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Firewalls - please, i can't be bothered.

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Success of a 3rd party firewall depends on how many people get annoyed by default rules/settings.

Some time ago there was a long debate (another) on Wilders about the need for such advanced firewalls. Of course most people there cant live without but there was one guy who seemed like Dr. Firewall who argued that he would recommend no Firewall at all if user is not absolutely on top of things, have read help file, have done personal setup etc. Made a lot of sense to me - about the time where I tried most of the free firewalls.

You need a firewall somewhere to protect your machines against the external network. It really doesn't need to be on the machine, but there needs to be a protection. Considering the amount of port and vulnerability scanning that goes on the net all the time, and the amount of open ports etc. by default on the average windows machine, i think having a firewall *somewhere* that prevents casual access to ports on the machines to be a basic need.

It can be at the entrance to the network, on a corporate firewall or a simple broadband router, but if the machine is connected via modem then it needs to be on the machine. As a matter of fact it's better at the network entrance, not on the machine itself, so the traffic never reaches the machine.

Once you have such protection in place, then you need the second level of protection, which is from threats that originate within the network. You don't need a "network" firewall on each machine but unless you have very very savvy users you do need a certain amount of trojan/malware protection, because alas there's nothing we can install in people's heads to make them stop opening an attachment that says "i have always secretly loved you" or "naked pics of the boss inside" or click on a banner that says "free animated smilies, click here" or "test your pc's security now". That protection is nowadays either added to virus scanners or to tools called "personal firewalls" or "internet security", when really it fits in none of those labels.

Even the tech savvy crowd can fall for it, obviously it would need to be something more clever like spoofing the tortoise svn page ;)

i've been reminded why i can't use agnitum - it's because it now refuses to install again because it thinks it's already running. fantastic.
-nudone (March 04, 2007, 05:47 AM)
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I  tried that problem after a test of Doctor Spyware 5 BETA: everything went wrong on my PC, dozens of broken files, and Outpost not opening but yet running (did you check in task manager if outpost.exe was running?). And, as you imply, you cannot install on top of an exe that will not close. I take that was your problem: no outpost.exe to uninstall, but yet it claimed to be running?

I managed to ruin that PC - before finding out if the answer from Agnitum was usable or not - but the answer was: "Please download Install it over your current version and try to uninstall again." Notice the word "support" in the link (I never used the link, but got myself a new PC instead); this may or may not be a standard installer - I don't know.

thanks for looking into the file sharing side of things, iphigenie.

i'd tried setting up a few rules inside 'pc tools firewall plus' using the tcp and udp ports specified by microsoft but it made not one jot of difference. i shall try your recommendations later what i get chance as they sound very likely to work.

i've tried jetico - no good. and i think i may have tried looknstop - can't really remember. we've covered a lot of this ground before elsewhere on the forum and i think i'm right in thinking that these two programs were tried back then.

at the moment zone alarm is back on - everything works and it's pretty simple to get working if only it wouldn't crash.

but i'm still going to give pc tools firewall plus another shot - just to see if the file sharing will work.

zone alarm for all it's faults still seems about the easiest to use - for what i need anyway - outbound blocking on stuff just so i have an idea of what's going on with my machine.

@Curt, i've tried a few things to try and find how outpost can still be there even though i successfully uninstalled it - outpost.exe isn't running so i assume the debris is elsewhere.

Certainly not my experience with Outpost - I have had anything but a smooth ride with both versions 3 and 4 on 3 computers - to the point now where I have given up on a full 12 month subscription before it even started (they would not refund even though the subscription had not started). I am not alone and lots of users refuse to use version 4 because of instability issues.

The biggest issue I had was system instability and BSODs - when it did work it was a real system hog (and that was with most of the optional plug-ins disabled).

Oh and by the way I was running it with NOD32 ...
-Carol Haynes (March 04, 2007, 04:48 AM)
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A sad story, Carol.  :(

I think the answer is to be found in the settings.

One of the biggest advantages of Outpost is the "Agnitum ImproveNet"; Agnitum's and the Outpost user's  common project: to make Outpost capable of setting rules by pre-sets: If all users of program A are adding A to Trusted, then this setting is probably O' Kay for your PC as well, but if they are not, then it is not safe for your PC either. You decide if you are willing to adopt this general setting, but you may, and if you do, your life with this firewall will be a lot easier.

But of course, if you have a lot of programs that no-one else on ImproveNet is using, or you don't trust their settings, then you may never gain from this feature.


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