Hi all, I've been browsing these forums for a few days and I think I'm more confused than ever! I am a bit out of my depth regarding networking issues, and I'm reluctant to edit a firewall rule in case I open up a hole. I know it probably gets asked a million times a day, but I'd appreciate any advice regarding choosing a decent firewall. Until recently I was using Norton Internet Security, but I have just reloaded windows and want to avoid NIS this time as it has been a bit unreliable and frustrating at times. I have a laptop connected wirelessly and a PC plugged into a wireless router. The two computers share with each other for backing up files etc and both access the net. Both machines run XP pro SP2 and are clean and fully patched and updated etc. Zone Alarm bothered me a bit with its frequent alerts and permission requests, esp. if installing software for example. It also added about a minute and a half to my bootup time which annoyed me quite a lot - it doesn't inspire confidence in the software and I was scared the desktop would never build! Kerio seemed clean and tidy, except that I have to edit some rules to allow the two machines to communicate and of course I'm paranoid about opening it wide up. It also failed GRC's leaktest without even renaming the file which is a bit of a worry. So I'd really appreciate some kindly advice from the knowledgable security folks here - should I stick with Kerio and seek advice on rules, or would Zone Alarm give a networking newbie better protection out of the box? Is ZA's ridiculously slow startup common?! I realise there are some other alternatives out there too but they seem to be aimed at the more advanced users. Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post but I'd appreciate any input!