While there are some inherant issues w/ Vista. Go ahead and tell me that OS X 10.0 wasn't riddled w/ problems in 2001. I had to install it 4 times just to get OS X up and running on my mac.
I mean, can you even buy a new computer without Vista?
Problem is unlike a transition from XP to Vista, it seems to me that MS just replaced the one with the other? Am I wrong on that?
It may well be, but at $40/year something bad would have to happen to one of my Avast machines before I try it and see.
Or am I missing something?
So let's talk about some software that I've found to be particularly helpful and you all can add your favorites as well. You'll find that I'm biased towards FOSS (free, open source software).
You can't argue with objective results. NOD was the best on the list. Whether or not I'll pay $40 to go from "Advanced" certification to "Advanced+" is another matter, but it certainly can be said to be objectively better!
It's a bit geeky, but then so am I.
3) Firewall - I've said this on another thread and I'll say it again (there will be many who disagree) - for your home computer, just get a router. Any router ($20-50) will do. Put it in between your computer and the cable/dsl modem and POW! Instant stealth. That and Vista's built-in firewall will provide all the protection 99% of users need.
I am running Vista and therefore have Windows Defender. I also have Norton Anti-virus (which is closing in on the free trial period and will probably replace with either NOD32 or Avast) and the free version of ZoneAlarm's Firewall. Do I really need to buy a router? The last thing I want to do, if avoidable, is have another piece of equipment on my desk and plugged into the wall. I've had very good luck with ZoneAlarm on my XP machine and fine so far on Vista, but want to know what the experts say.
Firewall - I've said this on another thread and I'll say it again (there will be many who disagree) - for your home computer, just get a router.
2) GVIM - essential if you do any kind of programming on windows. This won't screw up your code like notepad will. Also helpful even if you just do little things like edit CSS.
Unless you only are using one computer in your house, you probably are using a router now. Most DSL and cable modems are routers as well. Just make sure that NAT (network address translation) is enabled on it. This will make it much harder for the bad guys to scan your machines looking for weaknesses. If you are on a dialup connection, then you are much less vulnerable to certain kinds of mischief and there would be no reason to use a router.
One computer, cable to modem to computer. I'll have to check with my ISP, I guess, to confirm that the modem is or isn't a router. If true, seems I don't need software firewall at all.
Mostly, though, I rely on my hardware router to keep the nasties out. Every time I configure a new machine I go to Gibson Research's page and run Shields Up, a program to probe vulnerabilities from the outside. Very useful. It's a bit geeky, but then so am I.
Much faster is to just take Richard's suggestion:
Go to Sheilds Up, click "Proceed," and run the "common ports" test. When the results come in, scroll down the page and look at the table of ports. You want all yours to be stealth. If they are - you have a router.
A software firewall can give you additional protection that a router won't supply. The router will protect you from bad guys trying to connect to your computer. A software firewall can also be configured to prevent a program on your computer from connecting to another computer. The very worst of the malware out there manages to get a program to run on your computer without your knowledge and that program can generally do all kinds of evil things: send spam, attempt to infect other computers, record all your keystrokes and email them to some crook, etc. You can configure a software firewall to only permit known programs to make connections on the net. Should one of these very nasty programs get onto your computer somehow, an alarm will be raised when it tries to connect to the net, which will tip you off that you have been infected.
But be warned: firewalling outbound connections can be a pain in the ass, at least for a while. Some programs inherently need to connect to the net (email, browsers, P2P apps, anti-virus stuff); others will do so only once in a while, like those that automatically check to see whether new program updates are available. You will need to explicitly configure the firewall to permit these connections. You only have to do it once for each program, but it will certainly be annoying in the short run. My own feeling is that with a router and anti-virus software in place (and prudent surfing habits) an outbound firewall is more trouble than it's worth. But it depends on how paranoid you are.
Anything I don't recognize, I just decline, figuring if I need it, it will come up again. Make sense?
You're in good shape, Mick. I would still feel safer behind a NAT enabled router, but if the Shields Up report is clean, you can rest easy.
A stumper... This has me longing for the wonder that was Windows XP...
Vista simply will not copy a folder from a data DVD to my hard drive. It's a 1.2 GB folder with thousands of files and subfolders. Drag and drop - nothing. Copy/Paste - nothing. Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V - Nothing. Reboot - nothing. No process gets fired up. NOTHING.
Pop the disc into an XP box, drag, drop, done.
Any fixes out there?