Help me decide on a Firewall

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Tex Zero, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. Tex Zero

    Tex Zero Registered Member

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    Hi

    I'm looking for a Software Firewall to replace Sunbelt Kerio 4.3.2 under XP Pro. The reasons I want to replace it are that I feel its getting a little old and Sunbelt don't seem to be developing it further than the odd update (no Vista version on the horizon).

    I'm really looking for something that's not a huge resource hog (I'm looking at you Symantec), isn't going to slow down interent access, is easy to configure (learning mode) and has some useful features like adblocking, etc.

    I'm not to concerned about malware scanning and stuff like that, or intergrated suites. I use and prefer NOD32 and Adaware/Spybot.

    So far I've looked at...

    Comodo - Tried it and it randomly blocked Firefox's access to the net. I tried a number of the "fixes" suggested on the Comodo forums without success. Too hard and too many people with issues for my liking. Uninstalled it and won't look at it again until the "can't get this to work" comments subside.

    Zone Alarm - Tried it years ago and had compatabiliy issues. Again lots of people with problems. Reports of it be a resource hog, etc.

    Kapersky - Running it on my Vista Media Center box. Seems good although my HTPC doesn't do much more network stuff than downloading MS updates and the EPG. Seems people eithier love it or hate it.

    Agnitum Outpost - Don't know too much about this. Lots of configurable options, some nice plugin extras and there doesn't seem to be too many people complaining about problems. Either not many people use it or it works as advertised and nobody has any issues.

    So, at the moment Outpost is looking the business unless someone can give me a reason not to use it or convince me that I should stay with Kerio.

    Any opinions or suggestions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Kerio is at 4.5 atm, have you tried it?

    Also do you really need a firewall with ad-blocking? You can use AdBlock Plus for Firefox, or IE7pro for IE.
     
  3. Tex Zero

    Tex Zero Registered Member

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    No, I haven't tried 4.5 and no, I don't really need an adblocker built in. Its just that if it has one its one less thing to worry about I guess.

    I have been using Kerio since before Sunbelt bought it and have been pretty happy with it (but I'm no expert). However, I read this report and it suggests that Kerio 4.3.2 is basically crap and as i said, there doesn't seem to be much improvement over the design and function of Kerio.

    They suggest that Kaspersky is the best overall and is pretty light on resources if you only install the AV and FW components. Maybe I should ditch my faithful NOD32 and try Kaspersky on my everyday machine.

    http://www.matousec.com/projects/windows-personal-firewall-analysis/Kerio-Personal-Firewall-4.3.246/
     
  4. Thanasis159

    Thanasis159 Registered Member

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    I use comodo and I love it but I understand that it isn;t to everyone's liking! I also think that Agnitum Outpost is really great and I love it! Sunbelt is a great choice for you... Doesn't need a lot of configuration, low on resources and it is on a special limited time price of 10$, about 8 euros, for one year license! You should check it out!
     
  5. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    I use Kaspersky myself with only File AV, Web AV, and teh Firewall. It runs well.

    For a standalone firewall Id suggest LooknStop. Its light and wont slow down your surfing.
     
  6. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  7. Rickster100

    Rickster100 Registered Member

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    Hello Tex Zero,

    Well, you are going to get a lot of different opinions here! The best thing is to trial each one of your choices for a few days each to get a feel on how each one performs on your system. You've got to try them for yourself.

    Regarding Outpost, it does have a lot of plugin options but you do not have to use any of them, and they can all be disabled/removed if not required. NOD32 and Outpost seem to run very well together.

    If you intend to install several different firewalls it would be better to have a clean image to start off with before testing each one. Many of your choices of firewall product have useful Forums that will give you guidance. Good luck with your quest! ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  8. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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  9. Tex Zero

    Tex Zero Registered Member

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    Too... many... options... head... going... to... explode! :)

    Seriously, the more I read the more confused I get. At the moment I'm vassilating between KIS and Outpost/NOD32.

    On one hand I don't want to give up my beloved NOD and on the other KIS seems to offer a better overall product.

    It's too bad that Comodo still has a few issues to iron out and didn't work for me. I'm a big believer in apps that do their primary role very well without bloated add ons. It's why I like NOD32 as my AV and I just hope that ESET don't stuff it up by going down the "suite" route.
     
  10. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I have never had any issues with Comodo. When I installed it I had it search my HD for safe apps and then put it in learning mode for a month before switching to custom mode. The only time I get a pop up is for a new or changed installation. It's set it and forget it. I know some guys like to tweek and change settings, but I just let it do its thing. No problem.:)
     
  11. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Then try them both out for a few days each.

    But KIS is a suite, though a very good one, probably the best on the market.
     
  12. 19monty64

    19monty64 Registered Member

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    Keep it simple then! You already have Nod, so give Outpost a try and see how they work. If you don't like that combo...you've got a back-up plan. Simple.
     
  13. JamesFrance

    JamesFrance Guest

    I wonder which version of Comodo PF you tried?

    If it was the new CPF 3 beta it is still in the early stages of development and yes it has a few bugs.

    I would be surprised if you had any problem with CPF 2.4.18.184 which is well established now.
     
  14. Tex Zero

    Tex Zero Registered Member

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    CPF 2.4.18.184

    I had issues with connecting to the internet and with Comodo remembering some of my choices on the pop ups.

    Comodo would randomly block access for Firefox and they only way I could get around it was to disable CPF then reenable it. Firefox would work fine again for awhile, then stop again. This seems to be a common CPF issue for some users from posts on the Comodo forums and I tried disabling some of the functions like .dll protect etc. and removing Firefox from the application list so CPF would relearn FF as suggested on the Comodo forums, but the issue persisted.

    I'm also wary of applications that require you to disable default functions to get them to work - particulalry given that this was on a new clean install - so I gave up on CPF. At least until v3 comes out and I see what people think of it.

    For now I've installed the 30 day trial of KIS 7 and I must say I'm impressed. I've never been a big fan of intregrated suites but KIS seems very good. Installation was straight forward and it allowed me to choose what modules were installed. I chose not to install the parental controls and the anti spam stuff.

    I'm still getting my head around how everything works, but it seems very comprehesive and is much lighter on resources than I expected. Memory use at idle is less than the Kerio/NOD32 combination it replaced and a compete scan of my system peaked at around 100Mb.

    No noticable impact on performance over the previous combo either.

    I'll give KIS till the end of the trial and maybe revisit CPF if version 3 is out. I might also give a NOD32/Outpost combo a go as well - its too bad KIS is so expensive in comparison to other products.

    BTW. Does anyone know if there's a guide on setting KIS up for optimal use floating around?
     
  15. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    Never had a problem here with Comodo and Firefox on XP or Server 2003. Did you add some strange rules to the network page?
     
  16. Tex Zero

    Tex Zero Registered Member

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    Not that I'm aware of. It's possible I did so acceidentally when replying to a pop up notification. But I reinstalled it and got the same result and it seems I'm not alone if my troll through the Comodo forums is any indication.

    Anyhoo, its uninstalled now and I'll wait for v3 before I look at it again.
     
  17. alex_s

    alex_s Registered Member

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    I'd recommend to take a look on Online Armor. Their release is not that good, but the latest beta (which you can have in case you purchased OA) works just great. Easy-to-use Firefall+antikeylogger+HIPS+AV from karspersky. I personally tested it with all the matousec leaktests and OA passes them 100% (latest beta 2.0.1.210). In addition I can say it catched a pair of beasts that were not recognized by antivirus. You just feel safe, but you are not annoyed with a lot of popups free firewalls introduce. And which is more, I never saw such informal and friendly support :)
     
  18. JamesFrance

    JamesFrance Guest

    I find it interesting that so many people suggest that it is free firewalls that cause popups and other nasties.

    I do think that expensive = good and free = bad is being killed off by such as Comodo.

    There will of course always be those with vested interests who try to destroy confidence in free products, but I think they will run out of scare stories before they do any lasting damage.
     
  19. alex_s

    alex_s Registered Member

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    As for me I could not bear Comodo for more than two weeks. "this changed" and "that changed" I just gave up to read it because it took too much time. Then I tried Rootkit Unhooker on Comodo and all its protection has gone. I tried Rootkit Unhooker on OA (beta), RKU crashed.
     
  20. JamesFrance

    JamesFrance Guest

    I guess this says more about Rootkit Unhooker than it does about CPF.
     
  21. alex_s

    alex_s Registered Member

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    I just meant its security is overated a bit. Another test. Open regedit: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Start Page and enter there: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/leak/cpil.html and have a fun.
     
  22. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I would still consider Comodo firewall. It works, but it does require you to make decisions that are a bit more focused than some other products. This however when well learned could lead you to keep more secure and alert.

    Nothing worth using is completely without effort!
     
  23. Badcompany

    Badcompany Registered Member

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    Have a look at Online Armor Personal firewall, it's easy to configure light on resources and support is first class. Very nice Firewall. http://www.tallemu.com/firewall.html
    Badcompany.
     
  24. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    What decisions? I installed it in auto mode, had it scan my drive for familiar apps, set it on learning mode for a month, and then moved it to custom mode. After that I forgot it. Occasionally a changed or new item will put up a pop up, an you click yes or no.
     
  25. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Mmmh... That scan process you are talking about only works if your computer is clean of any exploit, viruses or spyware. Remember that this scan is white listing your computer software pretty much blindly (Except for Comodo's built in white list). This would be completely safe to do on a fresh build of the system. Besides making most of your decisions during install allows you to get a much better overview of network centric applications as well as providing you with a better understanding of background activities.

    I realize most users might prefer a blind automated performance but I think this actually defeats the purpose of having actual control over this process. Also I think my advice (as posted in another thread) to perform a full admin session on the pc before setup still stands as a wise idea...
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
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