Author Topic: New Freeware Firewall Contenders!  (Read 8563 times)

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techie101

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New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« on: December 29, 2004, 11:27:38 PM »
Since we already know about the favorites Sygate, Zone Alarm, Agnitum Outpost and Kerio, I wanted to do some research on any new entries into the freeware category of firewalls.

Here are some new FWs I am testing:

1. Jetico from Finland.  www.jetico.com Still in Beta but it seemed a bit too complicated and hard to use.  It offered both application and user level (rule based) filtering. When I got stuck, the documentation seemed inadequate.  I pass on this one.

2.  Soft Perfect from USA. www.softperfect.com  This is a solid rule based firewall.  Nothing fancy...just a standard firewall.  It offers basic protection but does not provide any application level filtering such as Jetico, kerio, Zone Alarm, Sygate and Outpost.  I found it very good at what it did, but you need to have a bit more understanding of TCP/IP's.

3.  Filseclab from China. www.filseclab.com Now this one has promise.  It is a very simple application based firewall. I liked the Wizard to help setup access controls.  The interface could be a bit better and takes a bit of getting used to.  It has some nice features.   Still testing this one.....it may be a "keeper"!

4.  Omniquad from London.  www.omniquad.com This was just downloaded and will be the next FW to test when I get done with Filseclab.  This FW has an email guard .  I am anxious to learn if it interfere's with or compliments that of Avast.
Seems to have all that a user would need.
They really like the color "blue".

5.  NetBoz from ?.  www.netboz.net This one is not for the average home user.  It is CD run only.

My money is on Filseclab or Omniquad.   Anyone else wishing to try would be helpful.  

I really have to get a life!  ::)  ;D

I will test on W98, XP, and ME OS but all of the above are compatible with W98/XP/ME/2000 and NT systems.

There are still a few others: Primedius (only for W200/XP and higher), Gnat Box, and Wyvem Works.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 12:57:46 AM by Techie101 »

Offline Eddy

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2004, 11:49:10 PM »
Omniquad? It rings a bell here, but I can't remember what it was exactly. I do recall it wasn't a positive thing about it. Don't take my word for it atm, but something tells me there was something about a major security leak or mallfunction or something like that.

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2004, 12:09:01 AM »
Omniquad also makes anti-spyware product which was quiet strong (even more than Ad-aware and Spybot together+some other).
But i don't know if thy still support/improve it.
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techie101

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2004, 12:58:16 AM »
OMNIQUAD:
W98:  Installation was fine until the required restart.  System failed and would only start in Safe mode...Not good! Desktop was completley messed up, and I could only restore normal operation after uninstalling.
ME:
Difficulty in installation.  Unable to  install.
XP:  Didn't even try.  I like my OS working.  I left well enough alone ;D
Remarks:  Let's pass on this one.

I have Filseclab running again.  I want to put it through some more testing.  If you try to download this file, it may take awhile...I only got through on Site 3.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 01:09:03 AM by Techie101 »

techie101

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders! UPDATE 12/29
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2004, 05:45:02 AM »
Filseclab:
This FW has great promise but as yet, I don't think it stands up to the other freeware.  I found the interface a bit too small and operation a bit difficult to understand (Preset-Application rules vs Ruleset options).  One of the nicest features though was a built in port scanner.  Filseclab seemed very stable with W98 and ME but this FW is still in infancy.  Source code is for sale.

Thus far, none of the new FWs made the grade in my testing.

Sygate, Zone Alarm, Outpost and Kerio remain top dogs!

The others I mentioned:
Gnat Box requires registration and there was little information available on it.  I pass on this one also.

Wyvem Works:  A basic firewall.  I didn't see much to be excited about.

Primedius might be tested in day or so when my XP is free.

Offline MWassef

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2005, 08:19:02 AM »
I think Omni uses email protection as ZA's  ::)
MW

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2005, 08:22:35 AM »
omni left 2 ports open  >:( :(
MW

techie101

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2005, 08:40:30 PM »
minacross,

Yes, Omniquad has an email scanner, but since I could not successfully install it, I could not test its's interaction with Avast.

As for the open ports.  Port 0 is a dead "NUMERICAL PORT".  this sometimes shows up in a scan as sort of a "root" port.
However, port 445 is a serious problem.

Read this report on Speed Guide:
http://www.speedguide.net/ports.php.

Thank you for the additional information on this topic.

Spyros

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2005, 11:04:42 AM »
I really have to get a life!  ::)  ;D

Techie101, in case you deside not to get a life  ;),
take a look here: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=57655

techie101

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2005, 05:46:47 PM »
Syros,

Thanks for the link.  I am well acquainted with just about all of the "firewalls" mentioned in the post.  I do not get into the Packet filters and Intrusion Detection Systems out there.

What I do look at are new firewalls that I have not come across that have some promise in the freeware category.

Thus far, if you weight ease of installation, simple and useful interface, functions, tools, stability, "support ( a biggie), reliability and simplicity in use (the learning curve), there are only a handful that fit into all:
Zone Alarm, Sygate, Outpost, Kerio (in my usual recommened order)

Keep in mind that no firewall is perfect!  A firewall should be chosen for the use you will need of it.

At present, I have Outpost running on my W98 test bed in replacing Zone Alarm, but I find it a bit more troublesome to monitor and decipher its' panel information than those in ZA.
With ZA, it is simply a "yes I permit it, or No I don't"
With Oupost it could be "yes, no, maybe, not sure, but if, and then there's the use rule 1,2.3.4.5 etc covering everything from Browser interaction to presets.

To be effective, things should be simple to use and understand which minimizes the time a user needs to determine if something is wrong and should be blocked.

Oh well, there goes my afternoon, and tomorrow afternoon, and next week....... ;D

Offline bob3160

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2005, 06:38:47 PM »
Techie
You have to have something to do since we know that lately nothing exciting ever happens on the forum. ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Dwarden

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2005, 08:14:06 PM »
I know that Tiny Firewalls are not free (sadly) ...

but new builds really deserve check :)

http://www.tinysoftware.com/home/tiny2?s=1005211133070135294A0&&pg=content05&an=beta
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techie101

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Re:New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2005, 11:16:07 PM »
Dwarden,

Yes, Tiny is a very good firewall.  I had it long ago when it was first freeware.  As a matter of fact, the same protocol used in Tiny was used by the US Air Force for their computer security.
Unfortuantely, Tiny went the way of many freeware programs.  Once the company establishes a customer base, it often eliminates the "freeware".
This is not always the case with small companies, as we know!  Avast is a small company that outshines some of the biggest and the badest.   :o

Since the thread relates to freeware, let's try to stay there.

Thanks for the information and link.

 :)

Offline Dwarden

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Re: New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2005, 05:04:52 PM »
actually the company split into two

Kerio and Tiny

the free one continues in KPF

and Tiny was orienting on corporate customers ...

that what i was told from both companies after the split and chaos changes ...

real reasons, only they knows ...

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techie101

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Re: New Freeware Firewall Contenders!
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2005, 09:37:24 PM »
Hum....I do remember something like that happening.
I think the end to the freeware status came shortly thereafter.

The bottom line is that we lost a good freeware firewall.  :'(