Recommendations - FW for non-tech wife's new laptop???

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by phkhgh, Aug 28, 2007.

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  1. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Looking for FW recommendations for wife’s work laptop, given specific wants / needs, free or payed versions.

    It’s a new Toshiba w/ Intel T-7100, 2 GB RAM, Vista Home Prem (for now), so power shouldn’t be an issue.

    At home, we use ZoneAlarm Pro 7 ( & Kaspersky AV 7), but I do ALL maintenance / configuration / troubleshooting. ZA isn’t problem free. I don’t expect doing much of that on her machine. Don’t mind doing initial set up – security prgms, etc. Not sure if they’re the best for HER (don’t know).

    With that in mind, top considerations for her needs are probably:

    1)She’s fairly non-tech; not interested in learning intricacies of security software. Can follow instructions (mostly), but not interested in much trouble shooting.
    2)Need to have among least problems in their class for interfering w/ other apps.
    3)Programs need to be fairly straight forward & effective w/ (mostly) default settings for non – techies; don’t require much tweaking.
    4)Probably above avg security effectiveness, but not necessarily “the best.”
    5)Free is A consideration, but not THE consideration.
    6)Mostly, web access will be through corp server, or behind a DSL modem w/ NAT & PAT.

    Comodo is popular (partly due to $0 ??). There are several other free versions (Outpost, Look n Stop, Jetico, other) also relatively popular – never used any. Not sure if most / any are best choice for HER.

    Thanks for comments / suggestions.
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Why not the Windows Firewall?

    You can also try LooknStop and disable the application filtering.
     
  3. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Thanks.
    Don't know too much about Vista's FW. From everything I've ever read (unbiased), Windows FW (XP) is better than nothing, but hardly considered "good."

    Possibility will switch Vista for XP.

    You mean let any & all apps access web whenever they want? What do you think about Look n Stop from standpoint of ease of use, default settings, few conflicts / issues?
     
  4. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    The firewall in Vista with Advanced security is actually a pretty good in and out firewall. And it is going to use the least amount of resources as it is part of the operating system. I use it and am satisfied with it. I am useing it in Vista Home Premium.
     
  5. Bls440

    Bls440 Registered Member

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    I'd say the easiest to use are LnS/ZA/PC tools.
    Of course, you can disable application/outbound filtering so your wife won't get annoyed by any pop ups.
     
  6. ankupan

    ankupan Registered Member

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    Hi,

    When some one is non-tech than i always recommend the NIS 07.

    very less popup and user can work without any problem.



     
  7. Perman

    Perman Registered Member

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    Hi, folks: This may make a lot of good sense. Why? My ISP has offered this app free of charge for its subscribers--millions users. It must be very easiest to use and poses no hassles. Although some members here are somewhat critical of it.
     
  8. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Youre not paranoid are you? ;)

    I think inbound protection is more important; also I said to diable it so there wouldnt be popups.
    *Its fairly easy to use. You only need rules if you use p2p or gaming. I do not know about instant messaging though.
    *The default settings are ok, but you can easily switch from the Standard to Enhanced ruleset; the latter stealths your computer's ports.
    *The only issue I had was with DEP but it has been addressed in version 2.06.
     
  9. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far. Any comments I make aren't to be mistaken as being unappreciative.

    I'm surprised for the AV, no one's talked much about NOD32, Avira, AVG, Avast or even KAV; or for FW - Comodo, Outpost, Kerio or ZA, etc.
    Heeeellllllll yes! Especially if she puts (accidently) info on the machine that we don't want in cyberspace.

    I agree. The popups of apps wanting net access doesn't seem to bother her much. More of which settings should be set at what & learning / remembering what they mean.

    I don't think I'd recommend she use a FW w/o it set in "Stealth mode." In that regard, ZA is fairly easy, but there are lots of other settings that can / do interfere w/ some actions or apps.

    I'm sure some of these have similar features to ZA (& some they don't). ZA has an "I'm so damn paranoid, I want to know every freakin' thing that happens" mode, or "Only the important stuff," or "Don't tell me anything."
    Appreciate that, but I'm one of the "somewhat critical" folks of Norton AV / FW. Norton & McAfee are not considerations.:(
    Where did the PCtools come from? Not familiar w/ that one(s).

    I love a good, free app, cause don't mind doing the self support. That's probably not thinking like her - she's not gonna search & post questions, etc. It'd fall back on me, or she might w/hold the good stuff... Hey, wait... that card's already been played!

    I notice that Kaspersky AV 6 is on sale for free after rebates.
    It's been good (for me), but wouldn't call it "easy" to use. Now days, a FW or AV that's "easy" and "effective" may not exist. Guess she'll have a learning curve.;)

    Before Norton & McAfee started that free stuff (long ago), they were quality products (sorry Perman). Hope this isn't the beginning of same decline for KAV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  10. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    Isn't Online Armor a firewall, and it seems to have a good following? The thinks I have read here indicate that it plays well with most everything.

    Thanks,
    Jerry
     
  11. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    IMO the Windows Firewall would suit her needs sufficiently. It's free, light as a feather, and the protection is perfectly fine (both inbound & outbound, since you have Vista OS).

    If you're looking for AV too, with free being "A" priority Avira PEC & Avast Home are the 2 best options. If she uses P2P, go with Avast, otherwise Avira. If you don't mind paying then I'd recommend KAV, Nod32, and Avira PEP.
     
  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Its based on LooknStop iirc, but its free.
     
  13. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Well, thanks again everyone.
    I'll definitely look closer at many of these. I'll do some reading on Vista's FW. In the past, most MS security attempts were pretty dismal and easily circumvented by serious hackers.

    P.S. If I want my wife to know I called her technically challenged, I'll tell her myself. Let's just keep that between us.:D
     
  14. GES/POR

    GES/POR Registered Member

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    Y does windows firewall get recommended so many times for people who want an easy to use alternative because thei simply do not trust one single microsoft aplplication when it comes to security. Im never seeying outlook getting recommend. C'mon people y not give it your best. Maybe the following would be of any use: avira suite, bitdefender suite, online armor definetly kick ass and easy to use even for a wifey :oops: . Might be plenty of other options but maybe trial alot of them yourself just to see if they'd fit. Looky here: http://www.matousec.com/projects/windows-personal-firewall-analysis/links.php

    prisma firewall, take a closer look there 2.

    So guys what's the deal with pc tools firewall? I totally missed the coverage on that. Easy to use, kick ass meaning does wel in personal security tests,light on system resources,few processes, lightly system impact?
     
  15. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Thanks for link, GES/POR. Looks interesting. Will study later.
    Online Armor? Prisma FW?

    PC Tools - they don't develop their own product, do they?
    Why don't I see those in any tests? Or did I miss them?
     
  16. nhamilton

    nhamilton Registered Member

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    They are in some of the tests, but there firewall has only been around less then a year. Other then it has it's roots in LnS, version 3 of there firewall (which they have just released) is really starting to show that there has been a lot of development and changes from what they started with.
     
  17. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    The Windows Firewall (even XP version) is no more easily bypassed than the next software firewall. Don't know why people buy into the myth that it doesn't provide good inbound protection. The flaw is it's lack of outbound protection (which doesn't apply to Vista).

    A "serious hacker", on a mission, with enough time on their hands, can circumvent anything.
     
  18. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    if you want to use it with XP go with outpost firewall very good firewall its work well in default mode dont need to do any things and provide good security even in that mode where as for vista mode you have to wait for a while it is still in beta test....

    if you are going to install in vista go for KIS 7 its a complete security suite and worth buying...................

    :D
     
  19. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Well, one of it's flaws. I'm not sure I ever read any review anywhere that put Windows FW on par w/ other top rated ones. Better than nothing for sure, and maybe sufficient for many. Don't know anything about Vista's FW - yet. But I won't take M$ word how good it is. Have you seen any REAL FW tests rating it against other top ones?

    I believe "the proof's in the pudding."
    Outpost not Vista ready, huh?
    I'm not a fan of security suite products, in general. If something goes wrong w/ one, both are (use to be) affected. Maybe some developers have eliminated that problem? Other thing, usually one company doesn't have the best (or even nearly best) FW AND AV.
     
  20. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    Here is another vote for the Vista firewall. It may not be easy for the average user to set up outbound filtering, but once its done it blocks all unauthorized outbound connections silently.

    The user noes not have to know it is there.
     
  21. phkhgh

    phkhgh Registered Member

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    Thanks Diver,

    I can & will do a search on this topic, but does anyone have specific reviews or tests (not from M$) on Vista FW? It may be good - dunno. If so, will be a new trend for M$.

    IMO, being free should be way down the list of reasons for choosing security software, M$ or any other. It's (may be) like buying the cheapest tires or brakes you can.
     
  22. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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    Actually a lot of people select items based on price such as tires and car parts. Even though the part may not last long, the bottom line is how much they can afford. If you had to choose between a diamond and cubic zirconium, many will go with the cheap stuff. :D
     
  23. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Well you did list free as "a" consideration, that's probably why people are using it as a criteria. Regardless of cost, based on the given information I'd recommend the integrated Vista Firewall. Non-tech user... once the initial settings are set up (which you claim you'll do), she won't be bothered with constant "allow/deny" popups. It works quietly, and since it's integrated into the OS is extremely light. Much lighter than any 3'rd party software firewall would be. Don't see why you would'nt use it. If I was running Vista I would, and use either KAV or Nod32 for AV instead of the full KIS suite.

    Yes many Microsoft security products have been crap. Many Kellogs cereals are crap too, but that doesn't stop me from eating my Frosted Flakes. By the way you spell Microsoft (M$)... I have a feeling you have personal issues against them that would prevent you from being objective about this matter. I could be wrong, so if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't, then don't.

    I'm too lazy to go scouring the net for comparative ratings. I find them to be useless anyway. They're completely subjective and oftentimes biased. The best way to learn is to experience something yourself.
     
  24. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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  25. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I set up my Daughter with her first computer a year ago. She is a total newbie. I installed EZ-Armor suite, and she couldn't handle it. I uninstalled it and put her on the Windows Firewall and that solved the problem. Good enough.:D
     
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