Is your DAW online?

  • DAW offline 24/7
  • DAW online 24/7 w/highly conservative web use (audio stuff only etc)
  • DAW both online and offline (i.e. offline when recording)
  • DAW online 24/7 and doing anything and everything with that computer
  • NO antivirus
  • Windows/MS antivirus
  • 3rd Party antivirus

0 voters

I’ve been using Cubase since 1999 and my DAW has always been off line. I’ve always done updates etc via a USB stick. My DAW has (almost) always been problem free and clean and fast (Windows). I only do Audio related stuff on my DAW. But now I’m seeing a need to go online with my DAW, easy updates for products, buying plugins and even stuff like subscriptions (Slate). Do any of you WIN guys have your DAW online? and if so what (if anything) do you use for virus protection? thanks for your time.

UPDATE: hey guys, thanks for all of the replies, this is all great to read. I’ve added a poll with options for online and virus protection. A vote for each. Again, thank you for your time.

I have a small home studio for personal use (not making my living with this setup). It has always been connected to the web. I use this same PC for everything at home. No problem at all. Several years ago I changed to the free Microsoft Security Essentials for my antivirus. Again, never had an issue. My son even uses this PC to look at whatever he looks at. I do back up every week to an external drive that I keep disconnected until I want to do the back up. This year I made about 40 projects. Each one having 15 to 20 tracks of stuff. No video.

If I was trying to make a living with this set up I would definitely have a separate PC for it. But I would still have it connected to the web.

Good luck :wink:

Regards :sunglasses:

Thanks for the reply PRock, thats great to hear. ADK , who built my computer, recommended the Microsoft essentials as well. What did you used to use for your virus protection before that?

For the years prior for some reason I used Norton Antivirus. I purchased it yearly. I don’t know why I stuck with them. Maybe name recognition? I don’t know. Never had a issue with them either but the free one from MS seems to work to so… free it is for me.

A couple more things I will mention…

  • Things seem slightly slower when any antivirus program is running. I’ve gotten used to it and it’s no big deal. Cubase and all of my VSTs work perfectly.
  • Some programs tell you to disable the antivirus when installing. I do that when instructed and again, never had an issue.

Regards :sunglasses:

I also use my DAW PC for web publishing and software development. I need internet access for cloud storage, FTP, video uploads, and source control management, in addition to all the activation and upgrade conveniences an online connection means for music production.

I’m running Windows 7 with built-in WIndows firewall and User Account Control enabled, and I also use Microsoft Security Essentials. (Windows Defender takes the place of Security Essentials in WIn 8 and Win 10… Windows Defender meant something different in Win 7.)

My computer’s a desktop home build and I run an Ethernet cable out to a WiFi bridge that’s wall-mounted far enough away not to create any RF interference with my gear.

always offline here…
The NIC is always disabled in BIOS unless I need updates.
Oh yeah… and I use the Defender…

I have my Windows 8.1 machine online all the time and never had any problems. I just use the standard anti virus features included with Windows BUT I only visit a small number of well known websites e.g. Steinberg, Plugin manufacturers, File transfer sites -no general web surfing to random potentially dangerous sites.

Well, this isn’t Windows XP anymore. Microsoft has built a ton of security stuff into the OS, and of course there’s Defender (or MSE in Win7). I’d say Windows 10 is at least as safe as OS X. I wouldn’t think twice about keeping it online.

Aloha guys,

I know the OP asked for responses from Windows users but I am curious.

Of the users that do have their axes on-line does anyone use the ‘Steinberg Hub’?

Major TIA.

Both machines are online at all times… only use free antivirus protection (avast and panda)… only ever had a problem once in the last 10 years (because a friend visited a shady site)… which required a format… periodic backups to external drive are essential…

I do not use Steinberg Hub.


Thanks everybody, this is all great to hear. If I put the DAW online it would only be for audio/recording related stuff, like plugin updates, uploading music to my website etc. I guess this fear started back when I had Win98 and the virus protection programs reeked havoc on performance. Just wondering what would be a problem using Steinbergs HUB? I’ve never used it online so I only use it for opening recent projects etc.

I have been using the Steinberg Hub since they introduced it. If I remember correctly, there was a short period of time between updates in the CB7 series when I disabled it because of a known issue (sorry, but I don’t remember exactly what the issue was). Since then, no issues with the Steinberg Hub. On the right side, I like the easy interface to start/open projects. I’ll click on the left side links periodically if something perks my interest. Seems like the links that interest me are many times out of date. :frowning:

Regards :sunglasses:

Heck yes, this is 2015 not 1995.

The only thing I can think of not “on-line” in 2015 is a softoy - even fridges are on-line these days.

My DAW’s are networked, on-line and connected to Cloud and local NAS systems.
I simply cannot imagine working professionally any other way!!

I’m off line. But I have a PC in my project studio for all the upgrade update and administrative stuff.

This is 2015, but I will gladly provide longer narratives of users who will never use their DAW on line. These aren’t users surfing questionable web sites or downloading illegal software. In some cases it was a simple “client with usb stick” with .wav files that somehow the anti-virus on the DAW didn’t detect. But in most cases the issue was more involved. These issues are rare, but they do happen.

To give you perspective, an Arturia rep told me the percentage of off-line users for them is less than 5%. He told me this after I chastised him about a non-working off-line process that they initiated on line just about a year ago that gave everyone the impression the off-line procedure was working when in fact the finally admitted it wasn’t even up and running. It too them about a month from the time they posted the off-line procedure to the time it actually was up and running. Big black eye for Arturia, but I’m in that 5% category so who cares?

The huge drawback of being off line for myself is spending a day or two, re-installing programs when for example you replace a new C-drive. Sure you can clone everything, but I like starting out fresh. When you re-install programs, it’s a royal pain authorizing and managing all the copy protection schemes. If you don’t have many programs it obviously isn’t much of an issue. In my case this can take a few days due to emails with small developers.

About once each year I put my project studio DAW on line to update Windows, and do checks with some larger developers such as NI where I might have overlooked an update/upgrade and their update manager will automatically handle it. That is a huge time saver!

But ultimately I’m still off line and like it that way.

Me too always on line and I also have the free Microsoft Security Essentials anti virus installed. My studio is for my own personal use, no clients. I use my PC for everything, downloading files, youtube, facebook, general browsing, word processing, video and artwork, burning media, and of course, audio and media production… absolutely everything.

I recently updated to Win 10 and, after a few initial problems, it works like a dream, which I was apprehensive about to begin with since I have a lot of connections to my PC: 2 UAD cards, an (ancient) 1820m emu sound card, a firewire PowerCore Element with a Access Virus, elicencer, iLock…

I look at all the problems people have on the board and wonder what is going on. I do a lot of sound design and audio mangling and often use an obscene amount of plug-ins in my projects, and my PC just gobbles it all up like it was going out of fashion.

I do like to get my money’s worth :wink:

Same policy here. DAW for audio only and it only goes on-line to trusted sites (with full anti-everthing programs in place) for updates, downloads and uploads. I have visited this forum to post screen shots for a post a couple of times.

Same here. Only minimal use of connection to network for updates/downloads of software.

I have not seen any change in Cubase performance whether ethernet connection is on or completely disabled. Though there are no programs running on my system that update themselves either.

I would never go searching for anything on the net from my recording computer. EVER.

my cubase machine is online ever sicnce wi dows 98. a firewall and antivirus running back then.
today windows tool suffice. never had any issues and always created Backups . today with acronis.

i think the biggest risk for infections is via vocal recordings. digitized human viruses are a pain;-)

Yes, permanently on line.


I have a dual boot Windows system, with one for general usage and the other for DAW. There is a separate SSD for each OS, but shared data, project and sample drives, allowing maintenance from either boot.

The DAW drive hasn’t got office and Outlook and all the other stuff that might do asynchronous internet activity. However, each is fully online when active, but I am much more selective about the sites I visit when using the DAW drive, such as only DAW product updates or forum sites.

The thing is that if one is used to working with lots of pixels for both DAW and general use, having two sets of monitors is totally impractical, space-wise.