Anyone recommend a free firewall? Or should I stick with the XP firewall?
Sygate, or, ZoneAlarm. While some may tell you to steer clear of ZA it is definitely better than the XP firewall which only watches incoming traffic. There are others that I am not as familiar with,is your friend.
ZoneAlarm works well.
You should never use the XP firewall !
Ditch the Firewall. Ditch XP. keep the stick. Attach some line and go fishing instead. E.
So says the Pied Piper of Hamlin. ;-)
I agree that with win xp firewall it's plenty. Only if you are a knowledgable user however, one not going to install crummy spyware software and open stupid attachments you know nothing about etc. If yer somewhat smart then win xp firewall plus a virus program in my opinion is ok. you just need to be a little smart though.
I would recommend a third-party firewall, commercial or free is your choice. The reason isn't Microsoft's notorious security track record or their inability to fix bugs quickly but that by using a third-party firewall you'll spread your risk between two vendors. So if MS goofs up on some XP bug or patch you still have a third-party firewall that isn't afflicted with M$'s goofup and vice-versa.
I think spyware coming in through ActiveX is a bigger threat than fully patched but unfirewalled PCs. There are just too many sites trying to install spyware on your machine and the average user is mostly clueless about signe/unsigned activex controls and other such IE introduced threats.
I haven't tried a lot of PFWs but Zonealarm seems to work just fine on my Win2K Pro installation. Hasn't ever crashed or turned itself off after a Win2k crash (which in itself has been rare) and I have tried*invading* my laptop from my linux box with a bunch of utilities but zonealarm does the job well.
Ofcourse, there could be zero day vulnerabilities in ZA that I might not know of.
On the contrary. You don't need ZoneAlarm or any other PFW. Just use XP firewall. It's all the firewall functions you can really get and it's for free.
The problem is that people that are not smart enough install PFWs, think they are invulnerable and don't get smarter at all and just catch all the bad stuff anyway and don't even notice it because they have their PFW "protecting" them...
The problem is that you hardly find any third-party firewalls (except hardware ones) that actually only do firewalling. All "normal" PFWs have tons of other dubios features that promise so much and still don't really work properly if it gets critical or someone smart comes along. And what good is a PFW that you can sometimes easily knock off? (Just think that a crash because of some outbound filtering can turn off the whole firewall) PFWs are huge giants and there is much to do wrong and to mess up. So I think a hardware firewall is preferable to XP's firewall which is preferable to a PFW in respect to proper and safe firewalling.
:) Doesn't affect me either. Been a Firefox user since 0.6.
All true. Most security products are nowhere near easy to use to what an average user might want. An average user who's simply struggling to use the PC properly certainly does not want to be burdened with understanding a security software management on top.
As I already pointed out above in my earlier post :)
As is XP
Which brings us to the problem of how do you move everyone away from ActiveX or how does an average user tell a good ActiveX control from a malicious one? As hard as one might wish Microsoft products are going to be on the desktop for VERY long alongwith IE and ActiveX. If you disable ActiveX, the user loses functionality and an irritated user might just turn on all ActiveX controls to be avoid frequent warning pop-ups.
I've ran my XP box with XP SP2 Firewall, Kerio, ZA, and Sygate and it has nothing to do with being smart or not you arrogant dorks. It's about which one gives *me* the most control.
See? There's that arrogance *I'm* talking about asshole. Now go f*ck yourself silly.
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