Recent changes
Nov 30, 2020
Device priority
Primary device
Operating system
Windows 10
Sign-in account
Sign in with Microsoft ID
Log-in security
    • Windows Hello Fingerprint
    • Windows Hello PIN
Account permissions
Administrator account
Security updates
Automatically allow security and feature updates
Windows UAC
Always notify
Malware samples
No - Malware samples are not purposely downloaded
Real-time Malware protection
Microsoft Defender Antivirus
HomeCare by Trend Micro on TP-Link Archer AX6000 router
Firewall protection
Microsoft Defender Firewall
RTP configuration
Microsoft Defender Antivirus set to High with ConfigureDefender
Controlled Folder Access enabled (not on the kid's laptops)
Memory integrity under Core Isolation enabled (not on the kid's laptops)
Hard_Configurator with Windows_10_Basic_Recommended_Settings
Periodic scanners
HitmanPro, Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool and AdwCleaner (for the kids)
VPN and Privacy
MS Edge Tracking Prevention on balanced.
uBlock Origin with its own filters and some optimized and plus filters from FilterLists | Subscriptions for uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, AdGuard, ...
Winscribe VPN
Browser(s) and Add-ons
Microsoft Edge with uBlock Origin, Bitdefender TrafficLight, Bitwarden and Microsoft Editor
Google Chrome with the same extensions plus the Microsoft Defender Browser Protection extension on the kid's laptops.
They use Edge for school and Chrome for fun
Maintenance tools
Autoruns, CCleaner, 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
Changes are automatically sync'd to my cloud storage provider
Backup and rollback
Windows system image
Backup schedule
Manually managed on a yearly basis
Activity usage
  1. Generic web browsing
  2. Financial and sensitive documents
  3. Working from home
  4. Video and photo editing
  5. Streaming audio and video content from the Internet
  6. Shared among other family members
Computer hardware
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
2020.08.15 back to Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
2020.08.31 removed O&O ShutUp 10 and went back to Microsoft Defender
2020.09.27 removed Bitdefender TrafficLight and went back from Simple Windows Hardening to Hard_Configurator
2020.10.27 went from WD to KSCFree and from uBlock Origin to AdGuard.
2020.11.14 back to WD on high and simplified config

Stopspying

Level 10
AdGuard has recently really slowed down a lot of websites I regularly use, disabling it and using uBO seems so fast in comparison. I've been disabling various AdGuard settings and lists but still haven't pinned down what is causing it to be slow. I want to like AdGuard again, I got a good deal for it and its worked well on the same devices in the past. I haven't added any new extensions or software that might mess about with it either.

I've been a BitWarden convert for some time now, usually its great, occasionally I can't sign in but it's usually OK when I try to do so again.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
AdGuard has recently really slowed down a lot of websites I regularly use, disabling it and using uBO seems so fast in comparison. I've been disabling various AdGuard settings and lists but still haven't pinned down what is causing it to be slow. I want to like AdGuard again, I got a good deal for it and its worked well on the same devices in the past. I haven't added any new extensions or software that might mess about with it either.

I've been a BitWarden convert for some time now, usually its great, occasionally I can't sign in but it's usually OK when I try to do so again.
I have two lifetime licenses for AdGuard, but only one is currently in use on my iPad.
On Windows I used only the extension because I didn't like the installed root certificate for HTTPS scanning.
In the extension you have the option to disable malware scanning and to use optimized filters, those two options make the extension faster.
I don't know if you can also do that in the AdGuard application?
 

Stopspying

Level 10
I have two lifetime licenses for AdGuard, but only one is currently in use on my iPad.
On Windows I used only the extension because I didn't like the installed root certificate for HTTPS scanning.
In the extension you have the option to disable malware scanning and to use optimized filters, those two options make the extension faster.
I don't know if you can also do that in the AdGuard application?
Thanks, I'll try that.

I've got a lifetime multi-device licence, which is a major reason for wanting to continue using it. I was using both the application and extension for the last few months without any major problems, then 7-10 days ago it started getting slower. The desktop application has been shut down all day today while I experimented with extension settings, with no success yet. I'd felt that the application was the most likely cause until today, but not using it hasn't made any difference as far as I can see. It might be a conflict with another extension but I haven't added any new ones for a while and the ones that have updated wouldn't be the first ones I'd expect to have a conflict with the AdGuard extension.

I hadn't turned of the 'Phishing and Malware protection before now in my experiments today. I have now, hopefully the main AV will pick up any malware and I use Thunderbird for email so I'm not going to be phished in the browser.

I'll try optimised filters later and then I'll feed back, possibly not today as I'm out for a few hours shortly (lockdown is easing here, for how long I have no idea, it seems too quick, too soon!). thanks again.

Edit - typos!
 

Stopspying

Level 10
I have two lifetime licenses for AdGuard, but only one is currently in use on my iPad.
On Windows I used only the extension because I didn't like the installed root certificate for HTTPS scanning.
In the extension you have the option to disable malware scanning and to use optimized filters, those two options make the extension faster.
I don't know if you can also do that in the AdGuard application?
This might be what I've been looking for, thanks. I disabled Phishing and Malware in the extension and set the filters to optimised. I then opened up a lot of eBay pages at the same time - this was one of the sites that took a long time to load initially when I was using the Adguard application, this was so much quicker than when I did similar yesterday. I'll play around with this more when I get time. Thanks.
 

sepik

Level 10
Hello,
I Always been thinking...
-Chrome does have its own "dangerous" site filter
-Nano AD blocker does its own too
-Your AV does it have too

So when visiting a site, does the browser, adblocker and your av check the site is it "blacklisted" or not?
So its basically triple check. Im using NANO adblocker, but only its AD block features. Trend Micro is really good blocking malicious sites etc.
Sure i think, its makes your surfing faster, because no triple or more checks.

Kind regards,
-sepik
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator

Stopspying

Level 10
Switched from the standalone WhiteListCloud to VoodooShield Pro to see what's changed in the latest version 5.78.
Switched from uBlock Origin to AdGuard with optimized and @Yuki2718 filters because I couldn't get media to run on Omroep West
That was quickly solved by AdGuard support on Github omroepwest.nl · Issue #58747 · AdguardTeam/AdguardFilters
Great to see this level of support (y)
I no longer have the pro version of VS, it will be interesting to see what you think of the latest version of it.

AdGuard support can be very helpful. Currently there seem to be too many things wrong with it for me to find the time to sort it all out though. I've really cut back on the filters and sites that I was accessing without any problems, with both AdGuard extension and the desktop app working, no longer open without some tweaking required, often it seems to be too much. I'm bored with doing it. I'm going to do the reverse of what you've done and stick to just uBO for the time being, it works for me. There seems to be something about the latest version of AdGuard that does not like my main computer, or its settings and software. If it was winter I'd find more time to try and sort it out, but I want to enjoy the sunshine!

I can't keep up with this rate of change! Work takes up far too much of my life. It is also supposedly summer and my inner geek takes a back seat then, even in a lockdown summer.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
I no longer have the pro version of VS, it will be interesting to see what you think of the latest version of it.

AdGuard support can be very helpful. Currently there seem to be too many things wrong with it for me to find the time to sort it all out though. I've really cut back on the filters and sites that I was accessing without any problems, with both AdGuard extension and the desktop app working, no longer open without some tweaking required, often it seems to be too much. I'm bored with doing it. I'm going to do the reverse of what you've done and stick to just uBO for the time being, it works for me. There seems to be something about the latest version of AdGuard that does not like my main computer, or its settings and software. If it was winter I'd find more time to try and sort it out, but I want to enjoy the sunshine!

I can't keep up with this rate of change! Work takes up far too much of my life. It is also supposedly summer and my inner geek takes a back seat then, even in a lockdown summer.
I really like VS and being able to communicate to @danb
Getting better and lighter with each version.
WhitelistCloud is a fantastic addition to the pro version or can be used standalone.

For me, the best balance between protection and usability is the AutoPilot mode with WhitelistCloud enabled.
WhitelistCloud does have a problem with for example unsigned exes used by Intel graphics, but you can whitelist them yourself.
VoodooShield doesn't like how PrivaZer uses the command line while cleaning but you can allow those three lines.

I'm not sure if you can install VS on the computer of a novice because occasionally you must answer prompts.

I'm using VS now together with Hard_Configurator.
I have chosen the weakest and most usable settings of both and so they complement each other nicely on my system.
VS on AutoPilot mode and H_C with the Windows 10 Basic Recommended Settings profile.

I had a tough time last week with both uBlock Origin and AdGuard, but I believe most issues were caused by AdGuard's Annoyances filter blocking needed cookies notices and so on. Now that I have reported two broken websites RTL Nieuws and Omroep West and the fixed them for me AdGuard is working fine again for the sites that I visit. So, reporting to AdGuard can help but you simply must use what works best for you. Both uBlock Origin and AdGuard are great extensions.

Enjoy the summer, that hopefully gets better next week 🤔
 
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Stopspying

Level 10
I really like VS and being able to communicate to @danb
Getting better and lighter with each version.
WhitelistCloud is a fantastic addition to the pro version or can be used standalone.

For me, the best balance between protection and usability is the AutoPilot mode with WhitelistCloud enabled.
WhitelistCloud does have a problem with for example unsigned exes used by Intel graphics, but you can whitelist them yourself.
VoodooShield doesn't like how PrivaZer uses the command line while cleaning but you can allow those three lines.

I'm not sure if you can install VS on the computer of a novice because occasionally you must answer prompts.

I'm using VS now together with Hard_Configurator.
I have chosen the weakest and most usable settings of both and so they complement each other nicely on my system.
VS on AutoPilot mode and H_C with the Windows 10 Basic Recommended Settings profile.

I had a tough time last week with both uBlock Origin and AdGuard, but I believe most issues were caused by AdGuard's Annoyances filter blocking needed cookies notices and so on. Now that I have reported two broken websites RTL Nieuws and Omroep West and the fixed them for me AdGuard is working fine again for the sites that I visit. So, reporting to AdGuard can help but you simply must use what works best for you. Both uBlock Origin and AdGuard are great extensions.

Enjoy the summer, that hopefully gets better next week 🤔
That combination seems like a balanced setup. I agree that VS might not be best for a novice, but I like being involved in the decision making and think that most people who would install it are likely to be the type who wants that too. An option to let VS work on auto with less interaction unless really necessary might be a way for the developer to attract new users.
As for AG, I'm thinking similar to you about the cookie notice blocking being a major cause of the issues I've had recently with sites not working while AG is running. But its not the answer to all of those issues for me, I disabled the relevant settings in AG and some sites still would not open. I'll play with it more when I get some time, but it probably won't be for a few days at least. I might be making the most of the return of summer! Enjoy it yourself too.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
For the last few days, I've been using a combination of Windows Defender antivirus, Configure Defender (High), Voodooshield free 5.78 (Smart), and SimpleWindows Hardening (Only Windows Hardening) and they complement each other nicely.
Yes, that's another great config (y)
I do believe that VS Free doesn't include WhitelistCloud. You could add that as standalone.
Downloadable from here: WhitelistCloud
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
The Outlook issues from yesterday made me change protection once again.
Ditching Microsoft Defender and going back to Kaspersky Security Cloud Free (now at version 21) forced me to stop memory integrity (Kaspersky likes his own hardware virtualization. But Outlook worked again instantly (y)
More info on the Outlook issue:
I was lucky that changing AV worked for me.
 
Last edited:

blackice

Level 28
Verified
The Outlook issues from yesterday made me change protection once again.
Ditching Microsoft Defender and going back to Kaspersky Security Cloud Free (now at version 21) forced me to stop memory integrity (Kaspersky likes his own hardware virtualization. But Outlook worked again instantly (y)
Funny how WD proponents talk about third party AVs breaking things, but WD does it sometimes as well. I’m not against WD, I think it’s great. Just not perfect.
 

oldschool

Level 57
Verified
@Gandalf_The_Grey did you see this post on Wilders?

My Outlook was crashing but I started to restore a disk image before I saw this. It works again so I am hesitant to blame it on yesterday's Windows Updates as it worked today until noon anyway and I didn't install any updates today. That I know of.
:shifty:

Microsoft says Outlook on the desktop is down due to some "recent updates" [Update]
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
@Gandalf_The_Grey did you see this post on Wilders?

My Outlook was crashing but I started to restore a disk image before I saw this. It works again so I am hesitant to blame it on yesterday's Windows Updates as it worked today until noon anyway and I didn't install any updates today. That I know of.
:shifty:

Microsoft says Outlook on the desktop is down due to some "recent updates" [Update]
Yes, I read that, afterwards, the cause is still not clear for me.
At that moment changing AV's did the trick, I could continue working.
 

Stopspying

Level 10
The Outlook issues from yesterday made me change protection once again.
Ditching Microsoft Defender and going back to Kaspersky Security Cloud Free (now at version 21) forced me to stop memory integrity (Kaspersky likes his own hardware virtualization. But Outlook worked again instantly (y)
More info on the Outlook issue:
I was lucky that changing AV worked for me.
"Microsoft isn’t saying much, but there’s a plausible explanation - and it’s disconcerting." :unsure: