Jump to content
dbminter

Recommendations for a replacement to ZoneAlarm?

Recommended Posts

Does anyone have any firewall recommendations to replace ZoneAlarm? I've been playing with ZA 10's releases for the past several months and they just get worse and worse. ZoneAlarm 9 was the last working version, but, it's kind of old now and a firewall is a kind of application you'd want to keep up to date. So, any suggestions? Basically, I'm just looking for a 2 way firewall that will ask me if I want to allow an application's request to access the Internet, allow global denial or access, etc. Basically, just like ZoneAlarm does. :) Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any firewall recommendations to replace ZoneAlarm?

 

Sorry - I don't have any recommendations for a replacement. I've tried several of the free alternatives over the years (Kerio/Sunbelt, Emu/Online-Armor, Commodo, Core-Force), and at the moment I'm just living with Microsoft's own bundled firewall. I don't like any of the 3rd-party ones enough.

 

I liked Kerio back when it was Tiny Personal Firewall and I used Windows NT, but when it metamorphosed into Sunbelt and became way overblown for my liking I stopped. And Tiny PF doesn't seem to work properly on modern Windows variants.

 

One comment though: I take issue with this :

 

a firewall is a kind of application you'd want to keep up to date.

I don't think that's true - a firewall doesn't need anything like "updated signatures" unless you're depending on some embedded IDS feature, whereby the firewall is trying to watch for known attack traffic patterns.

 

So long as all you want is what you said :

 

I'm just looking for a 2 way firewall that will ask me if I want to allow an application's request to access the Internet, allow global denial or access, etc.

(in other words, just a basic packet-filtering firewall, maybe with proxies for some protocols, and with a nice user interface) ... then your existing firewall will do fine and there is no need to upgrade to new versions - always allowing that there are no security holes discovered in the programming logic of the damn thing of course :)

 

Tiny Personal Firewall did exactly what you ask, and did it very well, with a nice user interface, but that's not an option any more.

 

Oh well .. good luck. Let us know if you find one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I primary said what I did about wanting to keep an up to date firewall is from my experience with ZoneAlarm. Depending on the ages of the version of ZA and Windows, you may get a firewall with Windows that at best doesn't work and at worst causes Windows not to boot. For instance, though it was only a beta, Windows 8 did not boot with ZA 9 installed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For instance, though it was only a beta, Windows 8 did not boot with ZA 9 installed.

Ugh .. worst-case scenario. That's what Tiny PF (Kerio) did to me when I tried it on Windows 2000. Now I understand why you're looking for a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ditched ZoneAlarm for the free Comodo Internet Security Premium (free!) and it is an order of magnitude better than ZA. I say that having spent serious $$ on ZA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the Comodo Firewall but I wasn't entirely sure I could trust it. I have some applications that I desire them not having access to the Internet. I opened some of these with Comodo running and didn't get a prompt asking me if I wanted them to access the net or not. So, I'll stick with ZA 9 until I can sticks no more. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to take a look here:

 

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-firewall.htm

 

I recently stumbled across an exhausting firewall test and Zonealarm was ranked at the bottom, since it barely withstood half of the attacks thrown at it. Personally, I use Agnitum Outpost Firewall for which there's also a free version. This one ranked also pretty high up, managing to withstand around 98% of all attacks. Just my 2 ct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came across Agnitum in my Google for the search terms free firewall. I'll give it a throw whenever. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the Comodo Firewall but I wasn't entirely sure I could trust it. I have some applications that I desire them not having access to the Internet. I opened some of these with Comodo running and didn't get a prompt asking me if I wanted them to access the net or not

 

thats because you need to set COMODO's FIREWALL SECURITY LEVEL to --> CUSTOM POLICY

 

once you do that, each app that tries to access the internet

will make COMODO popup a message saying ALLOW or DENY...

 

i'Ve been using COMODO for all my life and never had an issue

with it not asking me for an app to access or not the internet...

 

i always see the message pop up...

 

zzzimakmk.png

 

you can now enjoy comodo :)

Edited by eSkRo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did see that Custom Policy when I was testing it out, but, I didn't think it would do as you said it would. :) I may give Comodo a 2nd throw and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you should as i confirm you thats what it does,

it ensures to ask the user if an app should access the INTERNET or not...

 

its flawless

Edited by eSkRo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried their Internet Security application? I'm also looking to replace my antivirus since I'd be dumping ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a way, I kind of wonder why I'm bothering about future Windows versions. I doubt I'll be getting and using Windows 8. It's made up too much like a tablet, too much with touchscreens in mind, and they're taking out the Start button. How else are apps going to be executed in Windows 8 without a centralized location for shortcuts? Plus, Windows 8 would be following the Star Trek movie curse, where every alternate versions stinks. Vista stank. Windows 7 was great. So, Windows 8? It's already starting out on bad footing and I doubt it will get anywhere near a usable Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, im afraid too,,,

 

but everything goes tablet these days...

 

its an inconvenient reality,,

Edited by eSkRo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still want to try out Comodo Internet Security Suite. I haven't yet because I got side tracked by another project that demanded my attention for some time. As part of my instructions for a new computer, I take periodic disk images of the Windows drive so I restore at different points to test things or if I need to restore back that far. I hadn't backed up those backups to DVD's yet. It's been about 7 months and I let it linger too long. One of the backups that had verified back around 07-11-2011 no longer verified anymore, so, it was useless and not backed up. Thankfully, it looks like I'll only lost the one backup near the beginning. Not as bad a loss as I experienced with True Image v11 and defragging the drive. When defragged, the image files from that software would become useless. They would not complete verifies anymore like they had and were probably useless to try and restore from, though I never tested. I had the backups on DVD's, though, so, I just copied them back over from the DVD's to the USB HD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but, I still don't trust Comodo. I installed the Internet Security Suite and even with the Defense level set at Custom Policy, the firewall never once asked me if it should block connections trying to access the Internet. I tested 3 applications that I know try to access the Internet, 2 that I normally allow and 1 I don't. All 3 went through without ever prompting me to ask if they should. They may be applications on a trusted list, but, I don't want trusted lists pre-installed by any firewall software. I want to set my own settings. ZoneAlarm 9 does ask me if these connections should be allowed. That's what I want and like. I'm not that interested in its ability to block incoming connections. Mostly, I'm concerned with blocking some applications that I don't want accessing the Internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Discovered a couple more reasons not to use Comodo. You can't just install an AV software. You have to install the suite which includes a firewall. It can be installed along side of ZoneAlarm, but, you CAN'T uninstall ZA if you need to with Comodo installed. Plus, with Comodo installed, Alcohol 52% stops working. It won't load the drivers necessary for virtual drive emulation. Now, ZA 10 does the same thing, which can be fixed by disabling the ZoneAlarm Service. So, I'd guess you can do something similar with Comodo, but, I don't know what service that would be to disable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i never use alcohol 52%...

i dont like the SPTD driver it installs on PC's..

i use Virtual Clone drive!!

http://forums.comodo.com/defense-sandbox-help-cis/defense-causes-problems-with-alcohol-120-resolved-t62745.0.html;msg443849#msg443849

 

and its not about defense + dbminter!

i said, set COMODO's FIREWALL SECURITY LEVEL to --> CUSTOM POLICY

 

NfHzh.png

 

not DEFENSE+'s policy....

and actually, i even disable DEFENSE+ completely..

too much windows pop up when its on :P

 

ive been using COMODO for like ALL my life,

it never bugged on me and it always asked which apps can or can not access the web.

 

lets try this, send me the app that comodo failed to block it from accessing the web.

Edited by eSkRo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i never use alcohol 52%...

i dont like the SPTD driver it installs on PC's..

i use Virtual Clone drive!!

 

 

I prefer Alcohol because of the file types it supports and that it adds context menu entries to mount images. No fussy GUI to go through just to mount a simple image file. :) Well, I say it adds the context menu entries. Those entries sometimes disappear and won't return until you reboot. :angry:

 

 

 

 

and its not about defense + dbminter!

i said, set COMODO's FIREWALL SECURITY LEVEL to --> CUSTOM POLICY

 

NfHzh.png

 

not DEFENSE+'s policy....

and actually, i even disable DEFENSE+ completely..

too much windows pop up when its on :P

 

ive been using COMODO for like ALL my life,

it never bugged on me and it always asked which apps can or can not access the web.

 

lets try this, send me the app that comodo failed to block it from accessing the web.

 

 

I'll give it another go. I'm not infalable. ;) I could have made a mistake. It's no biggie to backup my system with a differential backup, uninstall ZoneAlarm, install Comodo, and test it.

 

 

As for the apps I used to test access: Eudora, WinAmp, Firefox, and WinDVD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange. Part of my reply never made it to the post! I had put something after the quoted link about keeping it in mind to try and fix Alcohol if I use Comodo. I wonder where it went. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not an idiot! :wink: There's only ONE option that can be set to Custom Policy. I set it again like I set it before and it NEVER asked me if it should allow or deny any of the 4 test programs that access the Internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Virtual Clone Drive or DVDFab Virtual Drive

both have context menu handlers to mount images like you want.

and they actually work right no issues.

 

i tried with latest FIREFOX BETA,

after installing it and launching it for the 1st time,

COMODO successfully asked me to ALLOW or DENY internet access.

2121shs.png

 

not sure why it doesn't work for you,

you must be doing something wrongly :/

Edited by eSkRo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either something works or it doesn't. Comodo works for you; it doesn't work for me and I'm the more important one that matters. :D

 

 

I even restored back to the disk image I made after installing all my software and setting all my settings and Comodo still never asked to allow or deny access to any of my 4 test applications. Just to put it to rest :) I'll restore to the factory default partition, install Comodo, set the Custom Policy and install Firefox and see what happens.

 

 

I tried both of the apps you mentioned and my memory is they didn't cover certain file extensions/formats that Alcohol did. I know I've tried them because the Google links that returned for the search terms of the app names had been clicked before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.