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Which firewall?

Posted by SBE on 3/2/2012 at 06:17

I bought a new netbook in Thailand recently and have to install a firewall within the next 48 hours when my free AVG trial thingy runs out. I've waded through reviews on CNET and PC mag but am still dithering about which one to get.

The editors of these sites recommend Norton but I'm wondering how heavily Norton sponsors their sites. I had Norton years ago and hated the thing. Maybe it's better nowadays though?

Comodo and Zone Alarm have free firewalls which seem pretty good but they say the average user might find them too complicated to use because they bombard you with popups asking whether or not to allow programs. I'd describe myself as a below average user, not at all fluent in IT gobbledygook. Also people say Comodo and Zone Alarm are very difficult to uninstall once they're on your computer.

Does anyone have user feedback on how easy Comodo or Zone Alarm are to use, or any other recommendations?

#1 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
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Posted by Danwowski on 3/2/2012 at 12:03

I've used Zone Alarm for years and haven't had any issues, either running or uninstalling it.

Once it's installed it will generally just ask when a program tries to access the internet if it should be allowed. This should only happen once per program. Sometimes programs not actually trying to access the 'net are flagged too, but it's just down to the actual way the firewall works.

They've recently tried to streamline it and give it a bit more polish but that seems (to me) to have had no effect on the day to day usage other than a few more irrelevant messages popping up.

I unfortunately don't have any experience with Comodo, so can't give you any comparative opinion. I would suggest a decent anti-spyware/adware program is a must - a firewall won't stop such things. I use Spybot which is free and I've found to be user-friendly and regularly updated.

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Posted by swag on 4/2/2012 at 18:04

hi there I used Norton for a few years but gave it away to now run Kaspersky internet protection. This gives me anti virus/spyware firewall protection and I think is still ranked No 3 on a few reviews I,ve seen. One of the reasons I moved away from Norton etc is they were only updating anti-virus thingys daily were as KAspersky updates on the hour. Somehow makes me feel a little more reassured. Costs me about $40 aud a year to run it and works seamlessly. Hope that helps.


#3 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by SBE on 9/2/2012 at 08:32

Thanks for the replies and sorry I didn't respond earlier. I've been having a few ....erm .....technical problems. eg I inadvertently disinstalled all my network drivers when I tried to uninstall one free firewall that didn't work properly!

The latest zone alarm has had some scathing reviews on Cnet and elsewhere and I couldn't find any of the older and better versions so I'm going to try the Kaspersky Internet protection you suggested Swag!

PS Just out of interest, how do you decide whether to allow things or not when you get firewall popups? . Should you systematically deny access if you haven't a clue what it is they are babbling on about ? (ie roughly 100% of the popups I get)

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
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