Free Firewalls

  johndrew 16:38 10 Jul 2010

I am running XP SP3.

For some time I have used Kerio/Sunbelt Free firewall and been relatively happy with it. However, in common with others, it recently started providing a 'nag' at startup which corrupted one or two other bits of software (even after a clear out and reinstall) so I uninstalled it and tried Online Armor Free and Ashampoo Free.

Online Armor was good but slowed both boot and shutdown considerably - especially with HIPS enabled.

Ashampoo appeared good but blocked access to my e-mail and I could find no way around it.

I also installed the IPSEC add-on for Windows Firewall click here but am a little unsure how much better this may make security even after having read reams of info from various sites.

There have been many posts on this subject and all provide different views. One thing is certain from all that I`ve read, no firewall should cause the PC to slow down noticeably and they should all be easy to configure.

Having found Kerio/Sunbelt easy and with few overheads I was wondering if anyone has experience of a firewall that compares to this they could recommend.

Many thanks in anticipation.

  onthelimit 16:45 10 Jul 2010

If you connect through a router, do you really need a software firewall as well?

  rdave13 16:47 10 Jul 2010

Pc Tools Firewall Plus is a good freebie. I use it on XP home. Doesn't slow system.
click here

  provider 2 16:55 10 Jul 2010

I use Comodo but the irritation factor can be high, specially when configuring it to accept that you are not necessarily under constant attack.

Why stay with it? ... not sure, perhaps because I started using it in the days when it was just a firewall without any bells and whistles.

  Belatucadrus 17:04 10 Jul 2010

I started using PrivateFirewall 7 a few months ago, so far quite impressed.

click here

  john 52 17:26 10 Jul 2010

I am with rdave13 with PC Tools firewall on XP !! It just runs in the background and once permission has been granted it just gets on with the job

  john bunyan 19:46 10 Jul 2010

I agree with those who like PCTools. I used to have Comodo but it was quite intrusive.

  Muergo 21:03 10 Jul 2010

I agree completely with provider2, I had Comodo when it was just a firewall and then it became overcomplex, suitable for protecting the Pentagon.!

But onthelimit raises a cogent point which nobody has answered, why have one?

Since I uninstalled Panda 2010 I have used Windows essentials and Windows defender, plus the usual virus/trojan seekers, but no firewall per se.

Ran a full SAS overnight, clean completely apart from cookies.

Just accessed the johndrew IPSEC site, looks very interesting, will have an in depth read in the early hours, too busy fixing a water pipe leak now!!!

  rdave13 21:13 10 Jul 2010

" But onthelimit raises a cogent point which nobody has answered, why have one? "

Thought it might be obvious really.
Try Googling the difference between a software firewall and a hardware firewall.
Also why it is preferred to have both.

  AL47 23:24 10 Jul 2010

i use zone alarm free.

i like it so much i didnt upgrade to w7 64bit until it was compatible with it.

it has the added and best interfaced [imo] program control.

if you dont want a program to access the inet, it wont..the very first time any .exe wants access it asks you or allow or deny, useful if you get any nasties

  johndrew 10:13 11 Jul 2010

Thanks for coming back everyone.

I should have pointed out that I don`t use a router; just a simple USB/ADSL modem. Hence the need for a firewall.

I shall look at at all three of the suggestions made and see if I find one that suits.

Many thanks again.

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