false positives with XYZ vs. QRS. Or if one is more expensive than another. Or which product your favorite tech writer recommends. That's how most of decide which anti-whatever we're going to use. Bottom line is running some kind of anti-malware is better than running nothing at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Springer View Post
    Good article, but I was a bit taken back that NOD32 or Smart Security by ESET was not involved in your discussion. I have been using both for several years and find either far superior to Norton, McAfee or Kaspersky. I believe without telling your readers about Eset you are only giving them half of the story. Just my 2 cents................
    I would agree completely. Working for a consulting firm here in Canada, we have found ESET's product suite to FAR surpass any other AV we have tested. We have deployed close to a 1000 seats of this product in the last year or so in legal, accounting, and even Oilfield construction companies. Interface is fairly simple, the corporate version allows centralized management, and it catches Malware, Virii, and other "potential threats". One major benefit we found was very little system performance hits even on very old systems. (PIII and P4 Systems running Win2k, XP)

    In fact one of our clients has switched from the Norton/Symantec products because his entire office became infected with "Antivirus 2009/2010" malware. When he contacted Symantec about it, the support technician actually told him that this was Malware and not a virus (even though it made the systems completely unusable) and therefore Symantec AV was not designed to catch it. After manually cleaning his systems to remove the Malware and removing Symantec, his users "caught" the same Malware with ESET before it was able install itself.

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    Why didn't you review AV Grisoft? I have used their service for over five years without any intrusions into my security. Virus-free is the way to fly!

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    I happen to have been an Online Armor user for a couple of years, so with regards to Online Armor, it's not mentioned in the WS article but they actually offer a paid version that includes antivirus. There's three versions of Online Armor; Online Armor FREE, Online Armor Premium and Online Armor ++. Online Armor ++ incorporates antivirus, antimalware and a rootkit scanner in addition to all of the features of the Premium version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrad456 View Post
    The Online Armour Firewall is not supported for Windows 7 64 bit, as yet. Maybe next Year!

    Also, according to Masoutec, all our efforts to protect ourselves will be a waste of time, as they have apparently created malware that can morph and defeat any Antivirus or Anti malware engine out there!
    The paid versions are actually able to be installed on Windows 7 x64 by using the command line "/dragonslayer" when running the installer The easiest way to do that is by creating a shortcut to the installer, and then adding space and /dragonslayer to the target. You should read the release notes in their support forum before installing on Windows 7 x64 though (the requirement of the commandline paramater is to ensure informed consent of this). Their forum also states that they are currently accepting beta testers for x64 if anyone is interested.

    With regards to Matousec, there is a thread on Online Armor's forum where the CEO of Tall Emu has replied to this concern here http://support.tallemu.com/vbforum/s...ad.php?t=13015 Hope linking to it is okay (the forum rules seemed to indicate it was okay as long as I'm not spamming to sell something and I don't sell anything anyway).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas P. Belfiore View Post
    [...] Symantec's marketing tactics and the way the bury their application so deep into the system that it makes it harder to remove than the worst malware, have soured me forever on that company. [...] Bottom line is this: if your anti-malware provider treats you like you're some dope they can scam, and if their anti-malware app is harder to uninstall than the worst kind of virus, it's time to find another anti-malware provider.
    I agree with Doug this. I am never using Symantec products again, based on several very unpleasant experiences with components that were near impossible to remove and equally difficult to get working right.

    I note that, unlike many software vendors, Kaspersky's tech support is excellent. I have always got pertinent, clear answers within 24 hours of an inquiry, usually much quicker.

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