Avg 8 stopped updating
I too was in a similar situation as you, and decided that LTSC was the way to go.It's the kind of stable, clean OS that I want on my PC, and since its primary market is embedded systems like POS terminals, it's going to be updated for a very long time.With this massive change I was wondering if anyone knew of the real impact this would have.Can third-party Anti-virus successfully substitute Windows 7 security updates after they are discontinued?If you can afford that much time managing your installed OS just for privacy concerns you can definitely use it to install Linux and solve the issues you may encounter to the lack of certain apps in your usual workflow, it will pay off more in the future.Another thing that has not been said in other answers and I think affects security of an old operating system is that external app developers will eventually stop supporting it and releasing new version for it, so you may end up having old and buggy versions of apps such as browsers, which may be another surface of attack for exploiters.To answer your question: there is no way an external small software house can patch vulnerabilities of a closed source operating system with the same efficacy as the operating system developer, the best they can do is work around known bugs by blocking features or scanning your activity for malicious patterns. Also, as someone already said, there are vulnerabilities which can't be worked around outside of the operating system, so you'll keep them all.
After all, the problem you are having is not that you are required to use Windows 7, but just that you understandably do not want to use Windows 10 with its tracking, preinstalled junk, major updates all the time, and other issues.
Its update schedule is also similar to previous Windows versions - security updates and bug fixes come every month or so, but major feature updates are considered to be completely separate versions, and updates are never forced.
Telemetry can be turned down to '0', which is the same bare-minimum value that is normally only available on Windows Server.
So I have turned to the amazing community here for solid answers.
where you have a external firewall scan all your traffic looking for patterns of traffic that look malicious.