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