Should I use ZoneAlarm or Windows Firewall?

Original title: Firewall Question

I currently have AVG Antivirus and Spybot Search & Destroy running with Windows Firewall. I am considering using ZoneAlarm Firewall. I have used it in the past, and it seriously impeded computer performance, but the computer I have now is three hundred times more powerful. Still, I believe it may be confusing to my kids and wife to use. Should I bother installing it, or is Windows Firewall just fine? I have Windows 7 Home Premium.

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> "...Should I bother installing it, or is Windows Firewall just fine?"

Hi, wecome.

Yes WF is fine, and I would consider also using Microsoft Security Essentials (AV) alone to keep every tool well integrated with Windows 7.

Regards.


itconcerned

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Hi,

Alternatives usually leave a lot to be desired.

Low cost 3rd party software firewalls are pretty much problems waiting to happen. They all have
compatibility issues and offer only a few enhanced controls. In fact their issues often actually lower
the overall security instead of raising it. The Windows Firewall has no compatibility issues and is
extremely secure if you know enough to bypass most of the hype. Quality software firewalls cost
thousands. Most routers have hardware firewalls built in and those are considerably better additions
for the buck than any cheap/low cost software firewall.

How to Change the Windows Firewall Notification Settings in Windows 7 - also see the related articles
section at the just before the reply section.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/523-windows-firewall-change-notification-settings.html

How to Manage Windows 7 Firewall.
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-manage-windows-7-firewall

How to Use Windows Firewall With Advanced Security in Vista (also Windows 7)
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/92748-windows-firewall-advanced-security.html

What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?
http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Whats-new-Windows-7-Firewall.html

==================================================================

AVG has been causing or aggravating a lot of issues lately. Unfortunately it seems to have
joined the ranks of the over-bloated with compatibility problems.

If you want to uninstall AVG then Uninstall it and run the AVG Removal Tool to prevent trouble
causing remnants from being left behind. Below are recommendations to use in place.

AVG Removal Tools
http://www.avg.com/us-en/download-tools

List of anti-malware program cleanup/uninstall tools
http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/msestart/thread/407bf6da-c05d-4546-8788-0aa4c25a1f91/

------------------------------

Here is what I use and recommend : (These are all Free versions and very effective.) 

Avast and Prevx have proven extremely reliable and compatible with everything I have
thrown at them. Microsoft Security Essentials and Prevx have also proven to be very
reliable and compatible. Use MSE and Prevx or Avast and Prevx however not all 3.

Avast Home Free - stop any shields you do not need except leave Standard, Web, and
Network running.

Prevx - Home - Free

Windows Firewall

Windows Defender (not needed if using MSE)

IE - Protected Mode

IE 8 - SmartScreen Filter ON  (IE 7 Phishing Filter)

I also have IE to always start with InPrivate Filter active if IE 8.
(You occasionally have to turn it temporarily off with the little Icon on LEFT of the + bottom
right of IE)

Two versions of Avast are available 5.x and 4.8x

Avast 5.x - Home - Free - Stop the Shields you do not use (except File, Web, Network, &
Behavior) - double click the Orange Icon in Notification Area - Real Time Shields - click the
Shield you want to stop - STOP. To stop the Orange Icon from showing an error indicator -
click the Orange Icon - Upper Right - Settings - click Status Bar - uncheck the Shields you
disabled - click OK
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

Avast 4.8x - Home - Free - stop any shields you do not need except leave Standard, Web,
and Network running. (Double Click Blue icon - details next to OK. - upper left Shields -
Terminate those you do not use.)
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download#tab4

Or use Microsoft Security Essentials - Free
http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Prevx works well along side Avast or MSE

Prevx - Home - Free small, fast, exceptional CLOUD protection, works with other security
programs. This is a scanner only, VERY EFFECTIVE, if it finds something come back here
or use Google to see how to remove. 
http://www.prevx.com/   <-- information
http://info.prevx.com/downloadcsi.asp  <-- download

PCmag - Prevx - Editor'a Choice
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346862,00.asp

Also get Malwarebytes - free - use as scanner only. If you ever suspect malware, and that
would be unsual with Avast and Prevx running except for an occasional low level cookie
(no big deal), UPDATE it and then run it as a scanner. I have many scanners and they
never find anything of note since I started using this setup.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

==========================================================

SpyBot causes issues with IE7 and IE 8. Stop TeaTimer in its setup and set the SBSD Service
to STOP and MANUAL - then you can use SpyBot as an on-demand scanners.

Start - type in Search box -> Services   find at top of list Right Click on - RUN AS ADMIN.

Set to MANUAL and STOPPED

Uncheck TeaTimer in the SpyBot - Settings.

Reboot and it will not load and can be run on demand.

Hope this helps.


Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows Expert - Consumer : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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Last updated June 16, 2020 Views 27,751 Applies to: