Q&A Which web shield/web protection is better?

Threadripper

Level 9
Feb 24, 2019
415
I seriously recommend you avoid anything which wants to use its own cert - Malwarebytes and Emsisoft come to mind when I think of AVs that scan websites without messing with certs.

Firefox, Brave, Safari, etc. all use Google Safe Browsing (along with Chrome of course) and Edge uses SmartScreen. You can use Microsoft Defender Browser Protection to get SmartScreen on a browser that isn't Edge if you like.

Browser extensions have also sent every website you've visited in plain text to their company (I remember Bitdefender did this) so I wouldn't touch many of those except again, Malwarebytes and Emsisoft which I know don't.
 

trandung

New Member
May 20, 2018
7
Thanks, I was not aware of this. I tried to find what Avast uses in their security blogs, but it still mentions the network inspection method described in the article you shared but as you know they don't use that anymore.
Yeah, I'm also not much of a fan of any forms of HTTPS inspection done by some AVs. HTTPS scanning also slows down browsing speed. Yeah, Norton's extension is probably using adequate browser API to scan content. McAfee WebAdvisor probably does the same too. McAfee WebAdvisor is also able to block third party domains/connections loaded by the browsers something Bitdefender TrafficLight can't do, not sure about Norton Safe Web. BTW I meant McAfee's extension only, not what you'll find on their website which also install a service along with the extension.
I guess Avast still use the network inspection method for the browsers which not support the SSLKeyLogFile. Moreover, I think it's not good when some AVs also inject their DLLs into the browser process.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 38
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,740
I guess Avast still use the network inspection method for the browsers which not support the SSLKeyLogFile. Moreover, I think it's not good when some AVs also inject their DLLs into the browser process.
I checked the common browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox and it wasn't doing that on these. DLL injection is a rather common thing. Probably almost every AV with web and behavioral protection does it.
 

Captain Holly

Level 1
Verified
Jan 23, 2021
46
I tried browsing with and without the Avast extension last night and wound up re-enabling it on all 3 browsers. I guess I just got used to having it around and if for nothing else than the link reputation function when searching Bing or Google. The browser speed is slightly faster without the extension but is not enough of a difference to matter to me. It also blocks trackers and shows it blocks the same trackers that Edge reports it has blocked, so I guess it must be doing its job well enough.

I looked into the McAfee extension on the McAfee web site and the Chrome web store, I still prefer the Avast one. Even so, I got a notice from Avast this morning saying in the next few days they will be making some changes to the AV, and it also said "change is good" but it did not give any other details so who knows if they will keep Avast or the extension the same. For now I am leaving everything as is.

Thanks again.

C.H.
 
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SeriousHoax

Level 38
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,740
Are both of these extensions?
The one you can find on McAfee's website is an installer which installs the extension on your browsers and also keeps a service always running. The service helps to scan all the files downloaded by the browsers and delete them if they are malicious. I don't know if it has any other extra functionalities.
If you install the extension only from Chrome/Edge/Firefox store, then only visited websites including third domains are scanned without the download scanning function which I don't need anyway.
I turn on the McAfee extension when I visit suspicious sites, and it often detects nasty stuff. It doesn't slow down page loading at all similar to Emsisoft's extension unlike Bitdefender TrafficLight which does slightly. TrafficLight scans the URL early before the browsers is able to make any connection hence the ever so slight slowdown.
 

robboman

Level 1
Jul 11, 2018
25
You don't need the Avast Browser Security extension. You can disable or remove that. It only provides a user rating based reputation. It even slowed down page loading in my test. Avast's web shield works system-wide regardless of the browser.
The HTTPS scanning feature of Avast works differently compared to Bitdefender, ESET, Kaspersky, K7 and some others. Avast don't inject their own certificate into the browser like the mentioned one. It seems Avast use a browser API to scan everything that's loaded the by browser. I'm not 100% sure about the browser API thing but as far as I know there are three ways to scan the content loaded by a browser. One is via extension using the necessary browser API, one is by MITMing the HTTPS connection and the other is using browser API without requiring any extension. Avast does the last one.
The good things about this approach compared to MITMing are that it doesn't break the HTTPS connection, browsing speed seems to be faster.
But this approach has a bit higher disk write while browsing. At least compared to ESET which doesn't seem to write anything on the disk but Kaspersky does.
One exception that I found is Twitch. If you watch 5 GB streaming content on twitch then Avast also writes about 5 GB data on the disk. It can be avoided by adding "https://*.ttvnw.net/*" into exception.
Avast's web protection is much better than protection provided by the browsers.
Very interesting post and informative. Would you recommend adding exceptions for streaming websites like YouTube/Netflix when using Avast? To avoid avast writing many gigs of data on the disk.
 

cliffspab

Level 3
Oct 4, 2019
149
UBO, Edge anti-tracking and various protective blocks from Steven Black in my hosts and ControlD in my DNS.

Eset also seems to do a good job of inspecting web traffic without requiring an extension.

On that tangent, I've been really impressed with Eset - light, easy to use and full ;of features.

My other browser is a freshly souped-up Brave with custom blocklists, oh yes, finally!
 

cliffspab

Level 3
Oct 4, 2019
149
Which ones? Have they enabled more?
You can add any lists you want on the latest nightly build!

Screenshot 2021-09-13 082009.png
 

Antimalware18

Level 9
Verified
Jan 17, 2014
434
I've used everythign from Norton safe web years back to malwarebytes browser guard.

The best ones i've seen so far are BD Trafficlight and Malwarebytes (in my opinon)

BD Trafficlight doesnt seem to work with Edge on my system so I decided to give Avira Browser Safety a try again and so far I like it.
 

Moonhorse

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
1,961
Just installed avast! over Microsoft defender, everything works bit faster

Avast free minimal + comodo firewall (CS) works together well

I dont bother turn of htpps scanning of avast, as avast wont inject their own certificates on to browser


123tips.png



Soo i think, avast + comodo (cs) + adguard windows works pretty well together
 
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