Re: Avast or Zone Alarm using proxy server?
From: Gerald Vogt (vogt_at_spamcop.net)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 18:09:28 +0900
> I run Zone Alarm Pro (because Windows XP SP2 Firewall wasn't doing the job I
> wanted or needed it to do), Ad-Aware and Spybot, and Avast Pro, all of which
> update regularly as does Windows XP using auto-update. On top of that all
> computers run behind a router anyway. Unless I know they are coming,
> attachments in e-mails are deleted or just not loaded off the server, and I
> don't just download anything and run it just for the hell of it!!
Then you are happy anyway. So good for you. All I said is that there are
many things in your setup that you don't need. If you want it anyway,
then you are free to do whatever you do. Many other people do use
security software in a different way (e.g. thinking two security
products make everything more secure than one.)
> I think you can say I don't just sit back and hope everything is OK and
> certainly don't just rely on any of the above to do the job for me - I am
> constantly monitoring things, checking logs, installing updates, etc.
> However I still like the extra features that ZA offers above what Windows FW
> does, and so far I have found ZA works far better with other things than WFW
> seems to! As I said, I turned off WFW and went back to ZA because even
> after SP2 it still failed to protect in some ways (don't ask me to remember
a) the XP SP2 FW does work - as far I can tell and as far as I read
reports from others in newsgroups and other places - exactly the way it
is supposed to work and does exactly what it promises, nothing more, in
a efficient way. If you, for example, set the SP2 FW to block all ports
with no exception than all ports with no exceptions are blocked. The
setting can only be changed by an administrator. (I do not say that
other malware that the user runs locally and that exploits other
security vulnerabilites may be able to gain administrator privileges and
may reconfigure the FW. This is different problem and does not change
the fact that the SP2 FW does what is promises and nothing else.)
b) the XP SP2 FW does interfere in general less with other software on
the computer than any PFW software.
c) the PFW I had was - as long as I was running it - completely useless.
It was basically just harassing me with messages of either incoming
packets going to a dead end anyway or with outgoing connections of
software checking for updates which I wanted anyway and for which I had
to regrant permissions after each update. No software on my computer did
actually unexpected data transmissions. I knew which software does
connect and where to and how to configure in case I don't want it in
which case the software did not communicate anymore. On top of that the
PFW did surely consume 1 GHz of my 2GHz CPU.
d) I have a backup strategy and am able to restore a working backup in
case something actually does happen. I won't play around with a system
that has been compromised and hope I got everything cleaned up. I know
my system and I know the processes running on it.
Thus, I never had a case where the SP2 FW failed me to protect and I
still don't see why in general this should happen except on initiative
of the user itself.