Author Topic: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?  (Read 677 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I used to have Comodo for both firewall and antivirus, had that for years. However it seems like the latest Comodo update killed that. What happens is that I get an error message saying that Comodo security agent can't be started, and offers to run diagnostics. The diagnostics doesn't find anything. It also makes Windows look like Windows 98. I tried to uninstall and then reinstall, yet I get the same problem again.

So besides Comodo, what good free firewalls and antivirus programs are there around these days? My system is Windows 7, 64 bit.

I currently use the Windows firewall, but I know that it is not very good.
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Online The Latinist

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Avast is good.  So is Bitdefender.  As far as firewall, what do you hope to accomplish with a software firewall?  Aside from stealthing ports, which you can do with the built-in firewall on any modern OS, I find them pretty useless.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 09:38:31 PM by The Latinist »
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Offline Rai

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I use Avira, but I am really not sure how necessary it is at this stage. I have an adblocker and I don't click on dodgy-looking links or download software from unverified sources, or even use emails any more, so I am fairly certain I would survive without any antivirus.

Offline Belgarath

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Most people are now recommending that you don't use anything but the internal Windows anti-virus (if you're on Windows) and internal firewall.

Using an aftermarket scanner is a good idea.  Essentially the thinking is that the anti-virus program running on your computer is just another attack vector.

I agree with Rai and Latinist suggestions too.
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Offline Rai

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Using an aftermarket scanner is a good idea.  Essentially the thinking is that the anti-virus program running on your computer is just another attack vector.

Malwarebytes is a great all-around scanner, in case you suspect an infection.

There is another thing I have, can't remember its name for removal (will look it up), which is stored on an external USB stick and which helped clean up a very nasty infection from a PC a while ago.

Also, for ad blocking, use ublock origin, not adblock, which has basically sold out. You want to block ads because there are currently insufficient assurances (as far as I am aware) that no malicious code can be hidden in ads displayed on websites.

Online The Latinist

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I have a Mac, so it's a little different than a Windows environment.  I do not run a virus scanner, but I have the firewall turned on and ports stealthed.

I also have continuous incremental backups on CrashPlan servers.  It's nice not to have to worry about ransomware.
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Offline moj

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Most people are now recommending that you don't use anything but the internal Windows anti-virus (if you're on Windows) and internal firewall.

Using an aftermarket scanner is a good idea.  Essentially the thinking is that the anti-virus program running on your computer is just another attack vector.

I agree with Rai and Latinist suggestions too.

yeah I've gone back to just using windows defender. I recently got rid of avast for scope creep and slowing down my system. Same with AVG, they just try and take over your whole system and up sell you on services.

Online Sawyer

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Last night McAffee REINSTALLED its web protection component after I removed it a month ago.

So not McAffee.

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Online The Latinist

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I would not install McAffee on a computer if I was paid to do it.  Nor Norton, for that matter.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Morvis13

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I would not install McAffee on a computer if I was paid to do it.  Nor Norton, for that matter.

2nd that motion.

Windows defender is actually pretty good but I also step in with malwarebytes.
If you antivirus cannot update the database that is an indicator you are infected.
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Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 01:46:07 PM »
I would not install McAffee on a computer if I was paid to do it.  Nor Norton, for that matter.

2nd that motion.

Windows defender is actually pretty good but I also step in with malwarebytes.
If you antivirus cannot update the database that is an indicator you are infected.

No, the update was installed, it was just that Comodo went mad afterward.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 01:47:56 PM »
Most people are now recommending that you don't use anything but the internal Windows anti-virus (if you're on Windows) and internal firewall.

Using an aftermarket scanner is a good idea.  Essentially the thinking is that the anti-virus program running on your computer is just another attack vector.

I agree with Rai and Latinist suggestions too.

Internal Windows antivirus? Which one is that? It can't be Windows Defender. My computer is currently warning me that no antivirus program was found on the computer.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Online The Latinist

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Re: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 03:08:11 PM »
You have Windows 7; Microsoft started including its own antivirus by default in Windows 8 (they actually folded it into Windows Defender), but it was available as a free download for Windows 7 called Microsoft Security Essentials.  Install that and Windows Defender and you should have fairly comprehensive protection with about the smallest footprint available.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:11:14 PM by The Latinist »
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 05:23:21 PM »
Hmm, when I go to this firewall test site, and click on "Proceed", I get this message:

Quote
Greetings!

Without your knowledge or explicit permission, the Windows networking technology which connects your computer to the Internet may be offering some or all of your computer's data to the entire world at this very moment!

I don't understand. Was a test performed by clicking on "Proceed" and gave me a very bad result, or does it say the same whenever someone clicks "Proceed"?
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Online Desert Fox

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Re: What good, free firewalls and antivirus programs are there these days?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 06:22:45 PM »
I would not install McAffee on a computer if I was paid to do it.  Nor Norton, for that matter.

Is Norton still basically bloatware?
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