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- Since they do not run on your computer, they can be challenging to configure.
Firewall mixture - In my mind, best protection is a combination of both hardware and software firewalls. This is ideal, since both have different advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I use a SonicWall hardware firewall combined with ZoneAlarm Pro, which is installed on my Windows 2000 Professional system. The SonicWall protects my home network since it sits between hub and DSL modem, and ZoneAlarm Pro offers some additional protection for each system.
Testing Your Firewall - To test your firewall, surf to http://www.grc.com and request a probe. You will be given a very good report of exactly what issues were found and what to do about them. Once probe is finished several excellent personal firewall products are recommended. My personal favorite is ZoneAlarm Pro, primarily because it's protection is excellent and it is trivial to use.
Some Firewalls - A selection of personal firewalls is listed below.
- ZoneAlarm Pro - By far best software firewall available. ZoneAlarm offers protection from both incoming connections and outgoing connections. It is also extremely easy to configure, has low system impact and is very inexpensive (a free version is also available).
- Norton Internet Security 2001 (which was AtGuard product from WRQ until a few months ago). Norton is a reasonable firewall, although it does have some vulnerabilities. It offers weak protection from outgoing connections and is somewhat difficult to configure if you want it to operate differently from default.
- BlackIce - A good choice in firewalls. Much easier than Norton to configure, but with same vulnerabilities.
What I've done on my system is:
- Used a SonicWall hardware firewall to protect my entire home network.
- Installed ZoneAlarm Pro on ach system to provide additional safety
- And installed Norton Internet Security for it's privacy protection.
Due to rapidly changing nature of internet, it's very important to be continually monitoring security issues. You may purchase perfect personal firewall today, only to find out in six months that it's been hacked to pieces. So be sure to be looking around, and be ready to get a newer and better product quickly. This is not one of those issues where you can scrimp and save. Your system is at risk.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net Weekly newsletter: http://www.internet-tips.net/joinlist.htm Daily Tips: mailto:internet-tips@GetResponse.com