Granular or Blunt

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by Diver, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Deep Underwater
    Some AV's (or security suites) have very granular interfaces. Others are designed with relatively few options.

    Perhaps the best example of what I call a blunt interface would be Norton 360. Many features can not be turned off in a straightforward way. To get rid of the anti-fraud bar in IE, the user must use the IE manage programs feature to disable the BHO or active x control responsible.

    Some of the rule based firewalls like Jetico present extreme examples of granularity. On the other hand, Zone Alarm free users choose either "allow" or "block" a program in its entirety. When in the advanced mode, Avira allows a lot of granular control over what it scans. Nod32 is another AV with much granular control, and perhaps default settings that leave something to be desired, at least according to Blackspear. Avast and AVG in their free versions provide cut down interfaces which hopefully have the correct settings.

    You can give a blunt interface to your sister, girlfriend or mother with the confidence that they will not mess it up. Of course, your female friend might be an IT manager somewhere who knows more than you do. Some granular products can be set up for the non technical user, but this works best in a locked down environment where no new programs may be added by the user.

    Do we lust after granular control simply out of a desire to have control? Is it likely we would mess up a granular interface and be worse off than with a well designed blunt interface? How does granularity improve security, especially if the default settings are goofy at best?

    What do you think everyone?

    -Ron, a diver who has been out of the sea for too long.
  2. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

    Oct 16, 2006
    this forum is biased!
    i think the best interfaces are the colourfull ones, also

    the ones that look basic on the main screen, yet when you get deep down into the options, there are LOADS of them.

    i totally agree what norton have done with the 360, anyone would buy this if they aint sure about anything, or dont want to really mess with anything, its a very clever GUI / Antivirus.
  3. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    SW MS, USA
    Interesting topic :)

    As I noted in another thread, I have noticed that NIS is becoming more "blunt" with the latest release. '08 has more program control as in the instances of dealing with viruses/malware and the firewall. In the former case, NIS now deals with high/medium risks without user interaction. It deals with them whether you want it to or not. The same goes for the firewall but it's decisions can be changed to where the user has control. I did have this changed to user control but returned it to it's default setting to observe it for a while.

    Does all of this automatic decision making make this better? Norton has a reputation of having few to nonexistent false positives so the odds are pretty high that whatever it puts in Quarantine deserves to be there. Even if it doesn't belong there you can restore it.

    I guess it all comes down to trust. Do you trust software to make decisions for you? Some people do and some don't. And it depends on how well the program performs these decisions. As of now Norton's decisions have not compromised my computer so my trust factor is high right now. I am not saying that a bad decision by NIS isn't possible, just that the odds are on my side.

    Since I am getting older so my "tinkering" has waned somewhat. I want things to be simpler now. I do not manually defrag my drives anymore as I have passed control of that over to Vista for instance. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not the other way around.

    In the end it is really left up to the user. Who do you trust?
  4. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    I think a compromise could be achieved. Leave the GUI "blunt" with good "hidden" default options, and leave few (but important) options visible.
    Then a person could open the "advanced" GUI like in Spybot. More or less visible depending on what you think is best.
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005

    We at Wilders dfinitely crave control.
    But still, too much granularity can be annoying. I like a moderate level of both.
    To be able to use the program effectively without spending too much time either searching for options or trying to figure what the million options mean.
    It's the matter of try and feel. If you like it, you keep it.

    That's why I love Linux. You have GUI for simple everyday tasks and command line for difficult tasks. GUI for super-complex stuff is a no-no, just like CLI for simple stuff is a no-no.

  6. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    North Carolina USA
    I go for the simplicity side of things and find F Secure and NIS 2008 now fit the bill. Also to get rid of the antiphishing toolbar in IE7 all you have to do is go to the top and click on tools then toolbars and uncheck it.

    Aviras Suite with the newer functions has made their GUI really hard to navigate with all the tabs for headings. I think Esets suite is very user friendly but still leaves some levity for configuration.
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