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Thread: Firewalls - Any Advice?

  1. #11
    Spybot Advisor Team [Retired] md usa spybot fan's Avatar
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    129260:

    Interesting comparison of leak-tests results of various firewalls:

    ZoneAlarm free firewall does not rate well. In fact it is rated "Very Poor" in these particular leak-tests results.

    Getting an answer is one thing, learning is another.


    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition running on a 2.40GHz IntelŪ PentiumŪ 4 Processor with 512 MB of RAM and a 533 MHz System Bus.

  2. #12
    129260
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    Thumbs up that is interesting....

    and i understand what you mean. according to what a leak test is though, "Leak tests are small, non-destructive, programs designed by security experts that deliberately attempt to bypass a firewall's outgoing security measures."

    ALSO: "In the overall rating, ZoneAlarm Pro 6.1.744.001 is comparable with Comodo Personal Firewall 2.3.6.81. The main property of ZoneAlarm Pro is very good personal firewall design, the best design among all firewalls we have already tested. The design of ZAP is not perfect, but it is close to the ideal design of personal firewalls. The only reason, why this product is not the number one in our tests, is an excessive number of bugs in the implementation of its security features. This makes the protection of ZAP very ineffective and easy to bypass regardless the good design. Since we reviewed ZoneAlarm Pro 6.1, its vendor have noticeably improved this product, fixed many bugs we have reported and released ZoneAlarm Pro 7, which would probably score much better in our tests than its older version."

    outgoing, all my ports are stealth according to shields up. So therefor, As for incoming attacks, threats are possible to get through, but for the most part I am protected enough correct? I'm not as worried about threats that are on my computer trying to get out, because i have none that i know of. I scan with highjack this and several other antispyware and 1 antiviruis program(s). So yes, this is true that they did poorly in this test, but the ports are stealth and thats what my individual purpose for having a firewall is for. I do understand what your saying, and def. feel free to tell me more if i am incorrect with what i said. I believe for the average home computer user, zonealarm is not a bad choice at all. Comodo is a good firewall too, i just prefer zonealarm compared to the other 4 firewalls i tried on my test machine. Even though i could use comodo, I see no compelling reason to switch to comodo or any other firewall. But feel free to tell me more. Like in my signature, "I yearn to learn" lol.
    Last edited by 129260; 2008-03-05 at 23:09.

  3. #13
    Member of Team Spybot tashi's Avatar
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    Firewall leaktest surveys are always a subject of intense debate.

    If you are happy with your firewall and practice safe surfing, I wouldn't rush to try another either.

    Awareness is half the game.
    Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2018-
    Windows Insider MVP 2016-2018
    Microsoft Consumer Security MVP 2006-2016

  4. #14
    129260
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    Lightbulb ya haha i know there a heated debate :)

    "Firewall leaktest surveys are always a subject of intense debate.

    If you are happy with your firewall and practice safe surfing, I wouldn't rush to try another either.

    Awareness is half the game."

    Ya, I'm not saying that a firewall is a silver bullet, but a general rule of thumb that i believe is that if your ports are stealthed, hackers would rather attack somebody who is unprotected and easy to attack verses someone who isn't. Unless they are proving to there "buddies" that they can hack something, (which most hack there friends if they want to prove a point) and Unless they really badly want access to your computer and files, you should be fine. Besides, I'm behind a router firewall, and za. So anyone that is that determined to get into my system is going to have a hard time. haha. Eventually they can get in after awhile, but i have nothing file wise that anyone would want. As for safe surfing, it is quite easy now that there are web extensions such as Mcafee site advisor, and link scanner light. thanx 4 the reply tashi!
    Last edited by 129260; 2008-03-06 at 00:28.

  5. #15
    Member of Team Spybot tashi's Avatar
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    Cheers.
    Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2018-
    Windows Insider MVP 2016-2018
    Microsoft Consumer Security MVP 2006-2016

  6. #16
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    Question

    What is your thought of not needing a software firewall with a hardware one?

    I was chatting with a linksys tech awhile back and he told me that I didn't need a software firewall. I believe he even said that they recommend not useing one with their router.
    WinXP Home SP2 up to date, Dell Dimension 3000 P4 w/HT 3ghz 512mb ram, AVG free 7.5, Spybot S&D 1.5.2, Linksys broadband router hardware firewall

  7. #17
    Adviser Team AplusWebMaster's Avatar
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    "...not needing a software firewall with a hardware one? I was chatting with a linksys tech awhile back and he told me that I didn't need a software firewall..."
    1) Routers -usually- come with a NAT firewall* built-in, but check the specs on yours.

    2) The Linksys tech is -not- the one defending your system. You are.

    * http://www.cable-modems.org/articles...e_firewall.htm
    "...To some extent, NAT and proxy servers act as firewalls, but it's only true for the machines behind the NAT or proxy server. It does not in any way protect the gateway machine running the NAT/Proxy..."

    The machine has no brain.
    ......... Use your own.
    Browser check for updates here.
    YOU need to defend against -all- vulnerabilities.
    Hacks only need to find -1- to get in...
    .

  8. #18
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    The reason arguments often occur relating to leak-tests is that as usual the parties are really arguing about two different things.

    In the first place, any firewall that displays no open ports (common slang term - stealth) to the Internet is actually sufficient to protect from an outside IP attempting to connect to the internal IP, whether the firewall is hardware or software. This includes the Windows XP or Vista firewalls when no ports are opened for sharing or other purposes.

    The primary reason that third-party software firewalls came into existence was initially to block inbound requests before the Windows firewalls were available, and later to detect outbound requests, including those that might be generated by malware. What these really were doing was an early form of simplistic IDS (Intrusion Detection System) that sometimes also performs a user controlled IPS (Intrusion Protection System) function.

    The problem with these technologies is that while they can help make a user aware of unknown IP traffic, they really depend to heavily on the knowledge of the user in most cases. Even if they do actually detect an outbound request it's often left to the user to make a highly technical decision that they often have no understanding to base the decision on.

    The fact that "firewalls" had become IDS/IPS systems and thus to some extent anti-malware products muddied the waters, since a firewall itself really has none of this functionality. A firewall simply blocks or allows ports based on a set of configurations or rules that may also depend on the initial creation of an outbound connection to allow a corresponding return connection inbound to the device or network.

    So how do leak tests figure into this? Well, if you define a firewall by its basic definition then virtually all of the leak tests would succeed, since there would be no higher logic involved to stop any outbound traffic from occuring unless it was manually configured to block those specific ports.

    If, however, you believe a firewall inherently should include the more recently added IDS/IPS functions, then you will believe that leak tests have validity, though to some extent they will also depend on the answers to prompts the product displays when something is detected.

    So as usual, the argument comes about as a result of a 'belief' as to what a firewall really is. Thus, like religon, no one will ever win the argument since they are arguing beliefs rather than facts.

    The answer to the basic question is, however, extremely simple. If you believe that you can understand and properly answer the questions your firewall product might ask you when it detects something and displays it for your decision then you should use that product. If you don't get rid of it, because it will at best frustrate you and at worst put you in danger of identity theft.

    Bitman

  9. #19
    129260
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    Lightbulb def. true

    right on bitman

  10. #20
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    Hi I am new here and although I did not come to the forum for this subject, I felt I may as well add to all who have written.
    For approx 7 years I have been using Sygate Firewall and have had no problems at all.
    I like the ability to block ports that are open slather for the "jerks" out there who like to create chaos for all who own a computer.
    Although I think "Snorten Norten" has bought out Sygate, I can still manually operate it to configure it to my way use, and it seems to have no problem.
    I like it as unlike Norton, which has more bells and whistles than an amusement park, it doesn't suck my resources to zero where I can't move right or left.

    Regards
    BarbM

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