Advanced Plus Security Brambedkar59's Security Config 2024

Last updated
Jan 6, 2024
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
Other operating system
2 older laptops running Win 10 (one with F-secure and other Kaspersky Free)
On-device encryption
N/A
Log-in security
    • Biometrics (Windows Hello PIN, TouchID, Face, Iris, Fingerprint)
    • Basic account password (insecure)
Security updates
Check for updates and Notify
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer
Smart App Control
Off
Network firewall
Enabled
Real-time security
Kaspersky Free 2023
Firewall security
Microsoft Defender Firewall
About custom security
Idle scanning, inject script and https scanning disabled
Periodic malware scanners
Norton Power Eraser
EEK
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Environment for malware testing
N/A
Browser(s) and extensions
Common extension/Search in all browsers: Bitwarden, Google Search
Edge (Default): Adguard, BD TrafficLight, Lyrics Here, Shazam
Firefox (Secondary): Adguard
Chrome (Just in case above 2 doesn't work): Adguard
Secure DNS
NextDNS
Desktop VPN
Windscribe VPN
Password manager
Bitwarden
Maintenance tools
Biweekly run: Windows Built-in, CCleaner, WiseCare 365 (Rarely used), Driver Store Explorer [RAPR] (for deleting old drivers not needed)
For finding program updates: PatchMyPC, UCheck & RuckZuck
HiBit Uninstaller
File and Photo backup
Google Drive, OneDrive
System recovery
Hasleo Backup Suite
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Working from home
    • Making audio/video calls
    • Opening email attachments
    • Buying from online stores, entering banks card details
    • Logging into my bank account
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Sharing and receiving files and torrents
    • Gaming
    • Gaming with third-party mods
    • Streaming audio/video content from trusted sites or paid subscriptions
Computer specs
11400H (UV via ThrottleStop), 3050Ti (UV via G-Helper), 16 GB, 0.5TB + 1 TB NVMe, 1 TB & 4 TB HDD (for image backup and downloads)
Notable changes
Kaspersky Security Cloud Free -> Avira Prime
Avira Prime -> Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
Kaspersky Security Cloud Free -> MalwareBytes
MalwareBytes- > Emsisoft AM
Emsisoft AM -> Bitdefender TS
Bitdefender TS -> Kaspersky Free
Kaspersky Free -> MS Defender
MS Defender -> Kaspersky Free
What I'm looking for?

Looking for medium feedback.

Notes by Staff Team
  1. This setup configuration may put you and your device at risk!
    We do not recommend that other members use this setup. We cannot be held responsible for problems that may occur to your device by using this security setup.

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
I had a rollercoaster day today. It's a long story might wanna get something to eat/drink while reading this.

It was nice day, not cool but not too warm, with sun shining bright and cool breeze flowing just to offset the warmth of sunlight. After a busy day I came back to house, turned ON laptop only to find it has no internet. I thought, Internet out? huh! Ok not ideal but not too bad. Let's raise a complaint with my ISP. Picked my phone up only to see that Wi-Fi internet was working fine on it. Ok WTH, this is starting to get weird.
Ahh ok not a big deal, let's use laptop's Wi-Fi and will figure out what's the issue with ethernet later. Turned ON Wi-Fi but it's not working as well. I thought must be windows doing windows things, let's try the tried and tested REBOOT. Umm nope, didn't work. I can't even open the router page at this point, it says "err_network_access_denied". Ok let's see what pinging router says, "general failure". Hmmm that's new, never heard that one before. Ok so I can't even ping my router, doesn't matter if am connected with Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable. So, let's try reinstalling network drivers for both (with a reboot in-between), did it solve the problem and answer is a big 'NOPE'.

At this point I knew this is something unusual, that I haven't seen before. What could be blocking internet access, let's roundup the usual suspects, AV (Kaspersky Free) and 3rd party Firewall (Malwarebytes WFC), disabled both but no change. I am getting angry, haven't figured out at who though, but this is getting annoying.
Uninstalled both after making a backup of their settings, rebooted and did it solve the issue 'NOPE'. Ok WTH, only option left is restoring System Image earlier from this month.

Then something clicked, last night I was using Windscribe VPN and I did shutdown the system without closing VPN connection properly. So I tried launching VPN and turned connection ON and OFF, problem solved. Omg I wasted 2 hours FOR THIS 🤣🤣
Reinstalled Kaspersky and Malwarebytes WFC and everything is working fine now. Thanks for listening to my TEDtalk. Cheers.

Edit: PS I have had set Windscribe app to NOT start with windows.
Sent a support ticket to Windscribe to ask them if this was intended behavior or not.

Certainly, here's a polished version of your story:

Today was a day filled with unexpected twists and turns, like a thrilling rollercoaster ride. Picture this: a beautiful day with the sun casting its warm glow and a gentle breeze in the air—perfect conditions for a peaceful return home after a busy day.

As I settled in and fired up my laptop, I was met with an unpleasant surprise: no internet connection. While it wasn't an ideal situation, it didn't seem too dire initially. I decided to contact my ISP to report the issue. However, my phone had a working Wi-Fi connection, leaving me puzzled. This was starting to get peculiar.

Thinking it might be a minor hiccup, I decided to use Wi-Fi on my laptop temporarily and sort out the Ethernet issue later. But alas, even Wi-Fi seemed to be acting up. I chalked it up to some quirky Windows behavior and resorted to the tried-and-true solution: a reboot. To my dismay, this didn't work. The frustration mounted as I couldn't even access my router's settings; it simply returned an "err_network_access_denied" message. My attempt to ping the router resulted in a "general failure." This was certainly a new and perplexing challenge.

At this point, I realized I was dealing with an unusual problem. I began to suspect various culprits—antivirus software (Kaspersky Free) and a third-party firewall (Malwarebytes WFC). I temporarily disabled both, but it made no difference. Frustration continued to brew, though I wasn't sure who or what was the target of my irritation.

After carefully uninstalling both security applications, backing up their settings just in case, and rebooting the system, the issue still persisted. I was running out of options and patience. The last resort was restoring a system image from earlier in the month.

Then, a moment of clarity struck. I remembered using Windscribe VPN the previous night and, in a rush, I had shut down the system without properly closing the VPN connection. I launched the VPN, toggled the connection on and off, and like magic, the problem vanished. Two hours of troubleshooting had led to a rather comical resolution.

I reinstalled Kaspersky and Malwarebytes WFC, and everything was back to normal. It's funny how technology can take us on unexpected journeys, but in the end, it's these experiences that make us appreciate the smooth rides. Thanks for joining me on this tech adventure! Cheers! 🎢🌐🔧😄
 
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brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
So Windscribe Support got back to me and it's not a bug, but app is working as intended. Firewall (that's what Windscribe calls the Killswitch) is supposed to work like this even if the main UI aka app has crashed or in my case not even running. Windscribe service started running as soon as my system booted up and it won't allow any internet access until it connects to a Windscribe server first. I guess that makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately for me app didn't crash per say but me shutting down Windows was treated as same. I didn't even remember I was using Windscribe last night.

So, in short it was user error, not the fault of app.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

So Windscribe Support got back to me and it's not a bug, but app is working as intended. Firewall (that's what Windscribe calls the Killswitch) is supposed to work like this even if the main UI aka app has crashed or in my case not even running. Windscribe service started running as soon as my system booted up and it won't allow any internet access until it connects to a Windscribe server first. I guess that makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately for me app didn't crash per say but me shutting down Windows was treated as same. I didn't even remember I was using Windscribe last night.

So, in short it was user error, not the fault of app.
Windscribe has a Firewall, which differs from KillSwitch in most VPNs. It is proactive, not reactive. It doesn't rely on detecting connection drops to work. Instead, it only allows VPN connections once you connect to Windscribe. Even if you exit the app, Windscribe doesn't disconnect. This proactive approach is superior to the reactive approach in most VPNs. Other VPNs, like AirVPN and IVPN, also have a firewall approach.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
Windscribe has a Firewall, which differs from KillSwitch in most VPNs. It is proactive, not reactive. It doesn't rely on detecting connection drops to work. Instead, it only allows VPN connections once you connect to Windscribe. Even if you exit the app, Windscribe doesn't disconnect. This proactive approach is superior to the reactive approach in most VPNs. Other VPNs, like AirVPN and IVPN, also have a firewall approach.
I almost never use the killswitch cause VPN connection rarely breaks. So, this was something of a new experience for me.
 

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
Removed:
MB Windows Firewall Control
(had some weird blocks, I even tried learning mode but that didn't help, tried manually adding allow rule but nope. MS Store would not open saying no internet connection. Some games had issue as well. Uninstalling fixed everything. Idk could be a bug or something)

Added: EEK as 2nd opinion scanner

Updated to Windows 11Build 22621.2428

Kaspersky Free is running solid except option for context menu scan seems to disappear after every few system boots :(
No response from devs on their forum.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 47
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 16, 2019
3,623
Kaspersky Free is running solid except option for context menu scan seems to disappear after every few system boots
I have it on my VM and also when tried on my main machine, it didn't disappear but Kaspersky's context menu on Windows 11 quite largely slows down the time it takes to show up the context menu. Began with Kaspersky 21.8 maybe when Kaspersky was redesigned and haven't improved now even in latest 21.14. Other AV products or other products who have added themselves into the new context menu don't cause this slowdown :unsure:
 
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brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
I have it on my VM and also when tried on my main machine, it didn't disappear but Kaspersky's context menu on Windows 11 quite largely slows down the time it takes to show up the context menu. Began with Kaspersky 21.8 maybe when Kaspersky was redesigned and haven't improved now even in latest 21.14. Other AV products or other products who have added themselves into the new context menu doesn't cause this slowdown :unsure:
I am using the old context menu cause new one doesn't have all the options which I need, and it requires additional click to get there. I thought I fixed the issue by clean installing Kaspersky free (by deleting all the files/folders left behind manually) but now it works most of the times but on some system boot it fails to appear.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

I almost never use the killswitch cause VPN connection rarely breaks. So, this was something of a new experience for me.
Do you disable the Windscribe firewall? It turns on automatically when you connect to Windscribe. It's important to keep the firewall enabled to protect your IPs. Sometimes VPNs reconnect and can leak IPs if there is no KillSwitch.
 

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
Do you disable the Windscribe firewall?
No. It's ON rn.
Same here (y) to many years of muscle memory working against the simple workaround of using shift as @oldschool suggested.
Exactly. Plus I am an Engineer, we avoid pressing even a single keystroke unnecessarily if we can avoid it :p
 

SeriousHoax

Level 47
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 16, 2019
3,623
Updated to Win 11 23H2 build 22631.2428
(Already had Moment 4 update so that took less than 2 minutes to install and reboot)
Is it the 23H2 update?
1699021159523.png
 

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
No, it wasn't a CU. It would say something like new version of windows is available or something. I forgot the exact phrase. (See screenshot below) From what I have read this was just an "Enablement Package" meaning update was already installed with Moment 4 update, but some features were not enabled then.
Edit: Here is the update history screenshot.
1699023940721.png
 
Last edited:

brambedkar59

Level 29
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,861
Why is this setup considered insecure?
I was using Windows 11 preview builds some time ago, that's the reason it was tagged with a warning. (check post# 29 & 30 in this thread)

And Why did he drop Emsisoft for a Kaspersky Free in the end?
I dropped Emsisoft because of two reasons. System with Kaspersky has less false positives and it's faster.
 

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