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Last post Author Topic: Aghh -- they've done it again ... avoid Agnitum Outpost 4 (at least for now)  (Read 14362 times)

Carol Haynes

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Curt the biggest problems I have with Outpost 4 are almost constant system instability. This occurs even on a fresh install of Windows with only hardware drivers present. On my system this manifests itself as random reboots (no error logging just whoosh the system restarts) causing you to lose anything you were doing at the time, possible damage to anyfiles open and possible registry corruption if settings have not been updated fully at the time. This has even happened to me when I simpy click a hyperlink in Firefox !! Without Outpost the system is 100% stable - within minutes of installing I am suffering with these problems again.

Before you ask I don't seem to have any hardware that is malfunctioning or likely to be so whacky as to cause the issues: GeForce graphics, Soundblaster audio and a Hauppauge TV card + a few USB devices: Canon printer and scanner, Seagate USB hard disk and a USB keyboard.

Add to that a big system performance hit and the fact that I can't use my network storage at all with Outpost installed (even when it is not even running! I have tired disabling it from the tray and exiting it from the tray - plus I have made rules that allow every bit software, including DLLs, related to network storage have full network access and opened the port fully that Netgear suggest and it still doesn't work - no Outpost, no problems at all) and I think this version has some serious flaws.

I too have used it since version 2.5 and had similar issues when version 3 was released (as did most users). It does a company's reputation no good that the accepted advice is wait 6 months before installing any new release because their testing is so poor and each release is chock full of bugs and issues.

For me this is one step beyond the pale and Agnitum have lost a customer - particularly as they seem incapable of taking resposnsibilty in each release for the widely and well documented troubles they seem to cause.

Curt

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Curt the biggest problems I have with Outpost 4 are almost constant system instability.

Some troubles!! No wonder you're gone!  >:(

Lashiec

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A new review of firewalls could come along... The present one is not exactly comprehensive, and it mostly praises Outpost (no offense here, at the time of the review it was the best option considering all things implicated). And the firewall world suffered a convulsion after th ;D ;De Kerio and Sygate debacle... at that time I thought the only free alternative for the future would be ZoneAlarm, but then Sunbelt Software came forward, and people discovered Comodo and netVeda, and everything went for the best ;D

I'm waiting for the results of the test that Scot Finnie is conducting on his own computers. At some point in the future, maybe I would post some mini-reviews since finally it seems that I'm getting my new computer as a Christmas present... complete with an Internet connection! ;D, so the firewall is going to be a must, and probably I would test all free ones, and maybe some of the paid, like the same Outpost or the full version of ZoneAlarm. I'll keep you informed :D

mouser

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I finally upgraded to outpost v4, and some of the features are really nice.

However, it frequently eats up half my cpu cycles for no apparent reason and drags my computer to a virtual stand still.  not cool.  i've just about had it with outpost and i'm ready to find something else.

KenR

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I finally upgraded to outpost v4, and some of the features are really nice.

However, it frequently eats up half my cpu cycles for no apparent reason and drags my computer to a virtual stand still.  not cool.  i've just about had it with outpost and i'm ready to find something else.

Hey Jesse,

How long have you been using the software? I found it did this initially after install, but then stopped and did not do it again. I have been happily using it for some time without any problems. I am often in the process manager box and can tell you that most of the time it is using between 2-5% of cpu cycles. Maybe give it a while longer and see if things settle down.?

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Carol Haynes

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I have tried Outpost on 3 different computers - with different hardware on each and on all of them I get random reboots (ie. screen goes black and the next thing you see is the BIOS POST screen and windows starts up.). It is almost impossible to track this sort of problem down because there are no error messages or codes, and it invariably happens when you have been doing something for a couple of hours and have forgotten to save recently.

The only solution I have found is to uninstall Outpost and then my systems are rock solid.

Sentinel

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I'm fully paid up with Outpost for the next 3 years, but again, don't use it any more...  Which in itself should value what else I am about to say.  ;)

It really is a great firewall, despite the annoying quirks and limitations, but it seems the world is heading more towards HIPS.  After all, why have a firewall when you cannot trust what *you* are running?  Sadly the world of computing threats has adapted and changed whilst often big business has not - Who can expect anything else?

A firewall's significant strength is protecting you from outsiders.  As  threats have changed, firewalls have changed from doing what they are meant to do well, to doing that, plus all other protectative measures as a bolt-on.  From a firewall vendors viewpoint this makes sense, as they've already spent the time, effort and finance in ensuring their product does the job intended, then why not take that same core and add extra protection?

This in itself is no bad thing, but it is often out of the reach, application, remit and design methodology of the original firewall application.  This often leads to a frankenstein software model (I won't list any current products as pretty much all software firewall vendors are guilty of this), due to the misplaced nature of the true threat to the end user.

The unfortunate outcome is over half a dozen drivers (in the case of Outpost at the very least), that you cannot guarantee protection from, except from what comes into and goes out of your network via common methods, and a feeling of general bloatedness and slothfulness in your system coupled with general confusion and distain with all.  The sad thing is, if you haven't ever been compromised, but have seen the downside to apparent computer security then you may only a negative viewpoint to computer security as a whole from what you have experienced from your chosen firewall product.

Negative, yes?  But that's my opinion at least.  The modern firewall has a place and generally will protect you, but will you be happy with the price you have to pay in it doing so, considering it is far from a certainty?

Perhaps at this point I should recommend alternatives?  Yes I should, but this in itself shows just how far we have to go between the current Firewall and HIPS currently available.

If you really are interested in investigating the current HIPS available at the moment, the general concensus is that the following are the strongest available:-

http://www.proactive-hips.com/
http://www.syssafety.com/

If you have a hardware firewall between you and the Internet at present you may find no better means of security.  In the meantime it is sad to say that security if far from a certainty.



Designated "proofreading free" zone.

mouser

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Personally I love the basic approach of Outpost, and i just like almost everything about it and i think they've set the high bar in terms of logging, interface, etc.  I just wish they would concentrate a little more on stability and performance.