395 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007
After a lot of consideration, I've gone and sprung for the Bitdefender comprehensive license rather than one of the other packages. In addition, I'll be setting up a proxy on the Synology NAS at home to add an extra layer of protection.
- Nice licensing model: one fee, infinite devices
- Seemingly robust protection (e.g. no worse than anyone else)
- Online client management
- Unspeakably scrupulously honest
A few words on the last two:
The online dashboard is quite clever, though I think it could be clever-er.
With Parental controls installed, you create a profile for each child and group all their devices (or in the case of Windows, their usernames on each PC) under that one profile. Set up the various controls (when allowed online, which sites permitted) and you're off. The defaults are pretty strict but a good place to start. I've tuned them a bit and the kids are not complaining.
Things I'm missing are limiting online time (duration, rather than time slots) and the ability to check the status of a client (last updated) or even enable/disable features (BitDefender Wallet: I'm looking at you).
Features I think are a bit over-the-top: the detailed reports of what the kids are doing (applications run and sites visited). But if you're a paranoid parent, you'll probably appreciate those.
Other features (client protection and Android theft protection) not tested.
On the unspeakably scrupulous honesty:
The privacy assessment of android apps is quite clever - apps are evaluated and the device is given an overall score. The wife and kids spent an afternoon competing with each other, trying to get the best score without sacrificing anything "important". Also very clever is the ability to share the risks of an application with friends. Which brings us to Honesty: The Bitdefender Android Security application correctly identifies the Bitdefender Parental Control application as a major security risk (which it is, of course, since it captures user data). One of the kids massively enjoyed sending me security risk reports to this effect and demanding the app be uninstalled (no).
My thanks to you all for your input!
Rollup on the first set of comments
First, my thanks to El Reg for bumping this topic. I owe you a drink! Also thanks to all the helpful responses. I feel some pride in having started a thread with a troll:helpful post ratio of substantially less than 1.
Second, to all the suggestions that I should change my home setup to Linux, Mac, OS/2, or CP/M: Trolls aside, I think you're missing the point. The vast majority of people looking for a comprehensive solution will be working cross-platform, unless you're running Chromebooks and Nexii only. And yes, I have sufficient *nix cred to run Linux (I even have my first Slackware distro on 60 floppies lying around for nostalgic purposes), but at the end of the day I'm only 1 out of 4 users in the house. Even if I were to change (hardware costs aside), I'd still want some sort of protection against virii, phishing and various types of mal- or grayware. There would be a lot of new shiny toys, but the problem would persist.
OK, on to the topic at hand - some comments:
Cost: As I said, it wasn't only about cost. As some have pointed out, my prices didn't match with 'shopping around'. They were based on what the vendor was offering in their own webshop and in the end, they weren't *that* different. I'm in Europe, but since the first quick round of websites put me in dollar land, I stuck with USD. Anyway, yes, cost is a consideration. Otherwise I'd have plumped for an enterprise-grade solution.
Multiple vendors: I must confess to quite liking the idea, and may have a go with it. I feel my data risk is fairly low: all the data at home lives on a NAS which has a weekly offline backup. I guess here my expectation is a bit different from Joe User since he's probably not as paranoid as I am. Second, this is slightly at odds with my laziness: what I want is a comprehensive licensing model: I want my 'home' covered, so that if one of the kids buys a new tablet, or we install an extra PC or whatever, I don't have to worry about it: just install the application and it's covered. Still, a second line of defense on the main PC is probably worthwhile (any other PC only takes me an hour or two to wipe and reinstall).
Routing: my FritzBox already provides a certain degree of protection on the network, but the idea of a separate proxy server is something I'll have a go at. Synology is pretty hackable, and I've seen some tips on getting it up and running as a proxy server.
On the clients: my shortlist is currently Norton and Bitdefender. I've always had a soft spot for Norton, though the performance impact used to be horrific (and one of the home PCs is a lowly Thinkpad T60p) and online research suggests they haven't quite solved this yet. The lack of a true many device license is also a pain point.
Bitdefender gets good reviews, though there appear to be some installation niggles about disabling parts of their software. OTOH, the "every single device for 5 family members" and "parental controls" are very tempting, particularly since you can apparently manage the parental controls via a portal.
I'll try to get things sorted over the next week and report back. Meanwhile, further comments welcome!
Comprehensive security in the home
I'm hoping to get some suggestions, because I'm rapidly losing my mind in the minefield that is security software, particularly when it comes to licensing many devices... The internet has become useless for this sort of research, I find: 90% of search result hits are resellers trying to sell me software rather than a comprehensive comparative review.
Let me sketch it out:
I'm looking for a software solution to manage security on the family digital devices (me, wife, kids of 9 and 12). Between the four of us, we have three Windows 7 PCs, three Android tablets and four Lumia phones.
The software in question must:
- provide good antivirus and general protection for the PCs for all platforms
- provide good malware protection for the tablets
- provide an overview of which android apps pose privacy risks
- be free of ads and whatnot (which is why I'm abandoning Avast)
- parental controls (restrict what the kids can install on their tablets)
- have some intention of covering WinPho in the future
- whatever system optimisation and other features they care to add
So far, I'm looking at Symantec, Bitdefender, Webroot and Kaspersky. They all seem to offer more or less the same features, though licensing is a nightmare: almost everyone will cover *5* devices, but not *6* (or, if we include the handsets, 10).
WinPho doesn't seem to be covered by anyone, though Webroot indicated they have been contemplating it, which puts my costs for one year (in USD, since that's what the websites are offering at first glance) at:
Symantec: $100. They offer Norton 360 licenses up to 5 devices, so I would need to buy one extra mobile security license. The customer service agent I chatted with suggested Norton One instead of the Norton360 family pack, because you can 'add seats'. Great idea, except Norton One costs twice what the 360 pack costs, and offers for no clear extra value that I can make out.
Kaspersky: $105. They have a 10 device license, but that costs more than taking out a 3 device overall license for the PCs and another 3 device license for the tablets (why???)
Bitdefender: $130. Bitdefender stands out here in that they offer 'family member' packages, so for households of 3 or 5 people they will cover all devices. Great licensing model, though the most expensive offering of the lot (and what's wrong with my family of *4* people?)
Webroot: $60. They are by far the cheapest option on the face of it. Their customer support also claims to offer a 10 device license, but I can't find it on their website. Plan B would be a 3 device license plus 3 copies of their android software (though whether the android software goes by year is unclear)
In the end, it's not strictly about cost, but about functionality and reliability. Cost comes in second (very very close second if you ask the wife).
My question is: does anyone have experience with any of these packages and different licensing models? Or is there some key player I'm completely overlooking? I appreciate that last question is a bit like starting a discussion about your favourite Linux editor (emacs) or hard disk model (who cares), but suggestions are welcome!
c'mon Simon, you're not trying. 2G (GSM) data rate is 9600 baud (yes, I *do* remember dialling in to get my mail using a Nokia 6110 and a cable or IR port). IIRC, GPRS (2.5G) only does up to 100kbit or so, so your 200+kbit is most likely EDGE ("2.75G")
Real men use a Tandy 102 with an acoustic coupler and a pay phone (300bps on a good day)
My first programming experience was on a LED display HP. A game involving landing a lander on the moon, IIRC.
Still have an old FX-something lying around, but when I need a calculator, I reach for my HP48. None of that pansy smartphone stuff.
Re: Affordability my arse
Plus it's CHEAPER than the affordable iPhone...
Ordinarily, I would support your statement.
Having followed Kimble's career with interest for the past 15 years or so, I will make an exception in this case and suggest that patenting previously patented stuff for the purposes of claiming to have invented it in the future is the correct explanation.
Re: Usefulness of Pebble increasing
The big headache with Pebble (for me) is the lack of WP8 support. In that respect - the Agent looks perfect: WP8 and Qi, which works nicely with my handset.
That said, I like the idea of using e-ink as a power saving feature - that would give the whole an even higher gadgetfreak score...
Nokia on the way out?
I'm not buying it.
Tripling their (admittedly tiny) market share without help from their new cheaper wp8 models tells me there is a lot of potential there. And whatever the joys of Elop-bashing , I was very pleasantly surprised by wp8.
Re: EEPROM + UV?
No one else has commented on this because it's been so long since I used either that I'd forgotten the distinction....
Not sure about the Croatian border, but within Schengen you can go anywhere without being stopped. Even so, a border stop at the Croatian border is likely to be a quick glance at an ID card (passport not necessary) and being waved through.
IMHO, if you're 'distracted' enough to drive 1500km and not notice, hints like a border crossing are not going to be substantial enough.
Says the family claims Jobs agreed to 6% of the cost of the yacht, and that Starck has been paid in full.
Starck claims 6% was discussed but the final bill was €9M, so he's still €3M short.
Either way, it's clear I should start designing boats instead of commenting on El Reg...
I believe there's a lot of safety and redundancy built in now, but you still have a single point of failure that relies on mechanics - the relay.
Are you sure it'll work at altitude?
In Google's defense
India has some of the most dynamic, tortuously complex tax law on the planet. Their sales tax regime is even more complicated than the US system, and more subject to change.
Shameless Amazon advert?
Ummm no.......... Kindle was NOT first (no matter what the Amazon marketing drivel you're reprinting says). I bought my first Sony E-reader in 2006.
Also - on what planet is it worth paying 50 of any currency to be allowed to borrow one book per month? I can borrow books for free from my local library, and many libraries are starting to lend e-books but usually only in EPUB format (which Kindle doesn't support). You're paying for next day delivery, and the ability to borrow a book per month hardly even qualifies as 'added value'.
Re: I miss the ounce...
In Dutch shops, it's quite common to order by the ounce (100g) or pound (500g). Maybe blighty should slowly change the value of miles, pints and stone (wtf kind of unit is that???) so that in 50 years a metric transition can be made easily.
Re: Move out.
You'd be surprised, and the fact that it's a couple of interconnected buildings means slightly smaller tenants would be an option also.
Kone has their HQ next door IIRC, and there are a couple of other large Finnish companies in Espoo that could easily fill the space if they were so inclined.
I suspect the problem is more that companies are collectively trying to get OUT of buildings, rather than build new ones, so there may be a bit of a glut on the market. OTOH, they're building a metro station quite close by, so who knows...
Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!
Based on your first post, I never would have guessed that you have anger issues...
Re: The A-Team
Especially considering that the door is the strongest part of many American hotel rooms.
Re: Free Fix!!!
Any professional thief doesn't want to spend unnecessary time in a corridor unscrewing screws - you could possibly disguise plugging a wire into a port as fumbling with your keycard, but it's hard to explain the screwdriver stuck in the bottom of the door lock to a passing hotel guest or employee
So if that cover takes the time required to open the door from 3 to 15 seconds, they'll most likely go elsewhere.
how Americans can get themselves so incredibly wound up over choosing between two more or less identical conservative parties.
Re: Poor workman blames his cables.
Alistair, if you want to be able to charge everything at once, then you need to be prepared to take some pain.
I can typically charge two devices at a time, and with a little planning, that works pretty well. Not flawlessly, but I'm not prepared to haul around the equipment required to set up a full-scale office when on the road.
It's called a compromise. If you're not prepared to make one when it comes to hooking up when on the road, you need to stop buying kit that uses different types of connections. So dump everything that uses something other than a standard USB connector. Like those Nintendoes, those fruity products, and so on.
Re: Poor workman blames his cables.
My thought exactly. I sometimes miss those 'mad days' when everything charged via USB - I travel with:
My laptop power brick
My universal plug adapter with interchangeable USB charging port
USB Mini and Micro cables
If absolutely necessary: the micro USB car charger with extra USB port to power a phone (satnav) and some other device.
If I need a camera, the brick lives in the camera bag and shares the figure 8 cable with the laptop power brick
Anything that doesn't like the standard USB charger (looking at you Nokia) charges off my laptop when needed (which is daily at office when traveling for work, or only rarely needed when on hols).
Anything requiring some other form of power provisioning is either not purchased or stays home.
And oh yes: my kids pack their own charging kit to go with their nintendii. I am not hauling their kit around.
is defined as Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
If you want to include Finland, you could say 'the Nordics' though that usually includes Iceland also.
Re: That leading sentence
My thought exactly.
Does Anonymous now troll the news looking for excuses in an attempt to legitimize naughty behaviour?
If they *really* want to get some good press, they should hack themselves and leak their own email and ID lists...
(puts on flameproof coat)
Re: A bigger hammer?
What about one or more igniters cast in the engine using something like crushed rocket fuel and some sort of weak binding agent?
Re: Impossible 2-year warranty for Apple
I suspect things like batteries are subject to the 'normal wear and tear' disclaimer, so not covered by the warranty anyway.
I guess the big question is how 'serviceable' a product should be - maybe a battery shouldn't have to be consumer-replaceable, but perhaps it should cost less than x% of the new price to replace it...
Re: No Apple or Draytek or WAN to LAN throughput measures
Agreed. It would also be nice to know which devices have a built-in modem and (if so) how stable the connection is.
Stability and ADSL2+ and VDSL is why I'm replacing my recently deceased Fritzbox 7170 with the 7390 despite the fact that I don't use analog telephony anymore. The 7170 also let me retire my external wireless access point, and I'm hoping the 7390 will prove to be as good.
Unfortunately, researching stability is an excruciatingly time-consuming task, because you have to troll through dozens of consumer review sites and weed out the tripe.
Yes, it's a ludicrously expensive router, but I have never seen anything come near a Fritzbox in terms of stability, performance and features.
I quite like the German approach of tick marks on beermats - it's very easy to understand, even after many tick marks on your beermat.
Sadly, the expense department at a previous employer felt that a beermat full of tick marks with the total written in the middle did not qualify as a proper receipt.
I wonder if you could make a spring that's damped like a gas strut (such as on your car) and use that as a time-delayed tension sensor on the balloon lines? It would take care of momentary bounces during turbulence, but admittedly has a much higher risk of failure in extreme cold
Still around in some places.
Park your car on the train in Helsinki, wake up in your sleeper cabin the next morning in Rovaniemi. You get a decent night's sleep, save driving 1200km and it cost me less than petrol plus a hotel.
There are loads of others around Europe, but the Finnish one is the only one I've tried. And the beer was acceptable.
Green chili and cheese omelette vs. huevos rancheros with chili con carne
Flames, because only tremendous amounts of chili, salt and grease can overcome a proper hangover.
By far the best antivirus package, and the voice notifications don't bother me overmuch since I usually have the speakers switched off, but the 'add-ons' (the browser plugin, the widget, etc) are an incredible annoyance - switch all those off too!
Cause and effect?
The idea that smut addiction is learned is an interesting one, but I wonder how many of the 'consequences' being attributed here are really due to excessive smut watching, or if excessive porn surfing is possibly another symptom...
Re: Paid for content...
Ah yes, but you see - Apple controls the content in the app store and takes a nice cut of the profits, so I think Apple is fair game in this exercise. All the more so since they claim part of the reason for the walled garden is protecting the customer experience.
The Windows analogy doesn't hold up because, you see, Steve Ballmer doesn't decide what I run on my Windows boxen.
(note that I don't play games, nor do I own Apple products, so no bias from my side)
Re: Synology all the way
Been running a 410j for two years now. Hardware RAID, great management software and so on. The internal backup system is great - backups run from the main shares to a hidden share to do version management and the really important stuff is backed up to an external USB drive. I hook up the USB disk Saturday morning and by lunch my mailbox is full of messages telling me my data is safe once again.
Meanwhile, it serves up music and internet radio to the Squeezebox in the kitchen and serves whatever else I want wherever else I want it, like sharing holiday snaps with the family abroad over the built in photo sharing server.
The only two gripes are the awful desktop backup software, and the inability to upgrade the RAM (128Mb is not quite enough) but considering the price, I won't argue.
There is a bigger issue.
You whine and moan about there not being any competition but whinge about Digital Editions. I quite like Adobe Digital Editions (if I *must* have DRM). It works across my PC, phone, Sony Reader and the cheap-o Bebook Neo I picked up at AMS for €50.
True, there is a serious lack of choice, but it's mostly about the dearth of cross-border selling online bookstores. If you live in country 'A' but want a book in language 'B', you're buggered. Even most of larger english-language bookshops won't sell across borders.
I'm happy with the hardware I can get. I'm just waiting for the publishers to get their thumbs out and give me access to the content.
Surely that should be 'rung up' as in a reference to old bell-equipped cash registers?
Yes, El Reg, it *would* be quibbling.
Whether or not there is a 4G standard, consumerland probably assumes there is such a thing as 4G since we all know what 2G and 3G mean, we may know about 2.5G and may have seen 3.5G on our handsets.
So if a consumer has seen 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.5G come along, is it unreasonable for them to expect that a 4G product will work with whatever network upgrade their operator offers next?
Whether or not 4G is 'defined' is irrelevant in this case: what operators are calling '4G' is faster than their 3G offering (in theory). If the iPad is known to be incompatible with that technology, Apple is misleading their customers because their product is 'only' 3G and they know it.
Therefore, calling it the iPad 4G outside the US is nothing short of misleading.
Not getting it
Aren't we already providing all this data via ESTA, which presumably has none of the restrictions lined in the PNR agreement?
what did you do, Andrew?
What did you whisper in someone's ear that resulted in the fisticuffs?
next, install webcam and deduce the right ones by process of elimination over a few weeks :)
Meanwhile, the Finns
appear to have received a bomb threat from Anonymous according to YLE (http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2012/01/police_investigate_anti-piracy_group_bomb_threat_3165279.html)
If nothing else, this sort of activity keeps us entertained as the entertainment industry screams about piracy, the ISPs shout about freedom and unreasonable cost and the freetards throw temper tantrums.
is there any particular reason you lot are suddenly plugging all sorts of Amazon products? Dropping advertising revenue? Unreasonable salary demands by the writing peasantry?
Personally, I find it a bit of a turn-off, but my employer would probably chalk that up to change resistance, so it may not be you - it's me. Really.
Doesn't mean it's a bad idea though.
Just amend the law to allow anything that uses the car speakers and a fixed microphone.
Is it possible...
That this is all just a storm in a teacup?
While CarrierIQ's software does seem to 'see' keypresses and content, it doesn't necessarily follow that it logs them, much less transmits them 'home'.
I have nothing to do with the handset biz, but nothing I've read so far (discounting media hysteria) would constitute 'proof' of actual snooping.
The only thing we can definitely blame CarrierIQ for is sloppy software: if their software does what it says on the tin, then it should have been written to avoid any appearance of privacy invasion.
Kindle only? Oh well, not for me then.
I'm disappointed El Reg. Would an open standard ebook format have been too much to ask for?
...then any loud-mouthed idiot with a blog could claim protection under journalist protection laws. I'm sure the US has an association of journalists. Maybe membership of that body should be the litmus test.
As part of the 99%
I would be more interested in seeing these clowns behind bars.
Unless I qualify for large donations of course (cash only, please)
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- Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft
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