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Zonealarm or SP2 firewall?

#1
Prior to installing SP2, I used Zonealarm. Honestly, I used the program like a dumbass. I never bothered customizing the popups and manually selected NO for every popup Zonealarm threw at me.

Why didn't I select NO and tick the "remember this setting" (or something like that)? Because I was afraid I might need it activated some time later on.

I installed SP2 yesterday. It claims that the firewall has been improved. The interface looks sleek and no popups from the icon tray bothering me. So I'm wondering, is the firewall for SP2 good enough to replace Zonealarm? If it is, then I'd gladly stick with it. If not, I guess I'll go back to Zonealarm. Then, I'd also like some of you to help me use Zonealarm better. If that is possible... hehe...

Well? :confused:
 
#2
Personally, I would say Kerio over both of them, but if you really had to pick, the Windows firewall will probably offer the best ease-of-use. They do the same things--block unused ports and allow programs of your choosing to access the internet.
 
#3
Remember that Windows Firewall does not monitor outbound connections. It works nicely otherwise, and provides an adequate level of protection against inbound attacks.

If you need outbound monitoring, I'd have to recommend using Kerio 4.x, Outpost Pro, or Sygate. I have personally found them to be better than ZoneAlarm in the past.
 
#4
Thanx guys... I might give Kerio a try...
but what is inbound and outbound... for inbound, i'd assume it as someone trying to get in... outbound... is it when i am accidentally reaching dangerous site or something?

PLUS, would you use firefox even after SP2?

IE blocks popup now... doesn't it? so... u know...
 

Xie

- geek -
#5
Blade195 said:
Thanx guys... I might give Kerio a try...
but what is inbound and outbound... for inbound, i'd assume it as someone trying to get in... outbound... is it when i am accidentally reaching dangerous site or something?

PLUS, would you use firefox even after SP2?

IE blocks popup now... doesn't it? so... u know...
yeah inbound would be connections from outside your computer coming in .. outbound would be your computer making connections to others (or could virus/worm if your not protected). Also yes I'm going to continue to use Mozilla even after SP2 as I like the feel and features FAR better then IE. :)
 
#6
Blade195 said:
Thanx guys... I might give Kerio a try...
but what is inbound and outbound... for inbound, i'd assume it as someone trying to get in... outbound... is it when i am accidentally reaching dangerous site or something?

PLUS, would you use firefox even after SP2?

IE blocks popup now... doesn't it? so... u know...
Yes, as Xie said, an outbound connection could be attempted by a virus or a trojan, in which case Windows Firewall would allow the connection, while third-party software firewalls would popup a warning before allowing the connection. Whether you need this or not depends on you. Personally, I'm using Windows Firewall now.

As far as Firefox and IE 6 SP2, I'm definitely sticking to Firefox. MS implemented the popup and ActiveX blocking very well in IE, no doubt, but there's so much more to Firefox than just popup blocking. Extensibility and standards-compliance (along with correct CSS rendering) are two key points which IE still lacks.
 
#7
IE still hasn't fixed the png transparency issue, has it? And yes, I plan on using Firefox even after I install SP2 regardless how good IE is after SP2.
 
#8
cryogenic said:
IE still hasn't fixed the png transparency issue, has it?
Nope, guess we have to wait until IE 7 for that.
Who knows if it'll be fixed by then either, but considering the fact that Microsoft's IE devs have started an official blog and have encouraged users to directly post suggestions for improvement leads me to believe that it could happen. The PNG/CSS issues along with other things like tabbed browsing etc. have been big requests.
 
#9
Well, I suppose that's all fine and dandy, but I'll take the open-source browser developed by god knows how many developers on a daily basis. Security flaws in Mozilla tend to get patched more quickly than in IE. As a side note, I do kind of wish that MS would release a standard ruleset for use with the SP2 firewall and update them regularly such that most commercially available apps would automatically have access instead of having to configure the firewall.
 
#11
cryogenic said:
Well, I suppose that's all fine and dandy, but I'll take the open-source browser developed by god knows how many developers on a daily basis. Security flaws in Mozilla tend to get patched more quickly than in IE.
Same here

At least IE 6 SP2 is a definite improvement over the earlier version though.

As a side note, I do kind of wish that MS would release a standard ruleset for use with the SP2 firewall and update them regularly such that most commercially available apps would automatically have access instead of having to configure the firewall.
I don't think clicking an "Unblock" button once for each networked app is much of an inconvenience at all. Personally, I'd like to be in control of the firewall ruleset myself, rather than have MS make the decisions for me.
 
#12
The only problem is that that particular PC doesn't have a monitor hooked up to it and it'd be nice to not have to be logged into it via remote desktop (or VNC) to make sure everything is going to work properly everytime I install a new app that's going to be accepting inbound connections (since it doesn't monitor outbound connections). That's my only reasoning. I agree that it shouldn't be included by default; I was merely stating that I'd like a downloadable "exceptions" list already created instead of having to go in and create them. Make sense now? :)
 
#13
cryogenic said:
The only problem is that that particular PC doesn't have a monitor hooked up to it and it'd be nice to not have to be logged into it via remote desktop (or VNC) to make sure everything is going to work properly everytime I install a new app that's going to be accepting inbound connections (since it doesn't monitor outbound connections). That's my only reasoning. I agree that it shouldn't be included by default; I was merely stating that I'd like a downloadable "exceptions" list already created instead of having to go in and create them. Make sense now? :)
Yep, I guess that would work.
 
#14
cryogenic said:
IE still hasn't fixed the png transparency issue, has it?
Nope running SP2 already and still IE doesn't do transparent png's. I mean how hard would it really be to fix? Is it because it's a rolalty free format that they are giving it the cold shoulder?
 
#15
if anyone cares I was last recommended Sygate Personal Firewall by teh Enyo when I was looking for some firewall software to put on my dads PC
 
#16
[killa_bunny] said:
if anyone cares I was last recommended Sygate Personal Firewall by teh Enyo when I was looking for some firewall software to put on my dads PC
Hmm, as far as I remember, he always recommended Outpost Pro, or Kerio 4.x as an alternative freeware solution.
Did Sygate recently make any major changes that won over Enyo?
 

coathanger007

Tomorrow Tweaking Today
#17
Yup Kerio all the way. Higly customizable and allows my ICS through.

After installing Windows XP SP2 and enabling the Windows firewall, my Internet Connection Sharing was blocked. How do I configure the Windows firewall to allow ICS through. I don't see any trusted computers zone. If I add a port to the exclusion list, which port does ICS use?
 

apu95

Caffeine-->Code Converter
#18
I love my Zonealarm Pro personally. Has all the features anyone could want as long as you RTFM. Its not that hard to use either, even if you read the quick start guide you know the basic of it. The rest you can learn as you go. As for the little warnings when they pop up, theyre mostly gonna pop up when u actually open something. So if u want that something to access the internet, then you click yes and make it remember. not that hard...

as for sp2's firewall...i dont like it. it has the pop up thing like zonealarm, but hey, its windows for cryin out loud, its bound to have holes in it (already one security flaw has been found in sp2) and that why i dont trust it.
 
#19
I would say Sygate and isn't ICS and Windows Firewall interlinked now? Thought that I had read that ICS was part of the firewall now. :confused:
 

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