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Last post Author Topic: Best free firewall for Windows?  (Read 162644 times)

nosh

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #100 on: January 27, 2008, 11:37:48 PM »
I'm stuck with Sygate 5.5  :mad: - Someone pointed out the latest version in this thread but it doesn't let me upgrade. Won't even do a clean uninstall... I can remove it manually and install another firewall but not Sygate... it's slightly frustrating coz my OCD is kicking in but it was heartening to hear what Lashiec had to say...

Quote
Gothi[c] told me a while ago in DC's IRC channel that he uses Sygate to firewall one of his computers. Being a server administrator, I guess his opinion is one not to be taken lightly.

Also things seem to be working fine and I have a few advanced rules and a home network that was a real pain to set up right so there are a lot of disincentives for trying something new.

ciderman

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #101 on: January 28, 2008, 05:04:13 AM »
I installed Online Armor (free) earlier... Well, all is well... No noticeable slowdowns, all seems to be good. CPU (depending on network activity) and RAM usage are a bit higher than Comodo 3, but it seems to be worth it.

I'll keep testing it, of course, but it's looking good. It's detected every single dll injection etc. on my computer (compared to 0 detection with comodo "basic installation", without defense+).  :Thmbsup:

I am using Online-Armor AV+ V2 and i am also lucky to be a beta tester. I have used Online-Armor for over a year. It s getting better all the time and development is quick. They really listen to their users, especially Mike Nash who is the front man. Online-Armor is one of the easiest firewalls i have ever used or tried. It is pretty much set it and forget it.
Something to think about: "Pain is your friend, it lets you know that you are still alive"

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #102 on: January 28, 2008, 08:24:34 AM »
Hmm... I've grabbed the last release of Sygate (5.6xxx) from the link provided and am debating what to do  :huh: PC Tools is working "fine" and with the most minimal footprint I've yet "enjoyed" in a firewall - I guess it's time to investigate further the dll issue...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #103 on: January 28, 2008, 11:10:44 AM »
Hmm... I've grabbed the last release of Sygate (5.6xxx) from the link provided and am debating what to do  :huh: PC Tools is working "fine" and with the most minimal footprint I've yet "enjoyed" in a firewall - I guess it's time to investigate further the dll issue...

If outbound protection is important for you, then pc tools is probably not the right... tool (check http://www.matousec....hp#firewalls-ratings ... I know, I know, it's not the bible, but I prefer to have a firewall that rates excellent or more and passes the tests!...). But it might be fine otherwise.

I am using Online-Armor AV+ V2 and i am also lucky to be a beta tester. I have used Online-Armor for over a year. It s getting better all the time and development is quick. They really listen to their users, especially Mike Nash who is the front man. Online-Armor is one of the easiest firewalls i have ever used or tried. It is pretty much set it and forget it.

after +12 h I'm still really satisfied. I checked all the software on my PC that were slowed down with Comodo and they're now fine with Online Armor... Maybe this is it!!!! If only Online Armor Free could be the "one"...  ;)

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2008, 03:41:46 PM »
Hmm... thanks for the link, Armando. Bummed. Looks like I'll be putting Online-Armor Free through its paces now...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2008, 06:11:40 PM »
Update - first two hours with OnlineArmor have been a bit rocky but it has settled down now. First reboot was a long, protracted, and frankly worrisome affair. I haven't repeated that part of the experiement yet but hope that now that OA has configured itself it won't be so bad. Will report back tomorrow - if present level of resource usage and "intrusiveness" is representative of how its going to behave, I can happily live with it.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nosh

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2008, 07:32:50 PM »
Here's an interesting/amusing read... someone who has a lot of contempt for software firewalls.
http://samspade.org/d/firewalls.html

BTW, Jetico has done well in the leak test posted by Armando and also at another online test I saw... may be worth considering.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2008, 08:01:23 PM »
Is it me or are lots of people really paranoid? It strikes me that some of the multiple solutions hinted at above would leave systems running at such a snail pace that it might be simpler to simply unplug from the internet and still have a faster surfing experience!  :wallbash: :rip:

lanux128

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #108 on: January 28, 2008, 08:26:51 PM »
Here's an interesting/amusing read... someone who has a lot of contempt for software firewalls.

interesting indeed but i wonder when was it written? anyway, nice quote..

Quote from: article
If you'll feel safer sleeping at night knowing there's a 'personal firewall' running on your system, then install one. As long as you pay no attention to the "hack attacks" it reports it's better than nothing. A free one, ideally, as few of them are worth paying for.

Target

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2008, 09:00:50 PM »
Is it me or are lots of people really paranoid? It strikes me that some of the multiple solutions hinted at above would leave systems running at such a snail pace that it might be simpler to simply unplug from the internet and still have a faster surfing experience!  :wallbash: :rip:

time for a spin-off thread??

http://www.donationc...47.msg98999#msg98999

Target

lanux128

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Armando

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2008, 11:40:48 PM »
Thanks Lanux & Target! (tomorrow... when I'll have more time)

Update - first two hours with OnlineArmor have been a bit rocky but it has settled down now. First reboot was a long, protracted, and frankly worrisome affair. I haven't repeated that part of the experiement yet but hope that now that OA has configured itself it won't be so bad. Will report back tomorrow - if present level of resource usage and "intrusiveness" is representative of how its going to behave, I can happily live with it.

It can be a bit rocky, yes, and I had some temporary freezes (probably because of accidental strokeit activation while the firewall issued a popup... The remedy : right click on the firewall's popup tab on the taskbar, and reclick "Allow" on the firewall's popup --> should work and defreeze OA). But nothing out of control, and things are looking REALLY good now. I also like OA's interface. Simple, yet effective. Much better than Comodo's interface. And I 'm still not experiencing any slowdowns (I'm not talking about about the firewalls popups for application permissions, etc.). Overall, I'm really pleased. Especially with the degree of protection offered at that "price". Only in a couple weeks will I really be able to tell though...

I recommend it. Works better than Comodo IMO. The paid version looks good too... Maybe in a couple months, if it's still working as well!

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2008, 11:46:07 PM »
Yup - agreed Armando. So far, so good.

Carol - you're likely right. However, my only computer is a notebook and I am often on networks other than my own as I teach at two different college campuses and definitely feel that I need the extra protection afforded by a software firewall. Of course, at home I am behind a hardware firewall.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2008, 11:55:40 PM »
my only computer is a notebook and I am often on networks other than my own as I teach at two different college campuses and definitely feel that I need the extra protection afforded by a software firewall. Of course, at home I am behind a hardware firewall.

I was going to write that! (The magic router protection is not exactly possible when you're traveling with a laptop!)

And so this is exactly why I enjoy having a good firewall (+, like I said I'm not experiencing any slowdowns with Online Armor.) And good Outbound protection is only a bonus, but a bonus that I believe is increasingly important.

lanux128

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #114 on: January 29, 2008, 12:06:01 AM »
I was going to write that! (The magic router protection is not exactly possible when you're traveling with a laptop!)

now that both of you mention it, i realize that free-roaming notebooks should be afforded extra protection. :up:

Target

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #115 on: January 29, 2008, 01:07:20 AM »
there are several threads already about firewall & security. here are a few..

Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
How necessary is a software firewall?
Free Windows firewalls found better than commercial ones
Firewalls - please, i can't be bothered.
The Great Firewall Hunt ... frustrating ...

i think you get the idea..

granted (I should have realised that this is one of those eternal chestnuts...), but after grinding through all of the quoted threads I'm none the wiser - seems someone had an issue with every one of the firewalls quoted and there didn't seem to be any consensus on whats acceptable

On top of that, there are other components to the security issue, and I guess the same caveats apply.  AVG and Avast! appear to be the defacto free offerings, athough I note many here use $ware offerings, and some use nothing but their own vigilance...

still others pile yet more applciations on top of their respective AV apps (add aware, spybot, etc, etc).  I see no problem with this, but wonder at the value of it all (I can see f0dder nodding here...), how much is enough, or not enough, as the case may be...

what i was proposing was tackling this from another angle - instead of looking at that shiny new super wonder firewall (master pro edition), lets look at whats really needed when choosing a security solution, be that a firewall (it should be stable, lite on resources, reasonably simple/intuitive, provide both inbound and outbound blocking, export/import of rulesets, etc, etc), or AV/antimalware tools

think of it as an exercise in building an 'ideal' solution if you like

Target

lanux128

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #116 on: January 29, 2008, 02:03:15 AM »
granted (I should have realised that this is one of those eternal chestnuts...), but after grinding through all of the quoted threads I'm none the wiser - seems someone had an issue with every one of the firewalls quoted and there didn't seem to be any consensus on whats acceptable

being an avid fan of Gizmo's, i'd like to point to this article from his newsletter. hopefully, that will provide some guidelines towards building a better security. :)

ciderman

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #117 on: January 29, 2008, 02:59:58 AM »
Hello!

To Darwin: There has been issues with the boot up. I am using beta build 71 and it is gone. It is the first boot up which usually takes some time. Having said that, they are tweaking it all the time. There should be a new release shortly. If you go to their forum site you can actually try out public beta release which is build 69. You can find it here
Something to think about: "Pain is your friend, it lets you know that you are still alive"

f0dder

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #118 on: January 29, 2008, 03:38:51 AM »
When you're "on the run" with a laptop, you still have XP's built-in firewall, which is good enough for blocking against incoming attacks.
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #119 on: January 29, 2008, 11:40:52 AM »
f0dder, I am inclined to agree. I'm seeing serious performance hits with Online Armor installed and running and am fed up. I've yet to have a problem on the run (without a 3rd party software firewall) and am tempted at this point to give this grand experiment up. Might as well enjoy the resources this will free up as well! However, will give it another day or two and will also check out the Online Armor forum, as directed by ciderman (thanks!).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #120 on: January 29, 2008, 12:03:18 PM »
Update: I lack patience... I've uninstalled Online Armor. Everytime I opened up a new browser tab everything would freeze up for 5 or more seconds and TA reported OA using upwards for 30% of my CPU. I'm leaving the paranoid camp, for now...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 12:09:38 PM by Darwin »

Armando

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #121 on: January 29, 2008, 04:29:43 PM »
Everytime I opened up a new browser tab everything would freeze up for 5 or more seconds and TA reported OA using upwards for 30% of my CPU. I'm leaving the paranoid camp, for now...

Computers are weird. I'm not having any problem with OA. No slowdowns, freeze or whatsoever. But then I'm using Firefox/Mozilla and I believe you're using... Maxthon/Trident? Anyway, it should work... But...   :(

I admire your courage...  I don't feel comfortable with having only Windows XP's firewall protecting my "whole life".  :-[ That might be an unjustified fear -- in any case, I don't want to find out whether it's justified or not!!!

Curt

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #122 on: January 29, 2008, 05:28:23 PM »
The only two problems I have found after the first 24 hours of using Online Armor Free are 1) that the systray icon doesn't pop up any menu when the icons are "hidden" inside PS Tray Factory. Online Armor Free is the only program I have with this weakness. -And 2) that Online Armor is too intrusive when I want to uninstall some program. Why on earth must it know if it is okay that I am running an uninstaller?

@ Darwin, did you test the not-free version? The free vesion does not have Web-shield, and what other reason could there be for the browser-tab related slowdown you spoke about? I have not yet seen Online Armor Free slowing down my Internet browsing.

Darwin

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #123 on: January 29, 2008, 06:17:38 PM »
Hi Curt - I was trying the Free version. I put my issues with it down to my anaemic and geriatric processor - there really isn't much grunt left in it... On a more powerful system (ie with a more powerful CPU or, even better, a Dual or Quad core CPU) the momentary blip caused by Online Armor is probably imperceptible. On my machine, though, it results in a delay that I notice. It may NOT be 5 seconds long, but it is long enough for me to have gotten fed up with it!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Nod5

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Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« Reply #124 on: January 30, 2008, 04:02:02 AM »
I've used Outpost Pro Firewall (non-free) in the past. What I like about it is the level of detail in the information it provides me and in the range of actions I can choose from. But despite being better at such things compared to other software FW I tried it was still somewhat limited. It often asked me for decisions based on scarce information and few choices.

Example 1: some component had changed but there was no easy way for me to get more details about it (its path, its "track  record" of changing, related components and I couldn't just copy its name to the clipboard for web searches)

Example 2: some process wants net access but I can only choose between "create rule" (subcategories always allow/always block/custom), "allow once" and "block once". (I don't remember the names Outpost uses exactly, but something like that). I would often have preferred "allow the next ___ minutes" where a dropdown would let me set the time.

So, can anyone here point me to an in other regards decent free firewall that provide VERY much information and have VERY many alternative actions?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 04:04:23 AM by Nod5 »