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Solved: Microsoft Security Essentials vs Avast & ZoneAlarm


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26-Oct-2011, 09:25 PM #1
Question Solved: Microsoft Security Essentials vs Avast & ZoneAlarm
Interested to know how you feel about:

Microsoft Security Essentials Firewall & Antivirus w/ SpywareBlaster
vs.
Avast & ZoneAlarm w/ SpywareBlaster
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27-Oct-2011, 02:59 AM #2
Depends on what you need.
Personally I use Avast because it has a number of features, and more importantly for me gives me a lot of control as to what it actually does. My machine is good enough to run it without complaint.
In the opposite circumstances, given a weaker machine and wanting an Antivirus that just does it's job without bothering people too much, I'd turn to MSE without a second thought.

I've gone off ZoneAlarm a bit, and if I wanted a third party firewall I'd probably pick a different one. Right now I'm actually using Avast with the Windows firewall.

Last edited by Ent; 27-Oct-2011 at 08:17 AM.. Reason: misspelling
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27-Oct-2011, 02:59 AM #3
Microsoft security essentials with malwarebytes would be a good choice. Dont know about spyware blaster.
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27-Oct-2011, 08:05 AM #4
ZoneAlarm has been causing quite a bit of trouble lately so I wouldn't recommend it. The Windows Firewall is quite sufficient.

SpywareBlaster is a very good complement to have on your computer. It doesn't run in the background and won't slow down your computer in any way.

Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast or Avira Antivir are all good choices if you're looking for a free antivirus.

If you don't mind paying a little, there's ESET's NOD32 (my personal favorite), Kaspersky and BitDefender.

And of course, I would add the free versions of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware.
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27-Oct-2011, 08:23 AM #5
Avast does the job for me - has improved greatly over recent years.
Microsoft Security Essentials - sends too much personal information back home to Microsoft - no one seems to read their privacy policy.

Zone alarm - used to be the number one Firewall, there are better ones out there.
I'm checking out Private Firewall at the moment.
SpywareBlaster - has always been well worth having.

But as always - it is down to personal preference - and what works best for us.
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28-Oct-2011, 03:59 PM #6
Here's another vote for dropping ZoneAlarm and sticking with the Windows firewall. Lately, in the tests I've looked at (Virus Bulletin and AV-Comparatives), Avast and Avira seem to have a pretty consistent performance lead over Security Essentials, but both are more intrusive. Personally, I'm willing to put up with a bit of nagging if the program performs better, but not everyone feels the same way. Avast remains a good choice in freeware, but I run NOD32.
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28-Oct-2011, 06:58 PM #7
I have a question - Does Avast Network Security have a good firewall?

I am currently using Windows Firewall with Vista but I want something like Zonealarm for Outbound connection (currently Windows Firewall does not have any warnings or alerts when an outbound connection is stopped, you have to set the rules manually). I did try setting it up manually (allowing Firefox for example) but for some reason it still blocked the connection (I did set it to allow for domain, public, and private in Outbound rules).

Anyone have experience with Avast's Firewall? I don't mind paying for it as long as it works well (also helps support them which is a plus). What I want is an alert/popup whenever it blocks an inbound or outbound connection with the option of allow/deny (similar to ZoneAlarm).

One reason I stopped using Zonealarm is because on two separate computers (with Vista) it eventually screwed up my internet connection (It always lead to me being unable to browser websites or use the internet after about 2-3 hours of computer being on). I always had to restart. I tried redownloading again a year ago and it still had that problem (not sure why >.<).

Is it the same for Avast Firewall and/or did Zonealarm fix theirs for Vista?

Last edited by Newuser12345215; 28-Oct-2011 at 07:03 PM..
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28-Oct-2011, 07:11 PM #8
I'll join the "ditch zone alarm" chorus. I rate it an "avoid" product due to poor performance and an out and out failure to do its designed job.

I use Online Armor Free version with Windows 7 Pro. Took a bit of time to train it the way I wanted it, but it works fine.
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28-Oct-2011, 07:23 PM #9
I'm an avid supporter of Avast! SpywareBlaster is a waste of time IMO, I also run Zone Alarm which I find works well, I've tried many others and most are not so straightforward
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28-Oct-2011, 07:28 PM #10
I'm not having problems with Avast, ZoneAlarm & SpywareBlaster for myself. Not when I used XP, Vista or now with 7.
For several years I've helped families find with computer security as will as problems. Because of my health issues they'll need to be more dependent on themselves.
Most of them can handle updating those programs but there are a few. Who cannot update Avast once in a year by typing in their email address.
So I was thinking Security Essentials should keep them pretty safe when I'm no longer around to help them.
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28-Oct-2011, 07:34 PM #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotty999 View Post
SpywareBlaster is a waste of time IMO
That's 'cause you don't understand how the program works and what it does!
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28-Oct-2011, 07:35 PM #12
Avast auto updates daily for me
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28-Oct-2011, 07:38 PM #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom010 View Post
That's 'cause you don't understand how the program works and what it does!
shut yer gob! I still actually have it and it's updated yet I still get spyware from time to time which other progs find and blast 'em!
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28-Oct-2011, 07:40 PM #14
Ah. I work a lot of Seniors myself. Actually, my AARP card says I am one. So, I understand that you have a need to tailor the solution to the user. But, where circumstances permit, I like both Avast and Avira better than MSE considered purely in terms of effectiveness.
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29-Oct-2011, 08:21 PM #15
dotty999 - SpywareBlaster currently blocks 14,692 sites & items (malware) by adding them to your restricted sites as well as ActiveX Protection & Cookie Protection in Internet Explorer. Or Mozilla Firebox which I don't use.
It doesn't need to be running after I update it once a week.
My friends still using XP are still using SpywareGuard as well. To prevent homepage hijacking.
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