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Windows Firewall

Discussion in 'Software' started by Stoney, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Hello,

    I know the general consensus for Windows firewall is to avoid it like the plague but I was just wondering if it is really that bad?

    I've been using Zone Alarm (free) ever since I've had a pc that can connect to the internet and I have never experienced any problems. However, as I have become more computer savvy there are certain things I would like to configure on ZA that I don't have the option to, eg: open ports and allow incoming traffic from certain IP addresses. These functions are available in the Pro version.

    I do wonder if the issues that people have had with WF are down to it being incorrectly configured and that if the firewall is configured properly it does its job.

    I could be wrong but I just wanted to know what your thoughts/experiences were. If WF is that bad then I will probably invest in ZA Pro.

    Thanks

    Paul
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    The problem with the Windows firewall is that it has *less* capability than ZA Free in some areas. Specificaly - it doesn't check *outgoing* connections. Such a check is useful if you have 'aquired' a nasty that is now trying to phone home!

    You *can* add addresses to the 'trusted zone' in ZA Free I believe, which is one of your requirements.

    Personaly, for your full requirements, I'd opt for ZA Pro.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Bit off topic Harry, but in your opinion whats the best firewall. I just use hardware one built into router, is there any need for a software based one? Cheers
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, AutoCAD
    WIP: Rennovating my house
  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    To be honest, Its the only software FW that i use on my systems. My netgear router has an SPI FW built into it, which is better than the standard a lot of routers supply. So i dont see the point in tying up more system resources than necessary on a system i dont need. The windows FW doesnt have bells and whistles, but im confident enough in its abilities at what it does to let it go (and it shouldnt use too much of my resources).

    To be fair to the windows FW, i think it may well still check outgoing connections. Im sure ive had alerts before asking me if i want to allow the outgoing connection.

    It also helps that im competent enough to know the common pitfalls, and ensure that my other half is aware of them too.
     
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  5. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Depends on the FW in the hardware. If it is a good one then there is less reason for the software one. I'd still use something like ZA Free to tell me *which* app is calling out. Hardware FWs can't do that without a lot of fiddly cross-checking.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Quoted from a M$ page here:
    Harry.
     
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  7. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Im currently using a dlink g604t with the latest UK firmware, and im behind a NAT. Do ya think theres any need for software? Cheers
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, AutoCAD
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  8. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    ah. hmmmm i swear ive seen this. ah well...
     
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  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Same set up as me and I don't use ZA, just the built in Windows jobbie but I suppose it depends how paranoid you are :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    But I would have thought for the general user, the windows firewall and your routers firewall, that should be enough??
     
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  11. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    It doesn’t matter how good the firewall is, users will always install dodgy software and every ActiveX component eve invented.

    “thisisavirus.exe is trying to contact the internet to download crap onto your PC, do you want to destroy your PC? :twisted:

    Obviously the user clicks yes and then phones you the next day as its your fault as you work in IT. :biggrin
     
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  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Spot on Sparky!

    Harry.
     
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  13. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Hey guys, thanks for the response, some mixed opinions there.

    I'd be quite happy to use WF in the office at work because I know we have a decent firewall protecting our LAN. However at home I'm plugged straight into a modem so I would rely heavily on the firewall software to protect my pc.

    I'm going to buy a router in the near future so maybe I should save the money and put it towards a router with a decent firewall.

    Cheers
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  14. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Thats the same as i currently do, think il just stick to that, as il just end up using more system resources if i add another firewall.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, AutoCAD
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  15. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    If you set up ZA correctly it switches off the Windows Firewall. Having two firewalls running at the same time *is* a waste of resources! :biggrin

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  16. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Vista's Firewall now checks incoming and outgoing traffic which should be quite an inprovement over XP. 8)
     

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