I'm clinging on to XP, it suits my needs, does all I want and I'll keep it as long as I can. I've always used the Windows firewall but I'm thinking of installing one of the freebies. Can anyone who uses them point me towards what they consider the best?
Then either ZA or PCTools should be OK. I think the latter had a slightly better review, but I am a bit out of date. May be worth having a look at recent reviews of both.Now I am on W7 I use the W7 firewall.
Phew, thumbs up System Restore!! Downloaded Zone Alarm, seemed ok and was told to restart. On boot up I was faced with my usual Windows screen minus all my programs. Not the dreaded BSOD, but nothing at all there. I couldn't uninstall the damn thing because there was nothing there to click on. I couldn't even turn off without holding the button in! I started in Safe Mode but my Revo uninstaller wouldn't work. Fearing the worst I began System Restore and that seems to have got everything back...I've no idea what Zone Alarm did or why, but I'm back on Windows firewall now for good. If anyone knows what went wrong I'd be keen to find out.
I'm using ZA 7.0.483.000 with WinXP and Avast on 3 PCs, no probs at all and passes all the GRC Shields Up tests (see Gibson Research.
ZA asks every time a new or changed program wants Internet or local network access (which is how I like it).
Other thing with ZA is that you need to set up (under Firewall settings) your local net address range (e.g. 192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255) as trusted and also loopback adapter IP (127.0.0.1) if you use that, other wise may have network probs.