firewalls gradually slow down computer?

  fudge 12:51 17 Nov 2006

I seem to have the same problem no matter which firewall I use - initially they work firn but after a few weeks the system slows down, internet connections are slow and sometimes I can't connect at all.

I'm currently using Zone Alarm with Win XP SP2 (with Windows firewall disabled). I also have a built in firewall on my router. However, I've tried other firewalls (free ones only though) and also used them with Win ME and all have the same effect over time. I end up uninstalling them so I can speed up connections. I've also used the Windows firewall and that does the same.

I'm very fastidious with 'housekeeping' - I regularly clean out old files, I use registry cleaners, Ad-Aware and Spy Bot and de-frag periodically. I have plenty of memory and power so feel sure it's the firewalls causing the problem.

Firstly, could this be a conflict with the router firewall. I've always read that a secondary software firewall should always be used as well?

Secondly, would I be better using just the Windows firewall, although as I said I have tried it and after a few weeks the same things happen.

Thirdly, would it be safe to rely on the router firewall alone?

I'm not looking for advice about other firewalls, as I have tried most, but if anyone can offer a solution or suggestion I would be very pleased.

  mjf85 12:59 17 Nov 2006

HI Mate

I use Norton Firewall 2006, and I have a firewall on my router, so I am the same in as much as using the two firewalls and aside from the gernal slow down caused by NAV the internet connection is perfectly normal so I do not think it would be a conflict with your routers firewall.

Windows Firewall is an acceptable if not limited solutio (I work for MS so I have to say this :)) it is only an inbound firewall so it is limited from that respect but we use it here at work and it seems to do the job and keep us safe enough, along with your hardware firewall it should be enough to protect you.

Just thinking about your problems though, what anti virus are you using just sounds like you might have your connection abused by someone?

Kind Regards

Mark Furby

  anskyber 13:00 17 Nov 2006

Hardware and software firewalls. click here

  gudgulf 13:02 17 Nov 2006

Since you are behind a routers hardware firewall,why not go without a software firewall for a few weeks to be sure that it is the firewall slowing things down.

Or have you already tried that?

I currently use Comodo and I can't say I notice any slowing of my system over time.....same with Kerio.

I can't see it being a conflict with the router as that would tend to manifest itself immediately.

Whats the specification of your pc?

And what method do you use to clear out your old files?

How much space do you allow for your internet file cache?

  Gaz 25 13:03 17 Nov 2006

Firewalls I'm afraid will slow down connections, regardless.

Router firewalls are good at mitigating inbound attacks, but not so much outgoing ones without serious configuration and a powerful firewall module on them... quite frankly only high end routers have that functionality although I have seen it in some lesser routers thesedays, but nothing to the extent.

I wouldnt reply solely on a router firewall.

Have you tried agnitum? click here

I'd personall turn logging off, turn all the plugins off, and run it as it stands - just leave attack detecton on in plugins dialog.

I find it pretty fast, and offers decent protection.

  Gaz 25 13:09 17 Nov 2006

mjf85 - Well microsoft will be running IAS at the gateway, plus most likely a Nokia, Checkpoint, Cisco or some other high-end firewall device and assuming it's set up with outbound and inbound rules, Sateful inspection, etc.. then it will be pretty rock solid meaning a windows firewall on clients is more than enough, and probably doesnt mess with Group policy half as much as others.

Back on track...
Comodo is also a great firewall, it's free ware too!

Router hardware firewalls should not conflict at all. It's actually suggested to use this set-up, because what if another PC becomes infected with a trojan? It can spread to your other PC in your local LAN.

  mjf85 13:12 17 Nov 2006

Gaz 25

Yeah sorry kinda overlooked our backend systems here, we are running Cisco, BIGIP and Checkpoint servers/firewalls and general "nothing is going to get in unless we want it to" programs.

So back on track as you say, ignore MS firewall as a solution unless you can a couple of million £'s of hardware in the back end :)

  fudge 13:19 17 Nov 2006

anskyber, that's an interesting article about firewalls, but it doesn't really help with my particular issue. Thanks anyway.

Mark, I'm using Avast Antivirus, which is always uptodate. I don't think this causes the problem because as soon as I disable or uninstall a firewall everything goes full speed again. Also I've used the different firewalls with various antivirus programmes so there's no common link. The windows firewall has the same problems though so I don't really see any point in changing back.

I wonder if this is a common problem with firewalls generally, or have I just been unlucky?

  fudge 13:46 17 Nov 2006

Sorry, a few posts were made whilst I was sending my last one (perhaps because it was so slow connecting!!).

I've not tried agnitum or comodo so may give them a go. Seems the general consensus is that I need another firewall to supplement the router so I'll stick with that setup.

It just seems odd that things slow down only after using the programmes for several weeks.

In answer to your questions gudulf, my setup is:
AMD XP 1.33 processor
80gb hard drive
512mb Ram
Win XP SP2
Firefox 2.0 browser
Avast AntiVirus
Zone Alarm Firewall

50Mb allocated to internet cache.

To clean the registry I use 'Registry Cleaner', to clear files I use Windows Disk Cleaner or clear them out manually.

  Belatucadrus 14:28 17 Nov 2006

If you're concerned about firewalls affecting performance, try a rule based firewall like Ghost firewall click here or Look'N'Stop lite click here The last link goes direct to the download.
They're both very effective, but need a much more interactive approach from the user to fine tune them. Not exactly user friendly, though the default settings will suit most.

  fudge 16:44 17 Nov 2006

Thanks, I'll try some of the suggested firewalls and see if they have any affect on performance. May take some time because it's usually a few weeks before any effect is noticeable.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

Halloween Photoshop & Illustrator tutorials: 20 step-by-step guides to creating spook-tacular…

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment créer, modifier et réinitialiser un compte Apple ?