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Windows 7: Seeking a certain firewall

26 Mar 2013   #1
DavidUK

Win7 x32 starter & linux ubuntu dual boot
 
 
Seeking a certain firewall

I want a firewall for Win 7 starter to perform very specific program control. This is why:

When away from home, I connect my phone to provide minimal 3g internet access for my netbook. When I did so last time, within 10mins I had used 200MB even though I have all auto-updates (that I am aware of) turned off.

I am not interested in chasing the source of data usage. Instead, I want to ditch Zonealarm free and replace it with a firewall to strictly control inbound and outbound program access to the internet when using 3g data. I want a firewall that will ask about every connection, every time. I don't want one that will provide 'intelligent' permissions (e.g. Zonealarm), or one that remembers if permission has been previously granted (e.g. Zonealarm).

Any recommendations? Your experience is valued.

P.S. I am not interested in replies such as 'Get MSE - it's really good'. I'm looking for an experienced technical reply.


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26 Mar 2013   #2
Gary

Win 10 Pro 64
 
 

I use Avast Internet Security and it's firewall can be controlled down to the program level. It is not free but it works.

avast! Internet Security | Antivirus & Anti-spyware with Firewall & Antispam
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27 Mar 2013   #3
DavidUK

Win7 x32 starter & linux ubuntu dual boot
 
 

Thanks Gary
What about window services, can you configure them or are they approved automatically?
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27 Mar 2013   #4
Gary

Win 10 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidUK View Post
Thanks Gary
What about window services, can you configure them or are they approved automatically?
I am not too sure about that. I have never tried to. I just disable the service if I don't need it. You can check HERE

Someone should be able to answer that.
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27 Mar 2013   #5
georgehagi

Home Basic 64 bit
 
 

i can say use comodo it is the best firewall in my opinion controls all over connections
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28 Mar 2013   #6
Jacee
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Quote:
Online Armor's new personal firewall provides awesome protection from inbound threats and complete control of data leaving your computer for the internet
This is a free firewall Free Online Armor Firewall Software - Overview
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28 Mar 2013   #7
Sentinel72

windows7 home premium 64bit
 
 

I would highly recommend comodo firewall as this is what i use.I use the custom ruleset and it will alert to every outbound connection that i configure it to.The settings are more extensive than online armor in my opinion.
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28 Mar 2013   #8
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote:
I am not interested in chasing the source of data usage. Instead, I want to ditch Zonealarm free and replace it with a firewall to strictly control inbound and outbound program access to the internet when using 3g data.
That's not possible since all net traffic/applications will use whatever web connection is available unless the connection is defined as a separate network on your PC. The last thing I would want to do is add more overhead (software) to an already taxed processor. Windows 7 Firewall does everything the add-on software does and it's seamless to Windows. "Chasing the source" of net traffic is exactly what you want to do.

Most OEM Windows installations contain many "utilities" that are just additional layers of software that Windows already performs. Many of these applications will also "phone home" to check for updates just as Windows does at every startup. You might consider changing Windows' update option to manual as well as un-installing burdensome OEM software. Your Netbook will run faster and smoother without needless overhead when you're on the road (3G).
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29 Mar 2013   #9
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I think Windows built-in firewall is an option for such level of control. Look for the "Firewall with advanced security" option to open the control panel. There you can enable outgoing filtering (disabled by default) and setup incoming and outgoing rules, by port, protocol, program and hosts.

The trick to do what you want is the "network profile" filtering. It allows to filter a rule based on the public/home/work network type. So if you make your home network card to be "home", and the 3g phone network card to be "public network", when you make a rule to use only a private network, it will be blocked from the phone, but allowed though home network.

The main drawback is that it does not shows notifications for blocked connections (much less every time, which seems quite annoying). If you want those, maybe Comodo firewall is a better option, but no idea if it supports the home/public filtering.
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30 Mar 2013   #10
DavidUK

Win7 x32 starter & linux ubuntu dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
That's not possible since all net traffic/applications will use whatever web connection is available unless the connection is defined as a separate network on your PC.
Sorry, my comment was misleading. I don't mean that I need to be able to switch between 'wifi' and '3g' modes, I just mean I want to be able to manually deny traffic - which I will then do when on 3g.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
Many of these applications will also "phone home" to check for updates just as Windows does at every startup. You might consider changing Windows' update option to manual as well as un-installing burdensome OEM software. Your Netbook will run faster and smoother without needless overhead when you're on the road (3G).
Yes, every update function I can find is set to manual.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
I think Windows built-in firewall is an option for such level of control. Look for the "Firewall with advanced security" option to open the control panel. There you can enable outgoing filtering (disabled by default) and setup incoming and outgoing rules, by port, protocol, program and hosts.
Doh! I did not know windows FW could filter outbound! What an idiot - I'll definitely look at that.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
The trick to do what you want is the "network profile" filtering. It allows to filter a rule based on the public/home/work network type. So if you make your home network card to be "home", and the 3g phone network card to be "public network", when you make a rule to use only a private network, it will be blocked from the phone, but allowed though home network.
The main drawback is that it does not shows notifications for blocked connections (much less every time, which seems quite annoying). If you want those, maybe Comodo firewall is a better option, but no idea if it supports the home/public filtering.
Clever - I'll try that too.


Many thanks guys - some really useful advice! I'll play with windows FW, comodo, online-armor and see what works best.
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