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Firewall Question.

zhigzhig asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-17
I will start doing Software Export business soon from my PC ... I will need to make credit card payments in websites.

Do I need a Firewall ? Why ? (I have Windows 98 and XP Pro)
What does a firewall do ? (I have come to know from a question here I have posted ... that ZoneAlarm blocks SpyWares from sending any info out of the PC - does ZoneAlarm also similarly blocks KeyLoggers - I am worried about KeyLoggers.)

What is the most simplest and fully free (not free trial) Firewall ?

How is ZoneAlarm ?
Watch Question

Firewall stop intrusion from coming in to your computer or network.   What firewall in essence does is restrict ports that your computer usually has open.  There are some extra features such as denial of service attacks and so forth.  

The best advice is to limit the number of users and use on the computer that you have for CC processing.  

Zone alarm is a good product, not free.  If you are looking for free there are plenty of linux based firewall.  There is Monowall.  You can go to m0n0.ch/wall.  The show how an old computer can be made into a firewall.

I hope that helps.

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Top Expert 2006
read this on firewall

ZoneAlarm offer a free firewall.

There is also Sygate which is what I use, it used to be free but not sure anymore.

Agnitum offer a freebie http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpostfree/download.php

some others listed here

It is all down to personal choice. I recommend you try all the free one's listed then see which one suits you best
A firewall is a piece of software (or in some cases hardware), that generally prevents any unwanted incoming or outgoing network traffic from reaching its destination.

Different firewall products offer different control methods. Firewalls may let you add/edit/delete rules for allowed IP addresses, allowed network protocols (HTTP, FTP, etc...), allowed activities (open remote connections/receive incoming connections), and allowed processes (you give permission only to known applications to access the internet, thus preventing malicious software from sending any data).

However, firewalls do not *detect* spyware (an exception is firewall software accompanied with antivirus software, such as Norton Internet Security package and ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite). Rather, a firewall will inform you if some software tries to access the internet, and it's up to you to decide if this is a trusted application or not. Similarly, firewalls do not detect keyloggers. If you want to protect your computer from viruses/spyware/trojans/keyloggers, then you have to do the following:

1. Install latest patches (or service packs) for your operating system. This will patch known security holes in your system.
2. Install a firewall software. This will prevent the exploitation of recently discovered system vulnerabilities. I think ZoneAlarm has a free version.
3. Install an antispyware/antivirus software (optional if you are too careful not to run any software from unknown sources on your system).
4. *Never* download and install applications from unknown sources.
5. If others will be using your PC, don't give them administrator privileges.


  Nayer Naguib
Dushan De SilvaTechnology Architect
Simply our network communication is happening via sockets(IP + Port). IP address is to identify perticular computer. And port is to identify perticular software(ftp[is default port 23], ssh[is default port 22], http[is default port 80]..etc) in that computer. So using firewall we can say our incomming/outgoing data to stop/allow acording to the IP address and port.

BR Dushan


Please tell me the *BEST* *FREE* firewall - I am very confused.
Distinguished Expert 2019
ZoneAlarm is one of the best known, easier to use FREE firewalls you can get. Here's where you can download it from. Great product... fair friendly interface.


(There is another version that you do have to pay for, hence some of the confusion... but we'll make sure you get a good free product)
Distinguished Expert 2019

I forgot to tell you. The version of ZoneAlarm that's free is just a firewall, nothing more. One of the paid versions includes spyware protection.

Here's a link for one of many *free* available antispyware products (this one's Spybot Search & Destroy)... http://www.safer-networking.org

A firewall is computer hardware and/or software that limits access to a computer over a network or from an outside source. Used to prevent computer hackers from getting into a company's computer systems.

Why do you need a firewall? To prevent people from gaining unauthorized access to your computer... you don't want people to potentially be able to delete your files or make other changes to your machine.

Firewalls do *not* protect against spyware or keyloggers.... that's where antivirus software and antispyware software come into play. Companies like Symantec do indeed bundle all of these things together in an internet security suite, but you'll have to pay for it. Do you already have antivirus protection?
I also recommend ZoneAlarm. Free, reliable, and very easy to use.


  Nayer Naguib
ZoneAlarm is a good choice.

Also read these links to make yourself more comfortable when talking about
firewalls. You really need to understand HOW they work in order to know
what kind of protection you want to implement.

"A firewall protects your network from unwanted Internet traffic. The primary functions of a firewall are to let good traffic pass through while ‘bad’ traffic gets blocked. The most important part of a firewall is its access control features that distinguish between good and bad traffic."

"A firewall allows you to establish certain rules to determine what traffic should be allowed in or out of your private network. Depending on the type of firewall implemented you could restrict access to only certain IP addresses or domain names, or you can block certain types of traffic by blocking the TCP/IP ports they use."

"Basically, a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property. In fact, that's why its called a firewall. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next. As you read through this article, you will learn more about firewalls, how they work and what kinds of threats they can protect you from."

"Basically, a firewall, working closely with a router program, examines each network packet to determine whether to forward it toward its destination. A firewall also includes or works with a proxy server that makes network requests on behalf of workstation users. A firewall is often installed in a specially designated computer separate from the rest of the network so that no incoming request can get directly at private network resources."

an alternative for u: Sygate Personal Firewall 5.6
its a freeware, see if it fits ur needs
Distinguished Expert 2019

Sygate's Personal Firewall was indeed a good program, but remember that it's also a discontinued product since the Symantec acquistion..

yea, i noticed that. but i'm just not sure if support stil available for the freeware version, or it has been discontinued definitely. since i'm currently using the professional edition which stil running well and support is stil available.
sorry, if the freeware version has been discontinued since the symantec acquisition.
Top Expert 2006


your comment

Please tell me the *BEST* *FREE* firewall - I am very confused.

Ive mentioned freebies, and so have others

Different people have different tastes, what I recommend is you trial/error until you find the one you find most comfortable with.

I used to use ZoneAlarm (freeone) but had problems with their true vector.
So I moved to using Sygate. It may be discontinued as a freebie, but stil pretty decent.

Does your ISP offer any software? Certainly ISP in UK called NTL offer a security suite
try Tiny Personal Firewall, also a good one.


How many answerers here ?
Distinguished Expert 2019

Well, different people have different experiences... and based on those experiences, we'll sometimes have differing opinions on what the best product is. However, they should all meet your requirements.
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