Security setup for old PC

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TheGhost, Oct 8, 2009.

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  1. TheGhost

    TheGhost Registered Member

    Pentium 4 2.4ghz
    512mb ram
    Windows XP + SP2 + fully upgraded / patched

    I'm currently using mcafee total protection but it's lagging the PC like hell. I'd like to replace mcafee total protection with a lighter setup, paid or free.

    What i need at least is:
    - Firewall (inbound and outbound protection)
    - AV

    Malware detection

    Looking forward to your recommendation. :)
  2. TheGhost

    TheGhost Registered Member

    OS: Windows XP professional, 32-bit.

    I'm on a shared LAN, wired.
    One internetconnection shared between +/- 40 apartments.
    There's a router, proxy and firewall

    I never install or plugin dodgy software / USB drives.

    I have an internetbusiness, so i pretty much use internet all working day long.

    My brand new dell XPS M1730 died yesterday so i need to have this PC setup and secured asap. It will take 4 to 5 weeks until i get my laptop back from dell :mad:
  3. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    TheGhost, while you wait for recommendations (keeping in mind that only you can determine what setup will ultimately work on your PC), I suggest a review of this Wilders thread: Securing Your PC and Data (download link in the first thread's post), a worthwhile read for securing your system.
  4. TheGhost

    TheGhost Registered Member

    Thank you for pointing me to that thread, it contains some good info.
    I know how to create a basic security setup. But what i'd like to know is which programs are suitable for a machine low on RAM? Which programs use the less memory?
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    OK, hang in there until someone responds. Whatever AV you choose, you'll need to make sure that McAfee is completely uninstalled and here's their Removal tool plus instructions.
  6. JohnnyDollar

    JohnnyDollar Guest

    Here is a suggestion:

    Private Firewall free, Prevx real time paid, Malwarebytes on demand free

    You can also install Avira free as an on demand with a custom install without the realtime guard.
    Or install Avira Free or paid as the real time, but Prevx is by far the lightest realtime that I am aware of.
    Private Firewall is light and effective. Malwarbytes is a great on demand tool. I am not sure how light MSE would be on your pc.
    Nod32 is pretty light also.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2009
  7. BILL G

    BILL G Registered Member

    This works very well for Me.

    P4 2ghz

    512 Ram

    Wind XP-SP2 Home

    FW ZA Free Ver. 5.5.094

    AV = Avast Home Free

    Process Guard Free

    WinPatrol Free

    Seconfig XP Free

    SAS OD Free

    MBAN OD Free

    Spybot S&D Free
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Basic security for such a computer is not really much different from a new computer. You need to decide how much you want to interface to your security.

    On XP you can use a LUA and then possibly something like SuRun to help manage the times you need to be admin. This is likely the easiest route overall.

    Couple the limited rights of LUA with an antivirus, most likely Avira as IMO it is the lightest free version. Some like Avast as well if you turn enough of its modules off. An antivirus may not provide so-called 'zero day' protection, but I would be willing to bet that there are a high percentage of bad files floating around the net that are old enough for a currently updated AV to scope out.

    Those two steps are quite a lot actually for many purposes. You only need to handle the internet now. Browser and email client, maybe some p2p or IM stuff. Your options here can also be very basic. You could use Opera, which appears to be the most secure without you doing too much to it from default. Firefox can be, but I believe there are some add-ons needed to tighten it up a bit. Using alternate email clients that are maybe not at targeted as say Outlook might help a bit. p2p, well you cannot download any file from p2p and really trust it.

    You might consider using Sandboxie to open all your browsers and email clients etc inside of. This at least keeps your main connection to the internet in a controlled environment.

    Using something like the beta Comodo Time Machine is really basic and easy, maybe that is a path for you if you don't mind beta testing. It is not really security, but a fallback in case of bad security LOL.

    Learning how to use Macrium or some other drive imaging tool could be a great help to you, again to be used in the even of failed security.

    You could move to the extreme edge of things, where you engage SRP and create some semblance of a default-deny policy. Programs like AppGuard also do this and a little more.

    Defense Wall and Malware Defender both seem to be highly regarded here, some saying the defaults work well with little human interface needed.

    If you are behind a router, only you can decide if you need a firewall for outbound applications or not. Some really like that control, but it depends on just how careful you are of what you install.

    In short, on a machine like that, or any machine, you don't need very large suites (think Norton or McAffee lol) to have some security. You don't need to have your machine bogged down. You just need to develop an idea of what your threats will be and cover them. Your level of control will dictate if you put something rather silent on like LUA / SRP / Sandboxie, or prefer more granular control with a HIPS type product.

    There is ample information here. I don't envy you, heh, it is a pretty big topic to jump into.

    Good Luck.

  9. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Here are 2 recommendations for you (based on what I realized when I did the same on my older P4 2.4GHz PC running XP):

    Upgrade your RAM to a total of 1GB (RAM is very cheap) will notice everything running more responsively!

    Replace McAfee with Norton Internet Security 2010. Just 2 years ago NIS would place a big hit on system resources, but starting with NIS 2009 it became one of the lightest suites available while providing superb protection (nothing else needed)!
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  10. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

    Hi Guys,

    Shadow Defender, or Returnil <my fav. = SD> Don't go on the net, or open email, unless your in Shadow Mode. Have a couple of on-demand scanners only.

    With SD I'm more than one year without resident protection, with no infections!

    Take Care
  11. TheGhost

    TheGhost Registered Member

    Thanks for all the recommendations.

    So far i've installed;
    FW: online armor
    AV: prevx
    HIPS: defensewall

    AV: avira, disabled realtime

    Online armor has a program guard and HIPS features protection. Should i deactivate both because i'm already using Defensewall?
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
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