Picking Out The Mind Fluff

The murmurings of a jibbering mad Geek fool!

Securing Vista with NTL NetGuard, AVG Grisoft, Trend, Panda, Sophos & Live OneCare

Now I have Vista installed I want to protect my installation with some decent security software.

NTL NetGuard the free Internet Security software for NTL subscribers which is made by Radial Point is actually very good and meets my needs very well but during installation under Vista an Error 1321!? appears.

After speaking to NTL technical support it seems they will support Vista eventually but the operative couldn’t supply me with any dates. Jan 30th I suggested!

Another reminder that I would have changed broadband supplier years ago if I could have ADSL but sadly I’m to far from the local telephone exchange.

So what if I run the install under ‘Run As Administrator’? The install still comes up with the same error!

Next port of call was the Windows Market Place to get some idea of what pieces of software where supported under Vista which isn’t actually what easy to find, so I hit Google and got this which was mostly a list of news articles telling me about the wrangling security firms such as Symantec and Mcafee had with Microsoft regarding securing Vista. Ok, so I get both sides of the debate, but this isn’t helping me, the consumer, now!

I adjusted my search to this and found a piece of software called AVG from Grisoft with a free version. Sadly after some poking around on the forum, the free version isn’t support under Vista.

Hmm, before I randomly start downloading and installing AV software I had better decide on my requirements before I continue.

Ok, so my requirements are,

  • Naturally, will comprehensively protect me from nasties, AV, spyware, malware and with a nice firewall would be good.
  • I only want a temporary solution until NTL/Radial Point pull their finger out, but if it’s better and doesn’t cost earth I will blow dust off the credit card.
  • Don’t want to bother with Symantec and McAfee because I’ve used them before and hated the bloatware with a passion.
  • Would be nice if didn’t steal all my system resources
  • Didn’t annoy me with lack of thought or common sense
  • Some degree of control would be nice
  • … and works under Vista 32bit … and 64bit … as I may want to upgrade later!

So to start the search I had to install something to protect me now, so I went for the easy option and installed Windows Live OneCare as it had a menu item off the Vista welcome screen.

As OneCare installs with a nice long 90 day trial I could have easily stop my search here. This surely must be enough time for NTL to sort themselves out? But for my mind it failed because it automates way to much for me.

OneCare is a fantastic piece of software for someone like my Mum, who just wants to set it up and forget it and be completely protected and doesn’t want complication or fuss.

An annoyance is the Tune-Up process that has taken day! Yes days to do it’s thing! Admittedly it’s got 100GB of stuff to wade through but really should it take that long?

Where is my options/preferences so I can tell the software where to scan or tune-up? OneCare is a jack of all trades and master of none but I suspect this is by design, the anti-competitive stuff has really weakened Microsoft from being a great competitor in new markets that have strong competition already, how exactly is this in my interest? So Microsoft has obviously decided on the ‘just enough approach’to protect but not do as much as the rest so no big cry of foul from the competition.

Anyway, at least I now have the protection to start my search onto the web.

My first stop was Sophos and it didn’t take me all of two minutes to realise they didn’t have a home solution. If I had an Enterprise or Small business I would do well to look at their solutions in more depth as they completely support Vista, but as this is for me and my laptop, it’s off to the next piece of software.

Trend Micro has a very well known piece of software called PC-cillin and I got all excited that this piece of software could indeed tick all my boxes, all was looking good until this wonderfully spelt error message appeared during the installation.

Nice one Trend! Anyway, I kicked myself for not checking before hand so I went digging around their website and found a link off a news article.

So why isn’t this on the front page? So here is a link to the Beta version of PC-cillin.

So now I have a dilemma (or demela hehe) do I install Beta software? Well, I do want to protect my system and it would be ideal if it was a fully supported released version. So, I’ll reserve the right to come back to it, but for now no. 

My next port of call was Panda Software. A version of their AV software is going to be branded for the UK’s #1 retailer Tesco’s so worth a visit.

After my last experience I decided before I downloaded and installed any software it has to say the magic words, ‘Vista Compatible’ before I proceed. Hmm, no joy here, but after a quick search I found yet another piece of beta software for Vista.

Next stop on the journey which is ending up like a PC Pro group test is Avast! from Alwil software. There is a nice big Vista logo on the front page which takes me to a very reassuring page that tells me that every version is already Vista compatible and there is also a free version!

So we have a winner? Well at the moment yes! All of my requirements are happily ticked. I could continue the test but I will live with Avast for a bit and report back on my progress.

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January 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment