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I have a Windows machine and I run AVG free antivirus, Windows Defender and firewall, Spybot Search & Destroy, Outpost Firewall, and Prevx. I am just checking because I think I might have turned something up.

Is this security suite good enough?

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related: superuser.com/questions/14424/… –  fretje Aug 18 '09 at 14:01
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closed as primarily opinion-based by techie007, Tog, Heptite, Kevin Panko, Dave Rook Feb 20 at 15:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

12 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You'll never be able to have 100% protection from all mal-ware, but what you have seems adequate. User action (opening untrusted applications, etc.) is really the difference maker.

Some new virus can slip through Norton just as easy as it can slip through AVG.

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Sounds like way overkill. Your best computer security suite is your brain.

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I know, just that my dad had a hacker reformat his hard-drive –  The Green Frog Aug 18 '09 at 14:09
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Don't use "hacker" like that. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go tilting at windmills... –  Richard Hoskins Aug 18 '09 at 17:04
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Surely, the only right answer is "No". You can never be 100% covered.

On the other hand, more than one firewall on the same system is likely to cause you more problems for little or no benefit.

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actually, they work great together –  The Green Frog Aug 18 '09 at 14:10
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You forget to mention one important this: to update Windows with the latest security patches and service packs!

It is also important to keep your anti-virus, anti-spyware and other security software updated too.

You may also need to change your surfing habit's: don't enter porn, hacking, cracks, gambling sites, don't click on links in IM programs...

You can search in Google for web sites that will test your firewall and check if it gives you good protection.

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It sounds to me like you're going a little overboard. I regularly run the Windows firewall (I've found this to be more than sufficient when the computer in question is sitting behind a hardware firewall/router that has only specific ports opened for things I use) and Avast (free edition) for antivirus. I'll occasionally use other tools like those you mentioned, but only if I'm trying to solve a particular problem, definitely not on a regular basis.

Also, you definitely don't need more than one of each type of software (firewall, antivirus, etc.).

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The #1 thing to help defend a Windows machine is to not be running as an administrator. Was your dad an admin when that happened to him?

Aside from that all i use is an AV program (AVG or McAfee because my ISP provides it), Windows Defender, and Windows Firewall.

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This is probably a little too much. I use AVG Free and Windows Firewall (an absolute minimum to be sure), but I scan my system with a few other tools on a regular basis. In two years, even with other family members on MySpace, I have found only one easily removed bit of malware. I agree with Ruston, the user's brain is the best defense for a home PC.

By the way, I would recommend Firefox or Opera in place of IE.

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I see a lot of people advertising Firefox in place of Internet Explorer which is an outstanding recommendation. But no one has told him how to make Firefox more secure.

  • AVG - Yes;

  • Windows Firewall / Defender - OK (might as well leave them enabled though I would suggest a hardware firewall);

  • Firefox - Yes;

Firefox extensions-

  • Adblock Plus (Blocks almost all advertisements, and you can tell it to block the ones it misses);
  • NoScript (Stops sites from running ANY type of scripting without your permission);
  • AVG Safe Search (Rates sites as Safe/Unsafe in Google);
  • IE Tab (allows you to run Microsoft Updates from Firefox);

The only problem you may run into is knowing whether or not you should block scripts from an unknown site. That is what Google is for. Before you allow any scripts from an unknown site, google the site (don't go to the actual site though) and you will normally find a review telling you if it uses tracking cookies or contains Malware.

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What do adverts have to do with security? –  UpTheCreek Feb 16 '11 at 14:45
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I agree with others that say this is probably overkill.

The other software you use or don't use is probably more important. I'd opt for Opera/Firefox/Chrome before Internet Explorer. Just eliminating ActiveX in the web browser makes you a little safer. Use something other than Outlook and you'll help more. Avoiding "big-target" software (usually this = Microsoft) helps keep you safe if you can live without those programs.

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Too much.

I'd suggest that it's actually weakening your defenses because of it.

If every time a program needs a port, you have to tell 3 programs that you really want to let it out you're going to start ignoring dialog boxes and just clicking "okay" to get rid of them.

I'd suggest a hardware firewall if you're really under that much assault - that much cruft has got to be inflicting a serious performance hit on your computer.

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Sounds like you have too much security. This can cause issues if everything is fighting for the same resources (ie memory). The best security is your common sense. However, AVG is a very lightweight and powerful system. I run my systems with AVG and nothing else. Spyware is cleaned off my computer about once a month using Ad-aware, and I clean out all temp files and cookies and other nonsense including registry files using crap-cleaner (aka ccleaner).

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Yeah I agree with the above, it's too much. For a free solution I use Comodo firewall and Avira AVG.

Paid would still be Comodo but with Nod32 AVG

and for malware/spyware I use Spybot and Malwarebytes incase one or the other misses something.

The best all in one security software is kapersky IMHO.

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