Author Topic: What free firewall do you guys prefer?  (Read 13533 times)

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Eminem

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What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« on: February 11, 2009, 11:52:51 PM »
What is your favorite free firewall and why?

sded

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 12:27:03 AM »
Really depends a lot on how you use your system and how much you want to learn about firewalls.

Many still swear by the Windows firewall or a NAT router only, which give excellent protection against inbound threats, generally with no/little configuration and maintenance.  The Vista firewall even has outbound protection which can configured simply using a program called "Sphinx".

In terms of the software firewalls, this is where you start getting into the more advanced outbound protection and tailored inbound protection.

Zone Alarm Free is generally considered the simplest to use, gives adequate protection.  I have used it, my wife uses it now. 
PC Tools Firewall Plus is also highly rated, but I haven't used it
Online Armor Personal Firewall is what I use now, gives excellent protection and is not too intrusive.  Has some specific features valuable for wifi users that got me to invest in the paid version.
Comodo Internet Security I have used in the past, and it is a bit more complicated to use and maintain, but also gives excellent protection.  May teach you more about TCP/IP and firewall maintenance than you want to know, but new releases tout improved usability.  Now a free suite, but you can install just the firewall and the HIPS (Called D+).

And I have also used a bunch of others that generally were OK too, some overly complicated, some with free versions with too much missing from the paid version, some I just didn't like as well as another.

Sites like http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php rate firewalls for what is known as "leak protection", or ability to block outbound malware that gets past the AV.  Because of time delays between discovery and protection, there may be a period of vulnerability if you are unlucky and get hit by a virus no one has seen before.  Leak Protection, usually provided by a HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System) looks for malware by monitoring programs and alerting you if they take actions that might indicate they are malicious.  Unfortunately, a host of your usual programs may also take those actions, so they basically give you an alert and let you worry about whether the program is malicious or just doing what you told it to do, like install or modify something.  So firewalls usually contain a HIPS these days, some more effective than others.  If you do things like P2P or visit porn sites and warez sites, you are a high risk user and really need to worry more than the normal user, but a good HIPS should protect you along with your AV.

So tell us a little about your internet usage and maybe someone can be more specific.  But any on the list above (and others may have different preferences too) would be a good choice as a free firewall.  And it is important for you to try a firewall out and see if you are comfortable with it anyway-all have some learning curve.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 12:50:59 AM by sded »

Eminem

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 02:45:26 AM »
thanks, still want more opinions please.

YoKenny

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 02:49:30 AM »
http://www.besttechie.net/2008/08/20/malwarebytes-developer-interview <== at about 8 minutes into the video

I choose not to run a software firewall but prefer other protection like Windows Defender and WinPatrol.

Eminem

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2009, 02:53:06 AM »
thinking of switching from zone alarm to online armor. Is it any good?

sded

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 03:14:27 AM »
Give it a try at http://support.tallemu.com/vbforum/showthread.php?t=6706 to install the latest public beta 3.1.0.24 at the bottom of the page.  Very stable and about ready to release, and has a whole lot of improvements since the initial release.  ZAF main concern is lack of HIPS, but not an issue with everyone.  If you decide you like ZAF better, or want to try something else, OA removes pretty cleanly.

Eminem

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2009, 03:28:40 AM »
can i just install the version from their homepage instead of forums?

sded

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 03:36:20 AM »
Home page version is the last release, which is a few months old because of the way they do beta cycles.  But still should be OK, just misses a lot of updates since the initial version to fix minor bugs, add a few features.  Their betas are pretty stable, but up to you.

rockernault

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 03:40:50 AM »
well  i like a lot  Zone Alarm,   but  Zone Alarm Disable its Antivirus,  and Avast!  disables!  something that i cannot remember now!


i use Zone Alarm Internet Security 8.0,  and i tried to attack my computer,   it´s  almost impossible to pass the firewall,  well,  at least i couldn´t.


if you want a good!  firewall   use ZA,  (the full version, not the free one)

Rolo

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 04:43:24 AM »
Hi, I use Comodo Internet security only firewall with Defense +  It's works fine with avast, bullet proof.

Eminem

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 04:46:09 AM »
i tried online armor it messed up my computer it would barely start. I now am using Comodo and it seems to be working well.

sded

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 04:53:07 AM »
Sorry OA didn't work for you; keep on using Comodo if you are happy with it.  There is supposed to be a new release out shortly with many new features.

sded

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2009, 10:14:27 PM »
You can try asking at the Online Armor forum for help with your problem-there are sometimes some conflicts with all of the firewalls, but usually they can help get things working by diagnosing your issues.  That's how they stay in business.  You can just post your configuration and the symptoms of your problem (with any of the firewall vendors) and will usually get help from volunteers and sometimes the developers as necessary.  The other one would be the PC Tools Plus firewall, which seems to have a lot of fans-I have just never used it, but maybe someone else will speak up.  If you just plain don't like Comodo, you can ask there but that one is harder to fix.  :)

Eminem

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2009, 12:53:45 AM »
is the ashampoo free firewall any good?

solsk

  • Guest
Re: What free firewall do you guys prefer?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2009, 05:08:54 AM »
what do OA do to your machine? just having probs i thought were with an update...but could have been OA