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Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed

JohnInKansas 29 Apr 09 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Apr 09 - 04:45 AM
JohnInKansas 29 Apr 09 - 08:23 AM
Amos 29 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM
Acme 29 Apr 09 - 09:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM
Acme 29 Apr 09 - 04:33 PM
Herga Kitty 29 Apr 09 - 05:30 PM
Austin P 29 Apr 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM
artbrooks 29 Apr 09 - 07:32 PM
Andrez 29 Apr 09 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:28 AM

I might have made the title "Computer Security Suites Boringly, Exhaustively, and Excessively Reviewed," but the box ain't that big.

The article is rather large, so I'll attempt to include a few "principal links" for those who might not be inclined to try to read the whole thing, but I don't intend to preview/check all of them. If some don't go where expected (or don't go anywhere at all) you can go to the article and find them for youselves.

The Best Security Suites for 2009

ARTICLE DATE: 10.29.08 thru last update 02.02.09 – (29 Oct 2008 thru 02 Feb 2009)
By Neil J. Rubenking
(PC Magazine)

"The list of available 2009-model security suites is now essentially complete. A running theme in this year's suites is the promise that these new versions will do more for your security while tying up fewer system resources. It's about time: Users have had it with suites that offer security but bog down the computer. Several vendors have introduced new "in the cloud" technologies to keep up with the accelerating growth of new malware. And many have redesigned their user interfaces to be more attractive and look lighter and faster. Some are new, innovative, and speedy. Others haven't kept pace. Which are which? I put them all through grueling tests to find out."

This article links together a series of individual reviews published in the tree-killer version of the magazine between October 2008 and February 2009. Although the article was "finished" a couple of months ago, I'll assume that the web version was deferred to allow those who ate-the-paper to relax from moving their lips so much.

If you just "step through" all of the web pages assembled into the article, you'll load and see at least 138 web pages.

The first 5 web pages (linked by "Next" buttons") are a summary of how the series was put together and how the AV Suites were tested, with some "gossip" about the suites that the editor found most interesting. I'd recommend scanning through them, just to get the "context of the discussion" before jumping to "selected bits."

At the bottom of the first page (and most others) there's a "Printable" button that assembles the whole article in one swell foop; but the assembled thing is about 110 pages (pasted into Word). You can, of course, scan through it on-screen fairly quickly to pick out the high points, but I'd suggest NOT SENDING IT to a paper-eater unless you're really interested.

The printable version also "drops out" a few bits and pieces, so the original web pages give some info (and links) that aren't in the print version, or that aren't in quite the same places.

Part of the reason that the print version has so many pages is that each web page contains, and "prints," the same "index" to the bits and pieces of the opus, and the index alone is a couple of pages. If you ignore the index, there isn't a lot of text in the "summary pages."

Page 01     Page 02     Page 03     Page 04     Page 05

In the detail pages that follow, there is an "editors' rating" for each suite tested, and there is an additional "users rating" for some. The ratings shouldn't be given excessive weight, as these are all "pretty good" suites. None of the suites gets a perfect score, but knowing what the foibles of your own defensive systems are should allow you to decide whether you need some "added protection;" but more importantly, knowing your vulnerabilities may help you to adjust your own behavio(u)r to help keep you safe. Of course if you see something in the stuff you're using that really concerns you, you can look at one or more of the others reviewed here to see if you want to consider something different.

The article only reviews "full-commercial-bought-and-paid-for-suites," but most suites are "associated" with the cheaper-to-free versions many here use, and family characterisitics may (carefully) be extrapolated to some extent. It's probably unlikely that a "free version" will do better than the purchased one, or that the free version will lack a "weakness" present in the big brother one.

The "details" of each suite reviewed begins with a "quickie" summary, but when you step to the "next" page you generally get the "full review," which expands the index on the left to about a dozen web pages for each suite. The main ones reviewed are:

Page 06 Avira intro     Page 07 Avira full review

Page 15 Bit Defender intro     Page 16 Bit Defender full review

Page 32 Comodo intro     Page 33 Comodo full review

Page 40 ESET intro     Page 41ESET full review

Page 52 F-Secure intro     Page 53 F-Secure full review

Page 62 NIS2009 intro      NIS2009 full review

      Note that the NIS2009 full review links out of the series shown in the page index, but appears to return to the article using the "next buttons" there. The "front page" of the article also links into a brief review of the separate Norton 360, that gets dropped out of the index in later segments of the article, so if you're interested in it you may need to "go in from the front end."

Page 63 Panda intro     Page 64 Panda full review

Page 76 Trend Micro intro     Page 77 Trend Micro full review

Page 94 TrustPort intro     Page 95 TrustPort full review

Page 105 WebRootIntl intro     Page 106 WebRootIntl full review

Page 116 Zone Alarm intro     Page 117 Zone Alarm full review

Page 127 Zone Alarm Extreme intro     Page 128 Zone Alarm Extreme full review

Let the rebuttals begin ...

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:45 AM

John in Kansas

So - your personal recommendation - at this moment in 2009 is?????

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

At the moment I prefer to actively switch on and off line and run a tight control over X and Java. Too much "push advertising" and clutter.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 08:23 AM

Any of the suites reviewed in the article should be perfectly suitable for anyone who isn't completely stupid about how, and where, (s)he trolls the 'net. Of course stupidity can be genetic, or from lack of education, or from plain old accidental bad luck.

Some of the suites have some "holes" in them, but mostly they're of the sort that can be accomodated by "behavioural modifications" on the part of the user or by easily available "supplements," or by a little tolerance for inconveniences.

In the early 80s, when I first got into using a computer some, most of the "malware" was "stupid tricks" that intellectual degenerates played on each other. When they got sufficiently frequent to be "annoying," I tried out a few "defenses" and ended up pretty much relying on Norton. (When Peter ran the company you could trust them without much watching.) I've used a couple of others since, but make no secret about using Norton Internet Security 2009 now - partly just from long-term "brand loyalty" and no real incentive to change, and partly because it was the first I found with a "3-machine license" for the same price as most were charging for one.

People in other parts of the world may benefit quite a lot from using a "home region" provider, since there are some distinct differences in "what goes around" that depend a little on where you live. Few here would recognize it, but some of the suites reviewed are "distinctly European" and are better suited to use on the "regionalized machines" of Europe (and the slightly different program mixes used there) than they are for my use.

Kaspersky has been in the news quite a bit for being the "discoverer" of several new threats, and technically I think I'd trust the product, although I'm not sure I'm smart enough to drive it.

If Steve Gibson sold an AV suite I might trust it enough to try it out, but I'm not sure he's not even more senile than I am by now. (If he sees that, it's a joke.)

It's pretty much like the barber who offered to "singe the hair instead of cutting it, so the juices won't run out and make you bald."

When the customer asked him to explain why the whiskers that he shaved every day were doin' better than what was on top that only got cut every week or so, the reply was -

"Obviously you're just not the kind of damned fool that story was made up for."

Pick who you want to believe, and then watch 'em 'till they prove it (or can't).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM

THe sheer magnitude of this industry is remarkable, and a testament (a) to the craven insanity of half the human race, who make this kind of crap necessary, and (b) the remarkable multiplying consequence of design flaws in a successful product.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Acme
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:56 AM

Meanwhile, I see a new IE-8 tucked into today's updates from Mickeysoft. For the moment I have de-selected it. Have you read anything about it one way or another? Bugs? Weaknesses? Objectionable personal habits?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM

In this part of western Canada, Shaw Cable provides good protection.
I also had SpyDoctor (Spybot?), but the two were not wholy compatable, and a technician had to remove it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Acme
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:33 PM

Washington Post article about IE 8 and other browser and reader updates.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:30 PM

I got an e-mail from BT saying that they would be replacing their Norton security package with one powered by McAfee at no additional cost. But my computer consultant (partner's son-in-law) said I should get NIS 2009, and has installed it for me.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Austin P
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:30 PM

So where is the review of avast antivirus? It's free and works brilliantly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM

AVG too...........


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:32 PM

Just FYI and FWIW, I have the most recent Zone Alarm, and it works fine...after they finally released an iteration of v.8 that is compatible with Vista 64.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Computer Security Suites Reviewed
From: Andrez
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:21 PM

I too used to like Norton in the days when Peter was involved but then the package became too full of bloatware and so I looked for alternatives. At work at the time we ran Trend Micro Officescan across a statewide WAN. From my perspective in support, there were minimal system glitches and patches and updates were delivered smoothly regularly. The online reference library always seemed to be comprehensive and the online technical advice for virus removal in the knowledge base was useful when required.

On this basis I chose to replace Norton with Trend Micro on the home PC's a couple of years ago and the system has run (literally) flawlessly ever since. I also use the Trend Mobile version for my PDA. The system works well and my systems are clean although I help the situation by running a lean, clean and up to date software setup. What more could you want?

The only downside that I can see has to do with costs like having to renew a subscription every year etc. Apart from that I wish they'd make a Mac version so I dont have to put up with the rubbish that Intego put out as an excuse for Virus protection on that platform.

Cheers,

Andrez


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