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Last post Author Topic: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?  (Read 23754 times)

mouser

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Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2005, 04:43:18 PM »
Hmmm ... I'll wait with bated breath to see if it worth changing after all ...

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2005, 03:44:58 AM »
Mouser, has this (and other issues) now been resolved in the new version ?

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2005, 03:51:44 AM »
according to the reply, and my further use, it seems to be a bug, and it seems like it's now back to normal.
however i recently had some trouble listening to some real media streams and it was caused by the new outpost v3.
if i had it to do all over again i probably would have stayed with version 2 for longer, v3 still seems a bit flakey to me.

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2005, 04:06:02 PM »
after a day of struggle and a few days of confusion, i have uninstalled v3, and made a frustrated and sad post to agnitum forum, you can read here:
http://outpostfirewa...?p=113723#post113723

i've also updated our review warning people not to buy v3:
http://www.donationc.../Firewall/index.html

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2005, 05:35:58 PM »
What are you using now then?

Presumably if version 3 has been released a point will come where earlier versions of OutPost will not be supported.

Is ZoneAlarm now the only real alternative?

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2005, 06:32:34 PM »
i went back to v2.5 for now, but i'm on the hunt for a better firewall, yet again.

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2005, 04:31:12 AM »
Keep us posted on what you find out ...

Trouble is I need to find a new one desperately too as Sygate dies today (I am waiting for the explosion)

m_s

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2005, 04:52:15 AM »
Hey, Carol: What about good old Kerio Personal Firewall...  It's got a few weeks left in it, and that should give you a window after Sygate's gone.  And chances are far into the future too.  A lot of people still swear by KPD 2.15.  I would rather use that than ZA.

I have been running Outpost 3 for awhile too, and it cause BSOD several times - with a documented conflict that they've still not fixed.  I now run it in background mode, and it's certainly a lot easier to wok with - i.e. it says a lot less.  Maybe I am less protected than I ought to be, especially since I have temporarily dumped Online Armor because it was just too intrusive...

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2005, 05:28:50 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion but I don't want to install Kerio for a month, try to work out how it works and then have to swap again to a new product. Sygate won't die instantly as of today. OK there won't be updates, but I have other security measures too and so I feel I have a few days to safely sort out a replacement.

Apart from ZoneAlarm (possible) & Norton/Symantec (which I don't want to go back to) are there any other contenders out there (that don't demand a degree in rocket science to use) ???

Anyone else got any suggestions?

m_s

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 05:37:08 AM »
Because I was looking for a good firewall for a Win 98 machine (which doesn't run KPF), I started this thread at Wilders Security - you might find some good advice there... http://www.wildersse...wthread.php?t=102806

(BTW, Kerio requires very little intervention - that's why I first chose it over ZA, which asks far too many questions.)

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 06:05:23 AM »
Article here http://www.consumers...walls/fullstory.html is interesting. Doesn't say anything radical but although it does require some configuartion ZA free version aquits itself well against the paid for versions.

Since I am also behind a hardware firewall I think for the time being I may give ZA firewall a try - at least it is free, and is reputed to be fairly secure.

The trouble is all the major players are now going down the bloatfest route ... Zone Alarm are really pushing their suite hard, but when you look at what it tries to do you begin to wonder what CPU time is required just to manage the security. Norton and McAfee seem to be universally slated these days, whilst Trend seems to be OK on the AV front no one seems to rate its suite.

It is interesting that Outpost came out well in that article as a standalone Firewall, but they were using version 2.

Out of curiosity is the old version of Outpost still being supported, or are they insisting that users update to version 3? If they are supporting version 2 I may contact them and ask for an older version until they iron out their current problems.

m_s

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2005, 06:13:21 AM »
The best support for Outpost is via their discussion boards - and it really is excellent.  I kept a copy of 2.7, so if you already have a license and find that it's hard to download, p.m. me and I could email it to you.

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror? + ZoneAlarm ...
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2005, 07:19:20 PM »
God what a nightmare ...

I have been playing for hours with ZoneAlarm Pro and the free version ...

Strike One ...

Free version - excellent firewall ... effective in the extreme ... one tiny problem, there was no way I could connect to the outside world at all. Didn't matter what I did nothing connected. Couldn't use the documentation (that was written for the Pro version and didn't work with the free version) ... the only documentation on how to set it up was online - but since I couldn't get online to read it .....

Strike Two

Pro version 15 day demo ... talk about unstable! I might give Oupost 3 a try it can't be worse than that!!! At least it configured itself sufficiently to allow an internet connection, but it installed two processes that combined to use over 90% of CPU time permanently (even when no other programs were loaded), the number of popups for non-firewall related stuff was completely intolerable and pushed the system to instability. On four occasions I had to hit the reset button just to get control back of my system.

Strike Three - its gone

No way I'm having that crap on my system.

At the moment I am using the Windows XP SP2 built in firewall. It passes the security response tests at symantec fully so I'll use it until I can find something worth installing.

Zone Alarm have really lost the plot in my opinion. I downloaded the Firewall (not the suite) but it is so busy trying to do spyware detection and monitor your system for unusual activity (like running programs - not just accessing the internet) and a myriad of other unwanted/unneeded stuff that it really isn't worth installing. Add to that horrendous stability problems ....

Some one somewhere must produce a decent maintained firewall product ... surely ???

m_s

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2005, 03:45:49 AM »
Here's a link to ZA 5.5 (hosted on a PC World site) - version 6 has received a huge amount of criticism, 5 was much better (and is the version with which I am most familiar): http://www.pcworld.c...d=7228&fileidx=1

Non-ZA: try Netveda too - that seems pretty good... 

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2005, 04:09:54 AM »
I agree. Like all things tainted and twisted by money, ZoneAlarm's formerly superior software has become bloatware designed only to part people from their hard earned money.

Most people don't need anything more than the built in XP firewall. As of SP2, XP offers some protection against unauthorized outbound traffic, but if there were to be anything people might need in combination with XP, its what ZoneAlarm used to be -- a tight little outbound traffic monitor. 

Oh.. and for those people still running anything but XP (or server 2003), please don't reply saying 'what about people who aren't running XP?'. If you aren't running XP, its time to upgrade. Get over your fear of change and just do it.

Anyway.. Creating a very simple one wouldn't be so difficult at all. Making it secure, compatible, and user-friendly would, however, be a daunting task.

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2005, 06:35:55 AM »
When I had calmed down enough to think rationally (and not want to hit anything) I tried again with ZA.

It is now running pretty well (I even got the free version working).

Oddly if you install the free version first and then allow it to upgrade to the full version it doesn't seem to switch on all the bells and whistles. Leaving them switched off seems to leave a decent firewall.

I think I will leave it until the end of the 15 day trial and then just use the free version, at least for the time being. I don't spend hours tweaking my firewall anyway so the basic free version should do the trick.

GBark

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2005, 08:52:05 PM »
                                          CAUTION: long post ahead.

Mouser,

Today I decided to check out any recent updates to the Outpost Pro firewall review page and your red warning text hit me like an old Hai Karate slap! I was going to immediately slam out a scathing reply; or at least fire off a long defensive post. Fortunately I decided to follow your links to the OPP forums (where I'm a long time reader and occasional poster) and find out what happened to change your position. After all, I too have been using OP since the OP Free days and your sudden change of heart caught me way off guard.

I read your posts over at the OPP forums and the followups and then checked out the rest of the posts here. (I was beginning to calm down somewhat.) Then I factored in the other posts at the OPP forum that I've followed over the past 4-6 months (since version 3.x was released.) I don't read every thread, but I'd say probably75% make it to my eyes.

I say all that - to say that I do think that you may (I say MAY) be overstating the situation. I use OPP v3.0.543.5722 (431) running under WinME and, yes, I have some problems with the current version but nothing like BSOD's or the like. Many (most?) posters at the OPP forums run XP and have been able to get OPP to run acceptably well with a little (lot?) tweaking.

What I'm saying is that perhaps you could clarify your statement. OPP is really not for the ZoneAlarm Free type of user. I know the promos claim it works "Out of the box" and all, and I suppose it does, usually, but it really shines for people that like to "get their hands a little dirty" by refining the various system and application rules. The recent addition of the "quick-tune" plug-in and the anti-spyware plug-in do smack of ZoneAlarm's propensity for bloat, but they and any/all of the plug-ins can be turned off without any cost to system stability or resources.

I believe that most users that are willing to dig into the myriad of settings, rules options, plug-ins and the like can, (with the most excellent help of the OPP forum admins and users) get an OPP installation that will be second to none in inbound/outbound security and configurability.

Granted, there are some  hardware/software combinations that just don't work out, but is that so surprising when one factor is  as low-level as a software firewall must be? Given the simple fact that there exists such a large and ever-growing, very dedicated, OPP user following (despite Agnitum's direct support being quite possibly the worst in the industry) is direct evidence that the program is worth some effort.

Well, I guess I still ended up with a long and somewhat defensive post, but certainly different than the one I started to write. At any rate, I hope your having taken the bold step of such a recommendation will impact Agnitum in a positive way. I respect you tremendously for having taken the time to post your concerns and an explanation in a calm and reasonable way on both this forum and over at the OPP forums. I know the mods there value your input and candor.

There's certainly no doubt that OPP could be greatly improved and perhaps your involvement will help in some way. Meanwhile here's hoping that anyone who wants to "give it a go" will stop by the OPP forums (linkto:"http://www.outpostfirewall.com/forum"). They make the effort a lot easier!

Sorry for the long post. Keep up the great work here!
The more you know, the more you need to know more; ya know?

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2005, 09:09:22 PM »
GBark thank you as well for your thoughtful and reasonable comments.

i've softened a bit since that post and i did add that big red warning in the heat of anger.  i think you grasped my motivations for keeping that warning up there, and that's the hope that somehow someone in agnitum will see it and start to take seriously the need to make some changes to their current approach, and start to take stability and bugfixing more seriously.  for a security app it's extremely troubling that they seem to have such a cavalier attitude about fixing bugs.  that troubles me greatly.  if not for that user run forum i wouldn't go near the program.

having said that, i have always been a huge fan of outpost - the user interface and the design approach.  and i've really been a cheerleader for it, which is partly what makes me feel like i have somewhat of a right to be hard on them when i think they are heading down a dangerous path.  i don't want them to go the way of kerio and tiny and keep adding features before the previous ones are stable.

I *DO* still recommend people try outpost - if it works well for you for a week or so, then go for it.  but i don't feel like i can recommend people buy it until i see some progress on their part at devoting some more attention to bugfixing.

if agnitum is listening, and want some advice here's some concrete suggestions:
1) put up a public bugtracker or at least list of known bugs and state clearly an intent to fix them in a timely fashion.
2) have official paid agnitum support personell interact on the forum - task them with collecting problems users have.
3) commit to making a stable and secure program first, and adding extras like spyware and antivirus code second.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 09:11:13 PM by mouser »

GBark

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2005, 10:16:09 PM »
Mouser,

I think we're really on the same page here. Agnitum direct support is truly abysimal. The forum is what makes the program useable. If I wern't such a glutton for punishment, and desirous of a secure system, I'd never have stayed long enough to make it work.

I think your suggestions are exactly what Agnitum needs to do to effect a turn-around in what's left of their public image. They should have done those things years ago. They are, like aliens or something. Maybe Moulder was right; the truth is out there, but you really have to work to find it.

My license recently expired and I don't plan to renew until I read several week's worth of reviews whenever the next update is released. If they haven't fixed a lot of the known (some from several versions back) problems I'll probably just stay with version 3.0.543.5722 (431).  :-\

Ya know, I don't remember having these headaches with my Osborn-1 and it's CP/M operating system.  ;)
The more you know, the more you need to know more; ya know?

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2005, 12:10:02 AM »
Quote
Ya know, I don't remember having these headaches with my Osborn-1 and it's CP/M operating system.

 ;D

GBark

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2005, 09:33:45 PM »
Mouser, and others watching for Outpost updates,

Agnitum has releasedv3.0 (557/437) of OutPost Pro. I plan to give it a few weeks before I renew my subscription and upgrade, but the OutPost Forums seem to be running largely in favor of the upgrade.

Of particular note is the fix to the problem of the rules wizard's custom rule dialog not automatically entering the IP of the requested host. I understand that the IP is, once again, provided in the suggested rule. There are lots of other minor fixes and the like and I'd suggest a visit to the forums to watch the proceedings.

The main page for the  forum is: http://www.outpostfirewall.com/forum/ The announcements thread has a changelog of sorts and is a good place to start.

I sure hope Agnitum has taken the reports of the previous release's ills to heart and made some serious fixes.
The more you know, the more you need to know more; ya know?

mouser

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2005, 09:40:09 PM »
Quote
Of particular note is the fix to the problem of the rules wizard's custom rule dialog not automatically entering the IP of the requested host. I understand that the IP is, once again, provided in the suggested rule.


i noted this as well - definitely a good thing to have fixed (i actually posted about this problem a while ago on the outpost forum when i noticed it originally).  was a bad bug and it's good that it's fixed.

on the downside:
agnitum is still not releasing version histories, it's like a gossip mill trying to figure out what is new in each version - BAD SHOW  :down:

Carol Haynes

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2005, 09:44:23 PM »
it's like a gossip mill trying to figure out what is new in each version - BAD SHOW  :down:

Maybe they don't know what's new in each release - they obviously don't seem to try it out before each release otherwise errors like the IP bug would have been spotted on day 1.

Zeph

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Re: agnitum outpost v3 - the horror?
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2005, 11:46:18 AM »
Quote
agnitum is still not releasing version histories, it's like a gossip mill trying to figure out what is new in each version
Actually, they do provide a changelog, they just don't seem to provide a link anywhere on their site to get to it, I can't find one anyway.
Try googling 'outpost firewall changelog' and voila, it finds this. http://agnitum.com/p.../outpost/history.php

Why they don't put a link somewhere easy to find is anyones guess though. :-p

Quote
i went back to v2.5 for now
If you want to stay with the v2.x branch, I can recommoned v2.7, it's the best version of outpost I think. It's a real shame they didn't do a v2.8 that would have been much better than heading down the bloatware path, even if they do provide the option to disable the AS stuff.

Quote
i'm on the hunt for a better firewall
Have you tried Ghostwall? http://www.ghostsecu...x.php?page=ghostwall

It doesn't have any bells & whistles, just a lean & mean firewall, nothing else. Plus it's freeware too, which is nice. I use it on a old system I have which is low on resources. It's worth a try if your still hunting. ;)
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« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 11:51:19 AM by Zeph »