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software firewall for XP

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June 7, 2003 8:29:01 PM

Any recommendations on decent software firewalls for Windows XP?
I have used Kerio for some time...it has an http flaw, switched to NIS (resource hog), and am curious if anyone hasn't come across a new firewall that works decently without killing my resources.

More about : software firewall

June 8, 2003 4:33:56 AM

Zone Alarm Pro

<b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
June 8, 2003 5:37:05 AM

I use <A HREF="http://www.pandasoftware.com/products/platinum/" target="_new">Panda Platinum 7 Anti virus with firewall</A>, I had been using ZAPro for a few years but I was having to many dramas with it corrupting programs and stuff in recent times. I have used Panda 6 AV for a long time so I decided to actually own a copy. :tongue:
Related resources
June 8, 2003 12:58:03 PM

Yeah at times I want to blame ZA for a few things my self. I have the Platinum too, but haven’t tried the firewall for some time. How well has the firewall been on Panda?

***************************************
When you feel that reality does not suit you, live a fantasy life.
June 8, 2003 1:11:50 PM

Yep, give it up scotty ... inquiring minds want to know. :wink:

Toey

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June 8, 2003 1:32:33 PM

Whatya wanta know?

Panda firewall is excellent, easy enough to use and is very manageable, is that it?
June 8, 2003 2:55:51 PM

Yeah, that will cover it ... sorta -- kinda -- vaguely! :lol: 

Actually, I was thinking of more specific aspects such as:

How well does it handle outgoing applications, instead of just incoming? ZoneAlarm had a tendency to make installations difficult, and it often kept other programs from connecting to the 'Net, despite manually setting the access controls for the .exe.

Also, ZoneAlarm would often block applications from using specific ports, even if manually configured, and the router ports were wide open. Which really pissed me off, as you might well imagine.

It also loved to quarantine e-mail attachments and toss them off in the nether regions of lost data hell, despite, again, configuring the darn program to leave certain file types alone. Grrr.

It eventually turned out to be such a pain in the intestines to run that I went entirely with the hardware firewall.

Other things:

How's the memory footprint? Does it load as a service? Is is easily updated? Updating ZoneAlarm was like pulling teeth, and the update feature often didn't do anything except point to a blank web page. I can't begin to guess at how many full versions I had to download, just to get the program up-to-speed, which happened all too frequently for my taste.

Things like that, dude. Have some fresh java and lay it on me, purty-please?

Toey

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June 8, 2003 4:23:06 PM

Thanks for the replies. I wasn't aware Panda had a firewall with their AV. I have always ran Norton AV. Norton IS is becoming a PITA (pain in the arse) and I have finally completely removed it. In the past I have used Kerio Personal Firewall, which seems to work great, except for a small browser hole - which is why I ditched it and went with NIS, however, I think I am going to stick with it. It's free, works great, and besides the small browser hole, is problem free.
As for Zonealarm, BLEH!!!! I STOPPED using that when I discovered Kerio, about the version switch from 2.5 to 3.0. Zonealarm turned into a huge resource hog, and simply had far too many problems.
Once again, I'll have to check out Panda's PF sometime, thanks for the responses.
To the Panda Personal Firewall user, could you do me a favor and visit http://security.symantec.com/ and run a scan to check Panda's security with them and let me know how it goes? If it passes all of Symantec's tests, I will purchase it.
June 8, 2003 4:47:40 PM

Another good place to test the firewall and system security: <A HREF="http://https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2" target="_new">Shields Up!!</A>

Toey

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June 8, 2003 4:54:39 PM

just a note, I'm well aware of Mr. Gibson's Shields Up. It did NOT catch the http vulnerability in Kerio that Symantec test site did catch. I did found that odd as I had used grc.com for years, and was always useful.
June 8, 2003 6:04:32 PM

Thanks for the info ... that's certainly worth keeping in mind when testing.

Toey

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June 8, 2003 11:08:44 PM

Right,

I have had this running on two Pc's for about 6 weeks; so far it has been un-eventful in its operation.
According to task manager all the "Pav" services running in the background consume up to 40MB, when the scan is running add another 15MB to make a total of 55MB approximately. (Note: I have 1.5GB of memory installed and a few swap files on different drives, if that makes any difference).

All programs, connection ports and protocols can be configured with rules as can the MAC and IP addresses, network adapters in any direction with notification of intrusion events. I have not seen the familiar (ZAPpro) "hide ip address" in the Panda settings but I am sure it does it. It also has settings for network sharing which was briefly described above to allow others to access my shared folder and for me to access theirs; I like this feature on my home network.

Email protection is simular to Panda AV 6 with dangerous extension blocking, scan all files option, local and e-mail warnings alerts, automatic disinfect or/and move to quarantine, send virus to Panda for analysis, and an easy to find quarantine folder!
Permanent file protection has network drive scanning, blocking of script files, and the typical Panda exclusions and warnings.

Panda antivirus and firewall run as two separate services.

Updating can be configured to be either manual or automatic, it seems to update a few times a day which I like, it doesn't go to a webpage and it updates very quickly with minimum of fuss, sometimes a re-start is required that can be done later if desired.
It has an auto configure Windows programs for access feature which I am unsure about, however I have set most programs to ask for access anyway.

The only issue which was minor was getting the password to be recognised which eventually stuck, but this has always been a sticky point with Panda IMO.
The help files are easy to read and to follow, the most important thing is I CAN USE IT without fVkcIng everything up.LOL

So really the novice can use default settings which will protect them quite well, or for the advanced power user they can fiddle with the settings to their hearts desire.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by scotty35 on 06/09/03 08:24 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 8, 2003 11:53:20 PM

Ok, I ran the tests at Symantec.

-----------------------------------
Hacker Exposure Check
Description:
Tests your TCP ports for unauthorized Internet connections.

Analysis:
Your computer appears safe from most common intrusions. To learn more about the threats you are protected against, view a detailed analysis of your test results.

------------------------------------


Windows Vulnerability Check
Description:
Tests whether basic information, including your PC's network identity, can be seen by hackers.

Analysis:
Your computer's identity is secure. However, this does not mean you are completely safe from all Internet security threats.

------------------------------------

Trojan Horse Check
Description:
Attempts to test for access to your computer through methods commonly used by Trojan horses.

Analysis:
Your computer and data are not vulnerable to Trojan horse attacks. However, Trojan horse threats are constantly evolving, and unless you have a personal firewall and current virus protection, you're not completely safe. To learn more about threats you are protected against, view a detailed analysis of your test results.


------------------------------------

Antivirus Product Check
Description:
Checks for a current version of a commonly-used virus protection product.

Analysis:
WARNING! No known virus protection software found. This means your computer and data are vulnerable to virus attacks. Virus attacks can have serious consequences, including system damage and data loss.

Recommendation:
Install the latest version of a commonly-used virus protection product.

------------------------------------

Browser Privacy Check
Description:
Checks your Web browser settings to determine whether your browsing history is available to other Web sites.

Analysis:
WARNING! Your Web browser is not configured to protect your browsing history. This means your surfing habits are potentially available to unknown individuals and companies.

Recommendation:
Reconfigure your web browser to hide your recent history from prying eyes. To get extensive privacy protection, install a personal firewall or a full Internet security suite.

------------------------------------
end of tests.


Well I definately have Panda running and definately working as I tried a few of those not dangerous virii file tests, Symantec may not reconise Panda probably for propaganda reasons, so I decided to run Symantecs Anti Virus test. Results were clear.

As far as the browser was concerned, after changing the security settings i found it was either too high to allow the tests to run or I would get the result above. For the purpose of showing you the full test I reduced the browsers security settings.
June 9, 2003 3:19:59 AM

Thanks much for the testing, scotty, and for displaying it here. Any info is good stuff, as many people are still searching for that one antivirus/firewall program that actually offers decent protection, but without slowing the computer to a crawl, or being so amazingly obtuse that it requires a degree in physics just to work your way through the help files ... much less the user interface.

For the moment, I'll stick with the router. Sometimes even <i>I</i> can't open a port with this router, so I seriously doubt that anyone is going to manage to hack my systems without making a concerted effort. And if they do, heck, I'll offer them a job. :lol: 

Toey

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June 9, 2003 7:53:49 PM

I would have thought you'd have done some testing yourself, Toey... I know you're a big proponent of Panda Antivirus. After all, you are the one that showed me the light. (Thank you!)

I too used NIS until I discovered Panda's products. It is definately not nearly the resource hog that Norton seems to be. I tested Panda's firewall at grc.com and it passed with flying colors... it even showed my ports were 'stealthed' rather than just 'closed' as they were with NIS 2003. It effectively disguises my IP address... there is a javascript used by some people on a message board that displays your OS, Browser version, and IP addy. The script gets everything right except my IP.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
June 9, 2003 8:30:05 PM

I would normally have done some personal testing, but I've been extraordinarily busy as of late, and more into getting the hardware in the cans instead of having the time and luxury of comparing different brands of software. That's what happens when you get yourself involved with retirement organizations that sponsor computers for assisted-living complexes.

I'm also trying to have <i>some</i> sort of social life, before I discover that everything has died from the waist down.

In other words, I have no acceptable excuses. :wink:

Thanks for the info ... seems that I'm falling behind, and need to give the Panda firewall a closer look.

Toey

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June 9, 2003 10:00:01 PM

Yeah I have no excuse either to taking a closer look. It’s only a few clicks away.

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When you feel that reality does not suit you, live a fantasy life.
!