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Finding A Good Firewall


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#1 unloaded

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:03 AM

I have been trying various antiviruses myself (probably more than 20 brands) from the last 36 months, and I find myself always preferring the ones with "Install and Forget" feature. Which the antivirus im using now is perfect, it doesn't ask me unless it "REALLY" detects sth, only failed once.

And I read articles and discusssions on how important is to have a firewall. However, my experiences with firewalls were always bad. No matter whether its build-in in security suite or stand alone ones like zone alarm and etc, they always keep popping up and ask stupid q's like allow IE explorer or Firefox or even just installing new software.

Summing them all up, I'm trying to find a good firewall that doesn't ask as many q's and only use really little resources.

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:48 AM

Most stand-alone firewall products use little resources; the basic programming has been around for long enough to become "elegant" in how it operates and interfaces with packets. To my mind, however, a good firewall is one that does ask questions and expects you to "train" it to handle your own computer's software configurations and internet usage. I would, at the same time, look for one that allows you to manage permissions by application, since doing so does save time at the beginning.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 unloaded

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:06 PM

To my mind, however, a good firewall is one that does ask questions and expects you to "train" it to handle your own computer's software configurations and internet usage.


I understand that, but the point is, it is pointless to ask me whether i should allow or block the applications or connections, cuz i have no idea about most of them. Which I might easily block the ones i normally use, and allow the ones that are harmful. Can't the firewall work like an antivirus? For example, if i use Limewire without a firewall, the antivirus wouldn't ask me for permission. It would automatically scan the files.

#4 unloaded

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:35 PM

Fool-Proofing Firewall

This article mentions that "a firewall isn't an install and forget device, Their effectiveness still depends heavily on proper configuration." So i guess an install and forget firewall would be useless.

But I still don't get why a firewall cannot just detect the harmful connections rather than every single connection like an antivirus program

Edited by unloaded, 12 April 2008 - 07:37 PM.


#5 david28

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:00 PM

But I still don't get why a firewall cannot just detect the harmful connections rather than every single connection like an antivirus program


Firewalls are only good if they ask you what actions to take. Usually, firewalls will tell you weather it is legit, COMODO Firewall PRO for example. It will pop-up asking you if you want to allow this and that and it will sometimes say that if you are installing and application or doing a certain thing, it will advise you to allow it. Another way you could find out about something that the firewall is asking about is to Google the file that is trying to connect to the internet :thumbsup:

So basically a firewall isn't a firewall if it doesn't ask you what to do :flowers:

Regards,
David.

#6 ruby1

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:42 AM

I have been trying various antiviruses myself (probably more than 20 brands) from the last 36 months, and I find myself always preferring the ones with "Install and Forget" feature. Which the antivirus im using now is perfect, it doesn't ask me unless it "REALLY" detects sth, only failed once.

And I read articles and discusssions on how important is to have a firewall. However, my experiences with firewalls were always bad. No matter whether its build-in in security suite or stand alone ones like zone alarm and etc, they always keep popping up and ask stupid q's like allow IE explorer or Firefox or even just installing new software.
Summing them all up, I'm trying to find a good firewall that doesn't ask as many q's and only use really little resources.

with respect

'they always keep popping up '

surely that is what they are meant to do?


'and ask stupid q's'

...it is not really asking a stupid question is it? surely it is asking YOU the computer user if the action that the computer has been requested to perform IS legit and you want it or to block it

'I'm trying to find a good firewall that doesn't ask as many q's'

surely ANY GOOD firewall WILL ask you questions


BUT, what other protection do you have on board ??which antivirus program have you plumped for?

#7 jgweed

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:48 AM

If you think of all the possible configurations on different computers, and all the different ways in which people use them, it would be extremely difficult for a company to provide a "whitelist" within the firewall application of legitimate and illegitimate applications that would cover all instances, and then keep these constantly updated with each new application or each new update, or each new Beta release.
Again, some users might wish to allow internet access for certain portions, or modules, of a particular application that others, who have no need for it, might not. In this sense, firewalls are in the same position as anti-spyware applications; the latter are completely controlled by a set of criteria established by the company providing it, and these criteria differ.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#8 ///

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 01:02 PM

I have to agree with Ruby1 and david28 and jgweed about firewalls, but Pcworld has a chart of the best security programs... but there's only the most popular brands that's everywhere on ads :thumbsup: . Maybe there's an "not so popular program" that's better than the big ones... You have to get lots of computers and sample viruses and other malware and test them and compare them... and find out which one works the best. :trumpet: Or get someone else :flowers:

Edited by ///, 13 April 2008 - 01:04 PM.


#9 unloaded

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:07 AM

Firewalls are only good if they ask you what actions to take.


My q's was why firewalls can't decide for me like antivirus programs? can't they just auto-block the applications that are harmful and connections that are insecure? don't tell me there are too many sites, there are heaps of viruses as well.

For example, I use Comodo firewall pro and it pops up when i install programs. Why ask? I am always going to allow it anyway. Sometimes it asks me about svchost.exe, which is really annoyin as well.

#10 david28

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:48 AM

Well if you are always going to allow every single thing, there is not really that much point in having a firewall which I highly DO NOT recommend. Firewalls are not like AV and Anti-Spyware apps because they can't go guessing which programs and actions are safe.

#11 hillbillygreek

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:24 AM

Antiviruses/antispyware programs automatically detect anything malicious becuase they use signature based definitions/rules that are updated internally through the program during regular updates as they come from AV vendors. The definitions are not created by users themselves. Firewalls, by default, do not have such pre-configured definitions or rules so it is up to the user to create these rules based on their computing habits,configurations, etc...

When you download a program from the net, your AV scans it & acts accordingly based on the pre-defined signatures. Firewalls, such as Comodo, ask you because for the program that you download & install for the first time, there are no pre-defined rules set up in the firewall. They do not exist, so the firewall is more or less asking you to confirm that the program is OK to use, therefore, you are the one actually creating the rule in the program.

With Comodo specifically, it's a little more that just a basic firewall because the Defense + has features that are HIPS based which tend to start inching in toward what AV's are doing. It then seems a bit "noisier' than usual with pop ups. If you feel you do not want or need these type of features you can disable them. However, there are a few ways that you can make it less "noisy" if you change certain configurations within the program.

By the way, all AV's aren't always set & forget. There is configuring that has to be done to them & some knowledge is required of them as well.

Here is some more reading that you can do at your leisure (click links below):

Antivrus Software

Firewall Software

Microsoft's Firewall FAQ

What is a Behavior Blocker?

Edited by hillbillygreek, 15 April 2008 - 12:31 AM.


#12 unloaded

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 07:26 AM

thx for that, but i have another q's. I already have an antivirus security suite "includes a firewall", do i need to install another stand-alone firewall?

#13 jgweed

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:12 AM

Having more than one firewall operating at the same time on your computer is very risky, and can both slow down your internet speed and cause severe system conflicts. You would not want to have to referees of equal authority judging a game and throwing yellow cards all over the field with no one to make a final decision.

I want to make a brief comment about the complaint that "For example, I use Comodo firewall pro and it pops up when i install programs. Why ask? I am always going to allow it anyway."
That is true enough. If YOU download an application, presumably you have checked it out and are reasonably confident it is malware-free. But the important feature of firewalls is that they also warn you when you HAVE NOT purposively downloaded and installed an application, or a newly installed application unexpectedly demands internet access.
Regards,
John
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#14 unloaded

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:04 AM

thank you all very much !!! i guess i would just have to live with it !!

#15 david28

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:50 AM

thank you all very much !!! i guess i would just have to live with it !!


Generally yes you do :flowers: But in the long run it is worth it. Wouldn't you rather be asked questions about which programs are allowed to go through than be asked to buy this and that due to pop-ups :thumbsup: ?




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