Nuisance free firewall software

By KathyJ
Mar 22, 2011
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  1. I have been using the paid version of Online Armor for some time now but I'm ready to dump it. It is such a nuisance. I can't do anything without getting the popups asking me if it is ok. I click on "remember this" but it forgets! I will tell it to trust this program but it doesn't do it. It is so bad sometimes I have to shut it down to make it stop. My subscription is about to expire and I'm ready to replace it with another. I realize it has to learn but it has been almost a year now and it is still hasn't calmed down! Is there one out there that will give me the protection I need without being such a nuisance? I thought about getting a router with a firewall and then using the Windows XP sp3 firewall with it. Would this be sufficient? I do my banking online, etc. I have my virus and malware software installed and will still be using it. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    I have Online Armor firewall and I understand your frustration and my subscription is about to expire as well. Ever since Mike and Tall Emu sold it it hasn't been quite the same.

    However, there are some good tweaks you can do to help lessen the frustration levels. So my recommendation is to go to Online Armor's forums and post your issues. Let them know in bullet point the details and why you will most likely drop it.

    It is a very helpful community. You should receive answers quickly.

    As for XP's firewall just one word: NO. It is very poor. Hopefully you have been using a router all along anyway.

    Another free and good firewall is Comodo though you'll need to tweak its configuration for your system.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Comodo is, in my opinion, an excellent firewall I highly recommend for more advanced users - if the OP is already frustrated with continual pop-up's, using Comodo isn't going to resolve that as it does generally like to keep you well informed.

    If however you wish to know every single aspect of how you firewall is protecting you, and control every piece of traffic to and fro, it is ideal.

    As a firewall for the casual user, looking for "set and forget" type software, your going to grow to hate it pretty quickly. I used to use it as a default firewall for any builds, but most people just don't want to know what its doing, and thats where Comodo loses out.

    I'd rather know tbh, but most don't, they want invisible protection they can forget about.
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    Leeky makes an excellent point that I failed to give. A good firewall will call your attention via pop-ups because it is doing what it is designed to do -- protecting you. This is what Online Armor does. It is designed this way to keep you informed; it doesn't "assume.".

    Even with my sometimes frustrations I have to admit OA has done a very good job of protecting my system and the paid version has a powerful banking mode.

    Question: When you ask it to remember your decision do you also check the Trusted option as well?
  5. KathyJ

    KathyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    I realize that if I start with a different software firewall, I will be getting popups. But, I has hoping there was one out there that would be an easy learner because it seems Online Armor is not! That's why I was hoping that a router and Windows firewall would do the job for me. Regarding the question When you ask it to remember your decision do you also check the Trusted option as well, yes I do but that doesn't seem to be enough. I have used several different firewalls over the years but I have never had one that was as annoying as this one is. Thank you everyone for your suggestions.
  6. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    Seeing that you provide feedback and don’t forget about the thread you start, like some – nay, many others do – I was motivated into adding my input.

    Three questions are involved here. But before we come to them, free firewalls are primarily intended to induce you into buying the paid version, and to achieve that, they lack some convenience features for nuisance-free use, which are reserved for the premium product. This is understandable. What is not understandable is why your paid version lacks them. But fortunately, there are superior alternative choices, so I wouldn’t advise you to waste too much time and effort trying to fix this one. Let them do their own software development.

    And now to your specific questions:

    1 If you are prepared to pay for a firewall, I personally consider Agnitum Outpost the best as regards security. It also learns quickly and in fact comes with built-in rules that help it make its own decisions with minimum user intervention. But I clarify that the advantages are only applicable to the firewall, not the antivirus included in the complete security suit, so you don’t want the latter, especially if you already have a good antivirus.

    2 Routers come with their own firewall, which usually does good work, so it should be a viable solution for you, and you wouldn’t need an additional desktop firewall.

    3 The Windows XP firewall only controls incoming traffic, not outgoing. So if you are already infected with a Trojan or keylogger, it won’t stop it from sending collected data to its boss. Consequently, this firewall is not to be recommended.

    Last but not least, as you aptly mention, you still need good on-guard antivirus and antispyware protection, in addition to the firewall, plus…common sense in your own actions, which no product can provide you, but you don’t seem to lack it. :)
  7. KathyJ

    KathyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thank you for your suggestion. I will check Agnitum Outpost out. Does it have a feature for online banking protection? Online Armor does and I can honestly say, I do like that part about it. I don't mind having paid versions but I just thought if having a router wouldn't be as much of a headache, I would use my renewal money and put it toward one if I would have as good as protection using it and a desktop firewall. That is what I was uncertain about. Thanks again for everyone's help and feel free to offer more if you wish!
  8. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 179

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