Vista Antivirus and Firewalls - best performance?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Security' started by ttpoker, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. ttpoker

    ttpoker Guest

    I'm a serious poweruser. My Vista install shows a Windows Experience Index
    of 5.9, I have 3 gigs of memory installed and I'm running it all on a Intel
    Core Duo Quad-Core processor. I'm all about speed and efficiency and as we
    all know antivirus and firewalls apps tend to hog system resources and slow
    down performance. I rarely come across a virus or malicious application
    because I am careful about what I run.

    I've been experimenting with the best firewall and anti virus solution. I
    tried numerous firewalls, the last one I dumped was Outpost because it was a
    total hog. So far the only light and efficient firewall I tried was Fort
    Knox. On the anti-virus side I tried AVG and Avast but both bogged down my
    system both at startup and also during the oddest times while accessing
    everyday windows explorer tasks - shocking since my computer is so powerful.
    I'm about to try MS One Care (I suspect I will hate it but I'm willing to

    From your experience what are the most efficient security tools you have
    tried? Which Vista firewall & anti-virus/malware applications affect system
    performance the least at this stage?
    ttpoker, Nov 22, 2007
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  2. I use AVG and have no problems with it at any time. Be sure you have turned
    off all timed events (updates, scans, etc) if that's your thing. Also, dump
    any firewall but the Windows Firewall; if you want added security get a
    router with stateful packet inspection and put it between your computer and
    the Internet.

    Richard G. Harper [MVP Shell/User]
    * NEW! Catch my blog ...
    * PLEASE post all messages and replies in the newsgroups
    * The Website -
    * HELP us help YOU ...
    Richard G. Harper, Nov 22, 2007
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  3. ttpoker

    jrb1164 Guest

    I use Zone Alarm 7.1 for Vista and I don't find it to be intrusive
    or a hog of resources, plus it's a great firewall and anti-virus program
    in the ZA 7.1 suite for Vista 32. You didn't mention if your a
    32 or 64 bit system, because I'm not sure if ZA works with 64 bit.

    jrb1164, Nov 22, 2007
  4. ttpoker

    Kayman Guest

    You are not going to find anything better than the Vista FW and Vista in
    itself due to the advanced features the FW and Vista are using.

    "Personal Firewalls" are mostly snake-oil.

    Jesper's Blogs-
    At Least This Snake Oil Is Free.
    Windows Firewall: the best new security feature in Vista?

    Exploring The Windows Firewall.
    "If you try to block outbound connections from a computer that’s already
    compromised, how can you be sure that the computer is really doing what you
    ask? The answer: you can’t. Outbound protection is security theater—it’s a
    gimmick that only gives the impression of improving your security without
    doing anything that actually does improve your security. This is why
    outbound protection didn’t exist in the Windows XP firewall and why it
    doesn’t exist in the Windows Vista™ firewall."

    Vista Firewall Control.
    Protects your applications from undesirable network incoming and outgoing
    activity, controls applications internet access.

    There are many good free AV applications available, and almost everyone has
    his favorite. Most of the users are emotionally attached to their av
    application and will have excellent reasons for not recommending any other
    The most important thing here is that all of the available choices listed
    here are better in some respects than in others, and which choice is better
    for *you* depends on what you do, how you work, and which features you use.
    The way you use your PC is different from others.
    Have a look at this:
    and be guided accordingly.
    Good info can be obtained here:
    and here:

    Real-time AV applications - for viral malware.
    Do not utilize more than one (1) real-time anti-virus scanning engine!
    Disable the e-mail scanning function during installation (Custom
    Installation on some AV apps.) as it provides no additional protection.
    In fact, most of experts (incl. Norton) believe that scanning incoming and
    outgoing mail causes e-mail file corruption.

    Avira AntiVir® PersonalEdition Classic - Free

    Free antivirus - avast! 4 Home Edition
    (Choose Custom Installation and under Resident
    Protection, uncheck: Internet Mail and Outlook/Exchange.)

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

    ESET NOD32 Antivirus - Not Free
    Have you seen these "extra settings for NOD32"?

    On-demand AV application.
    (add it to your arsenal and use it as a "second opinion" av scanner).
    BitDefender10 Free Edition

    A-S applications - for non-viral malware.
    The effectiveness of an individual A-S scanners can be wide-ranging and
    oftentimes a collection of scanners is best. There isn't one software that
    cleans and immunizes you against everything. That's why you need multiple
    products to do the job i.e. overlap their coverage - one may catch what
    another may miss, (grab'em all).

    SuperAntispyware - Free

    Ad-Aware - Free

    Spybot Search & Destroy - Free

    Windows Defender - Free (build-in in Vista)
    Interesting reading:,136195/article.html
    "...Windows Defender did excel in behavior-based protection, which detects
    changes to key areas of the system without having to know anything about
    the actual threat."

    A clarification on the terminology: the word "malware" is short for
    "malicious software." Most Anti-Virus applications detect many types of
    malware such as viruses, worms, trojans, etc.
    What AV applications usually don't detect is "non-viral" malware, and the
    term "non-viral malware" is normally used to refer to things like spyware
    and adware.

    Some more useful applications:
    Spyware Blaster - Free

    Rootkit Revealer - Free

    Crap Cleaner - Free
    If Windows Defender is utilized go to Applications, under Utilities
    uncheck "Windows Defender".

    CW Shredder - Free

    Good luck :)
    Kayman, Nov 23, 2007
  5. Running not inherently broken software and keeping it updated -
    together with using my brain.
    Straight Talk, Nov 23, 2007
  6. ttpoker

    Charlie42 Guest

    Computer security is a trade-off. Safe guarding confidential data, integrity
    and availability comes at a price, and it's for each of us to figure out how
    much performance we need to give up for it. A computer can be secured to the
    point where it's rendered useless.
    Well, that's a key factor.
    If system resources are your major concern, you should take a look at Eset's
    NOD32 anti-virus. It's scores well in tests, and has a small footprint. It
    was recently released in version 3, and Eset has also released a security
    suite called Smart Security. Although not a big hog, you will note the suite
    consumes more resources than the stand alone AV.,130869/article.html

    As for the firewall, Vista's built in one can serve even power users well.
    Configure it's policies in Advanced Security to suit your needs. DSL and
    wireless routers often have fairly decent built in hardware firewalls, and
    if you have the option to do so, you should definitely enable yours.

    Security experts also recommend using two or more anti-spyware programs to
    complement each other. NOD32 and Windows Defender will provide you with good
    real time protection, but in addition you should run another spyware scanner

    Charlie42, Nov 23, 2007
  7. ttpoker

    Kayman Guest

    If you like me and you're *really* careful then stick with Vista f/w and
    don't even consider using any AV/A-S applications; It works for me but may
    not be right for you:)
    Systinternals Autoruns or What's Running 2.2 have been designed to track
    down and eliminate wayward services, processes, programs, and more.
    Don't work/surf as an administrator - it's easy with Vista - ,keep your OS
    and all other soft ware applications up-to-date.
    Don't expose services to public networks. You can achieve that by disabling
    the services you don't need.
    Consider an alternative to IE.

    And don't forget to back-up, back-up, back-up and back-up - sh!t happens
    :) Acronis True Image is one of the better applications.

    Some more educational reading:
    Is security software becoming a security risk?

    "People think that putting one AV engine after another is somehow defense
    in depth. They think that if one engine doesn't catch the worm, the other
    will catch it," he said. "You haven't decreased your attack surface; you've
    increased it because every AV engine has bugs"

    Interesting report:
    (Though Russ Cooper, a senior scientist with Verizon Business, had some
    criticism for the work of n.runs)

    The Death of Anti-Virus Defense.
    Kayman, Nov 23, 2007
  8. ttpoker

    Kayman Guest

    I should've posted tthis link also:
    Kayman, Nov 23, 2007
  9. ttpoker

    John Adams Guest

    I've found that OneCare has very little impact (none that I have ever
    noticed) on system performance. I am extremely pleased with it as a
    product. I'm using it on my Vista x64 PC and my Vista x86 PC. I have also
    gotten my friends and family to use it as well. Even though I sound like a
    fanboy right now, I don't care. It just works well and keeps to the
    background where it belongs.

    It isn't free, but you can install it on up to three computers.

    - John
    John Adams, Nov 25, 2007
  10. ttpoker

    john Guest

    We use CA's eTrust antiviruse on all Windows systems. It is very good and
    no system slow downs. We schedule full system scans during off hours but do
    realtime scans always. We use Vistas built in firewall.
    john, Nov 26, 2007
  11. ttpoker

    Scottman Guest

    The best one available now is Eset Smart Securiy Anti-Virus, and Firewall.
    It's available as a 32 or 64 bit download. There's a free thiry day trial on
    the web site.
    Scottman, Jan 8, 2008
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