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Firewall Question

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I'm not asking this for myself. Someone asked my opinion about something that I wasn't really sure of, but I said I'd try to find out a little more info.

 

Between these two, which provides better firewall protection . . . ZoneAlarm Free or Windows XP (built-in) firewall?

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Which firewall is the better one?

 

 

  1. Hardware is the best as it is in front of your system and usually included in the modem for high speed connections
  2. Software there are several software firewalls providing just about the same level of protection so it comes down to personal likes and dislikes
  3. Windows provides incoming protection only but is better than no firewall

Have a look in the topic about having a software firewall or not:

http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=17348

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Which firewall is the better one?

 

 

  1. Hardware is the best as it is in front of your system and usually included in the modem for high speed connections

  2. Software there are several software firewalls providing just about the same level of protection so it comes down to personal likes and dislikes

  3. Windows provides incoming protection only but is better than no firewall

Have a look in the topic about having a software firewall or not:

http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=17348

Thanks, Kenny. I'm pretty much already aware of what you said, but I was hoping to get a specific comparison between the two software firewalls I mentioned.

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I would say ZoneAlarm Free, if any.

I use Windows firewall and think it's pathetic. It doesn't prompt me about even half the network connections made, it just assumes to allow them. In fact, I've only noticed it prompt me about Second Life's SL Voice, that's it, I know of six more connections I would like to be prompt about and it doesn't.

I can't actually believe I am going to say this, and I do say this rather hesitantly,

this is one thing I liked about Norton;

every connection made, I knew about.

 

Why I choose to stay with Windows firewall? ...because I don't want any more third party security software installed on my system--I'll take my chances.

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I have to put in a word for Windows XP firewall here, as it's as good as it gets for an inbound only firewall. Once you are aware it's a one way firewall only, then you can ascertain how good it is.

 

It won't tell you what is trying to call home, but the instant something calls home and tries to download something, it blocks it instantly.

 

Once you have a PC installed with decent, legitimate software, there isn't a great deal that goes mad dialling out all over the place that you don't know about. I exclude MS from that statement because heaven only knows when and how their software calls home.

 

The important direction is "in" and Windows Firewall is as I say, as good as anything in that direction.

 

If you have quite a bit software you aren't sure about, then a two way firewall is probably a better option.

 

All a matter of personal choice of course, and it's understandable to be critical of Windows Firewall if, as I say, you aren't aware that it is one way protection only.

 

It's been my firewall of choice for probably 90% of the time I've been on this forum, and I've never had any nasties get onto my PC. Coupled with Avast, it's a great combination, and works for me.

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[...]Coupled with Avast[...]

I too have the same combination as you: Windows firewall + avast! Home Edition.

 

I didn't actually know Windows firewall is just an inbound firewall, I guess it makes sense now. However, it still doesn't notify me of inbound connections on ports outside 80. :(

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A link to a Wilders thread here about how to harden windows xp firewall

 

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread....indows+firewall

 

That's a cracking link to a cracking post hazel.

 

After all this time, I've got XP firewall pretty much configured to do the things I want, but I wouldn't pretend to know all that stuff inside and out, but for anyone thinking about using XP Firewall, that's an essential read.

 

Don't be put off by the technical nature of the post, you can still get a hell of a lot out of it without fully understanding the finer points.

 

Nice one, and bookmarked.

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Hardware based firewall + WinXP's Firewall is what I use. Recent versions of ZoneAlarm don't agree with my system, and I can't stand Comodo Firewall for which I won't elaborate as a forum search will reveal my disliking of it.

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I'm no expert on ZoneAlarm, but it's pretty popular. The free version has some features missing/unavailable compared to the pro.

Windows XP (SP2+) firewall is an excellent inbound firewall.

Since it will generally not monitor outbound connection attempts, it is limited. Some will argue that it doesn't matter, as it will block unsolicited inbound. I don't know if that is absolutely correct, and in any case, would rather have a firewall that asks permission for an unknown application to connect to the net.

Have used Comodo in the past. The current version with D+ (a HIPS) is popular.

Currently using PCTools firewall.

No problems.

Have in the past used a Norton firewall (2000), Filseclab, Kerio, and Online Armour which, although popular and reportedly very good, froze my system. (When this was reported, the support folk at TallEmu were keen to help and get to the bottom of it. But it's tricky to troubleshoot an almost-frozen system, so I elected not to.)

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