Latest changes
Aug 12, 2020
Daily driver
My Primary device
Operating system
Windows 10 Pro
OS version
Version 20H2 Build 19042.450
System type
64-bit operating system; x64-based processor
Security updates
Automatically allow security and feature updates
Windows UAC
Always notify
Firewall protection
Microsoft Defender Firewall
Account privileges
Administrator account
Account type
Sign in with associated Microsoft ID
Account log-in
  • Windows Hello Fingerprint
  • Windows Hello PIN
  • Exposure to malware
    No malware samples are downloaded
    Real-time Malware protection
    Microsoft Defender Antivirus
    Simple Windows Hardening 1.0.0.2
    SpywareBlaster 5.7 Private Beta with MS Edge support
    HomeCare by Trend Micro on TP-Link Archer AX6000 router
    RTP configuration
    ConfigureDefender high settings
    Controlled folder access enabled
    Periodic scanners
    HitmanPro
    Browser and Add-ons
    Microsoft Edge with uBlock Origin, Bitwarden, Microsoft Editor and Bitdefender TrafficLight
    Privacy tools and VPN
    O&O ShutUp10 at almost all recommended settings, SpywareBlaster all protection enabled, MS Edge Tracking Prevention on Strict and uBlock Origin
    Password manager
    Bitwarden Premium
    Search engine
    Google
    Maintenance tools
    Autoruns, CCleaner, PrivaZer Donors version, PatchMyPC, SUMo and Driver Easy Pro
    Photos and Files backup
    Windows File History on external drive (weekly)
    OneDrive with Microsoft 365 ransomware protection (always on sync)
    File Backup schedule
    Automatically sync to the cloud
    Backup and Restore
    Windows system image
    Backup schedule
    Once or more per year
    Computer Activity
  • Online banking
  • Browsing the web and checking emails
  • Streaming movies, TV shows and music from the Internet
  • Shared computer is used by other family members
  • Office and other work-related software (Work from Home)
  • Recording and editing video or photos
  • Computer Specifications
    Acer Aspire VN7-791G-576X
    Intel Core i5-4210H
    Intel HD Graphics 4600 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
    Kingston 16GB Dual-Channel DDR3 PC3-12800 RAM
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250GB
    Seagate HDD ST1000LM014-1EJ164 1TB
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Your changelog
    2020.02.23 removed VoodooShield and uBlock Origin and added Kaspersky Security Cloud Free and AdGuard (extension).
    2020.03.09 removed AdGuard and Kaspersky Security Cloud Free and added Hard_Configurator 5.0.0.1 beta uBlock Origin and the Netcraft extension. replaced Bandizip with Explzh because of the advertisements in the free version.
    2020.03.22 removed Hard_Configurator, kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
    Added NoVirusThanks SysHardener, VoodooShield and the Certificate Info extension.
    2020.03.28 added Ziggo safe Online and Hard_Configurator and removed SysHardner.
    2020.03.30 removed CCleaner Pro
    2020.04.05 installed HC 5.0.01 beta with recommended settings. Removed VoodooShield.
    Tried to minimize extensions: replaced uBlock Origin with AdGuard and removed Certificate Info and Netcraft. Added Microsoft Editor. All extensions are now from the Microsoft Store except Browsing Protection by F-Secure (installed automatically).
    2020.04.22 Removed Ziggo Safe Online and Hard_Configurator Trying Windows Defender with Comodo Firewall.
    2020.05.04 removed Comodo Firewall and installed Emsisoft Ant-Malware Home.
    2020.05.08 replaced Emsisoft Anti-Malware with Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
    2020.05.18 replaced KSC Free with WD and uninstalled some browser extensions.
    2020.07.05 back to Bitwarden and Bitdefender TrafficLight and WhitelistCloud added.
    2020.07.08 switched form WhitelistCloud to VoodooShield Pro. Went from uBlock Origin to AdGuard.
    2020.07.15 Back to KSC Free.
    2020.08.09 added SpywareBlaster 5.7 Private Beta with MS Edge support.
    2020.08.12 back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus

    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    My config for 2020.
    Windows Defender and Hard_Configurator is probably enough, but I like the idea of WhitelistCloud by VoodooShield.
    For office I use Microsoft Office 365 Home downloaded from the Microsoft Store.
    As archiver I use Bandizip that keeps the mark of the web.
     
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    Zemana

    New Member
    Lots of people in their 2020 configurations have Windows Defender Firewall as their main Firewall like yours Gandalf. However, when I turn on my real-time protection Norton, it says in Windows Defender setting that the firewall is now Norton. Should that happen? What is better Windows Defender Firewall or Norton Smart Firewall?
     

    shmu26

    Level 85
    Verified
    Trusted
    Content Creator
    Like @oldschool said, full Antivirus suites such as most versions of Norton Security include their own firewall, and they turn off Windows firewall. That is fine, Norton firewall is good.
    Many forum members do not use full Antivirus suites, so that's why they are using Windows firewall.
     

    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    Inspired by the config of @silversurfer : SECURE: Complete - silversurfer Laptop Security Config 2020
    I decided to see what config worked the best on my laptop:
    Windows Defender (with ConfigureDefender at High)
    Ziggo Safe Online (F-Secure Safe (free from my ISP))
    Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
    For me, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is the lightest on my system at the moment while still offering very good protection.
    Replaced (maybe temporarily) uBlock Origin with AdGuard for adding Googles Safe Browsing to the mix.
     

    Andy Ful

    Level 60
    Verified
    Trusted
    Content Creator
    Sometimes I ask myself if H_C can be useful for protecting the computers of MT members, because it was never the primary goal of H_C. It is possible, that anyone who can use it and understand how it works, in fact, does not need it anymore to protect his/her computer and can start to use it to protect family/friends computers.
    H_C can be also useful as a kind of educational tool to understand some important features of Windows security.
     
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    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    Sorry, but from his penultimate post he seemed to be using them both. Obviously I misinterpreted.
    Sorry for not being clear enough.
    I tried 3 kinds of config on my laptop.
    1) Window Defender with ConfigureDefender on high.
    2) Ziggo Safe Online
    3) Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
    Config 3 worked the best for me on this laptop.
    All 3 configs were with Hard_Configurator for added security and O&O ShutUp10 for added privacy.
     

    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    Sometimes I ask myself if H_C can be useful for protecting the computers of MT members, because it was never the primary goal of H_C. It is possible, that anyone who can use it and understand how it works, in fact, does not need it anymore to protect his/her computer and can start to use it to protect family/friends computers.
    H_C can be also useful as a kind of educational tool to understand some important features of Windows security.
    I have learned so much using your tools and discussing issues/blocks and still don't know enough to have the confidence to do all manually.
    And why should I? Your tools are very useful to harden windows and configuring Windows Defender. It's so much easier than doing it manually and do not forget the logging is very useful for solving issues and blocks. Again many thanks from me. 🙏
     

    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    Trying out the new Hard_Configurator 5.0.0.1 beta.
    Replaced Bandizip with Explzh because of the advertisements in the free version of Bandizip.
    Explzh keeps the mark of the web.
    Because I can only use uBlock Origin and LastPass on my work and I want to keep my configurations as much the same as possible I ditched AdGuard and Bitwarden.
    Enabled 2FA with the Microsoft Authenticator app for my Microsoft, Google, Twitter, PayPal and LastPass account.
     

    Gandalf_The_Grey

    Level 32
    Verified
    Got a new HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Printer this weekend:
    Unfortunately I couldn't get scanning over wifi to my laptop to work with Hard_Configurator at recommended settings.
    And I couldn't find any blocks in the logs to help me troubleshoot that problem.
    So I removed Hard_Configurator but kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
    I added SysHardner (recommended settings) and VoodooShield (AutoPilot Mode).
    Now everything works fine.
     

    Andy Ful

    Level 60
    Verified
    Trusted
    Content Creator
    Got a new HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Printer this weekend:
    Unfortunately I couldn't get scanning over wifi to my laptop to work with Hard_Configurator at recommended settings.
    And I couldn't find any blocks in the logs to help me troubleshoot that problem.
    So I removed Hard_Configurator but kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
    I added SysHardner (recommended settings) and VoodooShield (AutoPilot Mode).
    Now everything works fine.
    It was not probably blocked by SRP default-deny, but by one o the hardening restrictions (from the right panel) or by one of FirewallHardening rules. HP printers use HTA scripts, and if mshta.exe outbound connections are blocked the Wi-Fi features may not work properly. Anyway, you did not need the H_C to be safe.:)(y)
     
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