new computer firewall quandry

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notdbritest

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New laptop, xp media center. First thing to be loaded after it was delivered was Spyware Blaster. Followed by Avast free AntiVirus, Spybot S&D, AdAware Personal, BelArc (wanted to make sure I really got what I paid for), and then removal of all the Dell crap we don't need.

I feel we're pretty well protected with the exception of a firewall. We use a wireless router at home, so I've never been adamant about putting one on. I've tried a number of them on the old computer, but setting them up was more trouble than it was worth. Since this computer will be used on wifi sometimes when we're out and about, I have to have a software 'wall.

I have checked these things out numerous times in the past, so I'm pretty sure that I want to go with Zone Alarm free version. I've searched this forum and a couple of others along with google, trying to find a step-by-step outline of how to set the thing up so we can use the shared printer on the home network, and so we can share files on the home network, and I've not had much luck. I'm going bald as it is, and really don't have much hair left to pull out when trying to set this thing up. So, is there a better solution for me other than ZA? and is there an easy way to set it up that doesn't involve loss of hair or teaching my kids new words?

Thanks!
 
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From my understanding, and based upon which router you have [as they all have different firewalls], there is two different camps:

1. more firewalls the better, esp. w/ Windows-based PC's
2. keep it simple, minimize potential conflicts - router will be all you need

Depending upon your desires, your knowledge, your direction, your needs, more info is needed. However, I would recommend ZA - the free version is quite robust and good. I've that on my Win98SE home-built computer.

BTW, I know your pain. ;) And, please, the following is not at all a knock against Windows, etc., but... the above is one reason why I've two Apples in my household now. :) Yes, there is still strong need for firewalls - but, the malware threat is much less severe in numbers and strength. For these two, I've a netgear router [w/ built-in firewall], and then the Apple firewall is turned on in my MacBook laptop when traveling. The iMac firewall is always off, as it is hooked directly to the router via ethernet.
 

notdbritest

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We're using a syslink router at home. I'm more concerned about having a firewall available when she's using public access wifi. Is ZA still a good deal?
 
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notdbritest said:
We're using a syslink router at home. I'm more concerned about having a firewall available when she's using public access wifi. Is ZA still a good deal?
Yes it is. One of the best, if not the best available.
 
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