Window 7 Essential Utilities

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Huntn, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Huntn, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    For years I've used Avanquest's System Suite (current version 11), but I'm starting to have some problems with it. It does everything, system maintenance, registry cleaning, and virus/malware. It is acting more like bloatware and on the "best of" lists floating around on the net it's not registering. Lately, although I'm registered, the product is insisting I register before it will let me do any thing with it.

    So I'm looking for alternatives. First off I did see the Windows7 Virus thread (here) and I'm giving Microsoft Security Essentials a shot. System Suite 11 looks at viruses and malware. Anyone know if MSE does too?

    I also downloaded the free version of Ad-Aware, which got a good rating for virus protection, but I'm trying to get clarified if Ad-Aware (free) scans downloads or if the only protection is when you run a full scan which takes a long time. I'm not adverse to paying and wonder if the Ad-Aware Pro version does scan downloads? I've sent an email to Lavasoft maker of Ad-aware.

    Norton has good ratings, but I've held a grudge against Norton (for years) from when I used it on my Mac and it was continually out of date as compared to MacOS updates and it's relatively expensive.

    I'm also looking for a good Windows Maintenance Suite along the lines of the Avenquest product first mentioned that includes registry cleaning. What are you all using? Advanced System Optimizer looks like it has potential. Any recommendations on utility suites? Would anyone recommend a stand alone registry cleaner or one bundled in a suite? Thanks!
    -Dave
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #2
    The two I heard recommended were Kaspersky and the one I used myself when I had Windows machines and bought such protection, namely McAfee. Norton was not as highly rated at the time.

    At the time (2006-9), online reviews recommended McAfee as the most robust, and thus, I bought it for my own computer while I had Windows models, and also, more recently (2008-2010) for a Government issued computer I used abroad where the Ministry had forgotten to renew online protection in time.

    However, I'm out of this Windows loop for the past year, and have never used Windows 7 professionally, so I cannot say what is best. When I had McAfee, it was a big improvement on not having it, but switching to Mac (and this was one of my reasons for switching) was even better, (that's not fanboy/girl speak, it's my experience) for it has dealt with the vast majority of this nonsense.

    Cheers
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Thanks for the input. Regarding System optimizers, I came >< this close to purchasing Advanced System Optimizer for $39 until I discovered the $39 was an annual subscription. I'm trying to avoid subscriptions, I want a system optimizer for purchase, not subscription, although I realize that for virus protection it's a necessary evil and I should be able to get that for much less than $39 annually.

    Your absolutely right about the Winblows/Mac, this is exactly why a Mac is superior. I'm using Windows because I have a gaming habit. ;)
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    I'm not sure you can escape the subscription clause, as it came with mine when I bought MacAfee. Most Windows users (and the statistic stunned me when I first read it, it seemed to have been something in excess of 90%, and my source was the BBC) download the free versions, and then are surprised when these failed to filter out most of the nonsense. For around $70 (€50), I was able to buy the most robust anti-virus/anti-spam anti everything I could buy; I was happy to spend this for a years's guaranteed security - even though it was a recurring expense; I'd spend close to that in a pub with friends over the course of an evening, or on a dinner out, or going to a concert.

    McAfee had (probably has) several different packages, which are priced differently - some are a lot cheaper than others, and I went for the most expensive option for a single computer (on the basis that it might be the most robust) but they are all yearly subscriptions. Indeed, every so often, even now, I still receive plaintive emails from McAfee and had to disable my automatic renewal notification (I don't need it on my MBA - but had bought it for a MFA Toshiba).

    But, and it was a big but, even the most robust software wasn't good enough; it was just a good bit better than nothing, or the free (and fairly feeble) versions available without charge.

    Again, the people I knew didn't really rate Norton, while I personally bought McAfee because it was regarded by reviewers as the best available at the time, but Kaspersky has its fans, too.

    Cheers
     
  5. Huntn, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #5
    I'm reconciled to paying a subscription for virus protection but the price varies depending on the software. I just don't want to pay a subscription for a system maintenance utility. Advanced System Optimize does include malware and spyware scanning, but the cost is $40 per year less a discount. I'd rather find a program that does virus, malware, and spyware and pay one subscription. I view the system maintenance as something I want to purchase minus the subscription.

    Looking for a good Windows Utility Suite minus the subscription. Any leads appreciated. :)
     
  6. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #6
    For Windows 7, MSE is a good start, so is AVG Free Edition, both are lightweight and very simple to use products that are free.

    If you feel better with a paid product, Norton Antivirus 2011 is very good, also very lightweight and has better detection capabilities. I too am not a Norton fan but this product is very good. I still don't recommend Norton 360, Norton Internet Security, just the AV.

    Kaspersky is one of the best if not the best at the moment, very few false positives, lots of updates, incredible detection capabilities. It's a little harder on resources, not ideal for light VM configurations or Netbooks.


    As far as all-in-one maint suites, my take on it is to stay away from them. You really don't need much of that to keep Windows 7 in good shape. The built in defrag is good (unless you're using a SSD, then don't defrag), SFC (system file checker) does a great job making sure system files aren't altered. Windows 7 is nothing like Vista or XP, it's much better at keeping itself up.

    However do install Malwarebytes and Superantispyware. If you're like me and don't like installing software (keeping it simple), download the portable version of Superantispyware as it needs no installation.

    CCleaner is a great tool to dump all the stuff that gets piled up in those temp folders and caches. All of the above with the exception of Norton products are free.
     
  7. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #7
    Thanks for the leads! I'll look into these. Not that I must pay, but somehow I get this nagging feeling that the free product is not as good as the paid for product... just a feeling. I read in a review that AdAware (free) in execution was just as good as the pro version, but should I believe'm? ;)
     
  8. AppLCII macrumors member

    AppLCII

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #8
    For Mac users who feel spoilt with Activity Monitor: Process Explorer.

    I also found Revo Uninstaller quite useful.

    I am a 3dsMax user who happens to be addicted to games. I try to NEVER use IE and only browse the net occasionally using chrome. I use passive virus scans through my OS X partition.
     
  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
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    #9
    Could you confirm the Revo Uninstaller is Mac native or no? I found a page called Revo Uninstaller Mac, but all it produces is an .exe file. I guess they are saying if your running Windows on your Mac, you should install their product on your Mac by way of Windows? ;)

    After abandoning System Suite 11, I have switched to Tuneup Utilities, reasonably priced and much snappier than SS which has become bloatware and I have the Windows Revo Uninstaller.

    As far as antivirus, I currently have the free version of AdAware, but I'm trying to figure out if this has active protection. I believe AdAware Pro (paid version) does have active protection and I'm looking at the two products Malwarebytes and Superantispyware.
     
  10. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #10
    Not sure why you're going this far into your planning for Windows 7, you really don't need all that stuff to keep it running safe, unless you simply want to keep talking about simple stuff.

    Antivirus, dump what you're using and switch to either MSE (currently version 2.1) or AVG (if you want a pretty desktop gadget for 1 button scanning/updating). Both are free.

    Next is the Malwarebytes and Superantispyware, both are free.

    If you plan on surfing a lot, CCleaner is a great cache/temp file clearing app. It's also very effective on cookies and such, also free.

    Revo Uninstaller is a great app for those programs that don't tend to uninstall nicely, but it's unnecessary if you intend on using mainstream apps. It's a good idea if you plan on installing a lot of 3rd party trialware/shareware that nobody has heard of.

    You don't need all that system utilities stuff you keep bringing up, all that is bloatware and rubbish compared to what Microsoft already packages with Windows 7. Unless it makes you feel better that you have them, that's 1 more piece of software that could go bad and cause additional problems.
     
  11. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #11
    Another option to consider for anti-virus for Win7 is to look what your ISP offers. I get the full suite from McAfee free from Comcast...
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    To be honest, I'm pretty certain that the free stuff is not anything like as powerful as the paid for variety and this is why, for the last few years that I had Windows machines, I used to purchase stuff. Actually, before that, I had downloaded the free stuff, but I must say I found it fairly useless. However, it may well have improved since then.

    While I had pretty good experiences with McAfee (I used to get their "Total Protection" package, in recent times, I've heard good things about Kaspersky.

    Cheers
     
  13. Smalss macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #13
    I have never gotten a virus on any of my Windows computers (knock on wood) that my protection program hasn't found and got rid of. I have used free and paid protection services. The only difference between them I find, is how much resources it takes up running in the background. Been using Microsoft Security Essentials now, and it has been outstanding. Stay with freeware, save your money.
     
  14. AppLCII macrumors member

    AppLCII

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #14
    Sorry if I wasn't clear - process explorer and revo uninstaller are both for windows - I use the free versions.

    Process Explorer replaces Task Manager if you want it to. It is a good way to detect processes that might be malignant, or slow down your cpu, ie viruses.
     
  15. munkery, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #15
    Microsoft Security Essentials for anti-virus/anti-spyware (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/security_essentials/default.aspx)

    CCleaner for registry maintenance (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download/standard)

    --CCleaner does not fix corrupted registry entries. It only deletes unused registry entries. To fix corrupted registry entries, delete the problematic application and then run CCleaner to remove the corrupted registry entries. I find this method works better than registry repair tools because sometimes those tools cause as much problems as they solve.

    XArp for detecting mitm attacks (http://www.chrismc.de/development/xarp/index.html)

    PeaZip as an open source alternative to WinRAR (http://peazip.org/)

    ImgBurn as a burning utility (http://www.imgburn.com/)

    CCCP for better codec support (http://cccp-project.net/)

    KeePass for password management (http://keepass.info/index.html)
     
  16. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #16
    while MSE is great, we are forgetting that there are others out there.

    I personally use Avast because it offers a bundle of things for free. it has better protection in my opinion because it has more ways of protecting the PC. Avast Free has File System Shield, Mail Shield, Web Shield, P2P Shield, IM Shield, Network Shield, Script Shield, Behavior Shield and has a Auto Sandbox, Webrep and site blocking.
    It updates quicker , and it even is lighter on the RAM..

    you choose.. but it's gonna be Avast for me!
     
  17. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    #17
    You don't worry that all those names are just a marketing ploy to explain how on-access scanning works?
     
  18. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    Jul 29, 2006
    #18
    Windows 7 is really nothing like past Windows, it's actually very safe out of the box with updates and honestly, I think the BEST thing to keep it as safe as possible is to put -

    UAC on FULL.

    Then, just get Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast. I'd go with MSE

    And then Malwarebytes (even then I'd prolly not bother) for on access scanning with a program other than the main AV.


    CCleaner is good, but again, not necessary as Win 7 cleans itself up nicely (I still use it tho..)


    So yeah, 2-3 things, and that's just that really and for the record -

    The free stuff is just as good IF NOT BETTER than paid. MSE is MADE BY Microsoft. You know, the company that could spend a million dollars every hour for a year and still be filthy rich?

    People care about security for the sake of security, thus make AV software that rocks, for free (and get money by offering a "Pro" suite, usually).
     
  19. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    #19
    Does the free version of Malwarebytes have on-access scanning?

    I think it only has on-demand scanning.
     
  20. FroMann macrumors 6502

    FroMann

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA.
    #20
    Avast! Anti Virus: Protects Windows from viruses, malware, etc. and doesnt slow down machine.
    CCleaner: Cleans up old files from un-installed software or software updates.
    7-Zip: Best tool for packing or unpacking files.
     
  21. whiteironknuckl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #21
    Microsoft Security Essentials does everything I need it to do. When it doesn't, I used Spybot Search & Destroy. MSE gets malware as well, to answer your question.

    Paid virus protection is generally a joke because I'm more efficient at deleting viruses than it is. MSE & Spybot (and maybe an aftermarket firewall, since the windows one sucks) are all you really need.
     
  22. Hyper-X, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 1, 2011
    #22
    Never heard of this product, a lot of current ARP based attacks can't work in a Windows 7 network if standard GP's are set. There are MS IT Tools that already monitor for ARP attacks on a managed network, so I'm not sure what the intent of this product is unless a user at home is afraid that someone else within their LAN is going to initiate ARP-based attacks via flooding, spoofing, etc.

    I'd like to know more about this if you have experience with the product.
     
  23. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #23
    I take it you never use public wireless networks?

    It is a simple arp based IDS that is useful when using public wireless networks. It will warn you when someone is performing MITM attacks on the network. It is useful for the typical user to protect their own system.
     
  24. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 1, 2011
    #24
    Actually I do use them quite often during business trips. However unlike many who choose to use the open WiFi in an unsecure fashion, I always VPN back to my home server and use it as a proxy for my web browsing needs. In the old days I used to use SSH tunnels through a SOCKS proxy but I found VPN to be much more reliable, simple and much easier to use without resorting to paid apps.
     
  25. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #25
    What do you do if you are unable to establish the connection to the home server?

    Making sure to use https and secure file transfer services negates much of the danger of open WiFi as long as you protect yourself from MITM attacks.

    The free version of XArp is sufficient for most users.
     

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