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Norton vs McAfee vs The Rest Of The World

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Cockles, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hey all

    After years of being thoroughly skeptical of home internet owing to the FBI/CIA/CSA/Salvation Army spying on me, nicking stuff or giving my PC the plague, I have finally gone online at home. However, what is the general concensus on the best security software to run?

    I've recently heard McAfee software slated for not doing it's job, updating each security component one at a time or blocking access to friendly sites. On the other hand, I've heard Norton is good, but slows down even a good system to a crawl and being quite user unfriendly. Should I consider the more lesser known makes? Are the good stuff I hear on Amazon about Norton actually written by Symantec employees?

    Any help much appreciated. Cost isn;t too much of an issue as I'd rather pay more and have my personal fil;es protected rather than go the cheap route and have any old scrote that can turn a TV on able to nick my bank details.

    Thanks chaps. God speed
     
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  2. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi,

    AVG Professional gets my vote;

    http://www.grisoft.com/doc/30/lng/us/tpl/tpl01

    As good <as it gets> in my opinion.

    Si

    Edit;

    If you are behind a NAT router you also have a degree of protection by the nature of the device.
     
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  3. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    Zone Alarm is good if you have not got a hardware firewall..
     
  4. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Having been a security consultant for a while, I've used most of the corporate AV tools. Out of the lot of them, Norton is the worst. Its fussy, often does things in the background without telling you and is a major cause of system instability. Its also notorious for pushing out updates that FUBAR your system.

    Of all the 'paid for' clients, I find McAfee to be far too superior to any of the others. The interface is uncluttered, simple to understand, the DAT/SDAT update process is nice and simple and I've never seen it miss anything when scanning. Also, McAfee's server-side AV technology (ePO and its successors) is second to none.

    As far as free clients go, I agree with Boycey - AVG is the nuts. The sad thing for them is that their paid-for client is useless! Their free version is absolutely superb - I've often thought it was too good to be true that it was given away for free (apparently Grisoft are starting to think the same, there are rumours that they will be putting an end to their free version soon :cry:).

    Finally, you WILL need to invest in a hardware firewall of some sort. Don't get alarmed, most home routers nowadays come with a nice and safe NAT router as standard - for my money you can't beat Linksys for home networking - its certainly no coincidence that Cisco bought them out.

    My home LAN is protected by a Netscreen firewall, but I've run it for weeks ata time with just the Linksys WRT54g that acts as the border router with nothing nasty getting through.
     
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  6. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks a lot for the quick response peeps.

    So let me just get this right; I'd need to get some form of anti-viral software (of which from what I can gather, some of these are tip top and free) and a firewall hardware componet. Don't they come with most packages as standard though?

    Sorry, actually being online (and not having an IT department worrying about all this) is very new to me
     
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    What have you got at home at the moment - do you have a PC or have you not bought one yet?

    I presume you're getting a broadband line in?
     
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  8. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    As Zeb has pointed out, most routers come with a basic in/out firewall. The fact that your network will be using private addressing also protects you to a certain degree; you are not piggy backed on to your ISP but have created your own LAN.
    I would grab AVG free while you can from;

    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1

    Oh, the above assumes you are connecting to an ISP via DSL.

    Si
     
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  9. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Yes, I have a PC I've owned for about 5 years, upgraded 2 years ago. Getting Telewest broadband. I currently have a very out of date McAfee AV software installed. To be honest, I don't anticipate using the Net too much, nor will I bother with home email. I do download things like ROM programs and images and save web content quite a lot. Also, I intend (provided it does no harm) to disconnect the broadband when I'm not using it just for that added security

    What are the security packages that an internet provider like Telewest provide like?

    (Just downloaded AVG by the way, nice one, will give that a go)
     
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  10. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Anti-Virus is only as good as the recent update. Viruses are written everyday which is why the programs constantly update to the AV's servers.

    You need protection if you use <the net> a little or a lot. You don't really need to unplug your network when you are not using it.

    I am not sure. I would take a look on their site and see. Personally, i like to have my own security/AV setup myself.
     
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  11. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Mr Boyce, thank you very much, much need info

    When you refer to routers, I'm assuming you are talking about my basic connection/provider, no?
     
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  12. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I agree with Zimbo Nod32 is good IMHO. I also thought Trend Micro was excellent.

    I agree that Norton is good at what it does but is too much of a system hog and so got the boot years ago from me. I also wasn't impressed by McAfee as it also is a bit of a system hog.

    At the mo I'm using AVG Free version and find it to be pretty good. At the end of the day no antivirus software is 100% and the best protection is commonsense which working in IT sometimes is lacking from users.
     
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  13. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    If you use a DSL connection you could be using a straight forward DSL modem which connects you directly to your ISP. Or you could be using a Router which in the terms of home networking means a networking unit with a built in ADSL modem. The beauty being, you are constantly connected (often seen as a <nailed up> connection within the config) to your ISP and you have the option of something called NAT.

    NAT (network address translation) seperates your machine(s) from the internet connection so you have security to a certain degree as standard. Think of it as someone standing at a door to a building. A member of the public (in this case internet packet) comes to the door (router) it asks for something. The person at the door can either forward the request to the computer inside the building or drop it. The computer IP is never shown to the outside, making it hard to see what is at the public IP issued by your provider.
    There are <things> claming they can extract the local address. This is only because the javascript running on the program is telling you what it is and not anyone else.

    As long as you follow basic guidelines don't be afraid of the internet/e-mail.

    Si
     
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  14. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    What you need to do is get yourself a router to sit in between your cable modem and the rest of your LAN.

    You may as well gte a wireless one as well, as you'll probably end up getting a laptop at some point in the future and it makes sense to buy something with wireless capability straight off the bat, instead of having to upgrade it later.

    For my money, the best home router you can get is a Linksys WRT54g - they sell a version with a Linux kernel which you can flash with third party firmware that enable all sorts of stuff you would normally only get on commercial routers from the likes of Cisco & Extreme (QoS, Traffic Shaping, proper SysLog support).

    If you go down this route, since you seem to be paranoid about security :p you will be very well protected.

    Something you need to bear in mind is, as Boycey says, whether you use the Internet all day long or never, once you are connected to the net via a broadband connection you WILL get wormed up - average shelf life for a PC connected to the net WITHOUT browsing is less then 25 minutes before getting FUBARed.

    Put simply, don't connect to the net without a hardware firewall - a free software firewall is OK, but not suitable for being used on its own for any extended period of time.

    Oh, and, if you really want to be extra secure, once you're sitting behind your newly-installed NAT router, buy a separate hardware firewall (or build one in Linux using an old box you may have lying around) and install ZoneAlarm as a software client. That way, you'll end up more secure than a lot of my past clients were before I clued them up!
     
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  15. zxspectrum

    zxspectrum Gigabyte Poster Premium Member

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    Can i be honest here, ive used a lot of security systems and they all seem to be good at finding certain types of viruses etc.

    Ill try an explain, say i have norton , which is what i have now , when i first put this on it told me i had 6 viruses. Before that i had trendmicro and this also gave me a free scan then that alos told me i had some stuff on the pc. This was the same wit panda titanium, and AVG pretty much did the same thing.

    The best one that was user friendly in my opinion was panda, then trend micro. The one i didnt like ( cant remember the reason) was AVG . Norton seems to be doing the job at the moment , i update and do a scan at least once a week, but i reckon if i did an online scan with another security system id probably be riddled with the clap?

    I d ont know how you came about to choose your security software, but in my eyes im sure some of them are making up stuff just to get you to put their stuff on your comp. I know that sounds paranoid, but look at it this way, if there was a cure for the common cold look at all the companys who specialise in cold relief. They would be out of buisness in a jiffy.

    Sorry guys im rambling ill stop now
     
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  16. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Lots of good advice, as an extra option you could switch your browser from IE (I assume you are using that) and switch to Firefox, also keep your OS patched up. 8)
     
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  17. Rik

    Rik Nibble Poster

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    Seconded!

    It really is the dogs danglers :)

    Also if you are going down the Hardware Firewall/Router path, I would highly recommend 3Com products, easy to configure, great features and build quality is second to none imo.

    But hey I used to work for them so im biased! ;)
     
  18. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I think 3Com firewalls are the only major vendor firewalls I haven't supported over the years. For some reason they don't seem to be that popular - although I guess they do well with customers locked into 3Com's networking products (which I have found to be most reliable, BTW - I've seen Superstacks running non-stop for nearly eight years on some client sites, the MTBF of them must be incredible).

    Aren't 3Com doing NICs now with embededed firewall technology on them? That might be interesting for me to look at - especially for small branch offices that don't have the secure space for a proper racked solution.
     
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  19. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    That is a good idea, a firewall on the LAN side of the NIC... Do you have any links?

    Si
     
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  20. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Seems to be a pretty old technology from the looks of this link

    Wonder why not many places have taken it up? Is it just a glorified version of IP filtering that can be done on NICs via Windoze?
     
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