With that preface, I'd like to ask for Jean's recommendations on my suite of malware-fighting and maintenance utilities. I am currently using the following, and I'd like to know if any are redundant:
The following are memory resident processes (or services) loaded every time I boot up:
Protects against trojans, spyware, adware, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, dialers and other malicious programs
* Avast Free
Anti-virus (primarily), anti-spyware, anti-rootkit
* Online Armor
* OpenDNS Updater
Anti-phishing & faster loading of web pages
* Secunia PSI
Scans software programs on the hard disk and lists those that are insecure and need to be patched/updated
Anti-spyware, anti-ad-ware scanner & remover; Teatimer notifies you of changes to the registry
Prevents installation of ActiveX-based spyware, ad-ware, dialers, browser hijackers; blocks spyware/tracking cookies; restricts actions of spyware/ad/tracking sites
* Windows Update
The Plus (paid) version provides me with information about the tasks and services running on my computer and lets me change how they load (or IF they load).
I run the following programs weekly (manually; i.e., these are not resident programs)
Defrags the Paging file during boot-up, not resident
* Panda Active Scan
* RegistryBooster ***
Cleans up the registry
Removes rogue anti-spyware, anti-virus, and hard-drive-cleaning applications
I scan and look at the log weekly or after software installations to see what's "new"
Defrags the hard disk
*** I have the latest version of RegistryBooster, but a Glary Utilities equivalent found 690 entries in my registry that pointed to non-existent files. I'm going to continue to compare the two, but will probably switch over to the Glary Utilities version
Note: I am unable to run SiteHound in the latest version of Firefox. It crashes Firefox every time I click on Options or try to update SiteHound. The company says they are aware of the problem and working on it.
I update the MVP hosts file every time I'm notified by email.
So why am I asking for your opinion/thoughts? I had some problems with Online Armor starting with an error and the firewall starting in a turned-off (not active) state. Tech support is sending me a build to test. But in the course of dialog, one of their trusted members (a beta tester) said the following:
Running several competing real time malware scanners, like A**2, avast!, MBAM, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, Winpatrol is often reported as causing unusual problems because of their contention as proxies and for their use of kernel level processes at times, as well as just plain incompatibility. Usual recommendation is to pick one or two that complement each other without interference for on-access usage, and use the others as on-demand. And anytime you install something new, suspect the old! But if you don't have any problems, hope you keep having such good luck. If you read here and in the avast! and other forums you will find lots of others who are not as fortunate with their choices. Even after you remove them, some of them haunt you.
Am I running so much stuff that I am creating some unexpected conflicts? My goal is to get everything tweaked, optimized, and running perfectly, create a restore point and burn an image of my hard disk onto a DVD. Using my restore disks would "restore" my hard disk back to the state it was in when I first purchased it; i.e., with HP bloatware, outdated drivers and minus the software that I always install on my computers.