Do Firewalls slow down your pc?

  hawthorn59 04:16 08 Oct 2007

I actually dont have a firewall, but am installing a new hard drive tomorrow, so transferring everything over. Should be like a new pc hopefully. Im using

Avast Anti virus
Windows Defender

should I get a firewall? And is Zone Alarm the best? Will it slow down my pc (I have 2gig ram)? Its just that I helped a friend get rid of viruses and malware recently with the help of another forum! I was asked to install ZA, and a spyware programme, which I did. It does seem the laptop is taking longer to open, not perhaps running slower but taking longer to open. But he only has 256mb ram, maybe thats the reason.

Do I need spyware and whats the best?

How many, roughly, security programmes does one need?

many thanks


  Taff™ 06:39 08 Oct 2007

You don`t say what OS your friend is using on the laptop but assuming it`s XP I could understand the long boot up time. A firewall just adds to the programs loading at start up. Doubling up the RAM would improve it significantly but these days it is almost as cheap to add a 512Mb stick alongside the original. (Check for compatibility first)

I would also suggest a fresh re-install of the OS would make a difference - Back up all data and return to factory settings. This will get rid of remnants from old programs. You could also look at their start up programs in msconfig and reduce the number of unnecessary ones.

In your case, and assuming you have Vista, I don`t think the addition of a firewall will make any noticeable difference.

You can have as many spyware programs as you like but my personal opinion is that two is sufficient. I am not convinced that Defender is one of the best so pick from Spybot S&D, Adaware, Super Antispyware or A Squared.

  skidzy 06:54 08 Oct 2007
  FatboySlim71 09:14 08 Oct 2007

I do find that certain firewalls I have tried do slow my surfing/browsing speed down but not at loading up, especially Comodo, it didn't used to but since various updates it does now.

It is not wise to run a PC/laptop without a firewall, the basic XP firewall is not really any good either.

The best firewall I have found is the free Zone Alarm; I find that it doesn't slow my browsing/surfing speeds down and neither does it slow my PC down, I will provide a link below for it. Zone Alarm free is arguable the best firewall around.

click here

  brundle 09:21 08 Oct 2007

Put in another 256/512mb, remove Windows Defender, install Spywareterminator. click here

The bigger the download, the larger the number of files an app is going to install and use, 256mb doesn't leave much room.

  Probabilitydrive 09:23 08 Oct 2007

'arguably' seems to be the keyword for firewalls here. I rum PCTools firewall on an XP sytemas it is very user friendly and does a good job.

However, what is the best and what does not interfere too much in your daily PC activities is another question. As tests go, this is an informative one on firewalls click here

  birdface 14:19 08 Oct 2007

Firewalls,This from another here If you want your computer to run a bit Quicker.I would think about removing Avast and Windows Defender Both of those will probably run at start up and slow your computer down.I use Avg-Anti-Virus.[Run it when you want to run it].And A Squared.I also use WinPatrol McAfee site Advisor, And SpywareBlaster.Thats all that I use and have not had any problems.Also keep your Host File Up-dated.Now this is what I use and I am not trying to say that your own programs are not good.It's just that I have tried them and think that they do slow your computer down.Especially as my computer is fairly old now.So I need to have programs that do not hog the CPU.

  DieSse 16:39 08 Oct 2007

Anything that's running will take some system resources. Whether that matters depends on the basic speed of your processor, how much RAM you have, the number of things you have running, and what those things are.

NOD32 is the (paid) AV that takes least system resources (and is very popular with on-line gamers for that very reason) - and is probably the best AV there is too. I've used it for many years.

Comodo (free) is currently very highly recommended as the best firewall - I used that until very recently.

I'm using the beta version of the new NOD security suite (which is why I'm not using Comodo any more). It's free (for the testing period) and I thought I detected a bit more sprightliness on the net than with Comodo).

If using XP with 256MB RAM, it will improve things greatly to upgrade to at least 512MB.

As for Anti-Syware - NOD also does that - but I also run from time to time Ad-Aware (free version) and Spybot (free version).

I find all that does absolutely fine.

To keep a system running as fast as it's realistically capable - run Disk Cleaner regularly, and set browsers to empty the internet cache when the browser is closed. And defrag once in a while (3-6 months is normally ample)- more important on slower laptop drives than desktop drives.

  interzone55 16:44 08 Oct 2007

If your new PC is running Vista I think you'll find the firewall is more than adequate, but if you decide to run Zone Alarm or Comodo then make sure you turn off the Windows Firewall.

I find AVG AV software is very light on system resources.

I use Windows Defender for Anti-Spyware with an occasional scan from Spy Bot and I've never yet had a problem, but then again I tend to stay away from the sort of sites that cause problems

  hawthorn59 03:21 09 Oct 2007

Wow folks, thanks for all that!

Sorry I should have explained; I have xp. Yes, Avast does run on startup, and I notice you say run AVG when you want to, but forgive my ignorance, Im wondering then if you are protected all the time?

Oh, I have 2gig ram myself, so ZA should run well.

  hawthorn59 03:32 09 Oct 2007


just checked out your firewall link....Zone Alarm free came practically bottom of the class......can this be right??


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