For years I'm using some antivirus software and different firewall. Now every antiviruses have got some firewall features and there are complete "internet security" complexes... and every firewall get some antivirus functionality and there are "internet security" versions.

Firstly, it is hard and sometimes impossible to install and use standalone AV and FW. Sometimes I can't avoid them (i can't install KAV2010 without removing Outpost firewall etc).

Secondly, complex solutions have some disbalance. Farewall from famous antivirus-brand is so user-friendly that is not suitable for me (lack of details in Norton Internet Security for example) and antiviruses from famous firewall-brands are still weak, it is proved by tests.

What is today best-practices in case of functionality and security?) Some internet-security complex or two standalone applications from different vendors?

  • should be community wiki...
    – studiohack
    Apr 14 '10 at 18:43

I, and other IT staff at my office, continue to use separate applications for anti-virus and firewall. The reason for this is we have applications that continue to work well for us (though our choices differ), and we have found that integrated solutions just don't work very well at all. The reason they don't work well to us is that they are trying to combine too many pieces into one program, and quite often, they fail. However, I always suggest to continue reviewing options and updating on an as-needed basis when one program is shown to have gone to pot, or when it surpasses the quality of what you have, and that includes both stand-alone and integrated solutions.


It's subjective really, with both approaches having their advantages and disadvantages.

If you use a combined AV and Firewall program, you should be able to be more confident that they'll work together without any problems, and from a management point of view it makes it much easier to administer centrally.

If you use separate software for AV and Firewall you have the advantage that a flaw found in one program is much less likely (but not impossible) to affect a product from a different manufacturer (as a lot of integrated software will share a code base).

Personally, from a compliance point of view, I much prefer two products from the same manufacturer that I can get reports on in a single console, but on a home PC or smaller network that may not be a major feature.


Comodo has some great stuff. It's really geared towards power users, you can modify the tiniest detail. The best part though is that when you install the firewall you can choose to have it also install the antivirus, the two play very well together.

  • I've been using comodo since before it had an antivirus. The firewall is spectacular. The AV is so-so, but they all are. virustotal.com or a VM is the best way to determine if a file is a virus anyways.
    – Fake Name
    May 1 '10 at 7:05
  • Also, it's completely free
    – Fake Name
    May 1 '10 at 7:06

I've been happy with Microsoft Security Essentials on Win7.

The interface is really well done and incredibly minimally intrusive. It's middle-of-the-pack for effectiveness. It's free. It's also under active development and improvement.

  • You payed when bought Windows )
    – stim
    Apr 18 '10 at 19:08

pfSense has done my network wonders. Free, easy to setup, and very customizable. Read the docs and see for yourself.


In my organization we are using internet security solutions from WatchGuard which is a hardware security appliance. We are happy with the product which protects the systems from viruses, malware, spyware and many other web threats.

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