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General discussion

Sygate firewall discontinued?

Dec 3, 2005 12:49AM PST

Post may be more suited to the Security forum, but if I wasn't running XP, I wouldn't need a firewall. Read a recent blurb somewhere stating Symantec was going to
discontinue both the free and paid versions of Sygate
Firewall. With all the problems I have been seeing with
Zone Alarm and Windows XP, I find this disturbing. Anyone
know anything else about this? chuck

Discussion is locked

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XP Already Has A Firewall
Dec 3, 2005 1:00AM PST

Just switch it on, and be done with it.

It's perfectly adequate for most people's use, especially since firewalls are becoming more and more irrelevant these days. People are attacking the programs themselves, usually the ones you allow through the firewall in the first place.

You don't need some giant elaborate firewall, that has the kitchen sink included somewhere in it's largely useless feature set. All that does, is increase the possibility that there's a security problem in the firewall itself. Something simple and lean, like the XP firewall, is probably going to be MORE effective long-term.

And if push comes to shove, just get a bloody router with a Linux based firmware and includes the IPTables firewall.

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I tend to disagree
Dec 3, 2005 6:18AM PST

There are may threats out there still, and having a one way firewall like XP's is simply insufficient.

Accepting the fact that, ''sometimes'', a virus or spyware is going to get through your anti-virus or anti-spyware defences, you need the backup of a firewall that stops any malware from ''phoning home''.

XP's firewall is ok as a fall back and temporary measure. Not as a full replacement for any third party firewall.

As to Sygate, I haven't heard anything like that, but I agree it is disturbing.

Why not post in the Virus and Securities forum as well, see what they say.


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Yes it's true
Dec 3, 2005 5:13PM PST
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Yes it's true
Dec 3, 2005 5:15PM PST
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It's not one way
Dec 3, 2005 8:06PM PST

XP's firewall was NEVER just one way... It was just really annoying to configure for the outgoing side of things pre-SP2. Post-SP2, it's considerably less annoying, but could still probably use some work.

And if you avoid Internet Explorer, Outlook, P2P programs, and are a little selective in what else you install... A 1-way firewall would do ya just fine. I repeat: You don't need some the-kitchen-sink-is-in-there-somewhere monstrosity of a firewall. That just increases the odds that there's a security flaw somewhere in the firewall itself. The last thing you want to do, is pin the majority of your defensive hopes on a flawed program like that.

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May do so ,Mark!
Dec 4, 2005 2:09AM PST

I agree (as does most) that XP's firewall is only good
till you get a real one downloaded and installed. I run
a hardware firewall on my wired router, but have always
run a software one as well, even with relatively safe 98se. chuck

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(NT) (NT) I mean a REAL firewall
Dec 4, 2005 2:06AM PST
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Dec 4, 2005 11:18AM PST

is used by many, iincluding pros, and most are quite happy with it. There is a free version which I am running on some systems and Sygate on others. If I must switch to all ZA, I will not worry one bit.

I do not think many experienced users will agree with Odin about the XP firewall. If it can indeed be configured to prevent Trojans and Spyware from sending things out, perhaps he will share with us the reference on how to do this. I have not found such in my searches of the MS knowledge base. He also says it is really annoying to configure it -- so why bother when you can get a free firewall that does it without annoyance?

Odin's implication that if you don't use IE and other MS programs, you don't need outgoing protection is not completely correct. Ture, there are fewer problems -- not because the alternate software is completely safe, bur because the user base is not yet large enough to attract a lot of baddies. In particular, Trojans do not respect the browser -- they come in by invitation, and then can send data out. You might want to check out how the XP firewall works.

Hope this helps


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Not what I said
Dec 4, 2005 8:48PM PST

Just because someone says something you don't want to hear, isn't a good enough reason not to read it properly.

If you want to know how to configure the XP firewall, go to the (*gasp*) control pannel and (*double gasp*) double click on "Windows Firewall". You can set up incoming or outgoing blocks on just about anything. IPSec has also been around for quite some time, and could function as a poor man's firewall.

Of course, since my entire argument has been based on XP's firewall having 2-way protection, which you even seemed to get based on the second paragraph, I'm dumbfounded as to how you seem to have forgotten that fact in the very short time that passed until you got to the third paragraph. Where suddenly my argument, as you interpret it, changes to people not needed outgoing protection. How you get from one to the other is truely a boggle to my mind, only compounded by the speed at which you do it.

You just need to remember, that firewalls are a very complex and technical subject. There are many general experts in computers who don't know much about firewalls. People who write for Cnet, they're like any other analyst. Most of them don't even have any sort of formal training in the market they're analyzing. The target market for Cnet, is the tech illiterate, and a fact of life, is that the more of an expert you are on things, the less you're generally able to relate to anyone who isn't. So either Cnet has somehow managed to defy all odds and hire the exceptions to the rule each and every time... Or the more likely scenario... They don't know any more than you do, but you just assume they do because their name is in print.

Just a little nugget to think about. I look after around 150 systems at work. All we use is the XP firewall, and a strong recommondation to use Mozilla Firefox, which is installed on every desktop. It's not because the free versions of firewalls aren't exactly all that free, it's because XP's firewall is perfectly fine for the average user. We feel secure entrusting the fate of 150 systems, all connected to a broadband pipe that drawfs the fastest DSL offered today. Some of those systems are used by government researchers to boot. We are required to physically destroy the hard drives when we replace the system. HDDs these days are a lot tougher than they look too. I managed to break a good chunk off of a cinder block barely denting one.

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It is fortunate indeed
Dec 5, 2005 4:35AM PST

that your organisation has such a technically gifted person as yourself to look after their systems.

But for the less gifted amongst us, (including me I might add), who don't have the luxury of someone such as yourself tucked away in their home broom cupboard, it is far more beneficial to advise them to install a 3rd party firewall product like ZoneAlarm, or Sygate, (sadly, now defunct), or Kerio, etc, than to attempt to learn the intricasies of Windows own firewall.

I am sure such self-learning would be very interesting and rewarding, but most of the members in these forums neither have the time nor willingness to take that route.

By the way, reading Frank's reply again, it is my opinion that he did indeed read your post correctly, and replied accordingly.

Consider me the Thought_Police if you wish, but I am locking this thread. If Chuckieu or anyone else wants it re-opened, they can email me through my profile.