Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 32
  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts

    Tried a couple of free firewalls, went back to Win 7 firewall

    After reading about strenghts and weaknesses and reading reviews, I decided to try a couple of 3rd party firewall apps to replace the Win 7 firewall. I download Comodo Security Suite free edition and PC Tools Firewall Plus free edition. I chose these 2 because of various reviews. I could have tried a couple of others, but decided these were representative of the large group of 3rd party firewalls presently available.

    It seemed that after installing the above apps (they were installed and tested one at a time, remember 2 different Security Apps of the same type should not be run at the same time in real time), I started having problems with some of the other apps on my PC. Both replaced and disabled the Win 7 firewall by default. PC Tools Firewall Plus is just a firewall, Whereas the Comodo product is a suite, although you can install any or all of 3 different apps. If the entire suite is installed, it intergrates nicely with all 3 apps working together.

    I started to immediately have problems with my Filehippo Update Checker. This is an app I use a lot along with Secunia PSI to update the various apps on my PC. SIW free edition also started having problems updating.

    Long story short, I uninstalled both. Let me state I'm glad I created an Up To Date Image just prior to this test. Because of the various problems I was having, I finally restored from my Image to quickly get back to where I was. This is another time when Imaging saved my bacon.

    Bottom line is that the Win 7 firewall is a very good app that integrates with the OS well and just works unobtrusively in the background. As I have said, I like to try different things with my PC and this was just another example of my "playing" with my PC.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    3,462
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 216 Times in 183 Posts
    Hi Ted, great minds think alike. I had been using Online Armor Free, it was flagged by Action Center that both were turned OFF but only after a few minutes of starting my Laptop, plus it also gave an error in Event Viewer as being slow to start.
    I'm now on the newly released version of ZoneAlarm, it has not displayed a pop up asking permission since it was installed a few days ago. Highly recommended.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by tedshemyers View Post
    I started to immediately have problems with my Filehippo Update Checker. This is an app I use a lot along with Secunia PSI to update the various apps on my PC. SIW free edition also started having problems updating.
    Was it difficult to "allow" these programs to access the internet? It should be a one-time update (assuming the typical firewall design).

  4. #4
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    3,462
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 216 Times in 183 Posts
    On my Win7 Home Prem PC's, I could not get Filehippo Updater to work if installed so I'm using the Portable version.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    The allow was not difficult, but I kept getting errors conecting to the server. Even uninstalling, reinstalling FileHippo Update Checker did not solve the problem. Because I had a couple of different firewalls to try I did not do a lot of t/s, just restored from Image and went on. My feeling is these apps should be unobtrusive and just block nasties. I should not have to massage my apps to work with the firewall, period. If I do, then it just does not work for me. Several times I had to "allow" the app as a trusted app more than once even though I told the app to remember my choice. Going through the options, especially on Comodo was a daunting task. I guess I just lost my patience since the Win 7 firewall does not require this level of user intervention.

    The update just never seemed to happen. I had to uninstall / reinstall the newer version and then there was 3 instances of the allow in Comodo. Just too much effort for my likes.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,398 Times in 1,221 Posts
    I don't think Windows firewall keeps tabs on programs in a way to determine if a program changes, as the best of 3rd party firewalls do. This is a mechanism to stop rogue apps from impersonating legitimate ones and that usually requires some sort of user intervention. Some firewalls do keep dictionaries of program signatures and if the program signature is present, no user intervention needs to be required, depending on how you configure the firewall.
    You also need to consider that many 3rd party firewalls are really HIPS, so different permissions need to be handled. Additionally to the permission to connect to the network, you will have permissions to simply run - and this permission may extend not only to the executable, but also to components the program may use, such as DLLs.

    So, with these 3rd party apps, you get a lot more than with the simple Windows firewall. It's reasonable to expect a bit more work to configure it and run it. However, after an initial period where such efforts are required, soon it can get almost as non intrusive as with the Windows firewall. As I said before, I run a paid version of Online Armor. Literally weeks go by without any input required by me. Even when adding new programs, permission for them to be executed is, in most cases, given by dictionary.

    I never ran my systems without a 3rd party firewall. Used NIS, ZoneAlarm and 2 years ago, after a really bad ZA period, I went with Online Armor. I won't go without it, now, and I would never trade the security and control I have over what runs in my PCs and connects to the net, for the "incommunicado" Windows firewall. OA also runs on my wife's laptop and she is no computer expert. She has no troubles running it. The version I run also uses malware sigs from OA's manufacturer (Emsisoft) to check any unknown files, only when they try to run. This allows me to have OA plus another AV app (usually MSE, but also Vipre, depending on the computer in question) checking anything that runs on my PCs, for a double layer of security. As we all know, nothing is assured by this, but it has worked quite well for me and I do get some peace of mind from this setup.
    Last edited by ruirib; 2011-04-23 at 19:49. Reason: corrected types and errors (without was written as with!)

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to ruirib For This Useful Post:

    Medico (2011-04-22)

  8. #7
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    3,462
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 216 Times in 183 Posts
    Hi rui, do you get any entries in 'Event Viewer' about slow start up of your OA FW, or 'Action Center' when starting your PC ? See post #2
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #8
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,398 Times in 1,221 Posts
    Hi RR,

    I never had any issues with the Action Center. I was a member of the beta team for OA for a while, until the software changed owners, and while I was there, I remember some users complaining about it. I can't remember, but I think that had a solution.

    No regular startup issues with OA. My events log has a lot of complaints about lots of apps, but mainly for shutdown. Checking it, there was a log record about OA on the 1st of April and that was a single situation - I have rebooted the PC a few times since then and no more event logs about it.

    OA is now on version 5.0. The new version came out about a week or so (at least I got it then), so maybe give it a try. I know, from my previous beta team experience, that some users never managed to get OA running properly. Those were a very small minority, but it did happen.

    Regards

    Rui

  10. #9
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    3,462
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 216 Times in 183 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post

    OA is now on version 5.0. The new version came out about a week or so (at least I got it then), so maybe give it a try. I know, from my previous beta team experience, that some users never managed to get OA running properly. Those were a very small minority, but it did happen.

    Regards

    Rui
    Hi Rui, it was the latest version I tried (Free) On other times I tried it, it would not install correctly, but this time I turned my AV (Avira) OFF, and although it did work, I got issues as described.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  11. #10
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,398 Times in 1,221 Posts
    Hi RR,

    Well, I am sorry for that. If you want to, Emsisoft's support forum has some nice, knowledgeable members, so a visit may be worthy.

  12. #11
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    3,462
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 216 Times in 183 Posts
    Hi Rui, will stay with new ZoneAlarm even though its 'Web Engine' is not compatible with FFox. I'm well protected without it.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  13. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I have downloaded the free version of Online Armor and am presently experimenting with it. So far seems more well behaved that the others I tried. Will continue and let everyone know how things work out.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #13
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,398 Times in 1,221 Posts
    Hi RR,

    We all have very different setups, so we just go with what we feel is better for each of us .

    Regards

    Rui

  15. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    The version I run also uses malware sigs from OA's manufacturer (Emsisoft) to check any unknown files, only when they try to run. This allows me to have OA plus another AV app (usually MSE, but also Vipre, depending on the computer in question) checking anything that runs on my PCs, for a double layer of security. As we all know, nothing is assured by this, but it has worked quite well for me and I do get some peace of mind from this setup.
    Do you have the Online Armor Premium or the Online Armor ++ version? I suspect the Online Armor ++ version as this is the version that includes AV/AM.

    I am very impressed so far with the Online Armor firewall and am considering getting a paid version. I do run MSE AV/AM and am pleased with it. Do you mean that Online Armor and MSE both run AV apps on your PC in real time without conflicts? I can get 2 each one year licenses for the ++ version for $95 USD. Does anyone know of a less expensive price?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  16. #15
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,398 Times in 1,221 Posts
    Hi Ted,

    I have the OA ++ version. Online Armor does not run a realtime AV app, that monitors files in real time, as they are being downloaded or accessed, except when they are executed. When a file is executed, OA ++ checks it to see if it is allowed to execute and when checking that, it uses the Emsisoft malware signatures. So, you do have two apps running in real time, but one is the OA HIPS and the other is whatever AV app you choose to use. On my desktop I use MSE, on my laptop I use Vipre, as AV apps. No problems at all, OA is very light on resources, most of the time. The first time you try to run something, it will take a bit more time to pop up the window that asks for permission for the app to run (and to connect to the network, since they are distinct permissions).
    You can also use OA++ to periodically scan the disk. That behavior is similar to regular AV apps.

    Have you checked the 3-Pack 1 year license? It's currently at 41.50 euros, which is about 60 USD. Sounds a lot cheaper than $95. In euros, right now, two 1 year licenses cost 45 euros, which is still a lot less than 95 USD. Where are you getting those prices from?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •