New Laptop Help

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CezeN
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New Laptop Help

Postby CezeN » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:21 pm

I just got my first laptop for college.

Now, my normal family computer has McCafee Internet Security, which is pretty good.

Do any of you know any equally good, better, or even simply decent Free Internet Security systems I can download off the internet?

For example, I have Windows Defender and Windows Firewal, right now.
However, McCafee specifically has a security aspect, where it tells you whether a site is bad or good, and for what reasons, with a little icon near the link on search engines. And, it'll stop you if you go to a site with an X near it, and warn you about the potential risks.

I'd love to have something like that or similar.

Also, if there's anything else you recommend me add/download onto my laptop, I'm all ears.
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Postby Wil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:32 pm

A little common sense and Microsoft Security Essentials is all you'll ever need.

Just go here:
http://ninite.com

And get:
Firefox (or Chrome, but Firefox is still superior IMO)
Digsby
VLC
Paint.Net/GIMP
OpenOffice
SumatraPDF
Security Essentials
Flash
Java
Silverlight (Ugh)
ccCleaner
Recuva
7Zip
Notepad++

Pretty much covers you for anything you could ever need.

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Postby CezeN » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:38 pm

Also, keep in mind that it:

Has 2 GB of memory.
Has only one core processor or whatever.(so multiple things running makes it lag hard, according to the person who helped me at the store)
Has 250 GB HDD

I'm computer illterite, so I don't know the real significance of all those characteristics, in relation to downloading and using programs.
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Postby Wil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:42 pm

You're still good. I listed just the common things people need. Browser, Instant Messenger, Video Player, light graphic editor, document editing, PDF reading, security, flash video, java applets, silverlight video, ccCleaner simply helps clean your computer up, Recuva allows you to recover a file you may delete accidentally, 7zip extracts files from archives (zip, rar, etc), and Notepad++ is a better Notepad. :)

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Postby CezeN » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:44 pm

Thank you very much!
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:28 pm

I've used both AVG's and Avast's free editions and have no complaints about either. They both typically score pretty high in any security rankings you'll come across, as well, so you can't go wrong picking either. Avast is (in my experience) a bit slower and less user-friendly than AVG, but is also more meticulous in its scanning, which is a plus.
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Postby Wil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:49 pm

Just out of curiosity Syphon, have you tried MSE? I only ask because, MSE is the only thing I ever recommend to people simply because it has yet to cause a single problem for me. It does exactly what it should (catch malware/viruses) without bitching and complaining to me about every little thing I do. It stays in the background, totally hidden, out of sight and mind until something sets off it's alarms (such as downloading an infected file), it runs scans automatically when the computer is idle at night, and it does all this with a decently small memory footprint. It's detection algorithms are on par with even the premium software.

It's been awhile, but every other program (Avast, AVG) that I've used before were always a pain in the ass, always complaining, causing problems with other programs resulting in conflicts and errors, and they always sucked up memory. Maybe they've improved since then. I'm still a major fan of MSE and I think everyone should give it a shot.

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Postby locke » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:49 pm

gotta say I definitely prefer Avast to AVG, AVG has had issues with the last couple times I installed it (not wanting to update virus definitions, for example).
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:29 am

Wil, I haven't tried MSE. At the moment, I'm pretty happy with AVG, as I haven't had any problems/conflicts in a number of years (I know it does cause some conflicts, as they generally have a list of potential conflicting programs, but I apparently don't use those programs, so it doesn't affect me much), but if I'm ever in the mood for a change or if/when it starts causing problems for me, I'll definitely try it out.
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Postby Psudo » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:05 am

I advocate Chrome and Avast (or maybe MSE; I haven't tried that one).

AVG was nicer in it's early days, I think. Anyway, I had to fuss with it less to get it to work as intended. And Chrome does a lot of things just blindingly fast. The only reasons to stick with Firefox, I think, are open source advocacy or perpetuation of personal habit.

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Postby jotabe » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:51 am

I use avgfree and nod32* as antivirus, in different computers, and never had any problems. Then Firefox+noscript in the web browsing front, and Spybot Search&Destroy for the spyware cleanup every now and then.
I have chrome, but i don't use it much, despite it being (apparently) the safest web broweser, because i can't live without the menus on top.

*I don't seem to be able to find the free version of nod32 available for download, other than a trial edition... but my version still updates fine. Meh.
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Postby Borommakot_15 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:35 am

I just set up a new computer for myself..

First thing I did was to download all patches and updates.

Then downloaded several things on my old computer (that was running Avast Free), so I knew they got scanned. Brought them over to the new computer via scanned USB drive, and installed them on the new computer. Those things are below.

I installed Firefox with Flashblock and Adblock Plus (and other things, but those are the security ones... no I don't install NoScript, as paranoid as I can be).

I installed Avast Free antivirus and updated it right after install.

I installed Comodo Firewall.

I went to this site and downloaded a HOSTS file that blocks many ads and malware sites.

I think that's most of the security stuff. I also installed 7-Zip, Auslogics Disk Defrag, Pidgin, Eraser, E-Sword, Foxit Reader (I don't like adobe), ImgBurn, iTunes (or apple.. *shudder*), VLC, Open Office, Notepad++, and Stepmania.

I believe everything on that list is free, as well. =)
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Postby CezeN » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:20 am

Are you allowed to use more than one Firewall and is it benificial?

For example, I have Windows Firewall With Advanced Security.
Would adding the Comodo Firewall make my laptop safer?

Also, what's the best free pop-up blocker?
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Postby Wil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:57 am

IMO, on a laptop (especially a slower laptop like yours), it's best to keep the number of programs you start up with to a minimum, and those that do start up should be relatively inexpensive to have. Having two anti-viruses and an extra firewall running is, TBH, a little excessive. The Windows firewall is pretty much more than enough to keep you secure unless you just start blindingly downloading programs from the internet. MSE is, as far as I know, still the lightest, least invasive security package while still being just as good at catching things as AVG and Avast.

Chances are you'll be behind a router whenever you use your laptop as well, and that's also another layer of protection that is already present in your setup.

Chrome... is getting there. My primary gripe against Chrome used to be the fact that the ad-blocking took place after the pages loaded so ad's still had to load but they fixed that. Now my primary complaint is that it doesn't have the several useful Add-ons that I use every day in Firefox. Personal preference really. Chrome isn't any more or less safer than Firefox, it's just faster. All browsers will automatically block pop-ups now, so it's not really beneficial to add more pop-up blockers as they will more likely than not cause problems.

Foxit Reader is closing in to being just as bulky to read PDF's with as Adobe is, and it contains ad's. This is why I listed SumatraPDF as it is a light weight PDF reader that DOESN'T have ad's.

Pidgin is nice, but I prefer Digsby simply because it looks better, it runs smoother than Pidgin, and it has the handy feature of being able to connect to Facebook IM natively along with list status updates and events as they happen as a pop-up.

iTunes if you must, but foobar2000 is a very light weight music player if you don't need iTunes.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:52 pm

Pidgin is nice, but I prefer Digsby simply because it looks better, it runs smoother than Pidgin, and it has the handy feature of being able to connect to Facebook IM natively along with list status updates and events as they happen as a pop-up.
I've been using Pidgin for a while now, and my main complaint has been its clunky look. When I get my new computer, I might check out Digsby. Thanks!

And thanks, guys, for the other ideas for anti-virus software. I really want to avoid cluttering up my computer and I've been using AVG for years but it's getting increasingly annoying, so again, I'm gonna check out those options. Same for the PDF software - adobe slows my computer down like nothing else, which makes me very avoidant of PDFs, but sometimes there's no other option.
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Postby zeroguy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:30 am

Do any of you know any equally good, better, or even simply decent Free Internet Security systems I can download off the internet?
To be honest, my opinion at this point is that the best advice I can give you is store all of the stuff you care about on an external hard drive, and be prepared to completely reformat, reinstall windows, etc, when you need to.

There's other good advice you can get, of course... but unless all windows applications (and windows itself) have gained the ability to update themselves sanely (or you are diligent enough to pay attention and do it yourself) and actually are able to be secure and [rant rant rant], stuff will get screwed up sooner or later. Due to the number of "my laptop is slow" complaints I consistently see from windows users, I expect such is the case (or I only know idiots). When something like that happens, you can fix it yourself, get someone to fix it for you, or.... just reinstall the machine. It's silly, but it is often the easiest thing to do; having your stuff on an external drive makes it very easy to do such a thing.
I've been using Pidgin for a while now, and my main complaint has been its clunky look.
Pidgin's look & feel is changeable somewhat by using different GTK+ themes. I have no idea how to change that on windows... but google tells me if you have something installed that calls itself a "GTK Theme Switcher" or "GTK Preferences" dealie or something, that it can do it. Or this, if you don't: http://gtk-win.sourceforge.net/home/ind ... /Gtk2Prefs . Just to give it a mention.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:54 pm

I'm liking the way digsby is set up, so I'll probably go with it for now. Hoorah!

But, alas. Does anyone know how to get the remnants of McAfee off this thing? I did the normal "delete program" thing through control panel and I keep finding files still! Is there an easier way to do this than just deleting every file I come across manually?
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:57 pm

I'd probably try Revo Uninstaller and use the advanced (deep scan) mode.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:36 pm

Well that was easy, if disgusting. I can't believe a program designed to keep s*** off your computer is also designed to leave so much junk behind. Oh wait, I can. WHAT THE HECK, MCAFEE. 707 files after I uninstalled you? It's like they think you're not serious when you say "uninstall". That drives me CRAZY. Thanks for proving the exact reason I uninstalled you in the first place, you jerks.


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P.S. Thanks, Michael. I'm so pleased with the results of Revo I'd actually consider buying a permanent version.
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Postby Wil » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:00 am

*coughMicrosoftSecurityEssentialscough*

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:09 am

Oh, I got that too, Wil. Then I deleted McAfee and the fun started.
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Postby jotabe » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:38 am

yeah, EL, that experience is exactly the same i had both times (i'm a hard learner... in my discharge, i'll say last time was 2002) i tried to install mcafee antivirus security software of whatever they call it lol.
...and to think that in the msdos times, the only antivirus i'd use was mcafee's SCAN, because it was so reliable.

Btw, wil, do you want me to get you some cough drops? looks like you have a nasty thing there :lol:
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