Do I really need Zone Alarm?

By bigredmachine ยท 4 replies
Apr 5, 2007
  1. I just replaced my hard drive and re-installed Windows..I'm enjoying the nice clean feeling of Windows without all of the junk that accumulates over time. I want to know if I should install ZoneAlarm or not..I dont want to use it if i dont have to, it sucks up memory and seems to make the computer run slower, plus the constant clicking "yes" then "always allow" gets irritating. I am connected through a wireless router which should have a do I need to run a software firewall?
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Yes, you should still use a software firewall programme. If you don`t like Zonealarm, then maybe you should give either Kerio or Comodo a try.

    Regards Howard :)
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Ah, the ever present question if one needs a software firewall or not. Arguments abound on both sides. There are many who use a router, an anti-virus program as well as Spybot or Adaware and that is it. The issue is, are you wise in how you use the internet? Stay away from the questionable places and you should be okay, but this being the Wild West of Cyber Space one never knows...

    I once ran Zone Alarm and I had the very same issues you did. It is truly a system HOG. The slow downs and interferences became too much and so I ditched it.

    Then there is... Well.... For the truly security concious there is still a need for a host based firewall in addition to the router in front of it. Security in layers.

    One of the very things host based firewalls excel at is firewalling outgoing data. With still yet to be patched MS vulnerabilities floating about it doesn't take a lot for someone intent on doing harm getting something to run on your computer. You can hope your AV definitions are up to date enough to catch something.

    If this "something" is a keylogger or something that talks to a botnet - a host based firewall will alert you when something on your PC tries to talk to the Internet without you knowing.

    There is still value in a host based firewall in addition to a router protecting your connection as well.

    I have a router, Webroot's Spyware Sweeper, NOD32 anti-virus, and Sunbelt's Kerio Firewall version 4.3.744. The previous 3 versions were a BSoD nightmare and I was going to jettison it for the free Comodo firewall if version 744 didn't work, but now it seems they got it stable; no BSoDs so far. It certainly isn't the system hog ZA was and it is not difficult to configure.

    If you eventually decide to go with a firewall you might want to consider the free Comodo. They have a great website and really good community forums.

    And, no, I am not a pitchman for either Sunbelt or Comodo. :D
  4. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Would you recommend Kerio or Comodo?..I have the kerio free trial of the full version installed now.
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    It`s really down to personal preference really. If you like Kerio, then stick with it. However, by all means give Comodo a try and see what you think.

    Regards Howard :)
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