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Which Firewall/Anti-Virus Program (besides Norton!) Is Best?


Thanks, in advance, for your advice. :)

I've tried Norton Anti-virus 2005 and Norton Firewall 2005 (bundled as Norton Internet Security 2005). It was a HUGE headache. The programs were terribly unstable/unreliable. I finally uninstalled the program and am temporarily using just the Windows XP Firewall that's included in Windows XP Service Pack 2. I need an anti-virus program to accompany it.

Any suggestions? Perhaps using just Norton Antivirus along with the Windows XP SP2 Firewall would be good enough?

Which leads me to another question: How reliable is the Windows XP SP2 Firewall? Is it as good as other Firewalls out there? as mentioned, I found the Norton Firewall extremely finicky.

Thank you.

Marylyn :)
2 Solutions
Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
XP's firewall is good at one thing, blocking port's and remaining relatively stealthy. It is not as good as other software firewalls at configuration, and "leak" tests.
A firewall like ZoneAlarm will block programs that are not approved, from accessing the NIC and or acting as a service. So if a new program, or virus did get on your PC, and tried to propigate, or use the NIC in any form. ZA will block it. With XP's you can just block a port's and some protocols, but it's not very configurable for exceptions to the blocks, as most other firewalls are. ZoneAlarm Pro (note it's Pro, the pay version) will allow you to block all sorts of protocols and port's and remain stealth, and it can add exceptions to the blocks if you wish. ZA can now be purchased with many other programs like AV to keep you viri free, as well as stop some spy-ware etc...

McAfee I think is overall a better AV product, and has by far more definitions for malicious programs,spy-ware or other nasties than Norton or even ZA.

XP firewall is good enough at preventing/blocking incomming attacks- it will not protect you if you should get spy-ware, or viri somehow
ZA firewall is good at preventing incoming and outgoing misbehaviour.
McAfee is great at AV, and their firewall bundle isn't far behind ZA.

If you are a home user, this will be useful:

To Home Users: Do you want free security programs that really works?

          It is all about personal preferences , ability to comprehend "what's behind" the internet borne threats and willing to cope with all kinds of  scenarios crackers have in their arsenal and system's capacity to handle all processes initialized by antivirus-antispyware-firewalling utilities.
         I'm trying to keep things simple but reliable enough to have undisturbed , reliable  computing environment/experience.And , as I can tell you, my tiny pentium II with Windows 2000, is running troublefree for more than two years.
      Blue_zee gave you very good reference ( Donna's Security Flash) ; it's the best summary of what you eventualy want to have on your machine in order to keep the thing  "up and runnin' ".
  Here's  my choice :
      Antivirus - Grisoft AVG 7 ( perfect suit for my POP3 email clients  Outlook and Mozilla-Tunderbird)
      Antyspyware - Ad-Aware + SpySites + good HOSTS + Spyware Blaster
      Firewall - Sygate Personal Firewall (good "learning"  ability, even better event loging and backtracking )
      Intrusion detection - Prevx Home ( real time system files/system settings monitoring )
 When they're all running in realtime only 30 megabytes RAM memory is used.
      Occasionaly I use to launch Netcommando 2000 ( but that's havy duty commercial system fortifier ) and
clean internet junk with CrapCleaner ( http://www.ccleaner.com ) and Boozet's BeClean (http://boozet.xepher.net/beclean/index.htm ) - daily.
     good luck

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An excellent set of security products which are available are from Kapersky.  The do anti virus and Kapersky anti hacker a software firewall solutoion.  They are a smaller European firm however they have been very highly rated by various security and computing magazines.

Have a look here www.kapersky.com 

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Good Luck and Have Fun!!

you can use eTrust antivirus and kerio personal firewall. If you can pay even installing an ISA server would be the best.
Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
Naturally I'm partial to my answers, however with this question, "which is better...?" there is no cut and dry answer, I'm all for a split
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