AV to monitor web/email traffic only? (Win 7)

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by iain_m, May 4, 2013.

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  1. iain_m

    iain_m Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    I've tried searching online for this, but the terms are so generic that I've been unable to find relevant information.

    Basically I'm wondering if there's a free antivirus program for Windows 7 (64-bit) that can be easily configured to scan web and email traffic, but not to monitor anything else in real-time (e.g. files already on the system).


    Of course it would need not to constantly alert me about file monitoring being disabled! :blink:

    Some background:
    I use my PC predominantly for audio production, going online only to visit trusted sites and do emails. Although I've found MS Security Essentials to be adequate over the last few years, I still need to set quite a lot of file location/type exclusions in order to stop the "real time protection" from slowing down audio software.

    I know that everything already on the system is virus-free so a more convenient solution would be an AV that can scan only web and email traffic (i.e. the places where a virus could get in) but not touch any existing files and folders. MSSE doesn't allow this level of control.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? Or, OTOH, is there a reason why my idea is bad?

    Thanks!
     
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    Well at least I know one AV that has email scanner and allows you to not installing the real-time protection module: Avira Premium. I'm not sure if the mail scanner is separable w/ the real-time protection, but you can always turn it off in the setting.

    TBH though, I think it's generally a bad idea since real-time protection is more important than just plain email scanner. In the end, the AV (any AV w/ real-time protection) will scan the attachments contained in the emails anyway, no matter if it has email scanner or not. Better use something like Sandboxie/Shadow Defender to take care of suspicious email attachments. Or better yet, don't open it at all. ;)

    EDIT: I just re-read the later part of your post. Uhm.., I'm not saying that you should/could run without a real-time AV, but some of us here use Sandboxie only to wrap their web browsers and still not getting infected.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2013
  3. er34

    er34 Guest

    @iain_m

    The file protection is the most important. But in your case I would suggest not an AV -> Sitecome device - Hitman PRO UTM:
    http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro/utm

    P.S. I have never used such a Sitecom device but from the description it should be best for you.
     
  4. sm1

    sm1 Registered Member

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    Hi, you can try avast and choose custom install selecting only web, mail and network shields:)
     
  5. anon

    anon Registered Member

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    +1 for avast free.
     
  6. itman

    itman Registered Member

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    I don't know if you would protected against malicious downloads using the web shield only? You would also want the Sandbox feature and that is only available on the paid version.
     
  7. entropism

    entropism Registered Member

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    If your computer is powerful enough to do audio production, an AV isn't going to slow you down at all. Best case scenario, it might shave a handful of seconds off your work by not having a full time AV. In the real world, you're overthinking this and looking for trouble.
     
  8. iain_m

    iain_m Registered Member

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    Hi all and thank you for replying. I'll look into Avira and Avast!

    To respond on a couple of specific points:
    @er34 - I'm connecting via mobile broadband (tethering my phone) so unfortunately the hardware you've suggested wouldn't work for me.

    @entropism - Surprisingly, it does make a significant difference, e.g. when processing hundreds of audio files, or loading plugins in a host application.

    Overall I understand that everything viewed in a browser, downloaded, or arriving by email is essentially a file on the system, and therefore can (and should) be scanned in real-time. However, because I know those are the *only* vectors that need automatic protection (for I can manually scan external drives, USB sticks, etc) I was hoping that the solution might be to set an AV to monitor only the ports through which that browsing/email/downloading data travels.

    Or is that a job for a firewall? :blink:

    Sorry if any of this is stupid/obvious.

    Thanks again for the replies so far. :thumb:
     
  9. Windows_Security

    Windows_Security Registered Member

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    AV to monitor web/email traffic only:
    Use Avast with (I don't know their names exactly, long time ago since I used an AV) custom setup with: 1 Mail shield, 2 Web shield, 3 Script shield, 4 Network shield

    What do you miss?
    Due to code emulation, heuristics, behavioral analysis, sandbox features of modern AV's, you will miss the most powerfull protection: ON EXECUTE.

    Alternative you could try
    The combo I allways setup for gamers: Avast with file shield only (and auto sandbox, reputation scoring and trickle updates activated). Important to set file shield up ONLY checking executables and all caches ON. Chrome with AddBlockPlus and Bitdefender TrafficLight.
     
  10. iain_m

    iain_m Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm looking into Comodo's offerings too - they seem to be pretty configurable.
     
  11. guest

    guest Guest

    Don't forget to backup you image, you'll need it. :D
     
  12. iain_m

    iain_m Registered Member

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    Actually there's one thing I meant to ask earlier in response to this.

    Do you mean executing programs, or executing - as in opening - any file?

    This is what I was hoping would not be necessary for the vast majority of files (including programs) on the system, because I already know they're clean.

    But I would want realtime monitoring of files executed by web browsers, for example. So I don't follow why something like the "Web shield" that you mention wouldn't offer such protection. Am I misunderstanding how this would work?
     
  13. shadek

    shadek Registered Member

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    Install Avast. Free of charge. Make exclusions for directories where your audio program is. So when you only run the audio programs, the scanner of the AV won't have to do any work.

    If it's a typical audio production computer, it should be more than enough to handle Avast Free with all shields installed.
     
  14. iain_m

    iain_m Registered Member

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    Thanks but with all due respect, this would take me back to how I currently have MSSE configured.

    The issue is not with excluding one audio program - I agree that would be simple - but with loading and processing many MBs of files in multiple locations on the system, using several programs which, in turn, load plugins from various locations.

    It is a palaver to set up all these exclusions, because essentially I want to exclude everything except for web browsing/downloading and email.

    Still, I'll look into the choice of shields in Avast, because maybe that would simplify things.

    Thanks.
     
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