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Whats the best FREE firewall?

manzi Avatar
8y, 9m agoPosted 8 years, 9 months ago
Whats the best free firewall to use as I currently have AVG as my anti-virus protection and Spybot Search and Destroy for spyware but I have no firewall. I looked at Zone Alarm at download.com as i hear its good but all of them are trials :(

Please can someone reccomend me a free firewall program and I will rep you :)

Thx for ur time
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manzi Avatar
8y, 9m agoPosted 8 years, 9 months ago
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#1
I use ZoneAlarm.

It is free as long as you are just taking the firewall part. Although I hear windows XP default firewall isn't to bad.

Ohn I use AVG and Spybot as well :)
#2
ive got zone alarm - the guys in IT at work recommended it.
#3
Avast for me.
#4
Unplugging your computer from the internet.
banned#5
All free antiviruses are ****! Remember-nothing comes for free.
If you are natwest customer,you could get McAfee free for 12 months.After you logout from your account,you will see this offer at the bottom of the page.
#6
vadas
All free antiviruses are ****! Remember-nothing comes for free.
If you are natwest customer,you could get McAfee free for 12 months.After you logout from your account,you will see this offer at the bottom of the page.


Untrue, imo. AVG does the job well; never had a virus or any other problem in several years, and indeed, the only problems I've ever had related to anti-virus software have been with McAfee and Norton, both of which were bundled free but gave me grief after the subscriptions ran out and I tried to uninstall them. First thing I do with any new pc now is decline any bundled anti-virus, uninstall and then install AVG free edition.
banned 1 Like #7
I used Zone alarm for a while but bit of a resource hog and can be a nightmare to get rid of. Comodo is far better.

http://www.comodo.com/

No renewal or update fees ever!
http://www.comodo.com/images/buttons/freebutton.jpgFREE Comodo Firewall
http://www.comodo.com/images/buttons/freebutton.jpgFREE Comodo Anti-Malware
http://www.comodo.com/images/buttons/freebutton.jpgFREE Website Authentication
http://www.comodo.com/images/buttons/freebutton.jpgFREE Comodo AntiVirus
http://www.comodo.com/images/buttons/freebutton.jpgFREE Email Security Certificate
banned#8
vadas;1842738
All free antiviruses are ****! Remember-nothing comes for free.
If you are natwest customer,you could get McAfee free for 12 months.After you logout from your account,you will see this offer at the bottom of the page.

Another muppet who gets taken in ;-)

Mcafee is terrible, nearly as bad as norton :p
#9
The best free firewall IMHO is Comodo Pro.
#10
I have something called NOD32...
#11
u currently have no firewall?!!!!!!!

Your router if you use one will probably have one built in and switched on already, check that out. As well as that the one built into XP is perfectly good as long as you have it switched on. Right click the network connection icon bottom right and select Change Windows Firewall Settings and check. That's if you're using XP and SP2 that is! Failing that ZoneAlarm.
1 Like #12
btw download free zonealarm here http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp

It's written/owned by Checkpoint who manufacture high end hardware firewalls for businesses.
#14
I'm very happy with Zonealarm
#15
LaoTzu
the one built into XP is perfectly good as long as you have it switched on. Right click the network connection icon bottom right and select Change Windows Firewall Settings and check. That's if you're using XP and SP2 that is!


The XP firewall has no protection for outgoing connections.
#16
Ok so its either ZoneAlrm or Comodo. I used Zonealarm on my old desktop pc and it did the job well so i'll use that instead :)

Thx for the replys and i have repped ppl with helpful replies.
#17
csiman
Another muppet who gets taken in ;-)

Mcafee is terrible, nearly as bad as norton :p


Yep I had Mcafee free on my Dell laptop and took it off, its nto very good.
#18
Sygate Personal seems pretty good, tried it the other day. I prefer XP firewall though. It's not perfect and leaves certain ports visible but it works well enough for me.
#19
I use Ashampoo Firewall. Zone alarm used to be pretty good but it went through a period of trouble a couple of years ago, I don't know if that's cleared up by now.

Comodo is a firewall and a system protection (like vista's user access control). On vista the interruptions can be very frequent with both that, the firewall and UAC on.
#20
EndlessWaves
Comodo is a firewall and a system protection (like vista's user access control). On vista the interruptions can be very frequent with both that, the firewall and UAC on.


I haven't used it too much on Vista, but don't these get less and less as it 'learns' what actions need to be taken with each piece of software on your computer?
banned#21
nightswimmer;1843120
I haven't used it too much on Vista, but don't these get less and less as it 'learns' what actions need to be taken with each piece of software on your computer?

Yes it gets better once its learnt safe sites etc. I turn vista firewall off.
#22
nightswimmer
The XP firewall has no protection for outgoing connections.


Make a note of this those of you who said the XP Firewall is good.

It is NOT good.

The one in Vista is better than the one in XP, but it is still better to use a product like Zone Alarm than the built in Windows firewall.
#23
zonealarms the only firewall ive used, ive used it on all my pcs and its great!
#24
i always used to purchase norton or Mcafee until i realized how much they slow your system down and take a lot of memory, last year or so i been using avg and personally for what i need it for it does just as good job as all the others.
#25
vadas
All free antiviruses are ****! Remember-nothing comes for free.
If you are natwest customer,you could get McAfee free for 12 months.After you logout from your account,you will see this offer at the bottom of the page.

isnt that an oxymoron? saying nothing free is **** then recommending a free product?

nightswimmer
The XP firewall has no protection for outgoing connections.

Wrong it will not allow any connections unless listed in the exceptions this is done by installs or users and is the same as any firewall, the user is the weak link

guilbert53
Make a note of this those of you who said the XP Firewall is good.

It is NOT good.

The one in Vista is better than the one in XP, but it is still better to use a product like Zone Alarm than the built in Windows firewall.


Why??, never had an intrusion on my system using only xp firewall (and i monitor all logs regularly.
Truth is as an engineer the problems software firewalls cause lead me to do several call outs each week, intrusion problems are very rare and the one i did get called to had a software firewall on, as i said the user was the weak link
1 Like #26
guilbert53
Make a note of this those of you who said the XP Firewall is good.

It is NOT good.

The one in Vista is better than the one in XP, but it is still better to use a product like Zone Alarm than the built in Windows firewall.


Yes it is, why not back this up with some evidence instead of alarming people unnecessarily?

Suggest you go talk to people who actually know what they're talking about.

Try reading on google, places like here:
http://www.derkeiler.com/Newsgroups/comp.security.firewalls/2004-06/0778.html

or here: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic77683.html

This post sums it up very well in response to "Why use another firewall instead of XP's built in one?" He actually has a good point about using up memory.

"As far as I am concerned, they really just offer more features than the built in XP firewall. The main job of blocking incomming traffic is done, though.

Really, the best defence you can have is a NAT router. Being behind a NAT router means that insolicitied traffic does not come in. It has to be solicited from the inside. You don't really need to be running a software firewall at all on your client machines if they are behind a NAT router, but its probably a good idea to.

Which one should you run, then? Well, i'd say the one with the least performance overhead. I've not installed Zonealarm, Kerio or Comodo firewall software recently, but I'm pretty sure that they all take up RAM and slow down your machine. Windows firewall does not.

Personally, I run behind a NAT router, Windows XP (or Vista now) firewall, plus AV software and anti-spyware. And unless I do something silly I have no problems with security at all."
#27
maddogb
Wrong it will not allow any connections unless listed in the exceptions this is done by installs or users and is the same as any firewall, the user is the weak link


So why do articles such as this one, say:

"One of those "new" security features is the Windows Firewall, available in all editions of Windows Vista. The Windows Firewall is of course not new; it's already available in Windows XP SP2, but it works only one-way, that is, it only blocks malicious inbound connections. In Windows Vista, Microsoft says its new Windows Firewall is now two-way, that it adds outbound protection, but a closer look reveals that this is more deceptive marketing spin. With Windows Vista what you get turns out to be a half-cocked firewall that's hardly worth the upgrade."

And another example:

"When first released onto Windows XP SP2, the Firewall had no outbound connection policy installed into the system, allowing hackers to plant viruses into computers, gather information about you, and send it "back home." Because of the concerns of the Security that the Firewall had, there were debates about whether or not the Firewall was really effective against any hackers that had done such things before. It was also later revealed that it could actually be turned off by malicious coding implanted into the computer. However, because of the concerns the public had mentioned, Microsoft enhanced the Firewall tremendously in Windows Vista, installing Outbound connection policies, along with a stronger resistance to being terminated or overlapped."
#28
I use Zonealarm.
#29
nightswimmer
So why do articles such as this one, say:

"One of those "new" security features is the Windows Firewall, available in all editions of Windows Vista. The Windows Firewall is of course not new; it's already available in Windows XP SP2, but it works only one-way, that is, it only blocks malicious inbound connections. In Windows Vista, Microsoft says its new Windows Firewall is now two-way, that it adds outbound protection, but a closer look reveals that this is more deceptive marketing spin. With Windows Vista what you get turns out to be a half-cocked firewall that's hardly worth the upgrade."

And another example:

"When first released onto Windows XP SP2, the Firewall had no outbound connection policy installed into the system, allowing hackers to plant viruses into computers, gather information about you, and send it "back home." Because of the concerns of the Security that the Firewall had, there were debates about whether or not the Firewall was really effective against any hackers that had done such things before. It was also later revealed that it could actually be turned off by malicious coding implanted into the computer. However, because of the concerns the public had mentioned, Microsoft enhanced the Firewall tremendously in Windows Vista, installing Outbound connection policies, along with a stronger resistance to being terminated or overlapped."


Oh dear another chap who listens to journalists over engineers, cant argue with that except if u really understood both articles they actually agree with what i said
#30
Funnily enough, after 5 or so years, I have just junked Zone Alarm. I downloaded a 45Mb update on Friday and it crashed my PC when I tried to install it. I had read disgruntled users talk about it becoming bloated but I had persevered.

Anyway, a little bit of research and I downloaded and installed Online Armor. There is a great deal of information out there but these articles helped me reach my decision;

Online Armor - Best Firewall
Firewall Reviews

I have been running it for the last 36 hours and it needs some setting up but seems to be OK. As vixygwim pointed out, the most important issue is to control outgoing connections and that's what I believe Online Armor is best at.

Hope this helps!
#31
Outgoing connections are ones that your computer starts when it connects to elsewhere on the internet. The only way malware on the internet can get through these is by exploting vulnerabilities in the program that's initiated the connection, and I don't think firewalls do much for prevent that (which is why patches are important!)

So why block them? If a nasty piece of software DOES get on your computer than the most it can do is cause inconvinience. It can delete your files, lock your system, play silly ******s etc. but all that can easily be fixed with a format, reinstalling windows and restoring your files from their backup.

UNLESS it's got access to the internet. If it's allowed to start a connection to a remote site then it can send out personal information, the contents of your computer and anything you type in.

For the small memory usage of a decent firewall, being able to stop unwanted connections to the internet seems like a good reason to me.

I don't know whether XP or Vista's firewall blocks outgoing connections, or how good they are. I'd imagine some of the recommendations against them are because microsoft don't have the best record for security and reliability.
#32
maddogb
Oh dear another chap who listens to journalists over engineers, cant argue with that except if u really understood both articles they actually agree with what i said


And another chap who chooses to patronise instead of answering a perfectly reasonable and genuine question. :)
#33
guilty as charged! my patronising side is always brought out by people who don't read references they post
hints such as the first quote!
"but a closer look reveals that this is more deceptive marketing spin."
Or the second which focuses on malware being active on a system, no firewall will save you from that.
My post was intended as a warning not to install firewalls and think your safer than if you actually take the time to learn a bit about security, that is just dangerous
All a software firewall will do is come up and tell you "windows updater" is trying to connect to the internet! and how many people would say ok just do it?
#34
so just because it doesn't offer outbound protection you should steer clear of it should you? If you've got an up-to-date anti-virus this will stop the malware anyway. You carry on believing what you like I can't be bothered to argue with you. Vixygwim provided the best answer anyway. Malware disables most firewall programs as one of the first things it does. Hardware firewalls are the best option but what home user is going to bother with that even though they don't have to be that expensive such as this one http://www.microwarehouse.co.uk/catalogue/item/V0008033 which has content filtering, stateful packet inspection and IDS (intrusion detection) for just under 38 quid.
#35
vixygwim
Just don't rely on the software firewall to block everything, how effective are they for example at stopping a rogue program from launching your favourite browser that you've previously allowed and then sending home all the juicy information it has just groomed from your computer.

Just one example out of many.


Spot on. A trojan keylogger combined with browser hijack running a JS uploader and you're screwed as it'll phone home on port 80. Nothing wrong with XP firewall, I should know as I run my server 24/7 connected to the net and don't get an problems. Saying that, my p2p was running at a snails pace last week so I disabled XPFW temporarily. That sped it up nicely, till some clever **** ran an attack that crashed the computer (gotta love the kids on p2p...) :x So back on it went, no further problems.
#36
Shengis
Spot on. A trojan keylogger combined with browser hijack running a JS uploader and you're screwed as it'll phone home on port 80. Nothing wrong with XP firewall, I should know as I run my server 24/7 connected to the net and don't get an problems. Saying that, my p2p was running at a snails pace last week so I disabled XPFW temporarily. That sped it up nicely, till some clever **** ran an attack that crashed the computer (gotta love the kids on p2p...) :x So back on it went, no further problems.


lol better slow than formatted eh?, little *******s ya gotta love em :roll:
#37
maddogb
guilty as charged! my patronising side is always brought out by people who don't read references they post


Oh dear. :?

hints such as the first quote!
"but a closer look reveals that this is more deceptive marketing spin."


I did read it, which is why I know that the marketing spin in question was refering to Microsoft saying that the firewall in Windows Vista works two ways, when by default it doesn't as the outbound protection is switched off.

That in no way explains why what I said originally ("The XP firewall has no protection for outgoing connections") was wrong.

My post was intended as a warning not to install firewalls and think your safer than if you actually take the time to learn a bit about security, that is just dangerous
All a software firewall will do is come up and tell you "windows updater" is trying to connect to the internet! and how many people would say ok just do it?


That's fine, I agree 100% with that. You said what I said was wrong, all I was asking was why. :)
#38
I use linux. Maybe you guys should try it - and we can put this whole thing to rest.
#39
Ive never had one in 10 years, no virus software, no spyware software installed, and theres nowt wrong with my machine , scaremongering indeeeeeed.

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