Free software firewall for Vista?

  Metric 17:04 02 Sep 2007

I just got a new laptop with Vista, and i don't really want to keep the windows firewall. I tried Zone Alarm free (version 7.1 which is supposedly Vista compatible), but i gave me a BSOD on installation, and after googling it, it appears there are problems with Zone Alarm and vista.

So does any have any suggestions for free software firewalls that are problem free with Vista?

  rdave13 17:10 02 Sep 2007

This is the latest info on Comodo 3, click here

  Metric 17:16 02 Sep 2007

I see that the final version is still not released. So are there no other alternatives out there yet?

  gudgulf 17:28 02 Sep 2007

PC Tools click here

Note..remember to untick the box for the Spyware Doctor when you install it (unless you want to try Spyware Doctor that is).

Seems to work ok.

  tullie 18:05 02 Sep 2007

The vista firewall is fine i have foun.

  Pine Man 19:01 02 Sep 2007

tullie is right the Vista firewall is in bound and out bound and as most broadband users, with Vista, probably have router/modems that also have a firewall built in.

Nothing else is really necessary - apart from all the usual malware, spyware and virus protection etc obviously!

  gudgulf 19:23 02 Sep 2007

The Vista firewall does NOT have outbound protection switched on by default.

Yes it is better than the firewall in XP and yes it is capable of outbound protection providing you are an expert at manual configuration.......but right out of the box it is not doing what just about everyone who uses it thinks it is doing!

click here

click here

click here

To check if yours is enabled open the Control Panel and select System and Maintenance>Administrative tools>Windows firewall with advanced security.

See if Outbound protection is ticked.

  Metric 19:25 02 Sep 2007

OK thanks guys. I guess i'll just wait until ZA release a better version.

Btw, has anyone else experienced the problem with ZA causing a BSOD at installation? I had the computer switched on for and hour and it happened, i was shocked.

  tullie 23:23 02 Sep 2007

Cant find what your on about,am i missing something?

  gudgulf 23:53 02 Sep 2007

Have you read my links?

If you open the firewall with advanced security you will see that any program which does not match a rule is allowed outbound internet access.

It's shown in the on the opening page of the advanced security options.

If you click on the outbound rules icon,you will see that all the ones that appear are either not activated or (if you right click any that are ticked and select properties) set to allow outbound access.

It means that unless you have specifically created or changed a rule to block an application from accessing the internet, it will be allowed.Which is as good as having no outbound protection at all.

The Vista firewall wont (isn't designed to) pop up a message if a program wants permission to access the internet in the way that,say,ZoneAlarm does.You have to manually tell the firewall what to block.

For the average included I prefer a more user friendly set-up.I want a pop-up warning for new programs accessing the net.Mainly because I have trained my kids to come and ask for help if any pop-up warnings are seen when they are using the computer.At the moment they are both young enough to do just that.

  skidzy 00:15 03 Sep 2007

gudgulf is spot on regarding Vista's Firewall.

Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

or start / and type Firewall (normally just typing F is enough) and select Firewall with advanced security.

Then select under public profile is active windows firewall properties.

Firewall state is set by default to block incoming traffic set to the default rules,however outbound traffic is set to allow by default.

Now by changing the outbound to block you may need to create a new rule for windows to allow certain apps or even your internet connection to connect.

As pointed out by Gudulf,it can be extremely difficult to set these rules up,as said in one of his need to be a rocket scientist to understand whats going on.

At the end of the day,if your careful surfing and watching those downloads and where from,Vista's firewall at default settings is normally enough as certain rules are already set.
However,if you decide to download from lets say an iffy give the download permssion to run on the computer.

My Vista machine is only used my me,so i know exactly whats being put on it,however if children are using a Vista machine with outbound set to allow,i would urge a third party firewall as setting the rules is very difficult.

hopefully that makes things a little clearer.

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