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Desktop firewalls: Win XP vs 3rd party

By VirgilC ·
For those with more experience with Windows XP, what do you think of the native personal firewall software?

We recently upgraded a remote user to Windows XP from Windows 2000 Pro (actually, he got a new laptop). He connects to the Internet over DSL and we installed a free ZoneLabs firewall when he was running 2KPro.

What?s the verdict on the quality of the XP/IE firewalls? Should we install another 3rd party firewall or just go with the native stuff?

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by TheChas In reply to Desktop firewalls: Win XP ...

Go with a 3rd party firewall!

In nearly every test, XP's built in firewall comes up short.

Basically, the XP firewall is better than none at all. Just not much better.

I am using both Zone Alarm and McAfee's firewall on different PCs.

One note about the free version of Zone Alarm, I did not re-read the EULA, however, the web site states that the free version is for the home user.

Read the EULA carefully before using ANY free version of commercial software for business use.


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by willcomp In reply to Desktop firewalls: Win XP ...

I pretty much agree with Chas except that the XPSP2 firewall is Much better than nothing. Previous version was very lacking, but SP2 version isn't that bad just not nearly as good as some others.

I am a fan of and recommend Zone Alarm Pro for business use. The free version is not authorized for commercial use so let your conscience (and legal dert) be your guide. Also Pro version is a superior product.


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by Black Panther In reply to Desktop firewalls: Win XP ...

Agree with previous 2 posts --

I have tried Kerio, Sygate, Zone Alarm and Outpost.

Except for Zone Alarm ( which for some reason made my computer constantly re-boot after loading ) I tested the other 3 for security breaches ie Port Blocking etc

I found that Kerio did not block some ports but Sygate and Outpost were ok.

I would suggest Sygate for a FREE firewall or Zone Alarm ( if it loads ok? )

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by Joseph Moore In reply to Desktop firewalls: Win XP ...

I have to agree with the consensus. The XP firewall works if you don't have anything else. But a "problem" with it is that it doesn't filter OUTBOUND traffic from your XP box. It only blocks the Inbound traffic going to the XP machine.
So, yes, if someone does a port scan against you, it will protect you.
But if you are infected with a virus that does outbound traffic (like an e-mailer), then the XP firewall doesn't stop that from happening.

A 3rd party firewall like ZoneAlarm (I use ZA Pro myself) will alert you to the outbound traffic. That is a big deal.

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by VirgilC In reply to Desktop firewalls: Win XP ...

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