Which firewall to chose?


I was wondering which Firewall to chose? Is any of them significantly better or worse then the others? Some I thought of were:

Symantec Interent Security
Zonlabs ZonAlarm
WinXP SP2 firewall
My internet provider offers F-Secure's AV/firewall solution

Some possibly important aspects beside securtiy: stability, speed, compatibility, auto update, price ... how much user interaction and knowledge it requires ( can it configure itself for the popular applications) ...

Does it raise any risk to combine an AntiVirus software with a Firewall from a different company?

Regards, CC

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I have personally used the following

ZoneAlarm - http://www.zonealarm.com
Sygate - http://smb.sygate.com/products/spf_pro.htm
Tiny Personal Firewall - http://www.tinysoftware.com
Norton Personal Firewall - http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf/

I have used both Norton Personal Firewall 2005 and Norton Internet Security 2004 Professional. I found both to be buggy, unstable, slow, and difficult to uninstall. If you try this one, be sure to do a full system backup first.

The first Appliation Firewall I ever used was Tiny Personal Firewall. It used to be a small, fast and stable application that has grown less stable, much larger and a little bit slower. Documentation is pretty spartan and the interface is not as intuitive as it could be. I really loved the early versions of this program, but lately it has not impressed me. I would not recommend the current version.

I tried ZoneAlarm, and it worked fine. Easy to use interface, stable and free! I can't recall having any issues with this program.

I moved on to Sygate after a co-worker recommended it and found it to be very stable and easy to use. I used the free one and ended up purchasing the Pro version. I was very happy with this application.

Building the rules, as with all application firewalls was a pain, but once set I pretty much forgot about it.

I now use WIn XP SP2 behind a firewall. For the most part I just like the pop-up-blocker features in the SP2 firewall. But, I have found after seveal years of using an application firewall that my computing habbits do not open me to much risk. I am behind a firewall, and I periodically scan with Adware detection software, and I almost never install non-commercial software, so I havn't had any problems. So now I don't use any application firewall at all; it's just one less application to maintain on my system.

Visit http://www.download.com and do a search for firewalls. Some will have user reviews describing what they liked or didn't like about the application. after you narrow your list down try at least 2 or 3 to see which one you like. Technically, either the free Zone Alarm or free version of Sygate will meet your needs. Both are easy to use, and stable, but try them out for yourself.

Good luck!

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cc042297Author Commented:
Sorry for the late reaction. I needed a firewall for my friends PC, but while I was trying to get his machine working, my server broke down. As a result I had no internet access for more than two days. :(

Thanx for the advices, I’ll  try them, though it will likely take some time. I’ll leave this Q open for a few more days …
hi cc,

for me the best firewall is Kerio Personal Firewall

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cc042297Author Commented:
Hi Devic,

Did you have a chance to compare it to other products? What makes it better then the others for you? ... I am searching for experience on differences here, which I do not have ...  :)
before I got this firewall, I tested almost all others, and only this is good for me.
To describe what is better is difficult, and I don't know about the last versions of another firewalls, because I use Kerio for more then 1 year.

what I like in Kerio:

I can do rules for every programm and for every ip or ip range.
I would just test it, because "a diagram worths many words"

cc042297Author Commented:
Thanx! :)
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