Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear
First I don't have programs calling home because they don't run until I tell them to. For those that want to spend the time setting every rule to a firewall then Windows 7 firewall might not be for you. For those that want a firewall that does the job without bothering you all the time, well Windows 7 works just fine. Firewalls are not the end all to security what ever one you use. It's just another layer of protection.
Many programs "phone home" to check for updates. I prefer to know which ones are doing it. Most I allow but some I do not (I've replaced programs because they were too chatty). Also, if malware does get onto my computer, ZA will block it and ask me what to do about it, (block, allow, etc.). You're correct, it's another layer of protection; I personally feel there is no harm in that and it is actually beneficial.
Zone alarm doesn't bother me all the time. It's been "trained" how to handle most situations so I rarely hear from it. When I first installed it on both of my machines, it only took about a week or two to pretty much train it. Dealing with the initial popups isn't that big of a deal; UAC is far more obnoxious. If I know whether I want a program to send or receive or not (which I usually do), I just click on accept or block (it defaults to permanantly). If I'm not sure (rarely), I untick permanently, then block or accept. That gives me a chance to either see what happens or research it. As I said before, after the first week or two, I rarely have to deal with it.
Frankly, I'm amazed by the number of people who complain about the number of popups from ZA. There just aren't that many; most of the time I don't even know it's running. I've been using ZA for years and never had a BSOD because of it.