Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

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lrb111
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby lrb111 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:27 am

OldSchool wrote:I will still hold to my earlier recommendation, except there is one virus that those cannot possibly defend against: Windows Update.

Had another hard drive trashed by the WU virus Tuesday night, and spent last evening converting that dual-boot machine completely to Ubuntu. That was indeed the last straw.



Yep, all the machines I use are dual boot w/ Ubuntu, and it's my primary. 99% of my computer usage is online with Firefox. So, I don't even use most of the software that other folks need under Windows. Having Linux makes life so much simpler, especially since I use no less than 4 different machines daily. I was spending half my computing time fixing the computers.

My go to anti-virus now for Windows is Malwarebytes, and accepting the fact that they will always be infected with something.
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baldeagle
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby baldeagle » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:13 am

Antivirus is becoming useless technology. None of the firms can keep up with the flood of new trojans that infest systems routinely. The most common avenue of infections these days is third party apps (Adobe Reader, Flash and Shockwave, Java, etc.) that are not being routinely patched by their owners.

I would recommend that you no longer waste your money on antivirus. Microsoft offers Forefront for free for home use. It's as good (or as worthless) as all the others at not really protecting you very well. If you insist on using antivirus, use Forefront or one of the other free offerings out there. None is perfect. All are adequate. None will protect you from every single threat out there (or even most of the newer ones).

I would suggest looking in to Comodo Internet Security. It's free, and it does both firewall and application whitelisting. And keep everything patched and up to date.

Trying to avoid bad sites on the internet is next to impossible now. The bad guys are injecting malicious code into banner ads that appear on the most popular sites on the internet; Yahoo, Google, CNN, Fox Sports, ESPN, etc., etc. You no longer can avoid being exposed.
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92f-fan
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby 92f-fan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:16 pm

lrb111 wrote: My go to anti-virus now for Windows is Malwarebytes, and accepting the fact that they will always be infected with something.

I was under the impression that Malwarebytes was a malware program but NOT an antivirus

here from the horses mouth :thewave
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=8068

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baldeagle
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby baldeagle » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:59 pm

92f-fan wrote:
lrb111 wrote: My go to anti-virus now for Windows is Malwarebytes, and accepting the fact that they will always be infected with something.

I was under the impression that Malwarebytes was a malware program but NOT an antivirus

here from the horses mouth :thewave
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=8068

Malwarebytes both detects existing infections and (if you pay for it) can protect you against some infections. But it's just as prone to false negatives as all antivirus products are. The reality is the bad guys are ahead of the game and AV is struggling to keep up (and failing.) For any trojan you've heard of by name, there can be literally hundreds and hundreds of variants. The bad guys even scan their malware with existing, up-to-date AV products and then rewrite the code to avoid detection. They are paying professional programmers very high salaries to write malicious code and keep writing it to avoid detection.

Your best defense is to be extremely aggressive about keeping all of your software patched and up to date. Then use firewalls and application whitelisting to add an extra layer of defense to protect you against infections.
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OldSchool
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby OldSchool » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:19 pm

Actually, I think the discussion has split into two different areas:
1) danger from external attack, and
2) danger while browsing.

#1 first, as it's easier: A good antivirus, and more important, a good firewall. We've pretty well covered that in the thread so far. At home, we haven't had a successful attack in years, because we're pretty well buttoned up with Zonealarm and Avast.

#2: This is more complicated, although not too much so. Again, we have been in pretty good shape for a very long time.
First, a "good" browser. There are several. I avoid IExplorer, and even my workplace has made FireFox available to us (you could have floored me with a feather when they did, because they loooove their MS!). At home, we use FireFox exclusively.
However, that's just the foundation. The default options are pretty good for security, but go to Tools/Options/Security if you want to try different settings.
Next, I immediately go to Tools/Add-ons, and add three addons:
* CookieSafe.
Very simple interface, it stays on the status bar. Left-click to select "block cookies globally", then any page where cookies are desirable (such as a place I go to all the time, http://www.texaschlforum.com -- you may have heard of it :mrgreen: ), a left-click will bring up the option "allow texaschlforum.com" (which allows it to place the cookie that is created when you check "remember me" at signon).
* FlashBlock.
This inhibits FlashPlayer from working, allowing me to push a button when I want the flash on the page to play (I rarely do). More for avoiding annoyance than anything else.
* BetterPrivacy.
This is one I just started using; it searches for, reports on, and (if you tell it to) erases Flash cookies at close of the browser. These are the scariest, since these are the ones which can track and report your browsing. The first time I used it, it found 64 flash cookies!

Firewalls and virus checkers will not protect you while browsing. That requires the combination of a good (open-source) browser and just a couple of tools. :tiphat:

ETClarify: Virus and spyware checkers will protect you after browsing.
Last edited by OldSchool on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lrb111
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby lrb111 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:40 pm

92f-fan wrote:
lrb111 wrote: My go to anti-virus now for Windows is Malwarebytes, and accepting the fact that they will always be infected with something.

I was under the impression that Malwarebytes was a malware program but NOT an antivirus

here from the horses mouth :thewave
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=8068


You are correct, I misspoke. Your link to the actions of Malwarebytes is why I use it. We also pay for F-Prot. One of the most basic scanners I will run on a customer's machine is CWShredder. It's pretty amazing how much of the really old trojans continue to resurface.
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92f-fan
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby 92f-fan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:06 am

lrb111 wrote:
92f-fan wrote:
lrb111 wrote: My go to anti-virus now for Windows is Malwarebytes, and accepting the fact that they will always be infected with something.

I was under the impression that Malwarebytes was a malware program but NOT an antivirus

here from the horses mouth :thewave
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=8068


You are correct, I misspoke. Your link to the actions of Malwarebytes is why I use it. We also pay for F-Prot. One of the most basic scanners I will run on a customer's machine is CWShredder. It's pretty amazing how much of the really old trojans continue to resurface.


I like the product and I encourage my less technical customers ( more susceptible ) to buy the full version and get the real time scanning
Ive honestly thought that the lines between viruses and malware have blurred for years - Its all stuff that I dont want on my pc - cant we get one product that does all of it REALLY well ?

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AndyC
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby AndyC » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:02 am

Unfortunately - not with current technology; the person who solves that will be a billionaire.

Excluding the physical-security side of my career, my background includes about 16 years with malware (with 4 of those working for a major antivirus company) so I'm intimately familiar with the subject.

Malware - "mal" meaning bad - includes all bad stuff, from viruses to trojans to spyware to keyloggers to whatever. When I started playing with this stuff around 1994 we got about 5 new pieces of malware per day, and perhaps 1 would use a new twist. I knew every single one of them out of my head and exactly how to remove them manually.

That was when it was kids doing it - for fun, for bragging rights, whatever. Since about 2001 (more or less), it became big business for criminals because they could make money easily and safely - and the problem exploded exponentially.

Nowadays, the AV companies are being bombarded with about 1,200 new samples per hour - and they only really have 2 main detection tools - heuristics (checking for suspicious or known bad behavior) and signatures (checking for positive matches to known malware).

As mentioned, there's no such thing as a safe website any longer (not for a few years now, anyway) - any website you go to can potentially host malware and try to infect you, whether it's an adult website or mainstream such as CNN, Google, or whomever.
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby KinnyLee » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:19 am

I have AVG and Malwarebytes at home and it's been working pretty well. On computers at work, we use Microsoft Forefront which works very well. I will also install Malwarebytes on certain customers who likes to explore the internet. It blocks most malware before it even happens.


Mrkash
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby Mrkash » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:49 am

While doing a little Christmas shopping at Target, I found McAfee for $14.99. It comes with a one-year subscription and covers three (3) PCs. It was cheap enought that I went ahead and picked it up. :-)

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Pyrat
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby Pyrat » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:05 pm

Back when I did this stuff we did a study to see which virus/spyware software was most effective. We settled on Norton AV Corporate Edition and CounterSpy. I have been very impressed with CounterSpy over the years and am considering switching to their (Sunbelt Software) Vipre AV product.

Another advantage is Sunbelt offers a home site license. Per their website; "all the PCs in your house can be protected with this single 'home license'. This license is for residential use, and includes your home office" Since I have a large number of computers this is a great savings for me. Note, site licenses are available for both the AV and spyware products.

Another suggestion. Your home router is also vulnerable so I'd suggest you read up on it and implement it's security functions. A good site for verifying the security of a home network is Steve Gibson's Gibson Research Corporation (GRC) site. The product called Shield's Up is free to use and will check for vulnerabilities and provide you a report which can be used to secure the network.

Virus Protection, including spyware protection differ from a firewall. Here's a link that will explain the difference between a firewall and a anti virus system. The suggestions above related to GRC and your router address this.
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby Tristor » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:40 am

If you're running Windows, oddly one of the best AV software packages currently available is also completely free. Microsoft Security Essentials catches most of the common and really nasty stuff, and for the more malware (less virus/trojan) type items, you can use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which is also free. Both are also fairly lightweight compared to other packages available, so won't impact system performance as much. As far as software firewalls go, just don't even bother. If you have any sort of always-on broadband connectivity like cable, DSL, or FiOS, you should be using a hardware firewall.

You can get a relatively inexpensive hardware firewall meant for consumer-grade use for around $50 at Wal-mart or any big-box store from Linksys, D-Link, or Netgear (I wouldn't buy Belkin). If you want something more stout, you can hit up E-bay and find high-quality used equipment between $50-$100 that is enterprise grade or at least SOHO-grade from Cisco, Juniper, and similar manufacturers. I personally use Cisco Pix 506s and Juniper Netscreen 5-GT Elites for several of my clients, and at my folks, grandparents, and my house. Each one set me back less than $100, and includes more advanced features than you get in a consumer-grade product (like being capable of IPv6/Toredo, support for VLANing, Port Security, and QoS tagging) and each one is also capable of handling many more sessions at a higher rate of speed. For most home users with a single computer or two computers, the difference between the average Linksys vs using something heftier won't be noticed, but if you're like me with 20+ systems on your home network, I'd recommend getting something more substantial.

Software firewalls, on the other hand, are completely and totally useless. In many ways, I wouldn't even consider them better than nothing. If you have to use one, the best you're probably going to do as far as protection vs performance-loss of running the software is actually the built-in firewall in Windows or Mac OS X. If you're on Linux, this isn't exactly the same case, but I expect people who use Linux already know about more advance lightweight software firewalls like pf and iptables.

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92f-fan
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby 92f-fan » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:06 am

Pyrat wrote:
Another suggestion. Your home router is also vulnerable so I'd suggest you read up on it and implement it's security functions. A good site for verifying the security of a home network is Steve Gibson's Gibson Research Corporation (GRC) site. The product called Shield's Up is free to use and will check for vulnerabilities and provide you a report which can be used to secure the network.



Do you have an example of a citation that shows any recent home router is vulnerable ?
Outside of turning off Web management ? And PnP ?
Or are you simply saying that some routers by default let in some traffic on some ports ?

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OldSchool
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby OldSchool » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:16 pm

Tristor wrote:If you're running Windows, oddly one of the best AV software packages currently available is also completely free. Microsoft Security Essentials catches most of the common and really nasty stuff, and for the more malware (less virus/trojan) type items, you can use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which is also free. Both are also fairly lightweight compared to other packages available, so won't impact system performance as much. As far as software firewalls go, just don't even bother. If you have any sort of always-on broadband connectivity like cable, DSL, or FiOS, you should be using a hardware firewall.

You can get a relatively inexpensive hardware firewall meant for consumer-grade use for around $50 at Wal-mart or any big-box store from Linksys, D-Link, or Netgear (I wouldn't buy Belkin). If you want something more stout, you can hit up E-bay and find high-quality used equipment between $50-$100 that is enterprise grade or at least SOHO-grade from Cisco, Juniper, and similar manufacturers. I personally use Cisco Pix 506s and Juniper Netscreen 5-GT Elites for several of my clients, and at my folks, grandparents, and my house. Each one set me back less than $100, and includes more advanced features than you get in a consumer-grade product (like being capable of IPv6/Toredo, support for VLANing, Port Security, and QoS tagging) and each one is also capable of handling many more sessions at a higher rate of speed. For most home users with a single computer or two computers, the difference between the average Linksys vs using something heftier won't be noticed, but if you're like me with 20+ systems on your home network, I'd recommend getting something more substantial.

Software firewalls, on the other hand, are completely and totally useless. In many ways, I wouldn't even consider them better than nothing. If you have to use one, the best you're probably going to do as far as protection vs performance-loss of running the software is actually the built-in firewall in Windows or Mac OS X. If you're on Linux, this isn't exactly the same case, but I expect people who use Linux already know about more advance lightweight software firewalls like pf and iptables.

Cannot agree. :tiphat:

Microsoft's quality control is so bad that I avoid everything MS as much as I can. (Unfortunately, very few software video packages are made for other than Windows, since they use the MS media player engine so much.) Indeed, it was a Windows "upgrade" that recently gave us our most difficult problem in many years. When I have a new machine, I install my favorite firewall and anti-virus, disable the Windows firewall, and remove NAV. Many of us wish we could do the same at my work.

At home, while we only have nine devices on three routers on our network, we have used for several years the free software firewall and antivirus packages we mentioned earlier, and have noted many attacks over that time; scans using separate software have shown us to be free of trojans and viruses. I cannot say the same at all for my machines at work, which completely rely on MS, McAfee, and Norton, where I've still found trojans using my own separate scans.

The hardware firewall in our DLink routers is not very good. According to DLink, it only uses static patterns, so is at best an initial safety device.
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Lu1g1
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Re: Best Virus Protection / Firewall software

Postby Lu1g1 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:07 pm

If you want to have full protection for your PC, you need to buy the full version of anti-virus. I want to recommend the Bit Defender anti-virus software. It is trusted and the best protection for computer today.
Last edited by Lu1g1 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.


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