My question: When my McAFee subscription runs out, do you guys think the Windows XP firewall is good enough to be my backup firewall protection to the hardwired DSL firewall in my modem? Or do you think that might be risky, because the Windows Firewall isn't sophisticated enough to offer "true" protection for what gets past the hardwire wall?
I know about all the free firewalls out there, Kerio, Sygate and Zone Alarm, to mention a few that have been recommended. But from what I can deduce reading about features and set up on their sites, they all sound pretty sophisticated for a novice to install (occasionally reinstall when needed) and, in particular, to configure and set up at original installation. If you do any steps wrong, you can have stability or connectivity issues. Sometimes you can have such issues even if you DON'T do any of the steps wrong. Firewall installation scares me, a bit.
If I just renew the McAfee, I won't have to configure it again, right? And I'm pretty used to its GUI, though I think their user support is really bad. Help on their forums and through e-chat leaves a lot to be desired. Their answer to most problems is "uninstall and reinstall" (which never goes smoothly, I hear) and often the moderators and helpers don't resolve the user's issue at all! I've already had serious problems with my McAfee VirusScan and McAfee Spamkiller their support people could not help me resolve. Those McAfee services had to be uninstalled from my PC despite 6 months more on my subscription! So from a support standpoint, renewing McAfee Firewall (though I've had no problem with it) doesn't really appeal to me. Only from an ease of continuation standpoint.
I now use Computer Associates EZ Antivirus offered through Yahoo On-Line Protection and YOP's Spam filter (only misses 2-4 spam emails a day). Unfortunately YOP doesn't include firewall software. Thus my request for your opinion on the Windows built in firewall I could turn back on in Windows Security Center. Is it good enough given how efficient my hardwire wall seems to be? Has anyone done any testing on it with real attack scenarios?
Any guidance is greatly appreciated about firewall choices I will be facing. I want to make the right decision.
Edited by buttoni, 01 August 2005 - 09:40 AM.