Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

McAfee Personal Firewall vs Windows Firewall

by Noira / January 13, 2005 6:37 AM PST

Hi Folks,

My OEM (Dell) system was delivered with McAfee Personal Firewall already installed. However, the OS (WinXP Home, SP2) offers Windows Firewall.

My questions:

Should I disable Windows Firewall in favor of McAfee?

I've heard through the 'techie' grapevine that Windows Firewall is somewhat 'weak' (translation: WF allows any valid *Microsoft/Windows Service* unrestricted outbound communcations ... while keeping a close eye on all incoming traffic).

Am inclined to enable McAfee and just be done with it

Thoughts, comments anybody?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: McAfee Personal Firewall vs Windows Firewall
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: McAfee Personal Firewall vs Windows Firewall
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Actually Noira....
by Echo2 / January 13, 2005 7:01 AM PST

XP2 firewall and McAfee Firewall are quite compatible.
You are correct that XP2 firewall is weak in that it only monitors incoming traffic. This means if you have a nasty app embedded in your system, you will be unable to stop it from calling home. In fact you won't even know it's calling home. That is why you need a third party firewall like McAfee which keeps an eye on traffic going both ways. I like McAfee firewall. I am glad you got it OEM with our Dell.


Collapse -
It Figures...
by Noira / January 13, 2005 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: Actually Noira....

Was a Win9x Technician for a couple years, but got out of the biz due to offshoring (didn't feel like moving to Bangalore, India ;)!

Am now in the process of learning XP ... Just want to protect my system/investment; but am loathe to trust M$ Firewall (worked right next to the XP techs).

Collapse -
"It Figures" that you're info is tainted...
by lastcaul / January 14, 2005 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: It Figures...

Wow, you have a problem - not Microsoft...

Collapse -
"Actually Noira...." Microsoft has my sensible vote...
by lastcaul / January 14, 2005 4:02 AM PST
In reply to: Actually Noira....

I had a clean system when I started using the Microsoft firewall, so why would I worry about anything I'm sending?!?!?!?

Actually, I'm only concerned with what is coming in...

Collapse -
by John Robie / January 14, 2005 4:04 AM PST
In reply to: Actually Noira....
Collapse -
Windows Grade A in McAfee Firewall vs Windows Firewall
by lastcaul / January 14, 2005 3:54 AM PST

I have a Dell 8200. I prefer the Windows firewall because I've had no problems since turning it on. That is, I used McAfee firewall and antivirus at first and had problems that McAfee couldn't fix (They were more interested in selling me additional programs.) while a free (AVAST) antivirus found the problems that McAfee overlooked and when I logged on later that day, AVAST had an update to correct the problem...

As for what the techies found - I know what I'm sending with no problem - it's what I'm receiving that I want blocked if there's a problem (!?!?!?)...

Collapse -
AntiVirus program and Firewall.
by John Robie / January 14, 2005 4:16 AM PST

Hi Lastcaul,

From reading your post it seems that the problem you had was with the Antivirus portion of McAfee and not the Firewall.

I use the free Zone Alarm firewall, disabling the Windows firewall, as I like to know what is going out of my computer and to who/whom without my permission.

PS.. Avast is a good antivirus program. I use the free one on my Win98se desktop which automatically updates the definitions, but use the pay Nortons on my WinXP desktop. Course I use the free Zone Alarm Firewall on all my computers.

Collapse -
Actually lastcaul...
by Echo2 / January 14, 2005 4:52 AM PST

you should be careful about "I know what I'm sending with no problem". The point is that you often don't know what you are sending because you are not sending the data. If you have a trojan or some other peice of malware embedded in your system then you most certainly will not know that and when it is calling home, sending info about you and/or your PC to whomever the parent scumware distributor is. These trojans are designed specifically to do just that, infiltrate and operate in and from your computer surreptitously. Many computers are taken over by these programs and become Zombies.They then are used to store illegal porn , surf to all manner of sites and/or for mass mailings, all without the knowledge or consent of the person who actually owns the PC.
That is why you need a bidirectional firewall.

Collapse -
Follow up - Two Weeks Later
by Noira / January 28, 2005 8:13 AM PST

Hi folks,

Windows Firewall & McAfee do in fact peacefully co-exist. Better yet, these applications seem to compliment each other (what *little* gets by McAfee is nailed by Windows Firewall).

Have also validated the fact that Windows Firewall *does not* actively monitor outbound communications from Windows services or any of the other commo apps installed on my system (Diablo II, Windows Media Player 9, etc).

McAfee, on the other hand, immediately displays a window describing the event (Application, inbound or outbound traffic, permit always, just this once or never). I *like* that!!!

Have also discovered an interesting side benefit of putting my JUST my cable modem (NOT Windows XP) on 'stand-by' mode: Modem on standby = No commo at all! Yeah buddy, internet security with attitude ...

Collapse -
Another Reply.
by rattlinbones / January 28, 2005 9:49 AM PST

McAfee wins hands down. Windows firewall does not allow enough control of outbound communications.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

This is all the iPhone 8 reports and rumors in one place. From a 5.8-inch OLED display, reports of wireless charging and even a 3D scanner for facial recognition, it's all here.