Re: Windows XP Firewall
From: jch (JCH_at_nospam.com)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 07:46:10 -0400
"Tom McCune" <news@DELETE_THISmccune.cc> wrote in message
> Jodie <qualityetc@REMOVEsbcglobal.net> wrote in
>> Hello folks, I'm new to Windows XP and was wondering what y'all's
>> thoughts were on the built in firewall that Windows XP has. I'm
>> running SP2 (clean install then applied sp2).
> It has pretty good incoming protection, but has no outgoing protection to
> help defend against spyware, trojans, etc. Therefore, it would be better
> to use any of the popular freeware firewalls such as Sygate or Zone Alarm.
> I agree with the suggestion of using a router, but that would be in
> addition to a better software firewall, rather than instead of it.
To each their own. Personally I've done well on my home network with a NAT
router, AV program, and running Adaware and or Spybot every month or so to
remove those pesky spyware/malware programs that get on my system from time
to time. My network is up 24/7 and never had a serious issue. I don't want
to run a seperate software firewall such as ZoneAlarm on each PC. IMO the
best defense is smart computing. Don't open strange attachments, don't visit
unfamiliar, ad-infested web sites, etc. Keep your AV program up to date. I
use AVG but there are many available.
I remember a few years ago when I was first installing my network. I had the
router out for awhile to make sure I was getting the DSL signal. Things were
working fine technically but without the router I'd say it was just a matter
of minutes before my AV program started sending virus alerts and things were
going haywire. Putting a NAT router in place makes a HUGE difference in the
security of your system.
I've cleaned up a few PCs in my neighborhood just to help out some friends.
These were dial-up and DSL configurations but without NAT routers. The PCs
were significantly slowed and the owners were considering just throwing them
away to upgrade to new PCs because of the poor performance. In each case I
cleaned up the PCs with AV and spyware removal programs. I found dozens of
viruses and thousands of files affected by malware. It took awhile but
these PCs were eventually restored. Neither ZA nor NAT keeps out
spyware/malware programs and left unchecked, these programs can effectively
bring an otherwise working system down. It doesn't matter if ZA is installed
and blocks malware from 'phoning home' or not. Just the fact that
spyware/malware has become installed and trying to work is enough to
significantly impact performance. The best thing I've found is to practice
safe computing and run Adaware and Spybot periodically.