I personally just run the firewall 100% of the time and do an antivirus scan every month or so (along with defragging and scandisk checks) The rest of the time I keep antivirus software completely disabled until the next checkup.
I ditched my firewall. I don't leave the puter on unattended or have it connected hour after hour. Have not got around to installing AVG after having to uninstall it the other day. Must put it back on soooooon.
i would say its better to have both but my computer just doesnt seem to like firewalls i tried the windows xp built in firewall and it slowed down my internet speed to a crawl even tho im using DSL it also caused freeze up problems with internet explorer SP1.i have a copy of zone alarm pro 3.0 and that one made my computer automatically restart after an average of ten minutes and would repeat everytime the computer was on.last but not least in my search for a good firewall i tried norton personal firewall 2003 the other day and that also slowed my DSL connection down some not that much tho but it caused freeze up problems with internet explorer.now im wondering if it was a mistake to install service pack one because i was using the built in XP firewall before upgrading to SP1 and it always worked fine after installing SP1 the problems began and unfortunatly the only way to get rid of SP1 is to do a complete format of my hard drives damn you microsoft!
I would use Zone Alarm (free version) and AVG Anti-Virus if you are using Outlook Express because AVG has a plug-in for this
program. ZA and AVG seem to run well together.
If you are using another email program such as Eudora the AVG email scanner does not work with it. You could try Avast32 which seems okay and is also a free AV program, but AVG has a better user interface and is simpler to register.
Don't forget about Trojans. Most AV programs don't give much protection against trojans and to my knowledge there are no really good free anti-trojan programs out there. If you want comprehensive trojan protection you will have to pay for a commercial program. A firewall gives some protection in as much as it can prevent a trojan server operating on your PC from communicating with a remote computer but thats about it.