SECURITY: Complete blackice's 2021 Security Configuration

Last updated
Feb 17, 2021
About
Personal, primary device
Additional PC users
Not shared with other users
Desktop OS
Windows 10
OS License Type
Home
Login security
    • Passwordless (PIN, Biometric, Face)
Primary sign-in
Microsoft account
Primary account rights
Administrator permissions
Other accounts rights
N/A - Single user account
Security updates
Automatic - allow all types of updates
Windows UAC
Maximum - always notify
Network firewall
Personal router w/ firewall & filtering
Real-time protection
Microsoft Defender
NoVirusThanks OSArmor
Software firewall
Microsoft Defender Firewall
Custom RTP, Firewall and OS settings
Configure Defender - High
OS Armor - a few additional items ticked in the settings
Malware research
No - malware samples are not downloaded
Periodic scanners
Malwarebytes, EEK, ESET online scanner, HitmanPro
DNS
NextDNS
VPN
IVPN
Password manager
1Password
Browsers, Search and Addons
Chrome -
Ad blocking from ControlD DNS DoH
1Password
Malwarebytes Browser Guard

Edge Chromium -
Ad blocking from ControlD DNS DoH
1Password

Firefox -
Ad blocking from ControlD DNS DoH
1Password
Malwarebytes Browser Guard
PC maintenance
HWiNFO
Process Explorer
Everything
Bandizip
Personal Files & Photos backup
File History
Personal backup routine
Automatic (scheduled)
Device recovery & backup
Macrium Reflect
Device backup routine
Automatic (scheduled)
PC activity
  1. Browsing the web. 
  2. Shopping. 
  3. Banking. 
  4. PC and cloud gaming. 
  5. Streaming. 
Computer specs
Ryzen 7 5800X
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Pro Wifi
32GB G.Skill Trident Neo 3600 cl16
RTX 3070 DUAL OC
500GB WD SN550 NVME
1TB WD SN550 NVME
500GB WD Blue SSD
1TB WD Blue HDD
Personal changelog
DNS: Cloudflare->Quad9
2/17/21 - AVG Internet Security
2/20/21 - Removed Brave, updated PC Maintenance section
3/3/21 - Removed AVG
Added Microsoft Defender
3/22/21 - Keeping NextDNS so added it
Added Bitdefender Internet Security
4/15/21 - Removed Bitdefender IS
Added Microsoft Defender
4/19/21 - Added Malwarebyte Premium just kidding it’s broken, Defender still.
4/29/21 - Changed DNS to ControlD (by WIndscribe)
Removed adblockers in browsers, Added HitmanPro
5/10/21 - Back to NextDNS
Feedback Response

General feedback

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 46
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
3,528
I noticed I was getting 8 fewer FPS on average on a game with AVG. The game was even on the exclusion list. I got curious and went back to WD, and it was normal again. I already had a plan to freshly install Windows and did it last night. Now it turns out WD is even a bit faster in default settings compared to Configure Defender at high. I have 2-3 apps that used to launch with a 2-2.5 sec delay on first run after booting up the PC (fast startup is disabled). Now those apps are launching almost immediately too. I'm not sure which particular setting/settings was causing this slight delay on those apps. I think I'm gonna stay with the default settings for a while.
Maybe @Andy Ful has an idea what setting can cause this?
 

Andy Ful

Level 68
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Dec 23, 2014
5,780
I noticed I was getting 8 fewer FPS on average on a game with AVG. The game was even on the exclusion list. I got curious and went back to WD, and it was normal again. I already had a plan to freshly install Windows and did it last night. Now it turns out WD is even a bit faster in default settings compared to Configure Defender at high. I have 2-3 apps that used to launch with a 2-2.5 sec delay on first run after booting up the PC (fast startup is disabled). Now those apps are launching almost immediately too. I'm not sure which particular setting/settings was causing this slight delay on those apps. I think I'm gonna stay with the default settings for a while.
Did you try ConfigureDefender HIGH settings after a fresh install?
 

SeriousHoax

Level 35
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,375
Did you try ConfigureDefender HIGH settings after a fresh install?
I have not yet. But it happened in the past too in a freshly installed system. The app I'm mainly talking about is Everything. In case you want to check if you can reproduce then, during installation, choose the method of indexing run as administrator instead of a service. Now if I run the app then the administrator prompt comes a bit late with Configure Defender at high but instantly on default settings. But like I said, only the first run after system startup with fast startup disabled.
Maybe share your findings in the Configure Defender thread if you can reproduce.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
I noticed I was getting 8 fewer FPS on average on a game with AVG. The game was even on the exclusion list. I got curious and went back to WD, and it was normal again. I already had a plan to freshly install Windows and did it last night. Now it turns out WD is even a bit faster in default settings compared to Configure Defender at high. I have 2-3 apps that used to launch with a 2-2.5 sec delay on first run after booting up the PC (fast startup is disabled). Now those apps are launching almost immediately too. I'm not sure which particular setting/settings was causing this slight delay on those apps. I think I'm gonna stay with the default settings for a while.
Thankfully I only had to do an uninstall and AVG Clear and performance seems to match how it was before. Funny thing was for the first couple weeks there was almost no noticeable hit to performance. I think they changed something. I use everything as a portable, so I can try later to install and see what happens on my system.

My test is iTunes, which loads incredibly fast with MD, but had a slight delay with AVG, or most anything else. ESET and Bitdefender are the only ones that I couldn't really tell a difference.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
I have not yet. But it happened in the past too in a freshly installed system. The app I'm mainly talking about is Everything. In case you want to check if you can reproduce then, during installation, choose the method of indexing run as administrator instead of a service. Now if I run the app then the administrator prompt comes a bit late with Configure Defender at high but instantly on default settings. But like I said, only the first run after system startup with fast startup disabled.
Maybe share your findings in the Configure Defender thread if you can reproduce.
I tried installing Run As Administrator with CD on high. I get a prompt for elevation immediately, maybe it's something else in combination with CD high?

Edit: Also, Edge (Chromium) loads instantly with MD. It's screaming fast.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 35
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,375
I tried installing Run As Administrator with CD on high. I get a prompt for elevation immediately, maybe it's something else in combination with CD high?

Edit: Also, Edge (Chromium) loads instantly with MD. It's screaming fast.
Maybe cause you opened immediately after installing. Or maybe you having a faster PC & internet probably makes a different too. I can't say for sure. Other two slow apps are Telegram portable and VT-Hash. TG portable is only slightly faster in default settings. The later one is always horribly slow at first run no matter it's the default settings or CD on high.
Anyway, these are not a major issue TBH. I trust these three apps, so I make them faster by adding their exe files into exclusion. Problem solved 👌
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
Maybe cause you opened immediately after installing. Or maybe you having a faster PC & internet probably makes a different too. I can't say for sure. Other two slow apps are Telegram portable and VT-Hash. TG portable is only slightly faster in default settings. The later one is always horribly slow at first run no matter it's the default settings or CD on high.
Anyway, these are not a major issue TBH. I trust these three apps, so I make them faster by adding their exe files into exclusion. Problem solved 👌
Makes sense. I did restart the computer before I tried running it, because I had that thought. But, since you have a work around it stands as more of a curiosity. I was kind of disappointed in AVG because otherwise it was great. Even in CPU benchmarks there was a minuscule hit to performance, but for some reason in games and game benchmarks things were kind of uneven.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 35
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,375
Makes sense. I did restart the computer before I tried running it, because I had that thought. But, since you have a work around it stands as more of a curiosity. I was kind of disappointed in AVG because otherwise it was great. Even in CPU benchmarks there was a minuscule hit to performance, but for some reason in games and game benchmarks things were kind of uneven.
Yes the AVG issue was a bit weird. But actually on my PC, AVG was slightly slower than most other popular products at launching apps after system boot up.
Overall with a decent SSD, Defender is one of the best performer in day to day tasks and doesn't cause any other problem either. So I tend to come back to it again and again. I'll try my best to be loyal to MD this time. But this is not the first time I've said this so.....🤷‍♂️
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
Yes the AVG issue was a bit weird. But actually on my PC, AVG was slightly slower than most other popular products at launching apps after system boot up.
Overall with a decent SSD, Defender is one of the best performer in day to day tasks and doesn't cause any other problem either. So I tend to come back to it again and again. I'll try my best to be loyal to MD this time. But this is not the first time I've said this so.....🤷‍♂️
ESET is the only one that was ever as issue free and fast as MD for me. I am going to try that again as well, though I do like some of the benefits of ESET. The reality is even MD at default is probably fine for my habits, but it gives me something to mess with while I work from home. I will keep playing on my laptop which is keeping AVG.

What truly astounds me is that Bitdefender had so much less of a performance penalty than AVG, at least when I tried it last summer. Maybe because I have a fast download speed the updates weren't a big deal, and memory isn't an issue so I am just surprised by the CPU performance hit of AVG by comparison. But, the performance hit by AVG isn't consistent, sometimes it's nonexistent.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 35
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,375
ESET is the only one that was ever as issue free and fast as MD for me. I am going to try that again as well, though I do like some of the benefits of ESET. The reality is even MD at default is probably fine for my habits, but it gives me something to mess with while I work from home. I will keep playing on my laptop which is keeping AVG.

What truly astounds me is that Bitdefender had so much less of a performance penalty than AVG, at least when I tried it last summer. Maybe because I have a fast download speed the updates weren't a big deal, and memory isn't an issue so I am just surprised by the CPU performance hit of AVG by comparison. But, the performance hit by AVG isn't consistent, sometimes it's nonexistent.
Same experience with ESET. It's the most stable AV I've ever used. Super light, fast and smooth ride. It's still my favorite third party AV.

Bitdefender is also very good for me performance wise. I don't even notice the performance impact it may have while updating. It writes too many megabytes of data every time it updates and that is what mainly threw me off a bit. Maybe it's not a big deal! I don't know for sure.

Maybe the performance impact of AVG that you noticed will be fixed in the near future. They are extremely active and are always pushing updates fixing bugs, improving performance, etc. So, I'll keep an eye on them.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
Same experience with ESET. It's the most stable AV I've ever used. Super light, fast and smooth ride. It's still my favorite third party AV.

Bitdefender is also very good for me performance wise. I don't even notice the performance impact it may have while updating. It writes too many megabytes of data every time it updates and that is what mainly threw me off a bit. Maybe it's not a big deal! I don't know for sure.

Maybe the performance impact of AVG that you noticed will be fixed in the near future. They are extremely active and are always pushing updates fixing bugs, improving performance, etc. So, I'll keep an eye on them.
Out of curiosity, what game were you losing frame rate in? Several games seemed the same to me, Call of Duty, Dirt5. Maybe why I didn’t notice at first. I actually was running 3DMark to see if the new Bios I installed had an effect, and the score was really low. I uninstalled AVG just to check before rolling back the Bios. And that’s when I saw the score jump back to normal.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 89360

Out of curiosity, what game were you losing frame rate in? Several games seemed the same to me, Call of Duty, Dirt5. Maybe why I didn’t notice at first. I actually was running 3DMark to see if the new Bios I installed had an effect, and the score was really low. I uninstalled AVG just to check before rolling back the Bios. And that’s when I saw the score jump back to normal.
Have you tried adding the game to DND mode? This may decrease the overall activity eventually.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 89360

It added it itself and didn’t seem to make a difference. Maybe it needs to settle in this mode? I’m not 100% sure how it is with AVG. I know Bitdefender performance improved with time.
It will improve if you click on the menu under the game and select "maximise performance". It will also improve if full scan is bring ran with cache write enabled. It may improve if the game is added to extensions. In addition, the issue may be reported to Avast/AVG so they can have a look.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
It will improve if you click on the menu under the game and select "maximise performance". It will also improve if full scan is bring ran with cache write enabled. It may improve if the game is added to extensions. In addition, the issue may be reported to Avast/AVG so they can have a look.
I was actually trying to figure out the best way to report it. It automatically set it to “maximize performance”. No scans were being run. Not sure what you mean by “added to extensions”?
 
F

ForgottenSeer 89360

I was actually trying to figure out the best way to report it. It automatically set it to “maximize performance”. No scans were being run. Not sure what you mean by “added to extensions”?
Oh sorry, I meant exceptions 😄
The best way to report it would be to contact AVG and open a support ticket. Full scan always boosts Avast/AVG performance but I am not sure if it covers frame rate. To me it looks like IDP or anti-ransomware monitor the file changes and this causes the decrease, but I may be wrong.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
Oh sorry, I meant exceptions 😄
The best way to report it would be to contact AVG and open a support ticket. Full scan always boosts Avast/AVG performance but I am not sure if it covers frame rate. To me it looks like IDP or anti-ransomware monitor the file changes and this causes the decrease, but I may be wrong.
Ah, exception, haha. I thought there was some weird feature I didn’t understand at all. Could be a solution, I may reinstall just to try it out tomorrow.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 89360

Ah, exception, haha. I thought there was some weird feature I didn’t understand at all. Could be a solution, I may reinstall just to try it out tomorrow.
You can also try the new beta, which according to Avast has Real-Time Protection performance improvements. It also has a built-in tool for performance reporting. It may be worth checking out.
 

blackice

Level 32
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,138
You can also try the new beta, which according to Avast has Real-Time Protection performance improvements. It also has a built-in tool for performance reporting. It may be worth checking out.
I just have a hard time using a Beta for my main security solution. Also, Defender is fine by me really. But I like to try new things occasionally.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 35
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,375
Out of curiosity, what game were you losing frame rate in? Several games seemed the same to me, Call of Duty, Dirt5. Maybe why I didn’t notice at first. I actually was running 3DMark to see if the new Bios I installed had an effect, and the score was really low. I uninstalled AVG just to check before rolling back the Bios. And that’s when I saw the score jump back to normal.
It was Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. I'm not playing any other games at the moment so can't really compare with anything else. But I get around 80 fps on average here but with AVG I was not getting more than 72. AVG Free & AVG IS both had the same result. Uninstalling AVG improved the fps.
 
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