Note: OP posted using "User-Agent: Mimo Usenet Browser". It either is
a deficient newsreader or needs to be configured to physically wrap
lines to under 72-76 characters in lenth. Following quoted content was
> Hey, I tried searching around google not finding a direct answer to my
> question. I understand a vpn is kind of like having a firewall, but I
> wonder what happens if the vpn drops and I don't realize it?
> I suppose an antivirus such as avast is always good but are all the
> active shields needed with the vpn?
> Also, I wonder if my router interfers with the vpn security at all?
> My computer is directly connected to the router, i use the router for
> wifi for other devices.
Unless you have a remote network with a VPN server to which to connect,
why do you care about VPN? The other end will have to set it up for you
and grant you authorization. If you want to use VPN to secure your
communications with another network, like at work, you'll need their
permission and you'll need to actually know something about VPN. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vpn http://www.howstuffworks.com/search.php?terms=vpn
VPN, VNC, RDP, or other remote protocols do nothing to protect against
malware. They're just the pipe, not a filter. You will still need
something to protect your host. Whether your router permits VPN traffic
depends on whether or not it has that feature and that depends on the
make and model which you didn't identify. It looks like you haven't a
clue about VPN so don't worry about it yet.
Comodo suite contains their deficient anti-virus product. They left it
in beta status for 3 years to keep it out of the AV comparison tests or VB
qualification. Instead of trying to release it as a standalone AV
product, they rolled it into their suite. This let it use the HIPS
(host intrustion protection system) feature that was already part of the
Comodo firewall. Don't waste the resources to run it as a background
(resident) on-access scanner. You can include it in the install but
configure it to NOT load on Windows startup and only rely on it as a
backup on-demand (manual) scanner - although its coverage as a sig
scanner is worse than the top 3 freebies. Stick with Avast for
on-access (realtime) scanning.
No, all the shields are not required with Avast. In fact, many are
superfluous, like the e-mail/nntp scanner. The same engine used to
interrogate that traffic checking the attachments is the same one used
if you ever decide to decode (extract) the attachments from those
e-mails or newsgroup posts. The interrogation delay caused by the
scanning can cause timeouts with the servers so often the first
suggestion when there is a problem is to disable email scanning since it
is superfluous. Likewise, if you're not into prattling clients then you
don't need their P2P (peer-to-peer) shield. The only shields that I use
are: network, behavior, file, and web.
Their behavior shield has been updated to be a partial HIPS product but
it isn't as good as, say, HIPS in Comodo. For example, while you can
whitelist a process that wants to load another program, you cannot
blacklist a process wanting to start another (you have to keep saying No
to the action which can become a nuisance). If you're going to use
Comodo then don't bother with Avast's behavior shield. I don't use
Comodo but do use WinPatrol and configured Avast's behavior shield so
it's enabled (and obviously installed) with the first 2 options enabled
(monitor for rootkits, monitor for malware-like behavior) but disabled
the "monitor the system for unauthorized modifications". Yeah, it
alerted me when a process was doing something suspicious and I could add
it to the whitelist (trusted processes) but there was no option to
always distrust that event (i.e., there is no untrusted processes with
specific events listed for them). I have the Quicktime plug-in
installed for IE and when I visit some web pages the damn thing wants to
reinstate the qttask.exe entry in the Run key as a startup item that I
do NOT want to ever load on startup. With WinPatrol, not only can I
disable that startup entry but WinPatrol will automatically and silently
disable it again should it show up later. Alas, Avast is quicker at the
detection and pops up its alert about a process wanting to create a new
startup entry. I can select Deny but there is no remember option.
Sometime later, yep, I get the same alert from Avast and have to deny
again, and again, and again. So HIPS in Avast is only partially
supported. Since you have Comodo (or are considering it), don't bother
with the HIPS (behavior shield) in Avast and just use HIPS in Comodo. I
don't want all of what Comodo has and just use WinPatrol for some HIPS
protection, so I use WinPatrol and disable just the last monitor (system
modifications) in Avast's behavior shield.
In the past, Avast has had problems with their script shield being
overly aggressive. It would block scripts ran from within applications.
These weren't scripts in, say, a .pdf file since I already configured my
PDF reader to never run any scripts in those files. These are internal
scripts used to configure or support features within a product. Their
script shield was interferring with the color scheme selection within
Windows Media Player. This is documented in their forum posts. They
claimed to have fixed that problem but several users still experienced
the problem. Disabling the script shield was the only solution. Well,
if you're always going to have it disabled then there's no point in
installing it in the first place. I have not retested this defect so
script shield has not been re-installed in my copy of Avast.
I use the free version of Avast. This is adware. Every couple of
months it will popup a window trying to lure you to buy their Pro
version. In its config GUI, on the summary panel, you'll see their ad
at the bottom of the panel. So it's adware but, so far, not too much in
your face (unlike Avira where you have to use workarounds to eliminate
their ad banner when it loads and the ad popup window during a sig
update). Also, Avast free comes with shields that are missing in the
free version of Avira so Avast covers more infection vectors. For
example, there is no web guard in free Avira but it's there in free
Avast. You can get their web guard for free if you're willing to
tolerate some screen realestate lost in your web browser by including
the install of their toolbar. No thanks, I prefer a less invasive web
shield. Security is something that should always be in the background,
not always in your way or in your face.
Whether or not you incorporate Comodo into your security suite depends
on how much protection you want, how much impact to the responsiveness
and usability of your host you're willing to tolerate, and if you're
really willing to answer all the prompts (since the simpleton mode
pretty much means you've chosen to use a coarse filter against malware).
HIPS, to be effective, will need lots of feedback from the user at the
beginning while you teach it what events are allowed. That means lots
of prompts up front that taper off quickly but it also means users need
to understand what the prompts mean and most users don't have that level
of depth in understanding the OS although they have elected to be their
own OS administrators. You might find the firewall already included in
your *UNIDENTIFIED* version of Windows along with the firewall in the
router is more than sufficient for a comfortable level of protection.
As to how secure is your wifi setup, well, again that depends on make
and model of router and APs you have in your wifi setup and whether you
used its built-in security features. Even beyond that, you might
consider using static IP addresses (and not in the typical range) rather
than use the router's inbuilt DHCP server and then configure your router
to allow only connections from those static IP addresses or use the MAC
addresses of your hosts in a whitelist inside the router. What you can
do in the router depends on what router you have and, so far, only you
know what you have.