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Windows 7: Layering For A Overwhelmed Dinosaur

26 Feb 2016   #1

XP - 32bit
Layering For A Overwhelmed Dinosaur

Ok, bear with me on a probably overworked topic. I'm just a dinosaur with 3-4 computers around the house. I JUST upgraded to Windows 7, one computer is primary and shares it's files to the others (and gets backed up daily). Recently I posted about running multiple antivirus programs, and the consensus here was not to do it. So I turned to the almighty internet, and it supports not doing it. No problem there, but folks talk about layering protection, and that brings me to this post, sorry for being long-winded.

For a home network of several computers, how would it be to run a layering such as:
MS Security Essentials, antivirus program like Avast, AVG, etc., Antimalware like Malwarebytes, and antispyware like Spybot.

Is Avast redundant because of SE?

Then there are some other programs that seem more specialized in their targeting like Malewarebytes AntiExploit, and Rootkit programs. Would it be worth it to also run some of these, or would that be too over-the-top for a home system of several computers?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2016   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64

I personally run one antivirus program (ESET NOD32) and one antimalware program (Malwarebytes) on my primary system.

I also use Microsoft Security Essentials (for antivirus) and Malwarebytes on others of my systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2016   #3

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

Hi, again:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by asallwey View Post
For a home network of several computers, how would it be to run a layering such as:
MS Security Essentials, antivirus program like Avast, AVG, etc., Antimalware like Malwarebytes, and antispyware like Spybot.
I think this was covered in great detail in your other, recent thread here?

But, just to clarify again, each PC ought to have ONLY 1 anti-virus (AV) installed (let alone running in real time).
MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) is an anti-virus.
So, if that is your chosen AV, it is strongly advised to fully and cleanly remove (using the software publisher's removal tool, when available) ALL OTHER AV programs or suites (whether Avast, Avira, AVG, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, TrendMicro, McAfee, Webroot, Sophos, Panda, etc. etc.).
AV remnants (especially drivers), even if the program is not running in real-time, can lead to all sorts of problems.
ONE installed AV per PC. Period.

If you want to add ONE realtime anti-malware layer and/or ONE realtime anti-exploit layer, that is different and is perfectly fine, alongside ONE anti-virus.
There are a couple of options, & AFAIK all of the good ones with real-time protection are paid software (e.g. Emsisoft, Hitman Pro Alert, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware).
(MBAM Free is only a manual, on-demand malware scanner -- it does not provide realtime protection to help prevent non-viral malware infection).
The anti-malware applications help to protect in realtime against certain malware threats not covered by anti-virus programs.
Most users here and at security sites seem to have less favorable opinions about Spybot S&D.

MBAE Free (Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit) is another possible layer, to prevent exploits in your browsers; the Premium version can shield other applications, as well.
(There are other, similar "anti-exploit" software choices, too.).

MBAR Beta (Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit) is a standalone BETA application intended for use with expert guidance on heavily infected systems. Much of the functionality is already part of MBAM. So, NO, you do not need it, and should not run it, without expert help.

MBARW Beta (Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware) is -- for now -- a standalone BETA application. The functionality will eventually be incorporated into MBAM. As is it BETA software, it should only be used by those expert enough to know how to run BETA software and only in non-production environments. So, NO, you do not need it.

While a layered approach is appropriate for many/most basic home computer users, "more" is not necessarily "better". To the contrary, having too many security programs -- especially if their functions overlap, such as two AVs -- can lead to problems and to reduced security.

And there is no one security program or suite of programs that can protect 100% of computers from 100% of malware/infections 100% of the time.
The most important security component remains the part between the chair and the keyboard, using "safe hex".

A series of comprehensive articles may be found here and at several other sites that focus on computer security.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Feb 2016   #4

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Short story,
No having multiple antivirus programs is not layering that is disastrous,
Layering is
1 antivirus program like Panda free
1 malware dedicated program like Malwarebytes premium
Optional would be a spyware program.

Others might use a model or router and configure it
Which I have no idea how that works :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2016   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Best layering is when you do not go on the internet with your Windows system but use a Linux system (real or virtual) dedicated to internet work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Feb 2016   #6

XP - 32bit

Thanks for your help guys.

MM, I didn't really intend to throw the question of running multiple antivirus out again, it sort of slipped in there. I was focusing on the other layers that I mentioned. You did, clearly, reinforce the 1 program antivirus approach. I do appreciate the info on the other programs and their applicability. I'm not intending to be a security expert so I'm just going to put this issue to bed by saying that I'm following your advice. Not being an expert, or in the field, I'll leave the other programs alone as well.

Thanks again -- and I won't bring this up again ! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Layering For A Overwhelmed Dinosaur

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