OT: firewall suggestion to replace ZoneAlarm

Discussion in 'Dell' started by RnR, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. RnR

    RnR Guest

    I'm going to do a clean install for my sister in law with xp (home
    version I think) on her home pc and prior I had put ZoneAlarm on it.
    The problem is it's not too user friendly and she has several use her
    pc so it gets degraded and sluggish over time. Personally I like
    ZoneAlarm but I admit sometimes it isn't easy to understand with the
    pop ups and I'm geek oriented so I know it's got to be very
    frustrating for her not to mention the others who use her pc.

    That said, any suggestions for a "decent" firewall (both in and out)
    that is user friendly in this situation above? Please forgive me, I'm
    not trying to start a flame here just some honest advice. thanks.
    RnR, Aug 16, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. RnR

    olfart Guest

    Google for Sygate Firewall 5.6
    It's the last free version available before they were bought out and I've
    used it on my XP box for a long time. I used to use Zone Alarm until it
    became bloatware
    olfart, Aug 16, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. RnR

    S.Lewis Guest

    Buy her a router and be done with it. ;-)

    Any software firewall will drive a new user crazy to the point that they

    1)melt the phone lines calling you to okay many/any outgoing messages, or

    2)disable the damned thing after 2 weeks and it's irrelevant.

    Hope this helps.

    S.Lewis, Aug 16, 2007
  4. RnR

    robertharvey Guest

    I bought the AVG suite, with firewall and anti-spyware, and am very
    happy with it. Yes, you get a dialogue asking permission for new
    items, but it is always the same dialogue, and reads fairly well. It
    does a really good job of scanning for known applications when you
    install, and setting them up in advance.

    Good opportuity to ditch Norton as well, the worst resource hog I have
    ever come across.
    robertharvey, Aug 17, 2007
  5. RnR

    Colin Wilson Guest

    That said, any suggestions for a "decent" firewall (both in and out)
    Comodo appears to be getting good press lately...
    Colin Wilson, Aug 17, 2007
  6. RnR

    Tony Harding Guest

    I'll 2nd Robert here - I switched to AVG w/firewall (not free) last fall
    and junked ZoneAlarm & NAV. Couldn't be happier.
    Tony Harding, Aug 17, 2007
  7. RnR

    S.Lewis Guest

    I'll have to have a look at it.
    S.Lewis, Aug 17, 2007
  8. RnR

    RnR Guest

    Thanks all. Yeah I forgot about AVG. I've seen it recommended before
    and just forgot. I'll take a look at it.
    thanks again all.
    RnR, Aug 17, 2007
  9. RnR

    Journey Guest

    I don't understand what is not user friendly about Zone Alarm. It
    seems very intuitive to me.
    Journey, Aug 17, 2007
  10. I find no problem with it, but I took it off 3 friends machines. They could
    not work out the blocking of webpages, trying to download .pdf files, adding
    the new websites for windows updates, dealing with Netflix etc.

    They installed Comodo and it is working fine for them.

    A lot of people "just want it to work".

    Leanin' Cedar, Aug 17, 2007
  11. RnR

    pheeh.zero Guest

    I have been using Sunbelt (Kerio) for sometime now...and it seems to
    work well.
    pheeh.zero, Aug 17, 2007
  12. RnR

    Ben Myers Guest

    I, too, find it easy to use, but most people would classify me as a computer
    nerd. People who are less technical and want to treat their computers like
    appliances (toasters and microwaves) get confused when confronted by the
    decisions ZoneAlarm forces on them... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 17, 2007
  13. RnR

    sun Guest

    The difficulty with firewall software is that there isn't a setting
    based on the user's capabilities. I use ZoneAlarm because I am
    knowledgeable enough to know when to allow and when to deny.
    As much as I dislike Norton, a few years ago a friend bought
    a new computer which had Norton Security software. I was
    impressed that it had a list of software that can be "trusted".
    For my friend it was good firewall feature (the rest was bloatware).

    I am soon going to be in a situation where I have to setup
    a new computer for a friend and I don't know what firewall
    to install as she isn't computer savy and won't be able to
    deal with ZoneAlarm type warnings. I have AVG Anti-Virus
    but haven't tried their Firewall. Do the same warnings
    appear for it as ZoneAlarm?

    What to do?
    sun, Aug 17, 2007
  14. RnR

    robertharvey Guest

    In the UK AVG have a time-limited trial version. It does a good job
    of guessing what should be allowed through, but does put up a dialogue
    for anything unexpected. It is, after all, a firewall. The dialogue
    reads quite well, and has a tick box to say "remember this answer
    forever" for yes or no for that programme.

    As long as your 'client' is trained to say yes for programmes
    deliberately started and no for other things it can't get too

    I have an adsl router which is essentially a "hard" external firewall
    - no incoming connections are accepted at all. That is wholly silent,
    so I havn't seen what AVG does with port scanning. But you can set it
    not to accept incoming stuff anyway when setting it up.
    robertharvey, Aug 17, 2007
  15. RnR

    RnR Guest

    Right Ben. That's the dilemna with ZoneAlarm. I think it is a very
    good firewall but some pop ups require thought to allow or deny and
    that may be asking too much for the average user like my sister in

    Presently I'm testing three free software such as Comodo (firewall),
    AVG (viri protection) and adware2007 (for spyware) on another laptop
    to see how it all goes. If it looks good, I'll be installing them on
    my sister in law's pc.
    RnR, Aug 17, 2007
  16. RnR

    wm_walsh Guest

    I've always thought ZoneAlarm was fairly user friendly as well, so a
    better question is "how user friendly". An inexperienced computer user
    isn't necessarily going to know what to do when prompted and may not
    be in any frame of mind to call or ask for help. They may be in a

    What's needed might be something that just sits there and stays quiet
    while doing its job with a reasonably safe predefined set of
    rules...like a little hardware-based router/AP.

    Although I do have a system or two running ZoneAlarm, the one thing
    that has always bothered me about it is the fact that there is no
    point-and-click setting to tell it to leave a network card alone and
    not firewall it in any way. This might seem like an odd request until
    you consider a system with two NICs...one facing outward to the 'net
    and the other pointing inward to a private trusted network with a NAT
    setup running. It can be done, but the task is a little more diddling
    around than is required for something that could be a spur of the
    moment checkbox setting.

    wm_walsh, Aug 17, 2007
  17. RnR

    S.Lewis Guest

    Thanks for that tip. I'll download and try it as well.
    S.Lewis, Aug 17, 2007
  18. RnR

    S.Lewis Guest

    That's a good idea.

    You might also attempt to mimic her e-mail and internet activities through
    various programs in an attempt to allow the firewall to 'learn' many of her
    permissions ahead of time so that she'll never even see them - including AV
    and spyware updates, etc........

    I've tried that, but have never had much luck with it regarding end users.
    Worth a try, though.

    S.Lewis, Aug 17, 2007
  19. RnR

    S.Lewis Guest

    Well yours is a unique setup (two NICs), but the point is a good one. If
    there's some way for the person installing the firewall to attempt to
    pre-load several/many/most of the expected permissions generated by the
    (newbie) end user in an attempt to minimize the pop ups/prompts it's
    probably a good idea.

    I'd guess it would be nearly impossible to fully predict the prompts and
    eliminate them all ahead of time - thereby minimizing the confusion/pain for
    the end user.
    S.Lewis, Aug 17, 2007
  20. RnR

    sun Guest

    In general, that is true. However, there are those pesky programs
    that hide in the background, especially those that check for
    updates, and then out of nowhere a ZoneAlarm warning would
    pop up. Grrrr....
    sun, Aug 18, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.