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loginandtonic

Do You Use A Free Firewall? Which Do You Recommend?

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I don't know if its the best but I've been using Zonealarm for ages and its never let me down.

I tried Commodo once and found it hard to configure, that might just have been me being thick.

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which would you say is best among the freebies ?

Been running AVG and Zone alarm for years without issue, but I'm reasonably savvy on internet threats....

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I use Iolo System Mechanic. It isn't free (about £20 a year), but it's an all-in-one firewall/antivirus/system maintenance utilities package that has always worked well for me and doesn't tie up a huge amount of memory.

I tried Commodo once and found it hard to configure, that might just have been me being thick.

My PC has four operating systems, bootable from separate partitions (Vista 32-bit, 64-bit, Ubuntu 64-bit and a 'Hackintosh' Mac OS installation), and I can't use Iolo on the XP installation because they don't do a 64-bit version of the firewall. So I use Comodo for that. If you put it into installation mode before installing new software the multiple warnings will stop for the duration. Took a little bit of work in the first few days until it learnt what net traffic was legit and what wasn't, but after that no problem.

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I use Sygate. I authorise manually every new outbound connection. Sygate doesn't exist anymore but you can pick the software up of warez forums.

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Guest Fedup

Might be too late to the party, but I like Comodo the best. It was the only one that allowed a fine enough granularity of control.

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You do know wireless routers tend to include a built in firewall? Unless you think you might get a program thats trying to connect from your pc out theres no real need for one.

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You do know wireless routers tend to include a built in firewall? Unless you think you might get a program thats trying to connect from your pc out theres no real need for one.

If you're posting for me, no I didnt know, thx. That would stop malicious software trying to send info from a computer? I think you're saying it wouldn't, thats not a bit of protection I'd want to lose. I don't have a router btw.

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Zonealarm is far too bloated these days. I'd recommend Comodo, but get version 2.4 rather than the latest one which has also become bloated and slow. 2.4 will do the job unobtrusively.

thats exactly what i was thinking and looking on the features list for the free version i couldn't understand why

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thats exactly what i was thinking and looking on the features list for the free version i couldn't understand why

I suspect because 'free versions' are actually the whole package but with some functions disabled rather than less actual code.

That {the firewall built into an ADSL modem/router} would stop malicious software trying to send info from a computer? I think you're saying it wouldn't, thats not a bit of protection I'd want to lose. I don't have a router btw.

It wouldn't. All it would stop is an unsolicited attempt to gain access to your computer from the outside world. If your computer makes a request to send personal details out, download malware etc. (e.g. because a malware programme is already running), a router firewall won't stop that, hence the need for firewall software running on the PC itself.

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I suspect because 'free versions' are actually the whole package but with some functions disabled rather than less actual code.

ah, interesting!

It wouldn't. All it would stop is an unsolicited attempt to gain access to your computer from the outside world. If your computer makes a request to send personal details out, download malware etc. (e.g. because a malware programme is already running), a router firewall won't stop that, hence the need for firewall software running on the PC itself.

thx, i will probably download comodo 2.4 as its only 8mb and hopefully wont keep nagging me for updates

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Zone alarm was once the only firewall that monitored any changes to the main executable program file - non of the others performed such a check which IMO is just dangerous! Have they caught up yet?

I tried Comodo and hated it! Didn't seem to want to learn which programs I trusted etc. so went back to Zonealarm.

Also something that works alongside firewall and antivirus is Noscript for Firefox. Pain at first but really worth it in the long run!

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Sorry to stick my nose into this thread but it's made me think..

We pay about £50 a year for Bullguard for my pc as we get quite a lot of TV via torrentz. They also back up my files.

Bearing in mind we're not very computer savvie, is that £50 a year I could save really easily?

Thanks in advance.

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It depends on your definition of 'easily'.

If you regularly visit dodgy websites that try to install malware, there are safeguards you can take: configuring a firewall to block certain port numbers, disabling HTML executables in web pages, running your browser as a restricted user, etc. etc. But you need to know a little bit at least about what you're doing. As for backing up, an online storage service has the pro that it's in a geographically separate location, but the con that you're giving your data to Bullguard: you've only got their word for it that they won't datamine it for information for marketing purposes, or even worse. My own backup procedure is to copy all my documents to a physically separate hard drive within my PC every 2-3 days ('My Documents' is around 180gb in my case, so it takes a while), and to a 320gb portable hard drive every Sunday, which sits in my office drawer at the university throughout the week and in the garage (a physically separate building about 100 yards from the house) during the weekend, apart from the time taken to run the backup. So if my flat burns down, there is always a copy of my really important data somewhere else.

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