Windows 2000 Firewall alternatives for Zonealarm and Norton

I'm looking for a firewall for a Windows 2000 Professional computer. I know about Zonealarm and Norton, but for some reason this doesn't work like I want to. It turns out that every time a message pops up, the user just clicks "allow" or "deny" but doesn't know what to do when, and I cannot control this. For the moment this computer connects to the internet using dialup, so cannot be put behind a router/firewall (afaik). The user is not at high risk for viruses etc (surfing safe websites, not using IE, Outlook, and generally knows what to do when receiving strange emails). I've installed zonealarm for a while, but want to change to something else if possible.

Do you have any suggestions (freeware or commercial) about what alternatives there are? I'm looking for a firewall where I can open and close ports, like the standard unix firewall, not one that reacts to program actions.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Until Windows XP came in I was very happy with Sygate Personal Firewall, which is freeware. Now that I look up the website... Sygate has been assimilated and another fine product is lost in the claws of Symantec... Damn them. I despise Zone Alarm and Norton "Internet Security", probably for the same reasons you do.

Other fine option is Kerio Personal Firewall. Kerio has been acquired too, but the products are continued. There is a free version and a full version.

Usually, the application-awareness of personal firewalls is a blessing, and the accept/deny you're talking about is some kind of learning mode. Well... usually learning mode can be disabled and you can configure "Any application" instead of a specific executable with a corresponding MD5 hash ;-)
Greetings, grexx !

Sygate 5.6 is available for download here and is free.

Windows Defender from Microsoft is free and works with Windows 2000 SP4

Best wishes!

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Uhh... I'm up against the #10 here, but Windows Defender is not a firewall...

I still keep Sygate PF 5.6 in my personal stash for systems that really need a firewall, so check out the link.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
OS Security

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.