Dial-up Internet: Anti-Virus and Other Settings?

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Pandimensional

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This elderly woman whom I'm helping with her computer woes has dial-up AOL 56k internet. [It is the only option in her area other than satellite or an AT&T Wireless cellular modem, both of which will end up costing close to $70 per month after CA taxes and fees (which is twice what she can afford) despite being tremendously slow (for broadband) with low bandwidth caps.]

I've got a computer working for her. Set up XP and everything is working fine, yet when I go over there tomorrow to hook it up for her, I think some stuff should be disabled, correct?

I think I should disable Automatic Updates, Flash and Java updates. My primary question is - which (free) anti-virus to use? Right now I have MS Security Essential running. Is this AV dial-up friendly, or should I switch to AVG or another? What is the protocol with AV's and dial-up? If the A/V or any app for that matter attempts to update on a regular basis I can imagine this will create much trouble for her.

Thanks for some feedback.

Ryan
 
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One of my friends is on dial up with XP & using Microsoft Security Essentials. No problems, but each situation is different. I would set Windows update to "Notify but not download"
That way she can choose WHEN it's convenient. Flash can be set to Notify First also. Java, unless absolutely required, & considering the security issues going on, need not be installed.
 

Pandimensional

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Java, unless absolutely required, & considering the security issues going on, need not be installed.
I don't want to divert the subject of this thread, but I must ask about this. I was aware that Java has always been a potential security risk as is Flash (isn't it too?) yet I assumed that we all need Java and take that risk. It's one of the first things I do when I reinstall a system - install Java. Are you saying don't install Java? What functionalities/popular apps will not having Java effect?

I get what you said about Windows Auto Updates, that makes sense.

There does not seem to be any options for scheduling updates or turning off auto updates in MS Security Essentials so I thought maybe AVG would be better. Do you know from your friend, how MS Security Essentials updates on his dial-up connection? Does it do it every day? Does it tell him when it is updating so at least he knows when not to try to check email or do other things online?
 
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In April 2012, Ed Bott adressed this by listing some applications and websites that require Java. See How big a security risk is Java? Can you really quit using it?. Some omissions from the article are

  • GoToMyPC - from Citrix, works easier with Java, though it is not required
  • GoToMeeting - also from Citrix
  • GoToWebinar - again from Citrix
  • Scottrade
  • The Wall Street Journal website, wsj.com, uses Java for dynamic charts
  • Secunia's Online Software Inspector, which checks for old versions of Windows software
  • ThinkFree Office Online
  • FreeMind mind mapping software
  • France's online voting system
  • LuxSci webmail (only for some advanced features)
  • The time.gov website for Official U.S. Time (but Java can be disabled)
On the other hand, Libre Office which says it needs Java, in fact, it says so multiple times, seems to run fine without it.


Read More Here: http://javatester.org/


I run MSE & it does do daily updates. As to my friend on dial up, the updates don't seem to bother him. What he really hates is the slow downloading of email into his Outlook Express. He doesn't like Gmail, Yahoo email or any other web based email.



As to AVG, Avast, Avira etc you'd have to try each one out & see how it performs. Perhaps someone else on dial up using another antivirus program & on dial up will respond.
 

flavallee

Frank
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Ryan:

You didn't provide any specs on that computer that you're setting up for her.

Regardless of that, I would select Microsoft Security Essentials over AVG 2013 because it's lighter and more user-friendly.

If you're planning to go there once a month or so to maintain and update that computer, there's no need to have several apps auto-updating.

It's going to be difficult and time-consuming anyway to keep it up-to-date on 56K dial-up.

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Pandimensional

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Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, 1.5GB RAM, XPSP3

I will go with Microsoft Security Essentials, yet my only concern is that I don't know what's going to happen when it attempts to update, nor do I see how to turn off updates. I can however turn off updates on AVG.
 

flavallee

Frank
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There should be a setting that only notifies you of new Windows updates but doesn't automatically download and install them.

When new updates appear, the yellow shield in the taskbar alerts you to them.

You then select the ones you want to download and install.

Unfortunately, some of those update files are large and will take a long time to download on 56K dial-up.

I'm guessing that elderly woman isn't computer-knowledgeable and able to maintain and update that computer, so you'll probably be making regular visits there.

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Pandimensional

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Thank you flav. I am well aware of Windows Automatic Updates for updates to XP. I can just turn those off. No big deal. My concern is with Microsoft Security Essentials A/V updates. They don't come via Windows Automatic Updates I assume? If they did, that would be fantastic. I assume that MSE self updates just like other A/V apps.
 

flavallee

Frank
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Sorry, I misunderstood you.

MSE will keep itself updated on high-speed, but I don't know how well it'll do it on dialup.

Loading its main window, then selecting Update(tab) - Update(button) every few days should keep it updated.

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