Reviews & Comparisons, AV, FW & Suites

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by brucemc, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. brucemc

    brucemc Registered Member

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    I have been looking around for a good site with comparisons and reviews of anti-virus, firewall and combinations of the two into a suite. The problems I run into are:

    When I do find a site that seems trustworthy, at least a few well regarded (by other reviews) products are not included.

    I keep getting the impression that a fair number of reviews have the potential to be significantly advertising dollar biased - whether by skewing the review, or simply not including some of the products that would fairly well outshine a product (advertiser) that the reviewer wants to make shine.

    I have tried to be polite in my wording, for some of the skewing seems blatant to me. Worse yet are the sites that appear to me to have been set up to pretend they are providing honest comparisons but are set up to advertise a target product, which certainly becomes the "Top Product" in the reviews.​

    Since I know it will come up in discussion, I know that it is most improbable that a combination product would offer the best in both areas, but if I can come close, the additional ease in administration might make it worth it. Besides detection of current threats is the problem of false positives and the performance hit my system (WXP Pro) will take, including email scans (Thunderbird).

    I liked Comodo, but I noticed a number of detection misses in a somewhat credible report. I tried G-Data, which seemed very good with a minimal performance hit (except when it was scanning email), but the product seems like it could use some maturing as the feature controls were lacking (or my understanding thereof). Vipre is reported to have minimal performance impact, but also to have missed several infections & rootkit installations (I think it was a CNet review) and I would then have to figure if I should use the Sunbelt firewall, under the presumption that the firm would have engineered the two to work well together, or search for another firewall, such as Comodo - which seems to be well regarded (firewall only). Bitdefender seemed attractive, and the attempt to tailor it's integration into Thunderbird was a pleasant surprise, but that same integration needs some work - I found the two products (Thunderbird and Bitdefender) regularly fighting (Perhaps I should turn off TB junk mail filtering and leave it all to Bitdefender, but still I found the filtering of email to be painfully slow. A few years ago I used Symantec's product, but found it to be a resource pig. I also have used ZoneAlarm for some time, but reviews (at the time) indicated it might have been riding on prior reputation and no longer in aggressive development. And a number of years ago I used OutPost for several years, but have not revisited it for some while.

    I suspect someone out there with a lot better ability than I has done the testing and I am simply not finding it; if it exists, this is the right forum to find it through. My own history of product changes is evidence to me that I have allowed way too many biases to sway my opinion of what products to trust.

    As a sidenote, I am running my tests on two machines - one a Pentium dual core 3 Ghz machine with 2 GB RAM and a laptop dual core @ 2 Ghz with one meg RAM. I do visit random sites out of curiosity (no, not nudie sites), and because of that I think I need a higher level of security than a casual internet user. I have learned enough to know I am not qualified to make the best choice(s) on my own, so I ask and rely on you good folks to help!

    Thank-you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  2. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello

    There are many threads on this forum discussing how many S/Ws are enough and what security cocktail is best, but fwiw:

    I have tried many suites and stand-alones and secured my machines to death with various arsenals.

    Right now, on 2 machines, I run the following behind a NAT router and take regular images using Macrium, having kept initial baseline snapshots:

    1. Returnil, running in memory (system is then very fast), saving only to separate partition and switching off protection only for patching.
    2. Sandboxie (Outlook + Opera, both tightly configured) and Prevx 3 - very minimal overhead from both and no discernible drag on mail client or browser.
    That's it, apart from keeping an occasional eye on what's lurking in Process Explorer.

    Things are fast and I've yet to hit trouble that can't be undone in 1 (kill sandbox or reboot) to 15 (rollback to image) minutes.

    Just my $0.02 :cool:

    philby
     
  3. brucemc

    brucemc Registered Member

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    Thank-you.

    It seems volumes get written but tend to either go nowhere or become outdated with new releases. And it seems that when I don't update my own darned email address at a forum, I become a complete fool wondering why no responses have been posted! Now which one of those darned smiley-faces off to the right show a high level of embarrassment?
     
  4. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    Bruce, when it comes to suites, or their ability to protect, I always say look at numerous sites that test. Look for the top 5 that consistently rank 1-5 no matter what the order. With any of them, you wont be totally protected but for the most part, the best you can. They all have new releases and the safest bet is to try them till you find one that clicks with you. I know this may not answer what you asked, but it is the best I can offer.
     
  5. brucemc

    brucemc Registered Member

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    Makes sense. I could then do something more productive than chasing myself around in circles...
     
  6. Someone

    Someone Registered Member

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    Well you could look at PC Mag, PC World, Remove-Malware, Techsupportalert and of course AV-Comparatives and AV-Test. You can choose one which is generally rated highly and that should be enough to protect you.
     
  7. brucemc

    brucemc Registered Member

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    The first two had ratings and write-ups that I found flawed when specific products were compared to Virus-Bulletin and some individual posts, and were missing reviews on some prominent offerings while including some garbage offerings, the absence of prominent and inclusion of garbage makes me call into question their entire reviews and credibility. Virus-Bulletin, though I find highly credible, only evaluates programs that are submitted for evaluation (if I recall correctly) and therefore several well noted programs are not in their evaluations. I look forward to going to the other sites you mention!
     
  8. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    AV-Comparatives and Remove Malware.com are very good.
     
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