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Security software recommendation needed

Posted on 2014-04-04
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Last Modified: 2014-04-20
I am having to make a change from Norton products for my customers (long story), who typically have anywhere from 1 - 5 Win7 PCs in their office.  I would like to use something that ideally has the conveniences of Norton, such as easy product registration and background scans.

First question: Do I NEED a software firewall, or is it fine to use the firewall built in to Win7?

I'm trying to figure out whether I need to buy a different internet security suite (similar to Norton Internet Security), or if I am just as well off going with a product that is strictly an antivirus program.

I would be interested in recommendations from experts who work with a similar customer base, and have had great success with a non-Norton product.  TIA
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Question by:sasllc
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nick2253 earned 100 total points
ID: 39978805
I don't think you really need a firewall in addition to the Windows Firewall.  You should, of course, always have a hardware firewall in place to protect the network.

My company uses GFI's VIPRE business antivirus.  When pricing it out, VIPRE was a phenomenal value, and it's great at catching and blocking viruses.
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by:helpfinder
helpfinder earned 100 total points
ID: 39978820
Quite popular AVs with good results in the tests are Kaspersky and Eset (both you can find as antivirus only and internet security product as well) - maybe kind a personal preference or procing policy (I personally would go for Kaspersky)
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by:sasllc
ID: 39978830
Note that none of these customers have a standalone hardware firewall appliance.  I think they only thing they really have along that line would be the router.
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by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 100 total points
ID: 39978841
sasllc--
Here are recent test results from a well-regarded testing organization
http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-7/janfeb-2014/

I personally use Microsoft's Security Essentials and Windows Firewall.  I believe MS lets you use MSE for free for as many as 10 company PC's.  Not only do you not need another firewall, Windows Firewall disables itself if another one is installed.

I have had no problems with the above combo after several years of use.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download
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by:Giovanni Heward
Giovanni Heward earned 100 total points
ID: 39978853
In conjunction with whatever solution you go with, consider installing EMET and Sandboxie on all machines.  Both are available for free and will stop many zero day exploits that will be missed by signature based solutions.  Other options to consider, in addition, is using OpenDNS and application white listing (such as McAfee Application Control.)  With application white listing you won't need signature-based solutions/updates nor will they take as much of a performance hit introduced by scanning solutions.  Use these with a correctly configured Windows Firewall and they'll be better off than most.  If you can convince users to run under the context of a regular user (not as local Admins) all the better.

The winning combo on a budget (e.g. free) would be MS Windows Firewall, MS Security Essentials, MS EMET, Sandboxie, and OpenDNS for name resolution.
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by:aadih
aadih earned 100 total points
ID: 39978903
I'd suggest cloud-based, fast, and convenient Webroot SecureAnywhere (business).
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