Friday, June 09, 2006

Update on Firewalls

In my post Free Computer Security -- Firewalls, I raved about the free Sygate Personal Firewall (SPF) last year. Since then, Symantec bought Sygate. Unfortunately, this means that the free firewall product is no longer available.

I still have the old SPF install file. I could've installed it on my new computer. But using unmaintained security software is like building a fence with rotten wood and letting it fall apart.

What firewall did I install? I settled on Outpost Firewall Pro. I haven't heard many endorsements for it, but I heard no negative comments, unlike Zone Alarm. One thing about Outpost is that it is not free, although you can download it and try it for free for 30 days. The initial license fee is $39.99, and annual updates after one year is $19.99. (But if it turns out that Germany has the most shutout games in this year's World Cup, I'll get the annual updates for free. See this promotional page to understand why.)

If you're committed to using a free product, you can try Zone Alarm. You can also try Jetico Personal Firewall, which I discovered after installing Outpost. Version of Jetico was given the Gold Award by Firewall Leak Tester on March 11, 2006, based on its ability to pass leak tests. One thing Firewall Leak Tester doesn't do is give any indication of how stable each product is.

While I'm at it, let me give you some firewall testing resources.

  • Again, there's Firewall Leak Tester, which not only publishes test results, it also offers a directory of tests that you can run on your own system. And there's plenty of advice, too.

  • The home page of Gibson Research Center, and their Shields Up test in particular.

  • Various tests on the PC Flank web site.

1 comment:

Tirsden Frozenrayn said...

As per your recommendation a while back, I installed Jetico on the computer my kid sister is now using (my old ghetto gamer machine still running Win98) and it seems good, other than a little control-freaky. But that's better than nothing. And according to the Leak Test people, "nothing" looks like the XP firewall. Eek!