Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Wondows XP Firewall


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 buttoni

buttoni

  • Members
  • 267 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Temple, Texas
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 08:51 AM

Need some expert opinions please. I am new to the internet (since January) and bought a Dell 4700 (WinXP Home SP2 5.1.2600) ordered with McAfee Firewall, Privacy Service, SpamKiller and VirusScan pre-installed. Of course, I turned off the Windows firewall because I know you can't have two running at the same time. The McAfee log on dial-up used to show anywhere from 50-100 inbound events per day, sometimes more. But ever since we switched to SBC DSL connection, whose external modem has a hardwired firewall, there is little left for McAfee Firewall to deal with at all. Some days 6 events, sometimes 4, 2, and some days none at all!! I was told the hardwired firewalls were good, but I have tangible, viewable evidence of the drop in inbound events. I'm impressed.

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.

HP Pavilion desktop p6270z; 8 GB ram; Win7 Home Premium x64 bit; FX 4.0; DSL 2Wire modem/router; MVPS Hosts; Comodo FW 5.3(D+ & Sandbox enabled); MSSE; MBAM on demand.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 rmm55

rmm55

  • Members
  • 35 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 08:57 AM

Let McAfee expire and turn on the Windows XP sp2 wirewall. McAfee has been known to cause issues regarding connecting to sites using IE6.
Roy Mel - YourTechOnline technician
roy@no_spam_yourtechonline.com (remove no_spam_)

#3 KermitD

KermitD

  • Members
  • 81 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Stelle, Illinois
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:08 AM

I have XP-Home and IE6. Since I do most of my web browsing using Firefox I have had no problems browsing, and can't respond to any problems with IE6. . Unless MS has made a modification to their firewall, my understanding is that while it protects you from incoming internet trash, it doesn't scan what you send. So, if you get a virus which emails itself, the MS firewall won't even warn you about it. That being the case I'll keep my XP Firewall turned off and keep resubscribing to McAfee.
KermitD
Choices have consequences.

#4 buttoni

buttoni
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 267 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Temple, Texas
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:17 AM

Thanks for the info, guys. I can use all the input I can get.
HP Pavilion desktop p6270z; 8 GB ram; Win7 Home Premium x64 bit; FX 4.0; DSL 2Wire modem/router; MVPS Hosts; Comodo FW 5.3(D+ & Sandbox enabled); MSSE; MBAM on demand.

#5 Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Members
  • 5,898 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Florida, USA
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 12:06 PM

The Windows firewall only does half the job - it protects against incoming threats but not outgoing. Even though you may have a hardware firewall in your modem or router, you still need the software firewall. Even though the instances of incursions have been reduced to only a couple per month, one of those could just be a really nasty piece of malware that takes a complete Windows reinstallation to get rid of.

ZoneAlarm, including the freeware version does both, protects you from incomming and outgoing threats, and if you are able to read (which you obviously are), you won't have any problem configuring it. It configures almost automatically although when you install new programs or when a program tries to gain internet access for the first time you will be asked for your permission to let them access the internet, whether for a one time instance or for a permant basis.

That notification - asking for permissions when unapproved programs try to access the internet is the feature that lets you know if you have malware in the form of trojans, phone-homes or dialers running.

As far as paying for programs when equal or better programs are available as freeware, that's up to you. McAffee is an adaquate AV program. So is AVG which is available free. I personally like free better when both will do the same job.

#6 jgweed

jgweed

  • Members
  • 28,473 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago, Il.
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 01:23 PM

In many cases, freeware applications are every bit as good as those you pay for.
Certainly either Zone Alarm, or my favourite, Sygate Personal Firewall, will offer better protection than the MS firewall (for the reasons correctly noted above) and as good as those that come in a package.
Much the same can be said for free anti-virus applications, almost all of which will do the basic job of protecting you against malware although without some of the bells and whistles. AVG Free, for example, updates its definitions frequently, and will scan outgoing and incoming Emails, and prevent your downloading files with malware.
Very often, moreover, the packages on the market are strong in one area, but only barely so in the others that tag along. There is a good case to be made to use different applications for different purposes, since each of these were designed for that one purpose. Moreover, you are not tied to one manufacturer, but can experiment and find the application that you prefer in each area.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#7 buttoni

buttoni
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 267 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Temple, Texas
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 01:47 PM

Didn't realize how many ways Outbound Traffic can be damaging, other than dialers. Definitely need something better than WinXP FW, then. Sygate, Zone Alarm and Kerio free versions are the three I've researched the most and I'm presently leaning toward, in that order. Just hope the one I finally decide upon is easy for a novice to install and initially configure!! I've never installed a firewall before. Dell preinstalled the McAfee I have. Unfortunately, my husband is a computerphobe, so he's no help. I'm the only one in the family with any computer knowledge, and not that much, at that!!

I'm sure, when the time comes, if the one I decide to install doesn't do so with the defaults most people want and need, as Arnold says,

"I'll be back" :thumbsup:


Thanks for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it. Folks like me would really be lost without help forums like this.

Edited by buttoni, 01 August 2005 - 01:48 PM.

HP Pavilion desktop p6270z; 8 GB ram; Win7 Home Premium x64 bit; FX 4.0; DSL 2Wire modem/router; MVPS Hosts; Comodo FW 5.3(D+ & Sandbox enabled); MSSE; MBAM on demand.

#8 jgweed

jgweed

  • Members
  • 28,473 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago, Il.
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:35 PM

I use Sygate. It has several good logs, a back-trace and whois function, and allows you to handle access permissions by application ( allow, ask, or block) which makes set up a lot easier. It also has a very good help section that explains how it works, etc..
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#9 buttoni

buttoni
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 267 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Temple, Texas
  • Local time:06:06 AM

Posted 01 August 2005 - 03:14 PM

Easy set up is JUST what I need. Will give this one more review and consideration because of this feature. Thanks JgWeed.

Edited by buttoni, 01 August 2005 - 03:14 PM.

HP Pavilion desktop p6270z; 8 GB ram; Win7 Home Premium x64 bit; FX 4.0; DSL 2Wire modem/router; MVPS Hosts; Comodo FW 5.3(D+ & Sandbox enabled); MSSE; MBAM on demand.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users