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Thread: Spybot vs. McAfee

  1. #11
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    Actually Tashi, I believe it's more difficult for most users to trouble-shoot the complexities of different products when they are mixed together. This varies of course based on how well the particular products remain focused in one area of protection. For example, Spybot - Search and Destroy does an excellent job of staying within the realm of antispyware protection.

    In truth, suites should actually be the best type of protection for those with less technical knowledge, since the individual components can be tuned together and tend to avoid the potential for conflict and false positives with other components. With individual products it's up to the person installing them to determine whether the products overlap and thus might create conflicts and/or confusion between each other.

    In practice, however, suites have a negative that they have generally created for themselves. The problem is 'feature creep' or the tendancy to add features, often with little or no real security value, to increase the sales potential of the suite. By doing this the potential for more sales does tend to increase, but so does the complexity and the general 'bloat', reducing the overall effectiveness of actual security protection over time. This might be what Tashi is specifically referring to, since over time almost every suite has had this occur, resulting in the need to 'start over' with a trimmed down version removing much of the bloat.

    The other issue with suites is that their very design can increase the available attack surfaces that malware can use to cripple the protection. Again this isn't necessarily inherent, but rather a side effect of trends within the design itself. For example, the tendancy to make a single control screen for configuration of all components of the suite also creates a potential attack point that might be used to cripple the entire suite. There are other less visible shared points of potential attack and failure, but this doesn't inherently mean they must be vulnerable to attack, though they can be if this possibility is ignored by the designers.

    The key issue for most users is to find protection they can understand, whether it's a suite or a combination of separate security applications. The most common failure today isn't due to the products themselves once they're properly installed, but rather the user making a mistake due to either confusion or simply ignoring what the protection is telling them. This is the difficulty for all products, since no matter how good the protection, if it is ignored or misunderstood the result can still be an infection.

    Bitman

  2. #12
    Spybot Advisor Team [Retired] md usa spybot fan's Avatar
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    bitman:

    Quote Originally Posted by bitman View Post
    ... The problem is 'feature creep' or the tendancy to add features, often with little or no real security value, to increase the sales potential of the suite. ...
    And often the price, as was the case with McAfee when they stopped offering their McAfee VirusScan and only offered McAfee VirusScan Plus or McAfee Internet Security.
    Last edited by md usa spybot fan; 2009-02-17 at 17:59.

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  3. #13
    Member of Team Spybot tashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitman View Post
    Actually Tashi, I believe it's more difficult for most users to trouble-shoot the complexities of different products when they are mixed together.
    I wouldn't go so far as to say most users but I agree for some yes.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashi View Post
    I wouldn't go so far as to say most users but I agree for some yes.
    Actually, I don't believe we even disagree in this case, it's just a matter of definition.

    Though many might define the word 'most' in this statement as it relates to those who already have protection installed, I prefer to include those who have none. Since the estimate by Microsoft is that over 60% of users have no current protection installed (outdated or none at all), this means that 'most' is implied.

    My reasoning for this is that this group is almost inherently unable to deal with the complexities of virtually any protection, since they don't even attempt to install one. Regardless of whether this group might be able to understand these complexities, their own apathy results in a lack of that ability, which the huge botnets consistently reaffirm.

    If you instead choose to define 'most' in terms of those who've tried to install and use something, that would be a more difficult number to determine, I agree.

    Bitman

  5. #15
    Member of Team Spybot tashi's Avatar
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    Well said.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member chewdz's Avatar
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    I'm still confused. Which one offers better protection? Security suites or standalone softwares?

  7. #17
    Senior Member drragostea's Avatar
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    Each one has their pros and cons. To simply put it without going into details, it'll be hard to diagnose your error when you have standalone products compared to how simpler it would be to diagnose when you have a security suite since everything you need is in one box.
    Problem about security suites is that they're jaws with signs saying "we want your money", so as bitman described suites add more unnecessary add-ons/components thus it bloats up the software making it slower than before.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewdz View Post
    I'm still confused. Which one offers better protection? Security suites or standalone softwares?
    OK, stated more simply, neither.

    It isn't really important exactly how the product(s) are composed, it's far more important that you fully understand the messages it displays. If you are confused when two different programs pop-up a message about the same item, it might be better for you to find a program that contains all of the protection in one place, since these generally avoid this issue. This can be particularly important if children also use the PC.

    If on the other hand, you prefer the maximum notification possible, even if that means that multiple programs might display warnings at once, then you might prefer using a set of applications together. Though it's sometimes possible to tune the separate applications to avoid duplicate detections, this requires even more knowledge, so this means more effort on your part to make certain this is done correctly.

    The amount of effort vs. what you get as a result is really what's being discussed here. Those who work in these forums often prefer the higher level of effort, since it can usually protect you better. In the real world, however, many users are less interested in how their protection works than that it protects them well with little additional effort.

    Bitman

  9. #19
    Senior Member chewdz's Avatar
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    Ok.... Understood

  10. #20
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    Lightbulb bitman is my hero haha

    just kidding. But seriously, very well said.
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