I used Norton's Personal Firewall for a long time and really liked it. Another free alternative is Tiny Firewall it worked good and is free. For pop up stoppers try FreeSurfer it works great with no hassles at all.
or try Sygate Personal Firewall Pro, i used Nortons PF because it blended with my Norton AV but since switched to Sygate and am very happy with its simplicity and overall effectiveness without hogging resources even though my system can handle a hog. You can DL the Sygate trial from the website www.sygate.com and try it for yourself. In my experiences, Zone Alarm always logged a ton of port scans but i switched to Nortons PF and it was rare when i was port scanned even on cable modem and on sygate its in the middle somewhere so i have no idea why that is, maybe luck who knows.
thanks for the advice, I tried NIS before and I can't remeber for what reason I took it off, I remeberig it annoying me in some way, can't remember, think I'll try the sygate firewall and for the pop-ups I may go back to my roots with popupkiller unless there is something wrong with it now?? or unless there is a clearly better alternative?