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Alternatives to zone alarm?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Wayne02, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Wayne02


    Dec 13, 2001
    My father in-law is on dial-up and has been trying to run zone alarm. Zone alarm likes to dial out frequently and ends up tying his phone line up when he is not on the computer. Supposedly the pay version has problems with this as well.

    He wants to leave his computer turned on, but can't have his second phone line tied up with random dial-outs when he is not using the computer. Maybe zone alarm is supposed to act like this, I don't know.

    What other firewall options are available these days for dial-up folks?


  2. funbob

    funbob do a lil' dance

    Dec 13, 2002
    ABQ, NM
  3. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan
    Why not just set the option for checking for updates to manual? That way it won't dial out.

    There really isn't a better program like Zone Alarm.
  4. grantglock

    grantglock /dev/null

    Feb 20, 2004
    a software based firewall over a dial up connection? overkill in my opinion.
  5. nickg


    Jan 16, 2002

    ditto that!! ^c
  6. unixguy


    Dec 27, 2004
    Not in mine! I know plenty of folks that dialed in to their local isp after getting a new computer and got infected withing 1 minute. that's not even enough time to download the patches you need from microsoft to fix the holes that the viruses are using to infect you!
  7. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

    Oct 7, 2002
    happend to me. fresh install, dialed up to update windows and bam, i've got a million connections on some IRC port to various servers.
  8. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    I use Sygate, it's a fine program, I've used it a couple years. Zone Alarm I detest, think it's overly simplified, arrogant, hyped, and not anything close to as good as it's claimed to be.

    That said, Kerio version 2.15 is a small, useful firewall that is housebroken.

    There is a link on the current Kerio (paid) version forum for the Free version Kerio PFW 2.15


    It takes a bit of time to configure ANY rule based firewall. After all, You are making the rules. The advantage of Kerio is it's been around a long time, and there are tons of tutorials and explanations on proper use. Boils down to, allow what is necessary, and block things you don't want. The fine points will demand attention, but at least it WORKS.

  9. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    That's why you install a virus checker.

    The firewall is to prevent unauthorized users or programs from gaining entry or control of your computer.
    Since a lot of people are using always connected DSL subscriptions this is where a firewall becomes more practical.

    A firewall will most likely not stop a Trojan from comming into your computer.

    A firewall will most likely not stop a virus from infecting your computer.

    If you are getting infected immediately after you have connected to your ISP then your ISP is the problem.

    I had a nice lenghty discussion with Comcast one day when they called me up and told me that my machine was being used to broacast emails.
    They were going to turn off my internet service
    I told them that my machine is not sending emails and to show me the data where this is occuring.
    I told them it was thier responsibility to clean up and police thier network and I sent them a copy of my logs with IP adresses of who was trying to hack my machine and all the script kiddies who were trying to do all sorts of mischief.

    Here is the link to order a free copy of Windows XP with SP2 and the latest security patches.
    If you are going to do this you need to do it now becasue microsoft stops offering this type of service after awhile.

    hope that helps.
  10. nickg


    Jan 16, 2002
    i tried a few different products, using zone alarm for a while. then i tried sygate. then i wanted to try kerio. for some reason it did NOT like me at all. it NEVER EVER worked properly no matter how many times i tried, including un/reinstalls.

    i went back to sygate and haven't had any problems with it so why switch?
  11. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    While you havn't said anything to imply it, I wonder if..

    you are seeing spyware? I havn't been bothered by it myself, long since effectively blocked so much that it'd be an anomaly..

    And you may well know for a fact it IS Zone Alarm.

    BUT.. have you run a full spyware scan? (AdAware Personal, SpyBot Search & Destroy, TDS-3 trial (a trojan scanner))?

    All three would be helpful to eliminate thousands of possible causes for unwanted dial-outs.

    Even if you've not YET experienced it, dialup is prone to some specific horrible issues with programs that dial ripoff sites, and the symptom you first notice is a few hundred (or thousand) dollars extra on your phone bill.

    I recommend a bit of research into 'dialer trojans' and making SURE theres no security hole that could POSSIBLY allow one. Prevention in this case is waaaaaay cheaper than painful cure.

    Try telling a phone company you're not going to pay a large bill, and you'ld best have your blood pressure meds handy. They aren't amused. Or reasonable.

    While I'd personally recommend a hardware router as a primary firewall, and Kerio as the 'least resource intensive' as a long time Sygate user I think it's entirely effective.

    None the less, all firewalls are prevention. Most phone companies can block 900 numbers, by request, and you OUGHT to make sure thats been done. Ditto a regular scan (weekly?) by several overlapping security programs. (AV, Anti-Trojan, Anti-Spyware).

    No, you don't need to do anything 'bad' to get a dialer trojan, or a virus, though certain adult and gambling type sites are infamous for them. It is quite possible to become BADLY infected by merely clicking a link on a web page. Norton AV is terrible at preventing same. (near worthless). Zone Alarm isn't terribly informative nor configurable, to reliably prevent specific issues.

    Security is your responsibility, (or the comp owners, but that defaults sometimes to the closest relative with experience)..

    Take it seriously, because after the fact education is PAINFUL.

  12. woettinger

    woettinger King Nothing

    Aug 13, 2004
    World Wide
    Average time for a unprotected windows box connected to the internet to be infected...

    Less then 3 minutes