Strange IE behavior, no free anti-virus software and other Vista maladies

I’ve run into a few problems lately with Vista (I know, no surprise there), but I was wondering if anyone could offer some insight as to what it might be.

I had Zonealarm installed until recently; it conflicted with uTorrent in such a manner that it didn’t allow the program to close gracefully, or even forcefully by ending the process in the task manager. The culprit was ZoneAlarm, as I’d come to discover. Now I’ve got Comodo Pro, and it’s I.E. that’s refusing to close, although I CAN shut it down forcefully.

UAC is off, Defender is on, the system is otherwise operating normally, and I’ve got SP1 already…

So what the hell? Is this really just Vista being Vista? Viral infection of some sort?

Is there a reason why you need a software firewall?

On my system I run nothing at all resident except for PeerGuardian and TeaTimer (well, as far as security goes). I run immunize in Spybot every so often manually, as well as the equivalent in Spyware Blaster. Between these it blocks known villain domain names, etc which is a nice second line defense besides using Adblock Plus in Firefox (and also protects IE). I run AVG Free virus scans every month or two as well as A-Squared for trojan scanning.

I don’t seem to have any of the problems that you’ve mentioned.

I didn’t think it necessary until a couple of years ago. I had reached the very peak of lag back then (even for a Colombian ISP), and decided to investigate what was going on.

Once the firewall went up, it started blocking intrusion attempts at a rate of three every second. After some ten minutes and three thousand intrusion attempts, I look up the IP it’s reporting… It’s someone else connecting through my ISP, trying to hammer into computers on the same network.

As it is, when I’m down there, the cable modem’s settings aren’t under my control; the ISP locks the modem and manages it remotely, making it impossible to do port forwarding or anything of the sort… So, I told them to set up a DMZ and just let me deal with it through software. The hackers were already on -this- side of the hardware firewall anyway, for some reason.

Anyway, I’m a Kaspersky free trial now, the system’s clean, I.E. is shutting down normally, now that I took down Windows Firewall and left Comodo Pro running. I might rethink my security and pass it off to a el cheapo router though.

You should still be able to put a router between your computer and the cable modem as a hardware firewall. If you clone the MAC address off your PC’s network card, the cable modem won’t even know the difference.

I might just do that, in fact.

Just a thought but switch from Comodo Pro to AVG Free and see if that helps the issue. Although they are both technically free and work with Vista, I know and have seen AVG work without issues in Vista and I can’t vouch for Comodo.

I would also second that recommendation for a hardware firewall.

Hardware firewalls will always be better than software ones since they do not chew up resources or interfere with your individual computer’s OS. Also, you would be able to ride other computers over your cable connection using NAT much, much easier. ;) Get a Wi-Fi router if you don’t have one and you could then be able to ride a laptop, DS/PSP, desktop (via either PCI or USB card), Wii/360/PS3, or network-able DVR (TiVo).