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KNOWLEDGABLE Assistance in choosing Firewall/Anti-virus prog

 
 
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 06:57 am
I had installed on my system EZ Firewall/Spam catcher/Anti-Virus program. It was working fine, then all of a sudden - without any change in program specifics from me, it turned off my internet access. I could not reach my server, could not even sign on to my piggyback aol account. damnit. I uninstalled it and everything went back to normal.

Does anyone know of a good reliable user-friendly program for pc novices like myself? I know of Norton, McAfee and some others - they all sound really good, but I am at a loss as to which is good for real and which is worth the money.

Maybe there is a comparison site somewhere? I'm at work, so I don't have time myself to go look for one...if you do and can help me, I'd be everrrrrr so grateful.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,299 • Replies: 7
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 07:05 am
Onyxelle- I use the free Zone Alarm, and am very happy with it. I used to have the Zone Alarm Pro, which was a pain in the butt. Craven used to call it "bloatware", and he probably was right. The free version is a lot simpler, and it does what a firewall needs to do


Link to Zone Alarm
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 07:09 am
Phoenix - does it check your email for spam also? What I liked about the EZ program was that it had a spam control and sent to the delete box the spam on auto ( I had to tell it that my a2k updates weren't spam though Smile )
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 07:26 am

No, it doesn't do that.



Link to what Zone Alarm does
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 09:32 am
I consider the free version of Zone Alerm to be bloatware as well.

I use the built in XP firewall. Since you have XP, you already have one.

To enable it, go to your network connections, select the connection you wish to firewall and rightclick and select properties.

On the advanced tab you can enable the firewall.

XP's firewall is lightweight, doesn't waste your time trying to prove it's necessary (Zone Alarm spews useless warnings to try to show you that it's doing a great job and keep in front of you so that you might buy it) and works frine.

Some fault it for not being as secure for outbound stuff but I actually prefer that.

Basically, the advantages are:

Embedded in the OS
Light memory footprint
Doesn't give idiotic prompts and warnings as it's not selling itself
Good protection from threats from the outside

The only knock on it is that if you already have the threat on the computer, the XP firewall isn't as tough on outgoing traffic, but that to me is a plus, as the ones that shut down all the outgoing stuff cause a lot of problems, and as long as you use the computer wisely and it is protecting against threats from outside, you shouldn't have anything bad dialing out anyway.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 09:34 am
onyxelle wrote:
Phoenix - does it check your email for spam also? What I liked about the EZ program was that it had a spam control and sent to the delete box the spam on auto ( I had to tell it that my a2k updates weren't spam though Smile )


This is not a fuction in any way related to a firewall. I recommend avoding programs that bundle stuff like this together, as it wastes memory.

If you want a spam guard, get a spam guar. A firewall is not a spam guard, even if some firewalls bundle themselves with spam guards.
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Monger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 10:16 am
I also use the built-in WinXP firewall, but on Win2000 systems my preferences are Kerio Personal and Sygate Personal (both freeware).

Incidently, the soon-coming comprehensive free update for WinXP -- Service Pack 2 -- will feature a significantly improved firewall which also monitors outgoing traffic. (IMO, much-maligned Microsoft should be commended for putting Longhorn on hold to bring out SP2).

As for AntiVirus, I use & strongly recommend Norton, but I've also heard excellent things about NOD32's superior hueristics. Three semi-decent full-featured freeware AntiVirus programs are AVG Free, Avast! Home, and AntiVir Personal.

And since spam filters were brought up...IMO the best free one is POPFile. Some other good free ones are SpamBayes, K9 and Spamihilator. (There are some other freebies as well but they're generally not as good).

According to comprehensive testing by a couple good magazines which I forget now, the best commercial spam filter (and yes it's significantly better than the free ones) is Inboxer.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 10:28 am
expert advise - mmmmm tastes good :-)
0 Replies
 
 

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