Question by Tony L: What alternatives are there to ZoneAlarm’s program-filtering firewall?
I’ve been putting up with ZoneAlarm’s nonsense for far too long.
Upon starting my computer I am greeted with a large advertisement with two buttons, one of which opens up Firefox (to further lag my loading time) and the other of which usually doesn’t respond for a minute or so.
Furthermore, ZoneAlarm has this bad habit of blocking port 80 (HTTP, i.e. the internet as through web browsers) when web traffic gets too high or certain sites are visited (thorough searches from every adware, spyware, virus, etc. program I can get my hands on show nothing’s wrong). This makes it so that when attempting to visit a website, the browser will continue “waiting” for it to respond until the cows come home. I have to restart to fix the problem. Even worse, if I do not restart immediately or I attempt to close and reopen Firefox (it says that firefox.exe is still running and I can’t end the process) it freezes my computer and any attempt at a reboot fails – I have to hard reset using the power button. Fortunately, other ports are not blocked – IM clients, games, and whatnot continue to function. My IM buddies can attest to the fact that I constantly have to reboot my computer.
This occurs at least on a daily basis and, frankly, I am tired of it. However, in other aspects, ZoneAlarm has served me well. For example, I have caught a few programs trying to sneak internet access at random times. Internet Explorer is one of them – even though I have never run IE on this computer, it regularly requests access about once every 5 seconds, which can cause problems when doing anything full screen. I ended up permanently blocking it for this reason and have pledged to myself never to use IE again. (I use Portable Firefox on other computers.) Adobe products of all sorts have the same problem – upon starting, they all demand access to the internet, even though none of them have any reason for doing so.
Now, the program filtering is a necessary evil for me, but the advertising and the random port 80 blocking is too much. So, are there any (preferably free, but I won’t be too hopeful) alternatives to this feature? I have searched all sorts of places but cannot seem to find anything.
Answer by Bill C
I use Comodo (free).
I switched from ZoneAlarm as well.
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