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What is a decent firewall program? Is ZoneAlarm good?

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Never needed a firewall until now, so I am doing some research on what to get. Been browsing the web some, and heard ZoneAlarm Pro is pretty good. Anyone use it? Are there some better ones out there at a reasonable price?

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Depends on what you need the firewall. In corporate applications, I would only use hardware firewalls; in a home setting, software firewalls are OK, but it all depends on what you're looking for.

 

People have had problems with ZoneAlarm on XP, I'm not sure if they're solved yet. Tiny Personal Firewall is OK, and is free (link here).

 

The 2 main things to ask about firewalls is (a) how easy are they to set up and manage; and (B) how secure are they out of the box.

 

Rgds

AndyF

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I think the latest versions of ZoneAlarm are fully compatible with XP but don't take my word for it (I've only installed it on my folks machine which runs 98 and even then only for a few hours which was how long I could put up with it's crap...). I think it's BlackICE that has XP issues. I've also heard good stuff about Tiny but have never used it.

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Any good firewall HAS to be a pain in the a$$ for the first week or so, until you configure it's rules. I don't trust outofthebox stuff, I'd rather tune it myself...

 

AtGuard used to be such a firewall that drove u nuts with its popups, but after couple of days (seemed like years of patience), I didn't even notice I had it running smile

 

If you want the BEST solution, go for Checkpoint's Firewall-1, lol. It's used by a lot of companies...I doubt u will have the cash to buy it, let alone configure it's different management consoles and stuff smile

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Quote:
Any good firewall HAS to be a pain in the a$$ for the first week or so, until you configure it's rules. I don't trust outofthebox stuff, I'd rather tune it myself...


Too right! The best way to configure a firewall is to block all the ports then open them up again as you find you need them...might be annoying for the first few days, but it's the only way to ensure everything is perfectly safe.

Rgds
AndyF

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I think since you brought up Za pro, you are not looking to secure a corporate network. In that case Zonealarm and Zonealarm pro are pretty good choices. I heard many good things about tiny including from industry reviews. I have seen people with macafee's personal firewall, and found it to be fairly poor. I hope they patched it, since the one I used gave the wrong info in its logs. That in itself would make me stay away from it.

 

I like rules based firewalls, and there are a few inexpensive ones out there. They are slightly more difficult to configure, but you get more control, and as mentioned above you can start with everything closed.

 

-Ry

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For basic protection at home, Sygate Personal Firewall is not bad at all ; and it's free. It has got a nice control/dashboard.

Can be upgraded to pro version.

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FYI. Something to keep in mind about firewalls. They only keep the honest people out. If a hacker wants in they will get in. Most of these inexpensive market firewalls have had their source code out for a long time.

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I only partially agree with that. Unless you have something of value behing the firewall, someone will move on to easier less hardened targets. Even with a known vulnerability in the firewall, someone needs to first identify the firewall and OS being used, then find some sort of exploit that not only gets through the firewall but also grants access to the PC. There are realatively few hackers out there, and many script kiddies. The script kiddies will only search for known easy to exploit holes and will not know where to start to break even a slightly hardened system. A decent hacker would not waste time on a personal computer unless there exists a real reason to try to get in.

 

Now I know that no system is totally secure, at least not on my budget, however if are diligent with patching the known holes in your software, and have some level of firewall and antivirus protection, you should be alright.

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