XP Firewall V other Firewalls

  freaky 18:11 09 Jan 2006

I understand rightly/wrongly, that the only difference between the XP Firewall and commercial ones is that: -

a)The XP only blocks external access to the PC via certain ports.

b)Whereas the others do the same as XP, but also block the PC's ability to communicate externally via the ports - unless the user gives permission.

The reason why I have made this post, is that if you use the XP Firewall, then is there any advantage in replacing it with the type in (b) above ?

  VoG II 18:14 09 Jan 2006

Yes you are correct.

The advantage of the (b) type is that they will stop malware from 'phoning home'.

  Stuartli 18:15 09 Jan 2006

Yes. The free version of ZoneAlarm (click here) will do everything that is required.

Disable the XP firewall if/when you install ZA after downloading it.

  mattyc_92 18:18 09 Jan 2006

well, as Windows Firewall only block "outbound" (communication from your computer) and not "inbound" (communication to your computer) as well, it would be alot safer to use a "third party" firewall.
There are plenty of free firewalls availible on the net, but I prefer ZoneAlarm (click here). In fact, I liked it that much, that I now use the "Professional" version, which just has things like "OS Firewall" (asks you if you wish to allow a program on your system to, for example, load on startup) and Anti-Spyware.

  mattyc_92 18:21 09 Jan 2006

Got that wrong way around. Windows Firewall blocks inbound and not outbound.....

  freaky 18:42 09 Jan 2006

I found the following link for a review of Anti-virus programs that include a firewall as well.

click here

You will note that the top scorer - Shield Pro 2006 is selling for $29.99 = £16.99 (there will possibly be vat on top) if you download it.

On face values it seems to offer excellent value for money !

  freaky 21:25 09 Jan 2006

On this PC which is the one I use mostly for this forum, I have Norton Internet Security 2004.

About once a week I get a warning from Norton stating that Trojan xyz has tried to access it.

I would assume therefore, that if the same trojan tried to get access but I only had the XP firewall, then I would not get any message but it would be stopped.

If indeed the above is correct, then the warning I would get from NIS is just a PR exercise on how good it is !

  Bogbrain 22:33 09 Jan 2006

The XP firewall basically is shite. It seems Microsoft paid very liitle heed to actually creating a decent firewall in the all singing all dancing greatest thing since sliced bread operating system. Disable it and at least get the zonealarm free download one.Looks like plenty of other people have already suggested the same thing re - the free download, so there's no need to put the link up again.

  ade.h 22:39 09 Jan 2006

It misses the most significant function of a software firewall.

Turn it off. Get something decent. Like Kerio, which is now enjoying the full support of Sunbelt.

  ade.h 22:41 09 Jan 2006

BTW - there aren't many differences between the full and free versions, but as Sunbelt is promoting it, it's only a $15 download. The download will revert to the free spec if you don't bother to pay for it.

  Belatucadrus 22:45 09 Jan 2006

In my opinion there are two reviewers of Anti Virus / Firewalls that are worth looking at. Virus Bulletin click here and ICSA click here and "The Shield" doesn't show up on either and as I've never heard of 6 Star reviews, would be loathe to put The shield on my PC, let alone pay for it.

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