How difficult is Outpost to learn?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by fire&ice, Jan 6, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. fire&ice

    fire&ice Guest

    Hi

    I was thinking of trying Outpost firewall and was wondering how difficult it is to learn how to use it? I have only used NPF 2003 and Zonealarm free. Would it be very difficult to set it up and get it working? Any tips on doing so? Thanks very much for any help.
     
  2. Jimbob1989

    Jimbob1989 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Posts:
    2,529
    There isn't realy much to learn, it is reasonably straight forward with different modes to alllow it to learn the settings you want, however you want.

    Jimbob
     
  3. fire&ice

    fire&ice Guest

    Thanks for your reply Jimbob1989. I have heard others say it was harder to use Outpost than Either NPF or ZA. I think they said it was because it is a rules based firewall, that you have to make your own rules for it, and you really have to know what your doing to make rules for a firewall. I don't really know too much about firewalls, let alone making my own rules for one, but I can use NPF and Zonealarm ok. So your saying if I can handle NPF & ZA ok I should be able to handle Outpost pretty well too? Thanks.
     
  4. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Posts:
    3,647
    IMHO Sygate Personal Firewall is one of the easiest firewalls that I've ever used. Easy to use and easy to configure! :cool:
     
  5. Jimbob1989

    Jimbob1989 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Posts:
    2,529
    I use Zone Alarm Pro but I have used Outpost before. You can set it to ask you for your opinion whenever an application tries to connect to the internet and if you want remember your settings just like Zone Alarm.

    Jimbob
     
  6. Fedorov999

    Fedorov999 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Posts:
    182
    Yup, I've installed Sygate Free and Pro versions on 100's of PCs over the last couple of years - main reason being I can "almost" safely give it to the most incompetent of users (normally neighbours and friends/family!) and it is EASY to use - I've tried almost every other firewall out there and while I myself can get away with some of them they are certainly not for the average home user.

    OutPost is one I've purchased but I'd NEVER recommend putting it on anyone else's PC who needed a firewall as there is simply too much to learn with the rules configuration.

    Regards,

    Fedorov.
     
  7. controler

    controler Guest

    There is always Look & Stop with Enhanced ruleset or Phantoms Ruleset
    Plus where are you going to find better support then right here?

    And Yes I have used Sygate and liked it. You won't get DLL protection unless you fork over the extra moola for PRO.

    I am not sure but is Sygate lifetime updates, like Outpost and L&S are?

    Could someone show a list of the firewalls which offer free lifetime updates ?
    I think the list woul;d help alot of people.

    Bruce
     
  8. fire&ice

    fire&ice Guest

    Thanks for the replies guys, but if you look at this page http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tests.htm you'll see that Sygate barely beat NPF and both seem to get very poor ratings against the leaktests. So I don't think I would want to go with a firewall that is almost as bad as NPF against those leaktests. If I was going to try something besides NPF or Outpost, I would probably go with Zonealarm, at least it got a respectable rating in those tests. I don't know anything about Look & Stop. Is that a rules based firewall too?
     
  9. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Posts:
    3,647
    Bruce, I have to disagree with you on the above quoted statement. I'm not using the PRO version of Sygate I'm using the free version. Who says you won't get DLL protection unless you fork out money for the pro version. This is the protection offered by the Sygate Personal Firewall free version. See this screenshot:

    Does the free version of Sygate provide DLL protection? YES.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Posts:
    2,499
    I dont think outpost is that hard at all to run.In fact when run in rules wizard mode ,most widely used applications have preset rules ,which outpost recognizes and loads the rules for you.Similarly if you are using an application that isnt in the preset list , outpost makes the rule for you and offers you to allow all activities....stop all activities ...allow once....block once.....or create a custom rule.Creating a custom rule is easy as its allready made for you .All you have to do is then accept the rule or deny the rule
    Theres a good guide here...
    http://www.outpostfirewall.com/guide/rules/presets.htm
    ellison
     
  11. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    I don't think Outpost Pro is very difficult if you just want to install it and use the default settings. If you want to tighten up the default rules a little then you might need some guidance. The Outpost Forum is good for that kind of thing.

    Look N Stop is a rules based firewall, yes. Many like it. If you're not good with rules, I'd recommend something simpler like Outpost Pro or ZoneAlarm though. ZoneAlarm is perhaps the easiest to use and does an adequate job. However, be aware that some people have had troubles with the newest 5.x releases.

    Best thing is probably just try a few and see what you think...
     
  12. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Posts:
    1,132
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Outpost just looks difficult, but current versions are quite easy. Default install should be fine for most.
    And the alerts? No more than other fw's. I'm having a hard time configuring Checkpoint Interity Flex (ZoneAlarm for most of you) on some corporate laptop. Can't get the hang of it :doubt: Give me OP any time...
     
  13. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    2,442
    Location:
    Sky over the Wilders Forest
    Fellow Creatures,
    Timely thread for me. I have dropped ZAP 5.1 (expired key) and gone with OutPost Pro. I am still learning how to use it as I have been using Zone Alarm for years, Pro and Free. Creature Jimbob is correct imho (and others have said the same) OP is not difficult at all. It installed and set up nicely after clean uninstall of ZAP. Installed last night. My Emachine has Norton Firewall 04 :p I do not really like it, it works o. k. Honestly I think it is harder then OP and it will be much more expensive then free upgrades for life like I got with OP :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005
  14. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Outpost Pro is a very nice firewall. I use it sometimes myself. The only thing that I couldn't get a satisfactory answer to was the question of stateful inspection. Is it enabled by default on some level all the time for all connections? Or do you have to enable it in each individual rule (very tedious and time consuming) for specific apps and purposes. Seemed to me that SPI should be enabled by default all the time on some level, but after reading on the Outpost Forums and other places, I could never get a clear explanation of it all.

    Other than that question, I like the firewall very much. It has excellent logging features and is fairly configurable for those who want to take the time to tighten it up.
     
  15. Diver

    Diver Guest

    Outpost Pro uses a lot of memory, more than any other firewall.

    The whole leaktest thing is totally overblown. It just tests one aspect of firewall performance regarding a flaw in Internet Explorer that allows it to be loaded with a hidden window, patched in memory and make an outbound connection on port 80. I have yet to hear of an actual exploit that uses this concept, and it would have to get past your AV as well to work. If you are really worried about this kind of thing get ProcessGuard or SSM.

    Leaktest does not test inbound firewall performance at all.
     
  16. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Posts:
    355
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Actually, there isn't just one "leaktest" there are several and each use different mechanisms. The thing I find objectionable is the assumption that leaktest applied only to Microsoft IE, that is not in general true. There may be some "leak" vectors that rely on IE flaws, but not all of them. In fact, I believe the "original" leaktest created by GRC simply instantiated a process with a common executable name to attempt outbound conversations. That is, many early personal firewalls would simply check the process name and compare it to a permit/deny list. For example, if a process was named "iexplore.exe" (assumed to be Internet Explorer), "msimn.exe" (assumed to be Outlook Express), etc. then some early firewalls would let them go outbound because of the very likely previous "ok" granted by a user for the common underlying app. Now firewalls use checksums and cryptographic hashes to verify that an app is the same one that the user has already permitted/denied.

    There are other leaktest routes, though. For example, DLL injection methods can allow a trojan to make use of an existing process to communicate outbound. Then there are holes specific to certain apps like the IE one that you mentioned. My point simply is that there are many theoretical ways that a firewall could "leak" outbound information, and while it's certainly not the only security concern... it nevertheless is still a fairly important one. The people that dream up new firewall leaks and report them, allow the software firewall designers to continuously improve their products.
     
  17. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    2,651
    I guess meneer and mercurie are quite correct as I may say. I use Outpost myself and in the beginning I was using the preconfigured rules.

    Paranoid2000 (also super moderator at agnitum forum) has extended his helpfile regarding how to configure Outpost right, it took me a while but works ok, not that easy anymore as in the beginning but that would be normal I guess...we all learn sometimes:D

    as far as leaktests: I do think they are important.
     
  18. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Posts:
    2,106
    Location:
    USA
    I would say that Outpost has a bit of a learning curve, but it can do soooo much that it is worth taking a little time to learn about. I would also say to not use it 'Out of the box' ......If you care to learn, again it won't take all that much time, unlike some firewalls out there, i would venture to say you will be happy with your choice....very helpful forum here...
    http://www.outpostfirewall.com/forum/
    IMHO...a super firewall...and FUN ;)
     
  19. Wormonline

    Wormonline Guest

    Hello, I'm new to this forum, and I hope you can help me with some problems I'm having. Couple of weeks ago, my computer was so full of adware, spyware, viruses, trojans, and everything else that is bad for it, that I decided to format it. So i came back online with a nice and empty harddisk, and two minutes later, practically all the same **** was back on it again. Luckily, I managed to get rid of it again, and now I'm using my firewall to protect me against them. But the thing with firewalls is, I always get the feeling they're blocking almost everything I want to do. For instance, if I want to go to google.nl, it won't do it. No website can be found. But, if I manage to find a website that does work, most other websites will work as well. But only for a short time. Then he goes back to his old routine of blocking everything. And if I turn off the firewall, I think it does OK and finds most of the websites, BUT there are a couple of reasons why I'm not doing that. One of them is, of course, my whole computer will get stuffed with thrash and stuff. Second, I have got the Sasser virus (which I can't get rid of), which starts Closing Windows after a couple of minutes, unless you use a firewall. Well, everybody has heard about it, I think.

    So now, I'm using Outpost Pro, but I have the feeling it's blocking everything. Like I said, I'm not familiar with firewalls, and am not very good at using them. Also, downloading an antivirus device is quite difficult because I hardly manage to reach an Antivirus website. What do you guys think is the problem? Is it me, who can't handle the firewalls? Is it my firewall, that's blocking everything? Is it both? Is it something else? Does anybody have a solution?

    Thanks VERY much in advance,

    Steven
     
  20. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    2,257
    Hi Steven

    To stop the shutdown's click: Start > run > type "shutdown -a", click ok, this will stop the shutdown's, then put Outpost in "wizard-mode" (look at the screenshot) this will put you in charge of what you want to allow, pre-configured rules will presented to you, for you to allow or not.
    After this, i would run a online-scan (free), Panda, Trend-micro and Bitdefender are good choises (links are in my signature), a good place to learn about OP is at the Outpostfirewall forum

    Hope this helps.:)
     

    Attached Files:

    • 12.png
      12.png
      File size:
      26.2 KB
      Views:
      270
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  21. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,839
    Location:
    North West, United Kingdom
    Anyone considering Outpost may find the manuals on Agnitum's download page a useful read along with the Web-Hiker's Guide to Outpost Firewall (which it covers the old version 1, most of it applies to version 2 also).
    The lifetime update offer on Outpost will expire on January 10th - the normal licence is unlimited usage with one year of free upgrades (licence renewals gain a 50% discount. There is a 50% discount for people migrating from other firewalls also but I don't know if this can be used with the lifetime upgrade offer.

    Note that L&S does not offer lifetime upgrades, major updates will be chargeable (see the Some Clarification please Frederic thread).
    More likely you have adware/spyware on your system that is blocking access to security websites. Check out the Parasite Fight! page for instructions (and links) for cleaning your system.

    Note that while a firewall like Outpost can block a number of malware attack methods, the most common are Internet Explorer exploits which firewalls do not generally cover (though Outpost's Active Content plugin can help in restricting what websites are allowed to do). Lock down IE's settings on your system or consider an alternative browser like Firefox or Opera to avoid further occurrences (see Why did I get infected in the first place for more advice).
     
  22. Caratacus

    Caratacus Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Posts:
    164
    Location:
    Australia
    I emailed Outpost yesterday asking that very question but so far no reply.
     
  23. hojtsy

    hojtsy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Posts:
    351
    You definitely don't need, and should NOT enable the SPI flag for all of your rules. The expression "Stateful Inspection" means a lot of things to a different persons, who, I am sure, will be eager to define the term for you. In the meantime I will concentrate on the SPI flag. It instructs Outpost to allow all in/outbound communication with a specific remote address, while an open connection to the same address is allowed by an SPI flagged rule. So for example, you have a rule allowing app1.exe to open TCP connection to ANY:8765. Suppose that this example rule has the SPI flag activated. Now during app1.exe is keeping an open connection to 123.123.123.123:8765, the same application is also allowed to make (multiple) in/outbound connections to any ports of the same IP (123.123.123.123). That is the meaning of the SPI flag. You may now see that enabling the SPI flag for a rule make your firewall rules *less* restrictive, and should only be used when necessary.
    If you are not prepared to deal with technical details like this, you should consider a more simpified firewall.
    -hojtsy-
     
  24. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Thanks for the explanation. Outpost seems to have a very odd implementation of SPI. To say the least, it's not what you typically encounter in most firewalls. I do like Outpost, but I prefer the SPI implemented in firewalls such as CHX-I for example. ;)
     
  25. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    2,442
    Location:
    Sky over the Wilders Forest
    Interesting... :) ...Thanks for all the comments. Hope we are helping fire&ice. I will likely look at Parinoid2k settings in the near future this is also something I had in mind when I made my purchase. He carries the OutPost banner well here at the Wilders (nice knowledgeable helper).

    Also Rainwalker this is another reason I went with Out Post a good helpful friendly forum. I agree. Much better then ZL imho. Some good people there...difficult to express without sounding like degrading or slamming, but I think most understand. Fun has just begun I will learn more about FWs I think. The product seems to work well that way :)

    Driver, I have not checked memory useage but my machine, that OP is on is a older Compaq with 256Meg memory, 4.5 years old, XP Home OS. With OP I notice no worse system performace or speeds then with ZAP, maybe even a tiny bit faster. My hard drive certainly is less active so far.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.