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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Is Zone Alarm necessary

    I am running 2000 professional with SP2. Have AVG installed which updates daily and seems to perform a full scan at switch on, I also regularly run Spybot. Is it expedient to download Zone Alarm as well or will they conflict with each other and cause problems? Thanks a lot.
    Dave
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    AVG is an Anti-Virus program.
    Spybot is an anti malware program.
    Zone Alarm is a firewall.

    YES, you NEED all three.
    No conflicts unless you are talking about a SUITE of programs from each which may include overlapping coverages.
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    ZoneAlarm and other third party firewall generally offer significant increases in functionality over Windows XP's built-in firewall. This post is a bit old now, but the general principles remain the same: Software Firewall: Why use it, Where to get it.

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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Sincere thanks, I appreciate that there are occasions when new loungers may ask questions that have been answered before but for those still finding their way around the forum and others, like myself, it is not always easy to type in a "Search" with the correct words that will scroll to an existing answer. Bob's brief but concise answer asserts that is it essential to install all three but the reason I asked the question in the first place is because the owner of the shop from which I purchased my computer said more than one "Sentry" guarding the computer could conflict and cause problems. Hence my caution. S Fox.
    Dave
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  5. #5
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    The shop owner probably meant that you should not use two software firewalls at the same time. And neither should you use two anti-virus programs at the same time. These applications are active all the time to decide which actions will be allowed and which will be forbidden. Two such applications running at the same time would fight with each other, and cause your computer to work more slowly than possible.

    There is no objection to having several applications installed that can scan your computer for malware on demand, or at a regularly scheduled time.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Thanks again guys; SO, for dummies like me, the answer Bob gave i.e. ... ["YES, you NEED all three. No conflicts unless you are talking about a SUITE of programs from each which may include overlapping coverages".]... is all I need to know & SHOULD install Zone Alarm. In light of his further explanation that ;- AVG is an Anti-Virus program. Spybot is an anti malware program & Zone Alarm is a firewall, would I be right in assuming that I am running without a firewall? If so this seems strange as I got the impression from the shop owner who sold me the computer and set it all up that it was adequately protected? Though I use Firefox as my browser I've just checked I Explorer and noted that it is set up to download updates every day, does this suggest that I am depending on the firewall that comes with XP? Sorry if I am missing some point. S Fox
    Dave
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  7. #7
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Windows XP has a built-in firewall, and this is turned on by default if you haven't installed a firewall from another company.
    The Windows XP firewall is adequate, so you're well protected with it, but it has fewer features and options than for example ZoneAlarm.

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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Hi Hans; "Much Obliged", As we sometimes say in the UK instead of Thank You... for your helpful answer. Apart from the relatively brief time the [ BlackToppStudios,com ] help forum was available to which I submitted a few questions which were answered with not too much delay, by and large I groped around looking for answers but since I somehow stumbled on this forum I have been greatly impressed by the instant help everyone is so willing to provide, not least yourself. I am much more relaxed now I know the facts about a firewall being on my computer. It is now obvious to me that the shop owner was confident my machine was sufficiently protected as he knew I surfed the net frequently. Further to what you said Hans about the XP built in firewall and that it is lacking in some respects to Zone Alarm, would you recommend I download the latter, if so, I suppose I should deactivate the former before doing so but what is the procedure? Thanks in advance. S Fox.
    Dave
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  9. #9
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Dave,

    This is a hotly debated subject. What follows is my personal opinion, others may well disagree.

    I would keep the Windows XP firewall. It provides good protection when used in combination with an anti-virus program and anti-spyware software that is kept up-to-date. I may have no bells and whistles, but on the other hand it is very inobtrusive - you hardly ever notice it. I've used the Windows XP firewall for 4 years and never had a security problem.

    This is not meant to disparage ZoneAlarm - it's a fine product, used by millions of people. If you decide to download and install it, it should automatically turn off the Windows XP firewall. There should be no need for you to turn it off.

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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    ZoneAlarm gives you notification and control of outgoing Internet access that the Windows Firewall does not. Many people like that just in case they install something or are infected by some malware that wants to access the outside world. If you decide to install ZoneAlarm don't worry about the Windows Firewall as it will be automatically turned off by ZoneAlarm.

    Joe
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  11. #11
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Thank you both for your instant reply. In light of what you write Hans about having experienced no problems having relied on the XP firewall for four years I am inclined to heed the old saying, "If it's not broke, don't try to fix it". Must admit, apart from one incident recently when a warning alerted me to the presence of a Trojan Horse which was intercepted and neutralized, I have thankfully had no problems. I can only assume that the XP firewall has been doing it's job. Incidentally, I am with Virgin Media cable [formerly "Comcast"] which I understand also has some sort of firewall built into the system so perhaps it too is somehow running in the background! THANKS Dave.
    Dave
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    I once got infected by a rogue mailer virus. Zone Alarm flagged it when it tried to connect to the internet to send its mail, and gave me the opportunity to stop it sending. Since ZA gave me the program's name, I could also find out about it and how to get rid of it.

    The XP firewall is effective at preventing attacks from the outside, but third party Firewalls, (like Zone Alarm) let you choose whether a program running on your PC has outbound access to the internet - so you have more control about what information your PC sends out.

    Personally I find Zone Alarm to be very transparent; and easy access to the logs can help you work out what's going wrong if you have network problems.

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    I have to vote in the other way.
    I would install Zone Alarm Free and have it disable the Windows Firewall.

    As Hans said. Windows firewall is OK but not as good as it could be, as Joe mentioned.
    BOB
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    Edited by HansV to replace Word attachment with picture

    A thousand thanks to all who have responded to this thread since the beginning. It is obvious there are slight differences of opinion concerning the two but by and large it seems there is general agreement on the main point which is that Zone Alarm is certainly NOT in conflict with I.E. as the latter is "Pushed into the background" so to speak.
    As indicated, I have run with the present set up for many months and just last night did a "Shields-Up" scan and the results were [to say the least] most encouraging. (as shown) Conclusion; I just may download ZA and see how things go. Regards Dave.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: png x.png (12.6 KB, 0 views)
    Dave
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  15. #15
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    Re: Is Zone Alarm necessary

    The Windows XP firewall is very good at blocking unwanted access to your computer from outside.
    But, as noted in this thread, if your computer becomes infected with malware that sends information or e-mails from your computer to others, the Windows XP firewall does not protect you against that. It on;y monotors incoming traffic, not outgoing traffic.
    If you keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date, the probability of such an infection is very small, but if it happens, it is very unpleasant. That's why several people recommended ZoneAlarm - it monitors both directions.

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