Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lately it's not been the best of Burgy riding around here so I took some time away from the garage and have installed Mozilla Firefox browser in this computer and have noticed web pages seem to load up quicker than with IE. This is a big step for me being a functional computer and internet illiterate. I manage to get around in here but sometimes find it frustrating even after being shown which buttons to punch. I think thats cause I can't see how all those bits and electrons do their job like the parts of a carburetor or a transmission. I have been using Zone Alarm firewall and Norton Antivirus and apparantly no problems with viruses or trojans. These are due for renewal soon and would appreciate any comments or suggestions from this good group of Burgermanias concerning what programs to use for security. Thanks Neal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
Neal,

You'll get a lot of different answers to these questions. Personally, I use a hardware firewall instead of a software based one. That you use a firewall at all shows that you have more knowledge than many computer users. I take it from your comments that you're using one of the paid editions of ZoneAlarm rather than the free basic one? As far as software firewalls go, zonealarm is a good one from my experience and reading others test results.

For an antivirus product, some use the AVG free edition with good results. Personally, I use F-Prot for Windows by Frisk software. F-Prot is fairly inexpensive at $29 (for home use) and can be legally installed on up to 5 computers. F-prot doesn't hog computer resources like some of the 'big name' antivirus products. On the down side it does take a bit longer to do a full system scan.

Along with viruses, one of the biggest threats to computers today is spyware. As a computer tech I've seen more spyware disabling computers than viruses. To protect my machine from spyware, I use 2 products. The first is Spybot Search and Destroy that can search your machine for existing spyware and disable it. The second is Spyware Blaster that takes a proactive approach and blocks spyware from ever installing. Both of these products are 'donationware' in that they do not require a purchase. They ask that you donate if you use them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Bill. I have downloaded the spy bot and blaster. Our linksy g wireless router might qualify as a hardware firewall if I'm not mistaken. Setting up the security on that network took me about half a day as I recall and was somewhat a hands on education and adventure to places I'd never seen! I appreciate your help, your folks must be very proud of you. Neal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
Neal,

It depends on which model of the Linksys you have. For example, the WCG200 includes a firewall while the WAP54G doesn't. Wireless networking is a whole new learning experience in itself. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Our router is a WRT54G with a PC plugged in with a blue wire my wife uses to keep up with soap operas and email. This laptop has the wireless connection I use to learn about photoshop elements and to keep up with BurgermanUSA out in the garage or anywhere I want to be. It's not home networked between the two computers. They should be separate for me so I can't screw up both of them at the same time! By the way, hope your Burgman gets well soon so you can ride. Neal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
Thanks Neal .... I hope it's repaired soon myself. :)

By the way, the WRT54G does have a built in firewall. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
268 Posts
Microsoft has a beta spyware program you can download for free. Do a google search for microsft spyware and it will take you to the site. My brother uses it and he claims it really works well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
I use Zonealarm Pro fire wall, have a wireless router with WAP, Norton Antivirus, Spybot, and Counterspy for adware, and ChoiceMail One for spam control.
The latter is the best I've used as it's a permission based email filter rather than a rule based filter. Can't be tricked!
If you're not on my "Whitelist", you don't get past my ISP, period.

I have System Mechanic to do the houskeeping along with Norton System works.
As you can imagine I have very few problems on my computer.
At least problems created by others! :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
My software -

Antivirus:

I used Norton off and on for years. I was impressed with their software back in the DOS days when Peter Norton was running the show. Then he sold the product along with his smiling picture to Symantec, and we entered the Windows era. The software hooks in to the Windows operating system in sometimes nasty ways, and it did conflict with other software sometimes. In earlier versions of Windows it caused system crashes quite often. It was not a good community player - it wanted to own the show. It did, and still does, consume more system resources than it should. I have not put any Norton software on my system for a few years now, and it is going to stay that way.

McAfee started as shareware, and I used it for free for a long time. It was the best in its early years. I went back to it when I ditched Norton. At that point it was no longer free of course. Two years ago, they upgraded the software, and ruined it. It was constantly in my face. Like the little kid in class that constantly is waving their hand at the teacher and wiggling from head to toe whether they know the answer or not. They were no options to tell it to sit down and shut up. Got rid of it. McAfee called me to ask why, and I told them why. I just read a review of their current product and the reviewer said he could not understand why anyone would pay for software that irritating. So they weren't listening. They are history.

I went to Panda anti-virus last year. Excellent product. Automatic updates, sat there and did its job without bothering me unless there was something I really needed to know, and fairly fast with scanning. But it is very much like Suzuki. Great product, lousy support organization. Closed on weekends. Unfriendly website. Call during the week, and you'd get voicemail. Three or four business days later they'd get around to returning your call. And this was for sign-up & renewals issues - I wanted to give them money, they couldn't be bothered. It is also too expensive. $90 a year to protect 2 PCs in my house is way too much. I did not renew it this year.

I went to F-Prot this time, which Billmeek tipped me off to. It is not as nice as Panda, but it is good. And $29 to protect every PC in the household is a good deal. So far it has done nothing to irritate me, and its consumption of system resources is very low. A reasonably good solution I think.

Firewall:

I used the free version of ZoneAlarm at first. When I lived in Connecticut, it was intercepting a huge amount of traffic - sometimes hundreds of hits a day. When I moved to Nebraska, I installed home networking with a SpeedStream router. It has a hardware firewall. I still ran ZoneAlarm, but in three months it didn't have to intercept anything. The hardware firewall was effective. So I removed ZoneAlarm and rely on the hardware firewall.

Spyware:

I went with a Billmeek recommendation here. Spybot Search and Destroy, and SpywareBlaster. Both free. Good enough.

Pop-up Supression:

I tried a few of these - all free, all pretty good, none 100% effective. I now use the one provided with Service Pack II. Same deal, free, pretty good, not 100% effective. Good enough though, most pop-ups are suppressed.

Spam:

I went with the free service provided by my ISP (Cox). It fits the free, pretty good, not 100% effective model. It does trash the spam at the server end, which is better than downloading the spam and having something on my PC trash it. An item or two gets past it occassionally. I then send it as an attachment to [email protected]. They evaluate it for future suppression. Good enough.

Backup:

There are few guarantees in life, but death, taxes, and hard drive crashes are pretty safe bets. You can cover all the bases above, but lose it all to a hard drive crash - and without a current backup you are back to square one. But few people bother with backups, and the software industry doesn't invest much effort in producing good backup software. They can make more money writing games and productivity software. With Windows in particular, it is difficult to find any backup software that is capable of backing up all files. They simply skip files that Windows has locked (for being in use). At its best, backing up a Windows system is going to take lots of time - and lots of media space. My Dell PC came with two huge hard drives. I run from the C: drive. About 3 times a year, when I get around to it, I use the old DOS xcopy command to copy the C: drive to the D: drive. Not nearly as fast as you'd think it would be, and it does skip those locked files, and it doesn't provide an audit report. Better than nothing, but not good enough.

So, if anyone has a really good backup approach, I'd like to hear about it. Restoring to the original image that came with the PC does not interest me. It took me a long time to delete all the unwanted junk that was preloaded on the PC, and to set up the software I do want. And most of my software source files are downloaded these days - even for purchased software. Those files, of course, are stored on my hard drive... So restoring my system from scratch would take days, and I never would get everything back without a current backup.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
Paul, I use Norton Ghost a few times a year to copy my C Drive to a CD Rom Disk.
I also keep a copy from when my Computer was practically new(after I tweaked it), and before adding any software.

For my business files and data files I use an online backup service called @backup.
Each night at 11 PM all my selected files are uploaded to their site (encrypted).
They in turn upload a copy to a reduncy site (just in case), about 3000 miles from the main site.

Only the files with changes are uploaded to save time. It's quick.

Cost me about $95.00 US per year for this service.

It's automatic, it's safe, I don't have to think about it, or do anything.

Saved my bacon once when my HD went south.
Have only needed it about 3 times, but what a relief to have it when it's needed. :lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Bill, Rick, Paul, Ya'll are just the best. I'm amazed at the weatlh of knowledge here with BurgmanUSA's most important part.........just good people. I hope to make a few good contributions to this forum of course when I get more experience and road smiles. Oh back to the pewter stuff, I'll check out those antivirus programs recommended, spy bot and spywareblaster are already doing their jobs, and for backup, (mostly my photos and albums) is burned to cd and my son in law is going to setup a external hard drive for backing up. Burning stuff was once brought a different concept to my mind so my first thought was to go for the fire extenguisher. Now maybe with all this help I can advance on into the computer age! Thanks Neal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
I am a frequent formatter LOL I reformat my computer at least every 4-6 month. As far as backing everything up, I use an external hard drive. I just put all my important things on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
Being a computer geek, I work things a little differently than most. In the past, I've always organized my files to make them easier to backup. For instance, on a single drive system I've created folders 'c:\user' and c:\downloads' There are multiple subfolders to organize the files like 'c:\user\office\word\personal_letters' and 'c:\downloads\microsoft\xp\servicepacks\sp1'. It makes it easy for me to find information and makes it easy for me to backup. There are some files, like Outlook that are store in places other than my 2 folders. Most programs have an export function. I've used the export to place backups in the 'user' folder. I've gone thru the backup to floppies, tapes, CDs, etc.

Jump to present day ...

Since I am a computer geek, I have multiple PCs here at home. I spend most of my time on a laptop with a small hard drive compared to the rest of the computers. The servers and the software used no longer allow for the simple 2 folder to backup method. I tried multiple solutions and never really found anything to my liking. :idea: I know a bit of programming ... write my own. Spread across the house are several PCs. All have varying needs for backup. If I were to try and backup all of the data to one location, I'd constantly have to buy new, bigger hard drives. I wrote a program that resides on each machine that keeps up with what must be backed up. The machines share information about what space they have and backup to each other. The 'controller' workstation keeps logs of all the files being backed up. Since the 'controller' is also backed up on the network to other machines, the info is available elsewhere too. Once a week, I have the controller copy all new or changed data files to a local folder to backup to CD. Once a month, I backup ALL data files to CD and take 'offsite' to a lock box.

If some of you think this is a bit drastic, let me explain my reason. When I first started using PCs for business, I never backed up my machine. I had a hard drive crash and lost all my data. Lesson learned - backup your data.

I then started backing up to diskettes. After one crash, I was restoring data files from diskette and the diskette was bad. Could restore all the data. Lesson learned - Keep more than one version of your backup on hand

Working for an insurance company, a server failed and they only had tape backups - Unfortunately, they replaced the server and it had a new tape drive that would not read the old format tapes. I requested drive unit that would read the old format and was informed that no current unit would read it. They couldn't locate another compatible tape drive. Lesson learned - Use a standard for backing up that doesn't disappear quickly.

Back at home, I'm backing up evverything to CD. I copy all my origional CDs for daily use and keep the origionals in the closet with the manuals and boxes. I have daily backups of all changed data to a single rewritable CD and do a full backup of data on a monthly basis. I though, "I'm not going to lose any of MY work". Wrong. Apartment burned. PCs, CDs, and all origional software gone up in flames. Renters insurance was like $10K. Hardware and software gone, over double that alone.... not including other home items. Lesson learned - Offsite backups, more insurance.

Now if you've read this far, you may be thinking 'That'll never happen to me". Hopefully, you're correct. My advise is to hope it doesn't, but prepare for the worst. Even if you don't use your home computer for business, there's still a lot of information I bet you wouldn't want to lose: Emails, contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc), digital pictures, and so on. Doing PC tech support, I can't count the number of times I've had to tell people they've lost all of their data. There are services that can recover data off dead drives, but they are VERY expensive.

There are a lot of good methods to backup your data. My son uses a very simple approach. The newer CDs allow you to mount a CD like a drive. You can drag and drop file and files to it like another hard disk. Anytime he creates files he needs to backup, he just drags them over to the CD. (Note - he backs them up right after creation OR changing them. get into the habit if using this method.) I have a few others that are using the USB thumb drives to backup their important documents. It's a good method since they have the documents with them and effectively are taking the files 'off site' too. Depending on your needs, it may be a good solution. There are (as mentioned before) online solutions that may be better for you. One person I know is using a gmail account to email himself copies of his important files. On my prior laptop, I'd use (also as mentioned before) ghost to backup the origional format and could 'reload' back to my origional setup with all my software installed. It was great for when testing new programs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
I'm not quite as "into it" as Bill is but I do partition all my drives with Partition Magic.

I have on my one 120 Gig drive 3 partitions called C, D and E

C is only for Windows XP Pro and the OS per se.

D is labelled "Software" and that is where I install all my software.

E is labelled "Data" and where possible I make all my programs save to their respective folders on this partition.

My old HD is 60 Gigs (labelled Spare"), and I use it to back up my pictures and other large things like a Ghost image of my C or D drive

I make a "Ghost" image or backup of my C drive from time to time onto a CD, and all my vital (read not replaceable) data is backed up online nightly, so it's safely offsite.
Software can be reinstalled, so I don't worry about that.

Software that is purchased online is saved to a folder on my E drive called ZIP files and that folder is burned from time to time onto a cd-rw for safekeeping.
I also keep a hard copy of every software purchase online (printout) in labelled folders in my file cabinet, in case I need them.
Have a few times.

I used to do manual backups daily, monthly etc, and take them to my safety deposit box at the bank, but that got old real fast!

I'm all for automation, and time saving, and my online backups save a lot of time over the period of a year. Peace of mind too! :wink:

I have a Belkin Battery backup ( a big one), that will either run my computer for about 20 minutes sans power if needed, or if I am not here to monitor the situation, the software and USB connection to it will shut down first all my software, and then the computer in an organised fashion.

As Paul mentioned earlier Norton does gobble up a lot resources, but I find it to be worth it.
By having my drives defragged automatically once a week, running my various registry cleaners etc. on a regular basis, (in other words tuning up my computer a lot), the horsepower stays up and Norton doesn't slow it much, if at all.

For the record it's a PIII, 1 GIG clock speed, with 512 Ram etc., etc.

Not a new one, but still able to handle today's software.

Have CD Rom and a CD-DVD burner, an HP laser Printer for B/W, and an Epson Stylus Photo RX500 3 in 1 Colour Printer/photocopier/scanner attached to it.
Works well for me. :)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top