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  • ot - suggestions for a decent free firewall?

    I used to use ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, which worked well enough, but since maybe two months ago I haven't been able to install it on any of my machines. The installer itself downloads ok, but when I run it, it can't connect to CheckPoint Software home base to download the other files it needs for installation.

    So, maybe it's time to use something else. My machines operate on XP, and I've been running free versions of Ad-Aware, Spybot, and avast! without any problems. Any suggestions for a suitable replacement for ZoneAlarm?

  • #2
    I don't run anything except the Vista firewall on my machines. However have all my stuff behind a D-Link router. Nothing ever makes it to the PCs. That doesn't work well if you are trying to block outbound connections as some folks do.

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    • #3
      If you are current on patches, the XP firewall is good enough. The most common threats do not involve direct penetration to your system, they will come though software intervention - trojan web sites, email, etc. Firewalls are useless against things like "I opened that email attachment like you told me not to". Sophos, McAfee, things like that are what you need to pay for and keep current.
      Chris
      Merkel, Tx
      http://raceabilene.com/kelly/hotrod

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      • #4
        This sounds more complicated than it is, but all you need is a spare computer, Linux or Windows, and a VMware virtual machine firewall. These things do it all - real-time virus testing of web pages, anti-spam/anti-virus email server, true firewall with packet filtering, port and IP mapping, web caching proxy for very improved performance, NAT for your local network PCs and robustness that Unix is famous for.

        All you pay for is the Windows part if you choose to go that route. Otherwise everything else is free.

        Parts list:
        Spare PC (probably free)
        Linux (Free)
        VMware firewall appliance (Free)
        VMware Player for Linux (Free)
        Your spare time to set it up (Priceless)

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        • #5
          Dennis, if you're going to configure the spare computer as a dedicated software firewall, what's the point of the virtual machine?
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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          • #6
            Just a thought. Wonder if your adware programs could be blocking the downloading of Zone Alarm. Both Ad-Aware and SpyBot are running in the background to stop adware. Have you tried shutting them off?
            Last edited by Gerryrig; 08-21-2009, 12:44 AM.

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            • #7
              A agree, firewalls should be a dedicated machine/box.

              Originally posted by dp
              This sounds more complicated than it is, but all you need is a spare computer, Linux or Windows, and a VMware virtual machine firewall. These things do it all - real-time virus testing of web pages, anti-spam/anti-virus email server, true firewall with packet filtering, port and IP mapping, web caching proxy for very improved performance, NAT for your local network PCs and robustness that Unix is famous for.

              All you pay for is the Windows part if you choose to go that route. Otherwise everything else is free.

              Parts list:
              Spare PC (probably free)
              Linux (Free)
              VMware firewall appliance (Free)
              VMware Player for Linux (Free)
              Your spare time to set it up (Priceless)
              "Work hard. Tell everyone everything you know. Close a deal with a handshake. Have fun!"

              -- Harold "Doc" Edgerton

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lazlo
                Dennis, if you're going to configure the spare computer as a dedicated software firewall, what's the point of the virtual machine?
                If it is penetrated and compromised you shut it off, delete it (it is all stored in a single directory on the host), and turn on the backup, and you're back in business. Downtime: 5 minutes. And it comes pre-configured and is shovel-ready so it's good for the economy .

                And the host itself is still useful for other things like a backup server, file server, print server - all running in full isolation from the VM.
                Last edited by dp; 08-21-2009, 12:55 AM.

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                • #9
                  fire walls are a joke and do not work at all

                  rule one as long as you got an internet connection you can get hacked

                  rule 2 if you do not belive rule one then you will get hacked

                  most virusis are created by the same companys that sell you the cure

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by airsmith282
                    fire walls are a joke and do not work at all

                    rule one as long as you got an internet connection you can get hacked

                    rule 2 if you do not belive rule one then you will get hacked

                    most virusis are created by the same companys that sell you the cure
                    Amazing. Wrong, and amazing.

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                    • #11
                      At all? Isn't that a bit strong? I have had the same custom-ruled firewall for 10 years with no problems (and many many attempts). I have the rules so tight I'm lucky to get in or out!



                      Originally posted by airsmith282
                      fire walls are a joke and do not work at all

                      rule one as long as you got an internet connection you can get hacked

                      rule 2 if you do not belive rule one then you will get hacked

                      most virusis are created by the same companys that sell you the cure
                      "Work hard. Tell everyone everything you know. Close a deal with a handshake. Have fun!"

                      -- Harold "Doc" Edgerton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've been using Sunbelt Personal Firewall for several years and am happy with it. You download the free trial version and after a while (30 days?) it loses a couple functions, but remains as a free firewall. Here is the link to the download page:

                        http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com/home-...onal-firewall/

                        Another firewall that I have heard good things about is from Comodo. I haven't tried it and it looks like it now comes bundled with an anti-virus program. Here is the link to take a look:

                        http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/

                        Here is an interesting site that rates many different types of (mostly) freeware, including firewalls:

                        http://www.techsupportalert.com/

                        Glenn

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by airsmith282
                          fire walls are a joke and do not work at all

                          rule one as long as you got an internet connection you can get hacked

                          rule 2 if you do not belive rule one then you will get hacked

                          most virusis are created by the same companys that sell you the cure
                          It depends on the firewall you're running as to its effectiveness.
                          If you run a software firewall, you're already letting the traffic get on to your network.
                          I run a hardware firewall that stops any traffic getting to any of my computers from the Internet. The computers can establish connections to an external site as required.

                          The firewall logs show all manner of intrusion attempts being stopped. None of these attempts get as far as the computers themselves.

                          I also run Linux which reduces the likelihood of being hacked, it has certainly stopped me from being infected by any viruses.
                          Regards
                          Geoff
                          My place.

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                          • #14
                            Ubuntu Linux, and fwbuilder.

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                            • #15
                              One needs to recognize the main job of a firewall. It isn't to stop virii or malware. It's job is to make sure that the connections made to your machine are authorised and correspond to connections made by your machine. For every incoming packet there had better be a previous outgoing request for same. The firewall monitors the "ports" on the internet connection and either disables them entirely, refuses to respond to external attempts to connect, or only allows the receipt of data that has a correct sequence number. Other jobs such as watching for malicious software are properly the job of other programs.

                              It is common now for all the security jobs to be integrated into a single suite which is often called a firewall but that is a misnomer. The internal firewall in XP and Vista are actual firewalls and do nothing to stop your computer from responding to evil webpages or malware that you just told it to access, like that new porn site or serialz and warez site.

                              I run with no security software, firewall turned off. My router is set up with a series of rules as to what is allowed and what isn't. I don't surf porn sites or hacked software pages and I have some pretty strict settings enabled about what is permitted to run in a webpage. I disable nearly all the 3rd party IE addons.

                              More importantly, I use a premade hosts file that disallows access to a wide variety of sites that have been determined to be unhealthy or undesirable. It's easy to use, free, requires no installation and can be reversed in seconds.

                              See here:

                              http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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