Saitzu/Roniez, thanks for letting us know about Norton's Internet Worm Protection
. I for one was unaware that Norton's AV included this. For anyone interested, there is more info about it in the Technical Information
portion of this Symantec article: Turning on or turning off Internet Worm Protection in Norton AntiVirus
It appears most of the larger AV companies are moving toward minimal firewall functionality--and even though Symantec calls this a firewall, other companies may call it an IDS (Intrusion Detection System). Personally, I find it a bit irritating that users are not forewarned of possible conflicts with firewalls that are already installed. I had a bad experience with Kaspersky's IDS when installing version 5.x for the first time.
, my advice would be to follow Quitman7's good advice and disable both Windows firewall and Norton's Internet Worm Protection
and install a more robust two-way firewall. Window's and Norton's appear to be about the same and rather weak to me. If you install Norton's firewall it won't be necessary to disable IWP.
I have a CD with Norton Personal Firewall but I haven't installed it
If you have purchased this copy of NPF, it is better than no two way firewall. If not, it would be illegal to install it, and one of the problems with Norton products is there authentication process similar to Windows. With free firewalls out there why go thru that headache.
I'm not a fan of Norton, but I agree that it shouldn't be condemned just because it is Norton/Symantec. There should be reasons to consider it or not. As far as the firewall, what I have heard about it (and McAfee's, BTW) is that it will allow traffic if the user fails to make a decision.
As far as why I, personally, don't like Norton--the main gripe I see besides it being a resource hog, is that if you do ever want to remove it and try something else, it takes a crowbar and winch to get it off your system. Lately I've seen that even using Symantec's own removal tools don't always work very well. It's like once you've decided to use Norton, you're condemned to using only it if you want a smooth running system. If you want to change, you might as well reformat.
Other AV's, especially the commercial ones, are nearly as bad--most also have removal tools to uninstall. That's because a lot of the malware out nowdays attacks security programs and they have to protect themselves by digging just as deep into the system as does the malicious programs. IMO Norton just needs to work on theirs a little more.
The other reason I moved away from Norton (I ran 2003 for this PC's first year):
1. Norton only offers updates once a week unless there is a severe outbreak such as the bagles a few years ago. I don't know if they have changed this policy, but several AV's now update daily and I switched to Kaspersky because it will update its definitions hourly.
2. If you want to upgrade to the newest version of the program, you have to pay. That is common with commercial AV's, but the free ones and KAV allow upgrades for free. If you don't upgrade, support for your product will be discontinued after a few years.
3. Support: Norton is fine as long as you know how to find the relevant Knowledge Base articles. But if none of them fit your problem, you have to jump thru several hoops to get to contact info. Last I looked email support is free, phone support isn't. When I was looking to switch, the only AV companies that offered free phone support were Trend Micro and Kaspersky. So that is common and not that big a deal, especially considering most problems can be solved by reading documentation and it is a waste of time for big companies to have to answer simple questions in person. But I have found that support forums can be far more helpful in many cases than a company's own email support. Norton doesn't offer any. Even McAfee offers a support forum, as does KAV and most of the free AV's.
I don't mean to sound like a commercial for KAV, it has problems of its own, as do many of the software programs out there. And I know this querstion is about firewalls, but I'm looking at securing your PC in general and the companies you're dealing with. I also disagree with a blanket statement that one should get rid of Norton and install Zone Alarm. ZA often has similar problems being uninstalled and tends to release new version prematurely, before all the bugs and compatibility issues have been worked out--at least that is what I've heard.
And people that get hacked easily, obviously have some sort of flaw in their software/hardware, cause they first off need to open up a connection pointing to their computer thru the router. so Hardware configuration is the main problem.
to many people open to much bleep in their routers or firewall.
Well, not everybody has routers and faulty software installed. I'm on dialup. But it is true that how much a person pays attention to their security and educates themselves as to how to use their software and, most importantly, security best practices, makes a big difference in how often if ever one gets infected.
For example, just refusing to open executable attachments from email will prevent a large numbers of infections. Just like educating yourself on how to use a firewall will help in your PC's security.