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Thread: Free Firewall

  1. #1
    Flatspin
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    Free Firewall

    I have a cable modem so when the computers on, I'm connected. This isn't bragging, it means I have to be serious about security. If the computers on, I'm at risk.

    Someone suggested that I try Zone Alarm and I've been really glad I did. First of all, it's free for personal use. Second of all, it works.

    There is a Pro version (pay version) available, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the channel doesn't it?

    You can download it at the following address.
    http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/partners/zo...m/download.html

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  3. #2
    Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    I too have installed ZoneAlarm and found that it is all good. Not only does it protect against intrusions from the outsid it allows you to control what applications send data out. A highly recomended piece of software.

  4. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Zone Alarm is THE firewall for personal computers. I replaced my paid Black Ice (also highly rated) with the free Zone Alarm.

  5. #4
    ril
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    Re: Free Firewall

    I've also heard good things about Tiny firewall, but I have yet to try it.

    (And I think there is a new one called Guardian that looks interesting.)

  6. #5
    Flatspin
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    Re: Free Firewall

    I used to run both Black Ice and Zone Alarm, along with four or five other security related apps. One day I realized that three quarters of the icons in my tray were protection related. I recently read an article in The Langalist that said that in an independent test, Zone Alarm was the ONLY one that had passed, even my Black Ice had failed [img]/w3timages/icons/spook.gif[/img]. I got rid of half of what was in my tray and things run faster now[img]/w3timages/icons/yikes.gif[/img].

    One suggestion I'd like to offer as far as specific settings for ZA, do <font color=red>NOT</font color=red> let your mail app or browser automatically connect to the internet. This should help prevent the spread of Melissa type viruses. If you e-mail program wants to spontaneously send mail out of the blue, it has to ask you first. If mine tried, I'd say <font color=red>NO</font color=red> and start investigating what was going on.

  7. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Hi Shawn:

    I hadn't tried that (making my email client ask each time) for Zone Alarm. When you use that option, do you have to click OK every time you send an email or just once per online session?

    Thanks,

  8. #7
    ileacy
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    Re: Free Firewall

    I have been using ZA for some time. I have only run into two problems with the latest release (2.1.44).

    1)You have to sometimes delete known programs several times before they really go away. Found this out when I was cleaning up the other day and realized there were a few programs on the list that either were out of date or I was not sure what they were.

    2)I have to completely "Shutdown ZoneAlarm" to use my free backup ISP, NetZero.

    Otherwise, this program is a must use. And FREE for PERSONAL use.

  9. #8
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Have to agree. Downloaded at your suggestion and it works great. Lots of options. Seems quite stable. The price is right [img]/w3timages/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  10. #9
    Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    A good site to check out if you are interested in learning more about your vunerability while on the web is grc.com. The host Steve Gibson supplies information on protecting your system as well as a number of *free* downloads to test your firewall as well as check your system for previous breachces. Well worth a visit.

  11. #10
    ileacy
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Agreed. One of the best practical security sites on the web. And his online probes are continuously updated.

  12. #11
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    And didn't most of us get ZA on his advice in the first place. [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  13. #12
    ril
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Not that I have anything against ZA (it's great!), but winmag.com just posted a review of the Tiny firewall (free for personal use). They really liked it.

    I haven't seen a head-to-head comparison of ZA and Tiny yet. That should be interesting.

  14. #13
    Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Thanks for this info - just become permanently connected too and was a bit worried. Excellent find. (Took only 18 seconds to down load with my new ADSL connection!!)
    Veronica

  15. #14
    race1
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Phil:

    As a long time BID user, I'd be very interested in why you prefer ZA to it. After visiting grc a couple of months ago, I thought about switching - sounds like you have.

    Just wondering why...

    Thanks

  16. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Free Firewall

    Hi race1:
    A couple of reasons. The primary reasons I switched are that everything I read indicated that it was the preferred firewall. I tested it at a few sites (gibson & another) & it passed with flying colors. It also doesn't notify me every 10 minutes that someone's trying to hack in. I found it easy to use & configure.

    Black Ice force loaded itself at startup. I was able to get a cure for that (a batch file in the startup directory). At the time, it bothered me. Recently, however, I read a reason for that. There was an article re ZA in Langalist (but I don't recall what issue) that indicated there could be a loophole, if a virus was able to turn off ZA. Apparently, that can potentially happen with any firewall that doesn't start at bootup.

    I don't have anything against BID; it's highly rated. But ZA puts all my ports in stealth mode.

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