how good are internet security suite firewalls vis-i-vis pure firewalls

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by thathagat, Oct 12, 2008.

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  1. thathagat

    thathagat Guest

    hi..........i was wondering if there is a major difference in firewall capabilities or safety parameters in firewalls of security suites like Kis2009...Norton2009 or pure firewalls like outpost pro2009....zonealarm pro....
     
  2. fax

    fax Registered Member

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    In case of ZAPRO as compared to ZA Suite, NONE.

    Cheers,
    Fax
     
  3. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Being part of a suite or being standalone doesn't make it any more or less 'secure'. But what are you looking for in a firewall?
     
  4. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    With respect to the OP, I don't think any of the products you mentioned are "pure" FW's. Certainly ZA Pro was a suite of tools when I used it.

    The only pure FW I have actually used is Kerio . There are others.
     
  5. markcc

    markcc Registered Member

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    I have often wondered about this also. Is one better off using an A/V like Avira, Norton 2009, GData ect. & then using a separate firewall like Online Armor, Outpost 2009 as apposed to using their security suite? It seems like the Suites are lacking in one or the other.
     
  6. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Sometimes you see more features and perhaps configurability in the stand-alone firewalls as opposed to ones in suites.

    Also, in a suite, typically one component of the suite is the strongest and one is weaker. For example, the developers may start out, produce a great AV product, Avira for example, then later create a suite by adding a firewall, something that Avira is not particularly known for. So in that case you get a good AV, but a weaker firewall perhaps. In the ZA Suite, you get a stronger firewall, their main product, and perhaps a weaker AV along with it. Similarly for others..

    Many folks prefer separates over a suite, the advantage is to get the best of both products in stand-alones and make your own "suite" of sorts.

    However, nowadays, some suites are really quite good overall, and would serve you well enough. Just depends on what you prefer....
     
  7. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    You have to be carefull of overlaping functions and potential conflict when you build your own "suite". Best to research exactly what features the product has before laying out your money or your time. Trial version is the most reliable way to do this.

    If you have say Avira and then had OA with AV + as an example you end up with 2 AV's and that is a no no!

    BTW OA is not a separate FW it is a suite, with Program Guard ( HIPS) a 2 way FW, Web site protection and a email shield for spoofs.

    Research by user essential. One good suite may be a better choice that 4 poorly selected and set up stand alone packages.

    If I were building a free stand alone layered set up I would start with the FW, Kerio then add Avira for my AVand SAS free for ASW. I'm unsure on HIPS. At one time it was TF but no longer.

    Currently using OA V3 Premium that gives me a FW and HIPS and I also have SAS Paid and Nod32. As well FF with no script.
     
  8. thathagat

    thathagat Guest


    well agreed, but that's the issue today it is difficult to find pure stand alone products...av's have adware,malware capabilties and spyware suites are having av.......firewalls have hips,spyware dealing potential.....so the question remains.......if one buys say outpost pro 2009 then which top notch av would work in its entirety....for one or the other component in either would conflict....so back to original question.......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2008
  9. Arup

    Arup Guest

    I prefer the router to do the job of filtering traffic and AV to keep out the nasties, why bother adding a slowing down second layer of firewall when you already have a router which does a capable job.
     
  10. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    Security Suites are basically bundled for novice/home users. Hence they tend to overlook or hide many functions that you may find in a stand-alone firewall product like say OA.

    In the end, it your requirements that takes presidence. If you are looking for ability to add custom rules set, have a powerful traditional HIPS, Competent SPI you may want a stand-alone firewall product which has been created for this purpose.

    Remember security suites are designed to be jack of all trades and hence logically can't be master of all trades. So choose as per you requirements ( and budget ).
     
  11. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    Possibily GhostWall also?

    Gerard
     
  12. fax

    fax Registered Member

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    The only problem I see with this approach is that inexperienced users are increasingly faced with conflicts of separate tools as compared to suites. Separate tools tends to add features overlapping with already existing tools or block by design competing brands.

    'Best-of' approach will be increasingly limited to a close round of more expert/advanced users.

    While for the large majority of users a suite will been more than enough since (IMO) the marginal advantage of a suite as compared to 'best-of' is often not proportional to the efforts needed to troubleshoot compatibility problems.

    From a security point of view hybrid suite (using different components from different companies such as F-secure, GDATA, ZA Suite) are per se already diversifying and minimising risk of one suite going OFF in one strike...

    Cheers,
    Fax
     
  13. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    This the reason for I go on to use KIS 7 and I didn't upgrade at KIS 2009. In KIS 2007 I'm the only owner of the fw rules. In the future, I think to have KAV and a stand alone fw like Outpost.
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I would agree. I do PC support and on average a user is doing well if they're aware of the need for antivirus and keep it current. The idea of using multiple resident security applications is more then many people can handle - suites give the average user better protection because they cover the bases with what the user sees as one application.
     
  15. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Symantec claims that there is a distinct benefit to a security suite – namely, it provides integration across the layers of security. For their perspective, read on.

    Source: Norton Protection Blog

    Source: Norton Protection Blog

    For more information on this subject, see: Security Suite: More Than the Sum of Its Parts?
     
  16. retread

    retread Registered Member

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    First of all, it is "vis a vis":D Secondly, the former post is exactly why I use a suite. For many years I used ZA and NAV, but when CA came along with a good ISS, I opted for it. What do I know? I have only been building computers since 1982. I now run a non-computer business and don't have the time to piddle with my 'puters, so the ISS fills the role of a member of my virtual IT team. I try to automate as much as I can on my LAN, and an ISS helps a great deal. I spend most of my time trying to run a business... I don't have time to waste with mundane computer chores. My hobby days are over.
     
  17. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    That integration of all the security components into one suite can also be a disadvantage. Shared components means shared dependencies and shared vulnerabilities. It can put the user in the unfortunate position of having the entire security suite crash if the vendor messes up on an update. Symantec has done this more than once. If a successful attack is found against that suite, the same results are possible. This is far less likely with separate applications where the only components in common are parts of the OS itself.

    The biggest problem with building your own is avoiding overlapping functions and the potential conflicts they bring. "Pure" firewalls are getting rare. That's one reason I stay with Kerio 2.1.5, besides the fact that it's a good firewall. Most of the firewalls are suites now, and most of them have some components that run at a kernel level. The problem begins when another security app is added, like HIPS for instance, or an AV with a rootkit module. Then you end up with more than one security app hooked into the kernel, each expecting to be hooked the deepest and having the "final say" over what goes on. They might get along fine. They might not. It depends on the apps, what version each is, the OS, how it's equipped, even what's installed.

    Even if you get lucky and all the apps work together great, it doesn't mean it will stay that way. If any of those kernel level apps updates, there's no guarantee that they'll still be compatible when it does. This happened with SSM and AntiVir when they released that rootkit module for their AV. The initial release was fine. The first update caused problems.

    If you're going to build your own suite, try to limit it to one kernel level security app. Little is gained by having more than one security app protecting at the kernel level. If you choose to have more than one, update them manually and have a system backup available. Make a system backup before you even start building your suite. Few apps have more potential to conflict than security apps. Just because 2 apps get along on one users PC doesn't mean that they will on yours.

    My favorite combination for a security suite is Kerio 2.1.5, SSM (either version) and Proxomitron. If you like rule based apps and a highly configurable setup, this is a hard combination to beat, provided the user knows how to configure them. AntiVir (without the rootkit module) works well with them. Script Sentry can add script protection to the combination for a very complete package. If you're really serious or paranoid, add a file integrity checker.
     
  18. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Hi Fax,

    Yes, this is true, and suites certainly seem to be doing well and becoming ever more popular these days... It is becoming more and more difficult to take the old approach of mixing and matching separates and coming up with a good set of apps that cover things well and don't conflict. For most, a suite is probably fine...
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yep, that sounds like a good combo of apps that would get the job done well, and light and fast also. I tend to prefer to keep it simple too. Sometimes a lot of problems are generated by just overloading on apps.
     
  20. Zyrtec

    Zyrtec Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I used to have all featured security suite installed on my PC a few years ago but now, I'm using stand-alone security applications to protect it.
    The reason behind my decision: All software available for use regardless it's for bussines use or home use have flaws. No matter who is the vendor, all of them have flaws.

    Therefore, if you're using a security suite (AntiVirus, Firewall, Anti-Spyware, etc.) and there is a vulnerability that can be exploited on that software you may be at risk unless the vendor rushes off a patch to fix that vulnerability.

    However, if you're running separate applications 1 stand-alone AV, 1 stand-alone firewall and one stand-alone anti-spyware it's going to be difficult that all of them have a simultaneous vulnerability that can be exploited at the same time, right?


    Having said that, I'd rather use stand-alone applications to protect my PC than a full featured security suite that can be compromised because some bad guys might find a flaw that can be exploited.


    Just my 2¢

    Carlos
     
  21. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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