General Question

SJA813's avatar

Is it safe to turn off anti-virus/fire walls while online gaming?

Asked by SJA813 (143points) January 2nd, 2011

Just wondering. I always hate when I get little lag spikes or whatever and plus I figured it would make my online gaming smoother.

Also I use Ad-ware and run a Windows Vista, if that makes any difference.

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24 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Waht antivirus are you running? Does your computer meet the minimun requirements for the game, and why the hell would you use vista?

poisonedantidote's avatar

Well, I’m going to go ahead and say that it is safe. However, there are conditions, the game must be a legit game such as world of warcraft, and the computer must be clean and virus free to start with.

As for vista, I am actually running vista on this laptop, basically because im too lazy to format it. I used to run XP on this laptop, but it is vista now. My laptop is fairly good considering it is a laptop, but while I have vista installed, I cant even play 256 color diablo 2 without lag, but when I had XP on this same laptop, It could run diablo 2 without problem, it could even load sim city 4. Nothing will lag a computer as much as vista. It just spikes the living daylights out of the CPU.

Here is what I would do:

First, consider changing to windows XP or windows 7, and then…

Download a TCP optimizer, watch a couple of tutorials on youtube for the TCP optimizer that you downloaded. Once you know what you are doing, go online and do a internet speed test, and take note of the download speed, the upload speed and the ping.

Once you have done that, open the TCP optimizer and set it to the speed you are supposed to have. save changes and reboot, then do another speed test and see how much faster your internet connection is now. This will usually make your download speed about 500k faster, and will also make upload a good 20k faster, as well as possibly improving ping.

Once your internet is faster, close all programs you are not using, load the game, and see if it runs better. If it is still not fast and smooth enough for you, consider lowering the graphics settings of the game to a lower quality.

IMPORTANT: you must know what you are doing, dont skip the tutorials, there is a risk of ruining your internet connection and a risk of bugs and glitches.

SJA813's avatar

@XOIIO Ad-ware and I meet the minimum requirements for the games if not more for most. I have vista because it came with the computer.

@poisonedantidote How hard is it to change to windows XP or 7 would I end up losing all of my installed games,music,etc..?And if I do why is it better?

Also I have changed the graphics in certain games and even went to my graphic card manager and changed it to focus on performance rather than image quality which has helped run the higher end games.

As for the rest I think it is maybe the connection.

Oh and I tried a speed connection test before and it said my ping was unpingable :|??

This is the website of the download test I used.

mrlaconic's avatar

Why not just enter an exception for the game to allow it to pass through the firewall?

poisonedantidote's avatar

@SJA813 If you want to change to windows XP, you will lose all your data, you would basically need to wipe the hard drive and start over. If you want to change to windows 7 I believe there is a way to do so without losing all the data, via a method called migration. Both options are a little tricky, but you dont need to be a genius to do it. It will take a couple hours work.

As for the speed test saying you are unpingable, that is all news to me. My guess would be the firewall or something blocking it. Try this site instead.

@mrlaconic A very very valid question indeed.

EDIT: oh yea… keep in mind the server running the game can lag too. If you are in a 200 person raid and experience lag, it is possible there is nothing you can do about it at all.

SJA813's avatar

@mrlaconic It already is on the exception list otherwise it couldn’t connect.Anytime I get a new game or something it will ask me to block or unblock the online game, of course I unblock it.

Unless you mean something else?

@poisonedantidote I will try your site. But why exactly would XP or 7 be better? Just more performance?

Yeah that is true could be the server as well. But sometimes I’m pretty sure it is on my end.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@SJA813 vista is basically a botched/rushed mess. All windows operating systems have problems to begin with, but vista is just something else.

I could be mistaken, but from what I heard, windows 98, 2000, NT and XP are all based on the same core as windows 95. When it came to windows vista, they started from scratch and made a totally new operating system, this resulted in lots of bugs and glitches, and so windows 7 was released to fix it all.

Personally, i look at windows vista as a kind of windows 7 beta prototype. Windows 7 has got rid of a lot of glitches and compatibility problems, and probably has a fair bit less bloteware to slow it down. If you google “vista sucks” you get a good quarter of a million results. It is famous for how bad it is

EDIT: oh yea, i almost forgot, windows xp would not really be much better, because xp had glitches and bugs too. If you are going to install xp, you will also want to install the service packs that microsoft released to fix all the windows xp bugs.

However, having said that, windows xp with service pack 2 is still my favorite microsoft operating system.

SJA813's avatar

@poisonedantidote It is possible that it could more of just because I have vista and not anything I have running like anti-virus/firewall.

SJA813's avatar

Which one would be cheaper also?

poisonedantidote's avatar

@SJA813 depending on the stats of your computer yes, vista will not help you, put it that way.

As for what one would be cheaper, I don’t really know because I (cough) dont have much experience “buying” microsoft products. Im guessing XP will be cheaper as it is older, but, you have to take in to consideration if you need to pay someone to install it for you. You will need to format the computer to install it. Plus, vista is kind of known for being a bit of a pig to get rid of.

SJA813's avatar

@poisonedantidote Oh (cough) I think I know what you’re saying :) heh

But is it similar to when you do a system restore via 2 discs? I had my computer goof on me long time ago where I had to restart/wipe it, like I first bought it basically.

Or is it more to it than that?

I am tempted to maybe buy a new drive and just install that way? Plus I could transfer my game and music or would that be waste you think?

SJA813's avatar

Also I got my ping working there.

From the test they say everything is fine. Maybe it is just their servers??


It did say though “Input line speed for RWIN recommendation” How do I do that?

EDIT 2: Ok forgot my connection speed that time. Now it says.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@SJA813 Ill try and explain from memory more or less how it goes… 1 or 2 steps could be slightly wrong or missing.

1— Insert the windows xp disk in the machine
2— Restart the computer
3— You will be prompted to press a key to continue, do so
4— The screen will go blue and you will be offered to install windows xp (dont, it will say you are already running a more advanced version of windows)
5— While on the blue screen, look for the part that says create/delete partitions and go there instead.
6— Select the option to delete partition C: and confirm you want it deleted (all info is lost forever at this point)
7— Select the option to create a partition, and assign a size for it. (whatever your hard drive size is)
8— Select the option to format the newly created partition C: and confirm
9— Your computer will now format the hard drive leaving it blank and ready to accept new data.
10— Once the computer finishes formating it will restart
11— As the computer boots up, it will ask you to press any key again, do so.
12— The screen will turn blue again, and offer you to install windows xp again. this time, do so.
13— The windows xp installation wizard will open up and copy some files to the hard drive
14— It will then offer you some options for instalation, read the instructions provided and just proceed. (avoid selecting “custom installation”)
15— Follow all the wizard steps until windows xp is installed
16— Once windows xp is installed, the computer will reboot and load windows
17— Once windows loads, insert your drivers disk and install your drivers, one by one, and restarting when prompted to do so.
18— Once all drivers are installed, go about installing all your programs and games again, and restauring all your files.

Note: If you dont think you can do it, then don’t, instead pay some guy to do it for you and watch what he/she does so you can do it next time. (expect to pay about $20 an hour and expect it to take about 2–3 hours total)

This is something i would only suggest you do, if you consider your self medium-high skilled with computers. Its not something for a beginner to be messing with.

EDIT: The game host’s servers is a possibility.

SJA813's avatar

@poisonedantidote That does not seem too hard. Seems similar to what I had to do for my system restore once with my old computers discs.

Can you also tell me me on what does this mean?

“Choose RWIN between 94900 and 251120
Vista has no tunable TCP settings”

torchingigloos's avatar

Not to be rude, but why would anyone recommend downgrading from Vista (that is working fine) to XP? This would create all kinds of potential problems if you’re not a power user. By doing so, you risk wiping all of your drivers that support your hardware… many of which might NOT have support for XP. IF you’re going to change operating systems your best bet would be to upgrade to Windows 7 (which is a lot easier if you do the steps properly according to Miscroshaft)... which is the first Microshaft OS I can actually recommend since Win2k. As for your question, turning off your AV and firewall to play games is perfectly OK. If you think your Antivirus is lagging you down (it probably is), I highly recommend ditching it and installing Avast Antivirus instead… it’s free, lightweight, and runs fine in the background with games, not to mention it has a simple silent/gaming mode built in. Do some research on it… it’s easily one of the best free antivirus programs out there (and better than most commercial), not to mention it doesn’t give “False Positives.” As for windows firewall… it’s a complete joke. Turn that piece of crap off and enable the firewall in your router (if it’s not enabled). Then just forward what few ports you need to enhance your game (most games have information on how to do this and which ports to enable). I’m completely AMAZED by some of the terrible advice I see on this site sometimes.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@SJA813 I’ll be honest, I have no idea what RWIN is.

@torchingigloos You make a good point, and I will admit that yes, changing the operating system to improve a game is overkill and highly risky. But I have to advise what I would personally probably do my self. There is not a day that goes past that I don’t sit at this laptop and think “I hate vista, tomorrow ill format it”.

If you look, the first thing I did was answer just the question about turning off the firewall, and when i mention changing the operating system, I only say “consider it”. not, “you must”. Changing operating systems is mentioned before the TCP advice, because you would not want to do the TCP thing, then format and install, then do the TCP thing again. It was a kind of “if you are going to do it, do it first” kind of deal.

I’ll admit, the deeper I get in to talking about changing operating systems, the more I feel im going down the wrong path for this particular problem, I just don’t like to leave people hanging waiting for an answer on this kind of thing.

I don’t think anyone can say i did not give any warning on the problems it can cause. I’ll be the first to say it, If you don’t know what you are doing with this, don’t do it.

torchingigloos's avatar

You are correct, and I probably shouldn’t have been so harsh… I just get stuck fixing a lot of people’s problems after they’ve attempted to follow great advice… but the individual attempting the fix was not qualified to even attempt. Us power users (I REALLY hate that term) tend to not think in simple enough terms for the normal user… and many times this just leads to more frustration on everyone’s part. I’m extremely guilty of this in the past.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@torchingigloos Oh yea, no hard feelings or anything, I was actually one of the people who gave you a great answer. You did the right thing, you saw me leading this person down a potentially risky path and pointed out the danger.

At this time of day there are not so many people on fluther, its a bit early, when you came allong and gave your opinion I was actually pleased, now @SJA813 has a wider range of data to form their opinion on and make a decisions from.

john65pennington's avatar

Why not just forget about online gambling and then you would not have this problem?

poisonedantidote's avatar

@john65pennington Well, it was online “gaming” not online “gambling”, but i supose depending on your outlook on life your point still stands hehe.

SJA813's avatar

@john65pennington Huh? I’m not gambling it is regular online games like strategy,FPS and RPGs mostly.

Specially for versus other people and on a pre made doing good and a lag spike or something comes from no where can screw up everything and it sucks.

Seelix's avatar

I use Spy Sweeper, and it has a gaming mode which “turns it down” for 4 hour spans. Just a thought.

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