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do i really need firewall?

by sectornine / June 26, 2006 3:21 PM PDT

all i can say is norton firewall and live update did something to my pc, forcing me to formated my hardrive, i won't start another thread about this though, insted i have a question.

do normal avarge computer users like us really need a firewall?

when i play my games the firewall would attempt to give me a pop up asking me to accept or deny a coonection, this of course freezes my game and in turn my pc, i'm sick of the firewall pop ups and sick of it, and just this morning i lost everything because of it.

so now i wonder, is a firewall really needed? i just finished setting up my windows all over again and i really don't want another tragedy, i found a zonealarm free firewall, but will it ended up destorying my pc like norton did?

i don't know i really just don't know.

-should i get the zonealarm free firewall? is it better than the norton firewall 2005?

- i don't really need a firewall, do i?

thanks fo the help

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Are you using a router?
by Art / June 26, 2006 5:23 PM PDT

If you are then you should be ok without software firewall (just my opinion).

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no router
by sectornine / June 26, 2006 5:43 PM PDT

just a computer, as i've said norton firewall made a mess of my pc and likes to freezes my games and pc.

i want to know if zonealarm free edition is better than norton firewall, i don't really want another firewall ater the pervious bad experience, but i guess i should have one, right?

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consider a router/hardware firewall
by eatingcascade / June 29, 2006 8:20 PM PDT
In reply to: no router


I can totally symphaise with your frustration with firewall software. Though some people like working with them.

If you?re having problems though, I?d recommend you use an ADSL router for your connection, they?re not expensive and depending on what you buy will give you wireless access for your house as well.

I?m using a 3Com officeconnect router which has proven to not be very intrusive with its firewall. The only thing I?ve seen it block is torrents ? and there is an easy fix for this if you look on google. Online games, IRC chat, p2p went through it fine. You can completely disable it though, if you need to do that.

Using that alone, every bit of software test online/offline for firewall effectiveness said it does all its supposed to do. In addition to this, I?ve activated the Windows Firewall in XP Service Pack 2. It?s not intrusive, recognises most applications and otherwise asks you for permission/denial once only, and then leaves it alone.

IMHO the combination is pretty sufficient for home use.

Anyway anyone who wants to comment/agree/disagree is welcome.

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win xp sp2 firewall
by hothta / June 30, 2006 1:52 AM PDT

win xp sp2 fiirewall is what i use and have no trouble with it
truth is it sounds like you have start up programs problems as well
norton firewall is a pain but what i heard is more then that got to download free program and clean up the mess in your start up and ie helpers
msconfig will do this but is safer and easyer with winpatrol

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ZoneAlarm free version works well for me
by ackmondual / July 7, 2006 4:07 AM PDT
In reply to: no router

I can access the internet just fine. I can play Halo for PC multiplayer online just fine too.

HOwever, I could probably get more protection with a shareware firewall or a router

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A two word answer to your question:
by Paul C / June 26, 2006 6:17 PM PDT
Hell, yes!

Now that that's out of the way, I'd recommend the Zone Alarm freebie. It's easy to configure - in fact, it'll pickup most of your permissions automatically - and it's highly effective.

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what about...
by sectornine / June 26, 2006 7:27 PM PDT

what about the built-in firewall that came with service pack 2 of windows xp? so far i liked the builted in firewall as ther's no pop ups and it's pretty smart at detecting avg and games, i love it, do i really need ANOTHER firewall like zonealarm?

is the one in windows xp sp2 good enough?

i really don't want another firewall that messes up my pc, i mean even norton can mess things up, talk about zonealarm.

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Windows Firewall
by PudgyOne / June 26, 2006 7:56 PM PDT
In reply to: what about...

Windows Firewall only protects you from incoming.

Zone Alarm protects you from incoming and out going. If you have a program that's already on your computer, using the Windows Firewall, the program will always be allowed to access the internet. With Zone Alarm, you have to give it permission to allow incoming and out going connections.

Hope this helps.


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can zonealarm...
by sectornine / June 26, 2006 8:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Firewall

i was wondering, does zonealarm firewall free edition have an option that allows you to "block traffic" with a simple click?

i remember in norton firewall there was one such feature, i could stop all internet connection with a simple click, i use it all the time and i find it very very useful, is there such feature in zonealarm firewall?

thanks for all the help.

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Kin, ZA DOES Have Such A Feature
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / June 27, 2006 12:34 AM PDT
In reply to: can zonealarm...

It's called "Internet Lock" and can be engaged by RIGHT clicking on the ZA icon, choose "Engage Internet Lock". Still, there should be very few times to completely block the internet traffic.. ZoneAlarm blocks attempted intrusions automatically and if you choose, you can turn OFF the alert warnings of those routine attempts. Program access alerts can't be turned off and shouldn't be, but once you've got program access set, you won't be bothered again anyway.

By the way, if you try ZoneAlarm, I suggest NOT using the most recent 6.5 versions as they're causing a few problems for quite a few users, including me.. Instead, try installing the previous 6.1.744.001 version from the Zonelabs link below:

Hope this helps.


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Handy Internet Lock
by arbee / June 29, 2006 11:04 PM PDT

Kin, I found the ZA Internet Lock handy when playing a game and not being shut down because the auto update decides to update some program.

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do i really need firewall?
by tomron / June 26, 2006 9:41 PM PDT

Click HERE

WinXP's built-in firewall is adequate at stopping incoming attacks,
and hiding your ports from probes. What WinXP SP2's firewall does not
do, is provide an important additional layer of protection by informing
you about any Trojans or spyware that you (or someone else using your
computer) might download and install inadvertently. It doesn't monitor
out-going network traffic at all, other than to check for IP-spoofing,
much less block (or at even ask you about) the bad or the questionable
out-going signals. It assumes that any application you have on your
hard drive is there because you want it there, and therefore has your
''permission'' to access the Internet. Further, because the Windows
Firewall is a ''stateful'' firewall, it will also assume that any incoming
traffic that's a direct response to a Trojan's or spyware's out-going
signal is also authorized.

ZoneAlarm or Kerio are much better than WinXP's built-in firewall,
in that they do provide that extra layer of protection, are much more
easily configured, and have free versions readily available for
downloading. Even the commercially available Symantec's Norton Personal
Firewall provides superior protection, although it does take a heavier
toll of system performance then do ZoneAlarm or Kerio.

Click HERE for additional info,scroll down to question 14.

I use Zone alarm with no complaints.


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A two way fire might stop Microsoft phoning home
by clockmendergb / June 29, 2006 10:16 PM PDT

Legal or illegal Microsoft XP.
a lot of people do not like Microsoft collecting data without permission.
I have read on forums that Zone alarm will block these
attemps to send info of your IP adress?time of day and other undisclosed information to microsft servers.

Pesonnally I worry about any collection of info by these big companies as it all seems to end up in some American Government security agency where of course it is added to the rest given by the likes of AT&T

For my part I do not surf the web with Windows any more
But I still use it for other business where it remains a very good system

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Need, no... Should have, yes
by jnbhoward / June 26, 2006 11:53 PM PDT

You don't NEED a firewall just like you don't NEED a computer. However, it's one of those things you SHOULD have if you want to help keep things running smoothly.

Maybe one day we'll all wake up and life has turned into a giant Disney movie where nothing bad ever happens. Until that day firewalls help keep a few of the nasties at bay.

It's becoming big business in the organized crime world to create and sell "botnets". Or systems that have been compromised with some sort of remote control program installed on them. These systems are then used as the enforcement of protection rackets. The owner of some site like eBay either pays this crime syndicate the sum of money they asked or else they use these botnets to flood the server with requests effectively knocking it offline. Without a firewall, you could easily become one of the people whose systems are a part of these botnets.

You'll just have to learn to live with the constant popup messages firewalls generate. As annoying as they are, the alternative can be far worse. You just need to resist the urge to start clicking the "Accept" button any time some message pops up. Such a practice is bound to put a gaping hole in your firewall's already meager protection, that it's effectiveness is neutralized.

If it bothers you, you should take the time to go through the entire catalog of programs you have installed on your computer, and make a decision as to whether or not they need access to the Internet. Then configure the firewall to deny access to anything not on your list. Later, you can always add more programs manually if you need Internet access.

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fire wall's clog up
by jamesreedbenjamin / June 29, 2006 8:19 PM PDT

i allways find fire walls from
zone alarms or norton or some others
iv tryed really slow things down ,
its probally the filtering/checking
there doing.
so i don't have one any more and don't find any problems happening to my system! so far anyway............
It runs well and its been years
now since i had a problem with virus etc
i do check very often for spy ware (skybot and spyware blaster and Ad-aware )and i have Grisoft AVG virus protection .
so id recon giving it a try to see how much stuff we do without that slow down our machines.

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So find another
by jnbhoward / June 30, 2006 12:53 AM PDT
In reply to: fire wall's clog up

It's a simple matter to just use XP's firewall if you're using XP, which is sufficient for the majority of people, or to get a router that has a firewall built into the firmware.

And in the end, a little performance loss is the price you pay to avoid being an unwitting accomplice to organized crime and other equally distasteful things. Like I said, maybe one day we'll all wake up and the world has turned into a giant Disney movie where nothing bad ever happens. Until that day arrives, a firewall is a useful tool for helping keep some of the undesirables at bay.

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thanks, but
by sectornine / June 27, 2006 5:51 PM PDT

thanks for the help, indeed ZA firewall is a good one, but after what happened yesterday was too much for me, and i've decided not to use another firewall, for now, perhaps in the future i might, this is basically what happened to me yesterday, which cause me to abandonded firewall for good.


this morning when i turn on my pc, i noticed the desktop isn't showing up, i was stuck on the welcome screen for 5 mins before the desktop decides to show up.

i did not know what was going on, it was chaos, a message pops up repeatedly saying:

"NORTON live update has terminated your VOIP modem driver in an unusual way, please contact blah blah blah"

then another message pops up:

"unable to ultized socket" or something

i immediatly knew what as happening, norton has sieze control of my network, apparently it has shut down my internet connection, and has block my voip modem's attempt to access the inernet, i am unable to go online.

what's worst norton internet security is unable to report it's status, and gives me a message that saids:

"norton system unidentified blah blah norton antivirus unable to determinate status, file damage or corroupt or something"

i checked the main norton internet secrity screen, it gives me an error status on every criteria, the antivirus isn't functioning, the firewall icon did not appeared besides the clock, the firewall itself doesn't even launch, i knew then norton has been destoryed and are unable to protect me.

the desktop takes 10 mins to boot, i see my wallpaper, but there's nothing on the screen, then out of the blue my desktop pops up, then my hardrive makes a loud noise, but sometimes everything freezes up, and sometimes nothing boots up at all, and then i thought the world is ending.

i proceed to restart over 8 times, trying my best and everything i can to fix the problem, but in the end i was left with no choice but to wipe my hardrive and reinstall windows, losing everything including my percious pictures in the process.

i did tried to uninstall the whole norton internet security 2005, but it refuses to uninstall, gives me a message saying: "live update is running blah you have to close it before running uninstall"

of course there's no way for me to close it, i also tried uninstalling the live update, but insted the pc freezes, i can't delete liveupdate or norton or anything, i am helpless.

it took another 7 restarts for me to format my hardrive, install windows and get everything running again.


that's why i don't want to use a firewall.

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If You Don't Want To Use One, Then Don't...but...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / June 28, 2006 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks, but

..I'm curious, why ask our opinions then? It appears like you've already got your mind made up about firewall usage and regardless of what points are made here, that's what you're going to do.

Good luck in your endeavor.


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by Mark69 / June 30, 2006 12:49 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks, but

Hi Kin, If you dont want norton , there is a file on the net to erase norton completley off your hard drive, do a search on google or other search engine, i have one it cleaned mine, Any problems m8 let me know ok ,

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by sectornine / June 28, 2006 5:54 PM PDT

finally decided to use a firewall on windows xp sp2, i picked zonealarm, install it, and guess what?

it won't run, why? that's becasue it gives me an error saying i don't have enough rights to launch it.

intresting indeed, i am the only user of my own computer, i am the admin and i have access to all the features in windows xp, so why oh why won't zone alarm run?

i'm very very disappointed with firewalls, very.

just when i muster up all the courage i have and install this product dispite the pervious saddening experience, and BOOMM!!!!! ZA blows up right in my face and tells me that I DON"T HAVE ENOUGH RIGHTS to install this crap, you know what? forget about firewalls, i'm through, this is the last straw!!!

it's not that i don't gave firewalls a chance, but the fact that i give them TOO MUCH chances, even ended up losing EVERYTHING becasue of it, even so , i continue to give my trust to it, and all i get it's deception, frustration and anger.

i hope you now all understand why i have to struggle for what appears to be a simple decision for so long, it is becasue i have been decived, and enough is enough, i'll take my chances without a firewall, thank you.

i hate firewall

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Sounds like you
by PKsteven / June 29, 2006 4:32 AM PDT

Need to do these things first...

1. Get some anger management, sounds like that's in order.

2. A lot depends on what you are doing to your own OS, how does anyone know what you may be downloading, etc...

3.Did you do something obvious?? UNINSTALL IT!

4. Did you DISABLE windows firewall while running others?

5. Did you even mention what kind of junk may be on your pc causing this stuff?

6. Did you give specs on your OS?

7. Could be many other issues, hard to tell when someone simply spouts off exclamations because they are mad and won't give decent info.

8. Many of us have used firewalls for years and never had them <ruin everything.>

9. Perhaps if you calm down and go over your pc, you may get some help instead of thinking everything is ruined and learn somthing in the process, so if a problem arises again, you may be able to fix it.


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Kin, System Restore Should Allow You to Recover Easily
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / June 29, 2006 4:41 AM PDT

Do it this way...(You'll want to print this out for reference.)

First, restart the computer into Safe Mode using the instructions in the link below:

How To Start In 'Safe Mode'

Once in Safe Mode, click on Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-System Restore. When the SR window loads, click on "Restore my computer to an earlier time". When the next "Calendar" window loads, click on one of the "bold" dates which is just previous to your problem, possibly yesterday, then click on "Next" and follow the prompts to restore the compute back to an earlier time.. It will require a reboot. The process is fairly easy and should work fine in your situation.

Once the computer is restored back, because the "admin" error is a common issue, then revisit Donna's link in Virus & Security Alerts to the fix for your problem.

Here is the link to Donna's post in the Virus & Security Alert's forum:

It seems a known issue with ZoneAlarm

Hope this helps.


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ThankYou Grif,
by PMTRAIN / June 29, 2006 7:44 PM PDT

For your timely comment ref Zone Alarm (new) 6.5. in your response to Kim.
I'v been dealing with this for a week now and it really felt familiar until I finally realized we had all gone through this before on another ZA update. I remember your counsel then,and intend to follow it. Just use what I have now until they fix it. The ZA Forum offers alot of tech type suggestions, but I'm not that good at all this and tend to leave wide trails of destruction in my wake. Reading THIS forum and seeing the same names periodically really is a comfort.Kinda like seeing old friends. And your all so patient. Thanks to all of you.

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by agm4 / June 30, 2006 3:26 AM PDT

Sir, I am positive that your problems do not stem from firewalls. Firewalls are an absolute necessity in today's Internet. Anyone NOT running one is putting his computer and all his personal data up for grabs by anyone who has the knowledge necessary to access it.

If you are using your computer to:

1) Access Game Networks
2) Access Porno sites
3) Access "warez" sites (all illegal)
3) Access sites in the former Eastern Block countries
4) Download so-called "free" music or other "free" downloads (neither of which are ever free, since
a) SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE spent his OWN resources to create the music or software in the first place, so he should be compensated for it.
b) It is almost always illegal to download it without the author's permission
c) There are ALWAYS consequenses for our actions, either in this life, or the next, so we ALWAYS pay in some way, either with our money, or with our time, freedom, or life.

They instead stem from a total lack of knowledge about:

1) The English language and its grammar.
2) Computers in general
3) Firewalls specifically
4) PROPER Operating System installation and configuration (for example, an improperly-acting piece of software SELDOM blows up your entire system, as you claim both Symantec (which you call "Norton") and ZoneAlarm did.
5) Operating System and software maintenance
7) The absolute NEED to keep your Operating System and software properly maintained on a DAILY basis.
Cool The presence of bad people on the Internet (many more than one might expect).
9) A lack of respect for the people who CREATED "your" computer and software.
10) A lack of respect for your machine itself.
11) A lack of respect for the Constitution of the United States, which gives you the FREEDOM to use your computer with little government interference.

They also stem from
1) A lack of self-respect and respect for others
2) A lack of self-control
3) A lack of understanding of just what you are doing at any one time
4) Possibly, drug and alcohol abuse.
5) Having an abusive character
6) An inability to listen to the advice others give you, or an inablity to apply it correctly.
7) Quite possibly, a need to get laid by a lady

Tell us sir, do you also hate antivirus products? Do you hate to PAY for decent products? Have you even investigated which are the best antivirus packages?

If your answer is "no" to ANY of the three questions about antivirus packages, then you NEED to spend a few dollars (probably about $39US), and purchase a product like NOD32 ( from ), which is widely respected by security personal everywhere as the best Antivirus product in circulation for the general public, and seek advice on how to properly configure it for your surfing habits and machine.

NOTE, sir: I have NOT "accused" you of anything. I have given you my opinion, after having read several of your responses in this particular discussion thread. Only you, sir, can decide for yourself if my words are cogent (that is, they apply to you). In other words, if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't, then just simply ignore it.

I assure you, I am not trying in any way to be accusatory, or hurtful. But sometimes, the truth stings, especially when it finds its mark in a man. Sometimes, the truth will set you free, as a great Man once said. And sometimes, one must endure the pain of the truth before it will set one free.

Donald L McDaniel

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outstanding reply!!
by UKARURLMXCU / June 30, 2006 10:57 AM PDT

Based on your outstanding answer, I am sure you have been at this game as long as I have (21 years +) and have probably forgotten more than most know about the lovable infuriating contraption known as a computer. We have learned through long experience and many times, trial and error, that almost all computer problems can be traced to something WE DID TO IT! The person you replied to is probably a perfect example of this.

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Your firewall
by WAArnold / July 1, 2006 2:03 PM PDT

You have made up your mind, but, I am wandering about your expertise. I suspect you have something going on other than firewall problems. Thousands of users have zonealarm and other firewalls installed without trouble. With that said, why don't you leave the firewall installed and running except for the time that you MUST run the games, at which time you can disable it and after the game restart the firewall.


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Re: do i really need firewall?
by readingsteve / June 29, 2006 8:23 PM PDT

A firewall is a good idea, but I've had bad experiences with a number of the software solutions. For the past two years I've been using a hardware firewall which is built into my Linksys wireless router and that has been absolutely great. It allows you to open up specific ports for applications, while giving a real solid wall of security to hide behind. Best part is that it was essentially free, since it was already a part of the router hardware.

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In the same boat
by Oracle_360 / June 29, 2006 8:43 PM PDT

I had a similar chain of events happen to me (thought luckily without Norton involved), and decided it was better to get rid of Zone Alarm. Even with this program, which is lauded as one of the better firewalls out theer, I found my patience wearing thin as numerous games were frozen because of a Zone Alarm warning. I'm now hiding behind my router firewall, and scanning frequently with anti-virus and spyware programs to make up for it.

> Comicfan, please don't make comments based on your assumptions or interpretations. This forum is for computer help and not pyschological examinations.

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by PKsteven / July 1, 2006 6:52 PM PDT
In reply to: In the same boat

It's spelled: psychological examinations Happy

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by Oracle_360 / July 11, 2006 8:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Oracle

It was a typo, but thanks for the tip.

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