XP Firewall Question

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by de Paulus, Jun 13, 2004.

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  1. de Paulus

    de Paulus Registered Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    England, Holland and France
    Hello everyone..
    The following: I have recently purchased a new PC, running windows XP. I have anti virus protection, but no stand alone Firewall, just the standerd XP Firewall... I have recently checked my PC at Trend Micro's "Hackercheck.com", and McAfee's online scan... Both told me my PC was secure, and all my ports were either closed or running stealth. So my question is, do I need a stand alone Firewall?? and if yes I am looking into purchasing "Outpost" or "LooknStop" can anyone advise me on these two, which of the two is better, or easier to use, any advise would be really appreciated. I thank you all in advance for your time.
    de Paulus
  2. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

    May 17, 2004
    AZ, USA
    If you're looking for a decent firewall that requires little user interaction, I'd recommend ZoneAlarm Pro. It's probably the simplest to use out of the bunch, offers decent privacy related options (cookie management, spyware scanning, ad blocking). 5.0 was just released. It's fairly stable, but it might make sense to stick with 4.5 until a update comes out. If you don't need the extras, the free version of ZA will work just fine. Turn off the XP firewall, you only need 1 firewall running.

    I like Outpost but it has some bugs with respect to ad blocking and cookie management based on my testing. Bit more involved than ZA. They have a free 30 day trial, be sure to download the trial if you're interested in the app. If you buy it sight unseen, you cannot get a refund.

    LooknStop is solid, doesn't have any privacy related options. More involved than Outpost.

    Kerio is solid as well. Version 2 is a plain old firewall, fairly easy to use and light on resources. Version 4 is like Outpost.

    I prefer to keep firewall and privacy in one app rather than running 5 separate apps to take care of viruses, trojans, worms, ad blocking, spyware, and cookie management. Just increases the risk for incompatibilities, problems and finger pointing between vendors.

    Also, you have to remember that you can take this whole security thing to an extreme level. Genreally some kind of spyware scanner (adware, spybot), software firewall and AV app are sufficient for your average user. Some folks here probably are a bit over the top and you have to keep that in mind when you read their opinions. However, if you have risky usage habits, their approaches are definitely warranted (porn sites, lot of P2P, IRC).

    XP Firewall will be beefed up with SP2, it provides decent protection for an average user. Problem with the XP firewall is that it doesn't monitor apps that call out to the net for changes, nor does it provide the ability for you to appove/decline which apps can call out (it does to a minor degree). This can be key with worms and trojans. Short story is that you would be better off using another firewall than XPs.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2004
  3. CrazyM

    CrazyM Firewall Expert

    Feb 9, 2002
    BC, Canada
    Hi de Paulus

    ... and welcome to Wilders :) .

    The XP firewall will provide good protection from unsolicited inbound traffic. To answer your question and if you need more, you need to consider how and who will be using your system. If you will want control over what applications can access the network/Internet, you will need a stand alone firewall to get that functionality.

    Both are good firewalls. Outpost does have some added functionality with ad blocking. Rules can be configured with wizards, pre-defined rule sets or manually. If you are looking at getting one of these, you might want to take advandtage of the free trials offered by each to see which one best suits you and that you are most comfortable using/configuring. Same would apply if you should look at any of the other firewalls available. Just be sure to install and test only one at a time.


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