can I run a third party firewall(f-secure internet shield)while having xp firewall enabled or is it best to disable xpf.Does it increase my protection(I've already been done once)or diminish it.Any ideas?
XP's firewall is only one way (blocks inbound events). Most (all?) others monitor outbound as well so will pick up trojans, spyware etc trying to "phone home". Personally I've disabled the XP firewall and rely on McAfee PF.
Running two or more firewalls shouldn't cause problems, unlike with anti-virus where running one only is the best to avoid system slowdowns.
I have Norton Anti-Virus and want a compatible Firewall. Norton's Internet Security does not seem to have a good reviews (can disrupt smooth running of pc). Any recommended alternatives? The consensus out there seems to be to disable XP firewall – right?
I run NAV and also have XP's built in fire wall turned on. The two run side by side very well, and I have never had any trouble. Thing is with XP's firewall is that you get no interaction with it whatsoever, but in fact that suits me fine really. Leaves me to get on and actually use my PC instead of worrying about what it is blocking. Some might point out the error of my ways, but it would be interesting as to what others do/think.
Ditch XPF, it's worse than useless and probably a liability on aggregate. If you want to see how many holes it has, try testing it with this site click here. Scroll down to 'Hot Spots' and select 'Shields Up' test.
Zone Alarm is generally good, although I've heard also that the free version can cause some compatibility problems. My firewall has never let me down and I believe it is based on Sygate, so I'd suggest checking out Mankster's link above.