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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Firewall (Windows XP)

    I use Windows XP and connect to the WWW using a dial-up modem. I have set up the firewall that comes with Windows XP to "protect" (I hope) my computer. Do I need any other firewall protection, like McAfee, etc.? The McAfee subscription expires in a month and I do not want to renew if it is not necessary. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    Yes, turn OFF the MS firewall and get yourself a real firewall.
    I use the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> versiom of ZoneAlarm, http://www.zonelabs.com, which others will recommend other names.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    Give McAfee away and buy Zone Alarm Pro ,it is excellent

  4. #4
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    I'll be one to argue vehemently with the "excellence" of ZoneAlarm, I have had numerous problems with it. I prefer Sygate Personal Firewall, which is not as pretty, but has been far more stable. Outpost is also an excellent product.
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    I use Norton (somebody had to mention the other main contender <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> )

    As with the other responses, I would not recommend using XP's built in offering. You will find opinion on each firewall is extremely varied. For example I have seen reviews that recommend McAfee but you will find many people (and quite a few of these are loungers) would not recommend it at all. Having said that the ones recommended are all good firewalls, with the dislikes and criticisms people have often relating to the interface, ease of use and being able to adapt it suit their needs.

    All of the firewalls mentioned in this thread offer greater protection that XP's built in firewall, so whatever one you choose, be it Zonealarm, Sygate, Outpost or Norton you will be getting much better protection.

  6. #6
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    You need to have installed at least the following:
    * a decent firewall (NOT the XP ICF firewall, which only protects in the incoming direction)
    * an antivirus program, and ensure that it is updated very regularly
    * a good selection of anti-spyware, anti-browser-hijacking, anti-ActiveX-abuse, anti-advertisement, and so on, software, also updated regularly (KenK's <!post=starpost,296439>starpost<!/post> gives an excellent list)

    Yes, it is a complete pain, but that's where we are, nowadays...

    John
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    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    I have found that EZ Firewall is a DIRECT CLONE of Zone ALarm Pro. It even uses some of the Zone Alarm files if you change over from Zone Alarm to EZ Firewall. Whatever the connection between Zone Labs & eTrust is I'm not sure, but the programs ARE identical.

    The EZ Armor prog is what MS supplies with the free SP1 security CD they are offerring.
    BOB
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  8. #8
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    After tossing a coin, I followed advice and downloaded a free firewall: Sygate Personal Firewall. It comes with poor instructions (in my humble opinion), so I have a heck of a time figuring out what the heck it is doing! Several times, I have received alarms that someone is scanning my computer ports. One time, I did a "back trace" and found it was from a computer associated with my web provider. I wrote to them, admitting my question was quite ignorant, and voiced my concern. No reply from them. Why would their computer have to scan my computer ports to the point that the firewall announced an alarm?
    Thank you for any help you can give!

  9. #9
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    Thanks to all for all the suggestions and recommendations. I am not using McAfee anymore because I am tired of battling the "ActiveX is missing" messages. I don't even know what ActiveX is.

    I have been trying eTrust EZ Firewall (www.my-etrust.com), but it is quite intimidating and comes with an insufficient, bare bones tutorial. They do offer a free one-year subscription. I could not download the full free offer (eTrust EZ Armor), so chose to download only the firewall. From my clueless perspective, it appears to be a good product.

    Trying to remove EZ Firewall and McAfee made a BIG mess of my computer and I don't know much about registries, and other facets of the Windows components. Which leads to another question I'll ask in another forum.

    I appreciate so much suggestions for firewall/antivirus software. I hope to find something free! :-)

  10. #10
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    If, by web provider, you mean your ISP it's easy to understand that there will be constant interaction between your computer and your ISP. You probably have your email software set to check your mail at periodic intervals and in addition, when you're logged on either by dialup or broadband, the ISP is gonna "check to see that you're still there." So yes, you need to tell the firewall software that the IP addresses of your ISP are OK and give them permission to send packets back and forth. The first thing to do is add the primary and secondary DNS IP numbers of your ISP to your "trusted" list.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    I'm using Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro. I had planned to test Sygate afterwards, but got tired to changing products every 30 days. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I suggest you set the alarm option to simply log it and not bother you. As long as your firewall throws away incoming packets that were not sent in response to your request, you should be fine. Unless your ISP responds that you need to accept those packets, you probably don't need to change a thing. Of course, if you suddenly find that you cannot connect, more drastic action might be required.

  12. #12
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    Re: Firewall (Windows XP)

    Thanks to all for all the help! I grew weary of Sygate's alarming me and switched to Zone Alarm. It seems less stressful for the "clueless." <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

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