'Lightweight' Firewall for Wife's PC

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by pvsurfer, May 4, 2006.

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  1. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    My wife has been using WinXP's FW on her PC (which btw is behind a router). I'd like to upgrade her to a better FW that offers outbound protection.

    The snag is that her PC is a P3 with 256MB RAM, so I need to find a FW for her that's easy on resources and at the same time fairly simple to use (she is not technically inclined)!

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Most of the truly light ones are rule based and therefore not so simple to use. In that class are ones like Kerio 2.1.5, Jetico, Filseclab, SensiveGuard, etc. If ease of use if important then you may want to try either good old Sygate or possibly ZoneAlarm. Sygate runs at about 8mb ram use when idle. ZA is a bit more, but not too high. NetVeda might also be another one to try..
     
  3. FatalChaos

    FatalChaos Registered Member

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    what about older versions of zone alarm? or even older versions of outpost. As long as all you want is outbound and inbound control, they should work fine.
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    looknstop is very light and shouldnt need much configuring unless u use p2p, ICS, wifi (maybe?), VPN and other such things.
     
  5. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    I can setup the FW for her, but I need one that is less 'nervous' insofar as alerts asking her what to do. That would throw her for a loop!

    No p2p or ics protection necessary, but she does have a wifi connection to the router.
     
  6. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    LnS would be good for that too, it only has app filtering and dll detection. but u do realize, that outbound protection results in (more) pop-ups?
     
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Yeah, I do realize that and I'm afraid those popups will worry her silly, especially as I'm not home all day to explain what's happening and help her out. :doubt:
     
  8. RAV

    RAV Registered Member

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    How about the OneCare which automatically makes the decisions based on its database? IMO, if the person doesn't know how to answer the question, then the firewall becomes pretty worthless. If you are going to configure it, I would just use ZA Free.
     
  9. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    pvsurfer, i think it would be fine if u left ur wife's computer with just the router and windows firewall (optional). if ur worried about malware, then a little education can go a long way.
     
  10. FatalChaos

    FatalChaos Registered Member

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    Just an opinion, but I don't think a firewall is a good idea here, unless you are willing to set it up for her or she learns a bit about firewalls. Otherwise, I think backing up and a good virus scanner (must scan on read and write!) + firefox w/ no script would be a good idea here. Or if she just does word processing/other things that can be done with open office, Linux might be a good choice. As long as you don't intend to play games, linux is usually very easy to set up.
     
  11. godzillex

    godzillex Registered Member

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    In practice, once you have installed the firewall on her system, all you have to do is to run the applications which access the Internet, and respond to the few of the pop-ups.
    After that, there should no longer any new surprises waiting for her.
     
  12. sick0

    sick0 Registered Member

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    look n stop... set it up, run all the programs that require internet access then password protect it and lock it... that way only those you authorize will be able to access the net. any new program will not be able to connect (no alert) unless you unlock it and add it...
     
  13. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    That's good advice. I have a similar laptop here, which is a P3 and is on a wifi connection as well. I chose Kerio 2.1.5 due to its good protection and lightweight resource usage (and the fact that it's free). It works really well and, now that all of the internet apps have been allowed, I only ever see alerts if I install new software or updates. At other times I forget it's even there.
     
  14. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Thanks for all of your advice - As her PC is behind a router, I'm going to just let her continue using WinXP SP2's FW. But I am going to replace her McAfee AV with NOD32 (which should free up some resources)!
     
  15. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    I think that staying with the XP built in firewall and adopting NOD32 both make sense. Actually, I would not even bother with the software firewall if the router is any good.

    You might want to review which services are running in XP. There is a lot of stuff enabled by default that is not needed. There used to be a site called black viper that explained all of this. You can google it and there are archives of what the site contained.

    Finally, unless you expect to take the machine out of service real soon, buying more memory might not be a bad idea.
     
  16. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Diver, good to see you around. ;)

    I run McAfee Firewall on my family machine it very rarely bothers to ask anything after intial set up. Out of all the ones I've used this has the fewest decisions asked of user IMHO...short of the suggestion offer by Diver. :)

    On my own machine I run Out Post Firewall, this machine uses Celeron chip with 256 RAM while it is a little bit of a strain it is not to bad. I do not have OP set to come up on start up. I start it up manually after all other stuff is up and running. On occassion I have forgotten to start OP for as much as a day or two. There is only a little bit of difference in speed of page loads and so on.

    I am behind a router with a working hardware FW...better add that quickly.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2006
  17. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    Then Look n Stop is an answer - Tutorial here.

    Hope this helps...

    Cheers :D
     
  18. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Thanks Blackspear. After removing McAfee Security Suite and installing the NOD32 trial plus enabling Win's FW, my wife's PC has been much more responsive! :thumb:

    Right now her system is running better than ever, but I'll give LnS a try and see if that impacts overall performance more than Windows FW.
     
  19. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Another vote for LnS. I have it on a Celeron 700Mhz laptop w/96mb of RAM, and it's not noticeable at all.
     
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