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The Great Firewall Hunt ... frustrating ...

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Carol Haynes:
In addition, if you have a malicious software running that's trying to "phone home", you are already in bad waters.
-Mark0 (December 03, 2005, 06:51 PM)
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You stand more chance of noticing it though if you have outbound blocking software - and it saves you from being investigated by you ISP and/or legal action for spamming/virus spreading. If you have a firewall active on your system I think you would have some defense if not you could potentially be held liable.

if you have truely malicious software then you are probably going to be in trouble no matter what; though a fireall can be a  very nice early warning system... otherwise you'd never know anything was wrong.

but just as important, short of malicious software, an outgoing firewall will show you all the spyware/adware apps as they try to silently connect home.  and for those of us that like to know whats going on on our computers and don't like programs going behind our backs, its nice to see when programs try to check for updates, or programs like real player is trying to connect home, etc.  in other words, for programs that are not evil but are annoying and misbehaved, having an outgoing firewall alert can be a very nice thing.  i wouldnt dream of not using one.  it's not perfect of course, but it is an extra line of defense, and one well worth the cpu/mem cost.

On a side note, one may give a try to this: Leakout
It's something I coded a long time ago, that try to phone home and send some data (name of the PC, user name & Win system dir) to a page of mine.

It do it in the most stupid and non-smart way; but in many case is enough to pass trough a personal firewall with per-application control, without any warning.


Look n' Stop Firewall

looks interesting.

Kerio & Tiny both get my recommendation, but they are very complex and not for the newbie. However, the rewards are great. They offer vast amounts of power and protection for those willing to master them.

F-Secure is very nice with an all-in-one solution, but some people complain that it is a little bloated & sluggish, though I didn't have that problem when I used it. They use Kaspersky as well as two other AV engines to cover the AV end of it so you'd definitely not be giving up anything by using their AV solution.

I would not recommend ZoneAlarm at all. Lots of people have no problems, but lots of people do have problems with their TrueVector engine.

I went the same way Mark did, but as Emeril would say I kicked it up a notch. I've got a Cisco router/firewall sitting here. Provides both inbound and outbound protection for my entire network. I keep a very tight reign on what is installed on any PC on my LAN so I don't require the hand-holding of some of these software firewalls.


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