Somewhat new to owning a PC again after working solely on Macs so this is still all somewhat foreign so please bear with me. Looking for some tips and advice.
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Just purchased a Dell - Inspiron 15.6' Laptop - 4GB Memory - 320GB Hard Drive (I15RV-477B) from Best Buy and it came with McAfee pre-installed. I keep getting notifications about security so I am wondering which of these I should KEEP ON and which ones I should KEEP OFF. - Windows Firewall - McAfee Firewall - Windows Defender - McAfee Anti-virus and Anti-spyware I read where if you have more than one anti-virus or firewall running at the same time, that it can actually put your computer at risk as well as slow it down. Just looking for some guidance as to which I should go with! Thanks so much in advance for any and all help!
If anyone has some good essential free software recommendations for PCs, please feel free to share those as well.: ). 'I am preparing a reply for your post. Back in a bit.'
What notifications are you getting about security that concern you? If you can copy the complete text, that might be helpful. There is much debate, and hard-felt opinions, on McAfee.
The bottom line being, it's your decision whether to keep/use it or not. So, unless you inform us that you're unhappy with McAfee and wish to change, I will accept your use of McAfee as the 'starting point' in replying here. No, you don't want two [software] firewalls. If you're gonna use McAfee, you might as well use its firewall --- meaning you should disable the Windows firewall. Next, a question: You didn't specify your operating system. It's important to know here, as ' Windows Defender' is a very different creature depending on which operating system you're running. If you're running Windows 8, then Windows Defender is a full-fledged anti-VIRUS (plus anti-SPYWARE) program.
And in this case, Windows Defender should automatically disable itself when Windows 8 acknowledges the presence of an active/enabled & up-to-date McAfee on your system. [If McAfee is disabled, or not up-to-date, Windows Defender should automatically re-enable itself to protect you.] But if you're running Windows 7/Vista/XP, then Windows Defender is 'merely' an anti-SPYWARE program, which should be able to co-exist with other anti-VIRUS programs. In either/all cases, there's no need to run Windows Defender if you're running a security SUITE that contains McAfee Anti-VIRUS + Anti-SPYWARE. ============================================== As for alternative free recommendations, there are many good (and free) security programs available for download. My signature lists my current configuration, in detail. Everything I use is free, except for the PRO/PLUS versions of MBAM/WinPatrol [respectively]. It's obvious I have a plethora of security programs installed --- and I would suggest you NOT 'jump in the deep end' and try everything at once.
I've made my choices over time, testing additions one-by-one to try to be sure nothing conflicted with the rest. If your McAfee subscription is paid-up, and you wish to continue to use it (at least until it expires), that's certainly your prerogative. If you want to talk more about specific alternatives (e.g. Anti-virus), let me know, and I [and others] would be more than happy to elaborate and/or point you to posts where we've already discussed similar matters: My personal security recommendations: Joe53's security recommendations (which I fully endorse).