Looking for a cheap all-in-one solution?

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Need a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware/malware solution to
protect your computer? Don't want to spend a lot of money? Looking for a
non-intrusive product which won't have a significant negative
performance impact?

Microsoft may have the answer. I've been testing their Windows OneCare
Live product which is currently nearing the end of its beta. It is
looking like a pretty good product which will be fairly cheap.

Included is an updated two-way firewall to replace the one in Windows
XP, real-time anti-virus protection, real-time anti-spyware/malware
protection (Windows Defender is being integrated into OneCare), a new
backup utility and some other features.

I'm testing it on a backup system with a P3 1.4GHz CPU, 512MB PC133
memory, 40GB hard drive, etc. and the performance impact (if any) has
not been noticeable.

Everything is auto-updated in the background with no user intervention

The product is geared toward Joe public who has no interest in
selecting, installing, and maintaining separate products to perform
these functions. Microsoft is trying to make it easy for the average
user to protect their system.

However, it looks like a good deal for everybody. I've used a variety of
different products in the past. I'm going to give OneCare a try.

The current free beta rollout is for the US only. It requires Windows XP
with SP2 installed. For beta testers the service will only cost $20 for
the first year for up to 3 systems. After that is will be $50 year.

When I initially read about OneCare I wasn't too interested. However,
after testing it I'm impressed. The current beta is available at


Re: Looking for a cheap all-in-one solution?

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Problem #1: Like automated backups, things that are supposed to occur in the
background often don't, and the oblivious user doesn't find out until it is too
late. "No user intervention" is a "pie in the sky" dream that only serves the
interests of the software peddler.
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Therein lies the real problem. Microsoft keeps trying to make things
idiot-proof, but that is mission impossible. Anything that operates as software
in a general purpose computer is subject to code failure, either deliberate or
unintentional. The more complex the code, the greater the risk Firewalling is
best done by a single purpose device (such as a NAT router), as the code cannot
be fiddled with as easily (often programmed into read-only memory).

J.A. Coutts

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