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Windows 7: Is the Windows Firewall sufficient or should I use ZoneAlarm or equiv?

14 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Is the Windows Firewall sufficient or should I use ZoneAlarm or equiv?


I recently upgraded to Windows 7 (courtesy of a new laptop) and I've experienced a Metropolitan Police virus, really awful.

I managed to track down the cause of the infection and have removed it, run various scans and my machine is clean. However, I'm seriously considering formatting the drive and starting afresh.

Over and above this, I'm considering possibly changing firewalls to something more industrial strength. For my purposes - home use primarily with no file-sharing applications - would the Windows Firewall be sufficient?

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Aug 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

Most here would tell you it is sufficient.

The tone of your post ("something more industrial strength") implies that you are suspicious of the built-in firewall.

So, why live with that? Particularly since you have apparently become infected after using the built-in firewall.

Even if most people tell you the built-in firewall is sufficient, your suspicions will likely remain.

There are numerous alternatives.

I'm not saying an alternative will be more protective, but you will likely feel better about your protection---which is at least equally important. It's nice to feel safe, even when you aren't.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

Your infection was not because of the firewall. The firewall does not protect against infections you download to your computer. A firewall blocks anonymous connections (that you did not establish) or those set to "block" in the firewall's rule set.

If you are behind a router, then you are not going to need anything special concerning firewalls. The router will block pretty much everything itself. Either case the one built into Windows is perfectly sufficient.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

I agree with both answers. You must use security system that you feel comfortable with. Your firewall was not the problem. It was probably something you ticked on allowing the virus in. Once you do that you have just told your security programs let this little puppy on my computer, I like it.
This is what I feel comfortable with and it works for me if I don't tick the wrong thing.
1. The Windows 7 built in firewall
2. Microsoft Security Essentials
3. Malwarebytes Anti Malware Pro (active)
4. Filehippo Up Date Checker (on demand)
5. Super Anti Spyware (on demand)
I check several times a day for updates for all security programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thank you all, this is very helpful. I realise that the firewall is not the cause, but now I intend to do a full system recovery so just wanted to know what bits of the rebuilt system need beefing up.

Yes, my connections are all behind a router and I do have Windows Firewall active.

Thank you for the suggestions, Layback Bear. Very helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #6

Desk Top with Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit and Lap Top with Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit

I used to use ZoneAlarm but haven't used it for the last couple of years. At first I liked it but it later gave me some problems--I don't remember what the problems were but I do remember that I was not happy with it. I believe that it might be that it tries to do too much and as a result blocks things that should not be blocked. I could be wrong but that's how I remember it. I now depend on Windows firewall and have had no problems. I think it does what it's supposed to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is the Windows Firewall sufficient or should I use ZoneAlarm or equiv?

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