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Windows 7: What free firewall program do you all recommend?


19 Aug 2012   #21

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
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.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2012   #22

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I have used many store bought brands of security programs and yes their is a training period. If one likes that, it is okay. Using msconfig to make sure those program are tuned off checking for updates (calling home) will not happen. Of course you will have to check manually which I have no problems doing and I do it often. Their is no one program for everybody. As you read through this site you will discover how many times problems are solved just by removing 3rd party firewalls and anti virus programs that for what ever reason don't get along with Windows 7 on many peoples computers. What I am sure of is Microsoft firewall and anti virus causes no problems with Windows 7/32 or 64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #23

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The original question was:

Quote:
all I need it to do is have it make a popup when a program tries to access the net in anyway and allow me to block or allow it
That is exactly what this is for:

Windows7FirewallControl: Sphinx Software


It is not a firewall - it is really a gui for windows firewall outbound rules.

The free version is fine for most people.

Highly recommended.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Aug 2012   #24

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
The original question was:

Quote:
all I need it to do is have it make a popup when a program tries to access the net in anyway and allow me to block or allow it
That is exactly what this is for:

Windows7FirewallControl: Sphinx Software


It is not a firewall - it is really a gui for windows firewall outbound rules.

The free version is fine for most people.

Highly recommended.
For Geeks, maybe (I'm not a Geek). When I looked at the screenshots, my eyes glazed over and my mind shut down. I would have no clue how to use it. ZA is far more intuitive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #25

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It is actually very easy.

It is very small.

It just sets up windows outgoing rules for you.

If a program tries to connect to the net, it pops up.

You just select one of these options from the pop-up. Done.

Name:  win7firewallcotrol.jpg
Views: 10
Size:  85.3 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #26

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Based on my experience, I recommend Comodo. But I have also heard others using Private Firewall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #27

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
For Geeks, maybe (I'm not a Geek). When I looked at the screenshots, my eyes glazed over and my mind shut down. I would have no clue how to use it. ZA is far more intuitive.
I've been familiar with ZA for many years. I wouldn't say "intuitive". I think it's more to do with how familiar someone is with it. Think way back to the time when you first started using it.

Seems to me that anyone who can learn to effectively use ZA could easily do the same with the app SIW2 mentions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #28

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F5ing View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
For Geeks, maybe (I'm not a Geek). When I looked at the screenshots, my eyes glazed over and my mind shut down. I would have no clue how to use it. ZA is far more intuitive.
I've been familiar with ZA for many years. I wouldn't say "intuitive". I think it's more to do with how familiar someone is with it. Think way back to the time when you first started using it.

Seems to me that anyone who can learn to effectively use ZA could easily do the same with the app SIW2 mentions.
If it hadn't been easy to use when I first started using it, I would have dumped it immediately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2012   #29

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
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.
+1 ^^^^

I've used ZoneAlarm for a looong time and never had a problem. However, as of late it has become an annoyance about updates (which I don't wish to apply at this time).

My ZA is well trained on all of my Windows systems.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2012   #30
Microsoft MVP

 

I've seen nothing but problems with Zone Alarm. In other words, the comments here in favor of it are the first I've read that are not problems we've traced to it.

The solution then and now is to use the Windows 7 Firewall with free lightweight Microsoft Security Essentials.

As long as you keep your Updates set to Automatic and current, you'll know that no expense is being spared to protect the same company's OS - literally the opposite of "solutions" that try to take your money.
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 What free firewall program do you all recommend?




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