Sunday, May 20, 2007

Firewalls? But Vista Already Has A Firewall

Yea, that is what I thought as well. I thought that Vista had firewalling software. But, Vista's great firewall is missing one function that is as important as anything else to me and that is protecting the computer from software that is trying to talk to the outside web.

Is this bad. Not really because with Vista it is extremely difficult to install a piece of trojan code on a computer because of the flashy-thingy boxes that stall the system and pop-up asking permission. Really annoying considering that Linux does the same thing when it asks for an admin password but does it well without annoying the bloody hell out of you.

But, somehow things were not right on my PC and I decided to go in search of a firewall program. My favorite for the longest time has been ZoneAlarm and I have never had an issue running ZoneAlarm since I went DSL in 2003. Now that I am surfing at broadband speeds with my cable modem, ZoneAlarm is doing just fine. Until Vista. Now, I find out that Vista and ZoneAlarm do not play well together.

Based on good things that I have heard in the computer media, I decided to try Comodo. I downloaded the software and was even impressed that their operations have been certified by KPMG and qualifying for the AICPA WebTrust seal. Not bad for a company thats claim to fame is a free firewall.

But the Comodo Firewall did not play well with Vista either. So I was in search for another firewall program. I went to CNET looked at their ratings for many products. The one that appeared to be best PC Tools Firewall Plus. So I downloaded the product and installed it on Vista. After the obligatory system restart, Vista is now running without issues. But I will say that Media Center is quite a chatty program. It is always wanting to talk on the internet. Same goes with Microsoft Sync which is always trying to connect to the internet. I suspected that Office Groove would be the big culprit of wanting to talk to the internet, but it has relatively quiet.

So hopefully, this will make for a more secure experience with Vista. Maybe this will help even help with the bluescreens. Perhaps.

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