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Check to see how effective your firewall is


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#1 GTGT

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 01:33 PM

Like so many others, I was searching for a good personal firewall. I was a Sygate user until Symantec bought them out. I've evaluted about a dozen different firewall products (Zone Alarm, Outpost, Filseclab, etc.) and finally seattled on Kerio Pro. The reason I rejected everything but Kerio was because:

Either the firewall was buggy (conflicted with other applications or didn't work properly), were too bloated and resource hungry or weren't feature-rich enough, or didn't do there job (they would let hackers in.) I used online port scanners to determine if my firewall was secure. This test is okay but not rigorous enough to really tell you if your firewall will do the job.

I won't go into details of why I rejected particular firewalls instead I will offer everyone a tool that goes beyond port scanning to check how effective our firewall is. The tool is called PC Audit (version 6.3).

The tool can be downloaded for free at the link below:

http://www.pcinterne...rol.com/pcaudit

Once you test your firewall you might be looking for a new one. Kerio was the only firewall I've tested that passed this test. That's not to say others won't.

I'd appreciate it if everyone who tests there firewall post their results (whether their firewall passed or failed the test.) The results will help others in the quest of a secure firewall. I was using a free firewall called Filseclab that I thought was very nice...until I used PC Audit and found out how leaky it was.

Good Luck (and remember to post your results!)

#2 Blink

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 06:27 PM

hey, i tested it on zonealarms which WAS my current firewall, and it failed. so im looking for a free working version of kerio. if you could provide link it would be greatly appreciated
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#3 GTGT

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 02:33 PM

hey, i tested it on zonealarms which WAS my current firewall, and it failed. so im looking for a free working version of kerio. if you could provide link it would be greatly appreciated


A free trial version can be downloaded here: http://www.sunbelt-s...io-Download.cfm

The cost is only $14.95 for the full version, which is a really good deal. Since my last post I've tried more firewall tests. One in particular was the Atelier Web Firewall Tester which is six tests in one. You can download a free trial version of this firewall tester here:

http://www.atelierwe.../awft/index.htm

Kerio passed five of the six tests. I've emailed Kerio support and have asked them to plug the hole. The only firewall that I've tried that passed all six tests was Outpost Firewall Pro version 3.5. Even though Outpost passed all six tests I refuse to use it because it is too buggy. It randomly blocks my internet connection when certain applications kick in (such as my anti-spyware software - Spyware Doctor, CounterSpy, Spyware Sweeper, etc.) even though these programs are on the trusted list. The only way to get my connection back is by rebooting my computer (a real pain.) Another bug I found in Outpost is it will block my connection without prompting you for a rule to configure when a new application is activated. This occurs even when you have Outpost in the RULE mode. After struggling with Outposts buggy software I called it quits. When I uninstalled Outpost I found another bug. It scrambled the order of my IE favorites in the Link menubar. Maybe Outpost can get it right on version 4.0. I've emailed Outpost and indicated these problems to them. If they can get the bugs worked out of their software, it will be an awesome firewall, in the mean while I'll stick with Kerio since it passes most firewall tests and it is very stable. I haven't had found any major or minor glitches since I've started using it.

Edited by GTGT, 01 March 2006 - 01:32 AM.


#4 YaB

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:11 AM

I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).

#5 GTGT

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:55 AM

I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:

#6 Rube

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:59 AM


I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:


Wow :eek: This is scary and I'm running two Firewalls (or shouldn't I be?) one is Microsofts and the other my ISP's and both failed the test, should I complain to my I.S. Provider? Or could this just be a trick to get us to buy from PC Audit :wtf:

#7 YaB

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 09:20 AM



I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:


Wow :eek: This is scary and I'm running two Firewalls (or shouldn't I be?) one is Microsofts and the other my ISP's and both failed the test, should I complain to my I.S. Provider? Or could this just be a trick to get us to buy from PC Audit :wtf:


What would really suck if it was really a way for hackers to get through our computers from that download, lol... :ninja:

#8 GTGT

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:35 AM




I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:


Wow :eek: This is scary and I'm running two Firewalls (or shouldn't I be?) one is Microsofts and the other my ISP's and both failed the test, should I complain to my I.S. Provider? Or could this just be a trick to get us to buy from PC Audit :wtf:


What would really suck if it was really a way for hackers to get through our computers from that download, lol... :ninja:


Both Kerio and Outpost pass the PCAudit test with flying colors so it is very unlikely this is a trick to buy PCAudit (epecially since you can download it for free) or that this is a trick to let hackers in.

This just proves you can't base your security needs on the vendor's opinions or people's opinions. Security decisions need to be based on data.

PCAudit is just one of many security tools that gives you the data that allows you to make a sound decision on selecting a secure firewall. Next time someone recommends a good firewall make sure that back up there recommendation with data.

I just removed multiple Trojans from a friend's computer. My friend had a Norton firewall and anitvirus protection. The computer was continually transmitting data to a hacker resulted in their Ebay account being shut down and their bank account being compromised.

No doubt, others are in this same situation.

Edited by GTGT, 01 March 2006 - 09:43 PM.


#9 GTGT

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:42 AM




I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:


Wow :eek: This is scary and I'm running two Firewalls (or shouldn't I be?) one is Microsofts and the other my ISP's and both failed the test, should I complain to my I.S. Provider? Or could this just be a trick to get us to buy from PC Audit :wtf:


What would really suck if it was really a way for hackers to get through our computers from that download, lol... :ninja:


Both Kerio and Outpost pass the PCAudit test with flying colors so it is very unlikely this is a trick to buy PC Auidt or that this is a trick to let hackers in. This just proves you can't base your security needs on the vendor's opinions or people's opinions. Security decisions need to be based on data.

PCAudit is one of many security tools that gives you the data to make a sound decision for selecting a secure firewall. Next time someone recommends a firewall make sure they back up their recommendation with data.

I just removed multiple Trojans from a friend's computer. My friend had a Norton firewall and Anitvirus protection. The computer was continually transmitting data to a hacker resulting in their Ebay account being shut down and their bank account being compromised. I discovered the problem when they couldn't login to their email account. An error message noted they couldn't login because someone was already logged in to that email account. It turned out that someone was a Trojan logging in from a networked computer, the computer that had the Norton firewall installed.

No doubt, others are in this same situation. Not all firewalls are created equal.

Edited by GTGT, 01 March 2006 - 11:48 AM.


#10 Rube

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:57 PM

I have just spoken to my I.S.Provider he claims that if you 'download' a programme ie: PCAudit or any other, they would be able to access your C/: Documents with or without a firewall with ease, so with that in mind I believe this was a sales pitch.

So I presume that by downloading off the net from unreputable sites then the likleyhood of being hacked would be prevalent.

#11 GTGT

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:41 PM

I have just spoken to my I.S.Provider he claims that if you 'download' a programme ie: PCAudit or any other, they would be able to access your C/: Documents with or without a firewall with ease, so with that in mind I believe this was a sales pitch.

So I presume that by downloading off the net from unreputable sites then the likleyhood of being hacked would be prevalent.


I'm not sure what you mean about a sales pitch. PCAudit is free to test your firewall, there is no need to buy it. A firewall won't stop you from downloading malware and malware such as a Trojan can easily scan your computer as PCAudit demonstrated. Once malware gets on you computer, either by you inadvertenly downloading a program you think is good but really isn't, or by some other means, you want a firewall that indicates the malware is trying to send unauthorized data then stops it dead in its tracks. PCAudit is mimicing what a Trojan does. Most firewalls stop incoming attacks but few stop outgoing packets. Your firewall is leaking out information that was gathered by PCAudit.

What you I.S. provider is telling you has nothing to do with how well a firewall can stop outgoing packets, just that a firewall can't stop you from downloading malware. This is basic knowledge, or at least I thought it was :blush2:

Edited by GTGT, 01 March 2006 - 09:47 PM.


#12 Starbury

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

I am using the latest version of Zone Alarm Free, and I passed the PC Audit test.

#13 YaB

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:13 PM

I am using the latest version of Zone Alarm Free, and I passed the PC Audit test.


Awesome, is Zone Alarm the only firewall that is up in your computer? Or do you have any other security programs?

#14 GTGT

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:18 PM

I am using the latest version of Zone Alarm Free, and I passed the PC Audit test.

I tested Zone Alarm version 6.1.737 a couple weeks ago and found that it failed the test. That's great it appears that they've since updated and have released a more secure version. I've gone to their website and still see version 6.1.737 so maybe the update must be downloaded after getting the 737 build.

Since Zone Alarm has updated, you will now what to see if you can pass the six firewall tests available from the Atilier website. You can download a trial version (no cost) of their firewall test here:

http://www.atelierwe.../awft/index.htm

Let us know your results. Kerio passed the first 5 tests but failed the 6th.

Edited by GTGT, 01 March 2006 - 07:21 PM.


#15 Rube

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 03:30 PM

I'm not sure what you mean about a sales pitch. PCAudit is free to test your firewall, there is no need to buy it. A firewall won't stop you from downloading malware and malware such as a Trojan can easily scan your computer as PCAudit demonstrated. Once malware gets on you computer, either by you inadvertenly downloading a program you think is good but really isn't, or by some other means, you want a firewall that indicates the malware is trying to send unauthorized data then stops it dead in its tracks. PCAudit is mimicing what a Trojan does. Most firewalls stop incoming attacks but few stop outgoing packets. Your firewall is leaking out information that was gathered by PCAudit.

What you I.S. provider is telling you has nothing to do with how well a firewall can stop outgoing packets, just that a firewall can't stop you from downloading malware. This is basic knowledge, or at least I thought it was :blush2:


Thanks for your reply, you may have already gathered my knowledge of computers is very limited, so where do I go from here? I thought I was wearing bracers and a belt by having two firewalls running but it appears from what you say my PC is still vunerable.

Would it hurt if I added another firewall say Zone Alarm or should I remove one of my excisting ones first? :wtf:

#16 GTGT

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 04:56 PM



I'm not sure what you mean about a sales pitch. PCAudit is free to test your firewall, there is no need to buy it. A firewall won't stop you from downloading malware and malware such as a Trojan can easily scan your computer as PCAudit demonstrated. Once malware gets on you computer, either by you inadvertenly downloading a program you think is good but really isn't, or by some other means, you want a firewall that indicates the malware is trying to send unauthorized data then stops it dead in its tracks. PCAudit is mimicing what a Trojan does. Most firewalls stop incoming attacks but few stop outgoing packets. Your firewall is leaking out information that was gathered by PCAudit.

What you I.S. provider is telling you has nothing to do with how well a firewall can stop outgoing packets, just that a firewall can't stop you from downloading malware. This is basic knowledge, or at least I thought it was :blush2:


Thanks for your reply, you may have already gathered my knowledge of computers is very limited, so where do I go from here? I thought I was wearing bracers and a belt by having two firewalls running but it appears from what you say my PC is still vunerable.

Would it hurt if I added another firewall say Zone Alarm or should I remove one of my excisting ones first? :wtf:


In the majority of cases you can only run one firewall on your local computer, although the Windows XP firewall seems to be the exception, I've run it with a second firewall no problem. Since your ISP has a firewall on their server it won't interfere with your computer so you can ignore it.

I would recommend running one firewall so conflicts won't occur. Then try evaluationing one of the following three firewalls and select the one that works best on your system. By best I mean, select the firewall that is the least buggy (doesn't conflict with your operating system or other applications) and is efficient at blocking incoming and outgoing packets. Test the firewalls using the links I've provided eariler (for PCAudit and Atelier.)

1) ZoneAlarm was just updated to version 6.1.7.44, I haven't tried the newest release but Starbusy posted that she tried it and it passed the PCAudit test. BetaNews.org has mixed reviews on this new release, comments range from buggy to great. You'll have to try it yourself and see how it does on your specific computer. This firewall is free so it's worth a try. You can download it from here:
http://fileforum.bet...ee/1023831973/1

2) You can give Outpost Firewall Pro version 3.5 a try. This firewall seemed to pass most security tests but was very buggy on my system. I loaded it on my son's computer and he hasn't had a problem. Software can run great on one computer and not on another. The only way to find out is by trying. You can download a free trial of Outpost here: http://www.agnitum.c...st/download.php

3) If you don't have success with the two above try Kerio Firewall. Kerio runs great on my system and the Pro version is discounted and available for $14.95 (much cheaper than Outpost.) It passes the majority of firewall tests.


If you have success with Outpost and I'd go with it instead, and of course if Zone Alarm works, it's free.

Here is my soapbox commentary on Zone Alarm:

ZoneAlarm, was recently found to be sending encrypted information back to the mothership (to four servers.) Check Point (Israeli company that recently bought out Zone Alarm) officials denied any snooping problems for two months before confessing it was a real problem. They have since changed the software and fixed the problem, which they later said was the system checking for updates.

Here is a link to the story:
http://www.theinquir.../?article=29157

I have deep reservations with a company that denies the obvious for two months and then writes off the problem as a "bug". A "bug" software errors, sending encrptyed information to four ZoneAlarm servers to me isn't a bug. I think the Firewall was spying and Check Point got caught.

Zone Alarm's story that the firewall was just checking for updates seems reasonable, but then you have to ask yourself why did they deny the problem for two months. Maybe it took them that long to concoct the excuse. Based on the long denial period I don't trust ZoneAlarm's story. I believe it was a backdoor installed by Check Point and was required by the Israeli government so they can spy on computer users in the same way the Bush Adminstration spys on American citizens. I think both events are linked. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :D

So there you have it. Let us know how you do and which firewall you end up with. And don't be put off by my comments on ZoneAlarm, it is just my opinion.

Edited by GTGT, 02 March 2006 - 05:17 PM.


#17 hornet777

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 05:00 PM

So just what is the purpose of all this? I don't accept what is presented at face value. Besides, the app that was mentioned failed to work at all -- unless one counts installing itself in memory and just sitting there (doing who knows what) "working". It would not terminate normally, even with a task manager. I vote this thread be locked.
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?

#18 GTGT

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 05:49 PM

So just what is the purpose of all this? I don't accept what is presented at face value. Besides, the app that was mentioned failed to work at all -- unless one counts installing itself in memory and just sitting there (doing who knows what) "working". It would not terminate normally, even with a task manager. I vote this thread be locked.


To answer your question. The purpose of this is to help people find a secure firewall. The links to the firewall testing applications work for me and many others. But like any software it won't work on everybodys computer. It seems like PCAudit doesn't work for you.

Other firewall tests can be found at the following link if you want to try something other than PCAudit:
http://www.firewalll.../leaktest12.htm

Because an application doesn't work on your computer, and because you don't understand the purpose of this thread doesn't seem to be a reason to end the thread. Many people are visiting and responding which indicates others do find benefit.

Please clarify what you don't accept at face value so I may respond. If it concerns my commentary on ZoneAlarm I stated that I was suspicious the "bug" was spyware and I clearly stated that it was my "opinion" and not a fact. The best thing I can do for readers of this formum is post a story that outlines Check Point's reply to the Spyware allegation so the readers can form their own conclusion: http://www.theinquir.../?article=29254

Edited by GTGT, 02 March 2006 - 06:11 PM.


#19 hornet777

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:32 PM

Your concerns about ZA are acknowledged, but there are other, better ways to achieve your end than what you have set out here. Moreover, the ZA "issue" has been overblown and distorted by some intentional misinformation regarding it. Being fully prepared to be wrong, that is why I asked.

It just seems like there is more going on than meets the eye, since the facts surrounding ZA are well known, and need no further "investigation." So long as your system is secure, why should you care what's happening on anyone elses'?
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?

#20 YaB

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 06:16 PM



I've been using Zone Alarm for couple years now but the test failed :blush: . I'll probably look around for solid firewalls (i'll look into Kerio).


Thanks YaB for posting your results! So far 207 members have viewed this posting and only you and IcEvy have replied :alarm:

Come on guys (and gals) stop lurking in the shadows, step up and contribute to the common good :rolleyes:


Wow :eek: This is scary and I'm running two Firewalls (or shouldn't I be?) one is Microsofts and the other my ISP's and both failed the test, should I complain to my I.S. Provider? Or could this just be a trick to get us to buy from PC Audit :wtf:


I know this is a bit late, but when you say ISP's firewall, do you mean the modem that they provided you with that already has a firewall built inside the modem? Or did they offer you a type of software?

#21 GTGT

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 07:44 PM

Your concerns about ZA are acknowledged, but there are other, better ways to achieve your end than what you have set out here. Moreover, the ZA "issue" has been overblown and distorted by some intentional misinformation regarding it. Being fully prepared to be wrong, that is why I asked.

It just seems like there is more going on than meets the eye, since the facts surrounding ZA are well known, and need no further "investigation." So long as your system is secure, why should you care what's happening on anyone elses'?

I'm not sure what you mean by better ways to acheive my end. My end was to raise the question, "is your firewall really secure?" Less experienced forum members may have never considered testing their firewalls. A good way to uncover security holes is by utilizing a variety of free firewall tests. I provided resources so those interested could check their firewalls without having to find the links themselves.

Hornet777, if you know a better way to "acheive this end" please share it with us.

It appears that you are focusing on my short opinioned rant about ZA rather than the main theme of this thread, which is using firewall tests to determine firewall integrity. As much as I distrust ZA, I still listed it as a good option. I also mentioned it was free and reiterated the main point that whatever firewall you settle on, to test it first.

To answer your last question" "So long as your system is secure, why should you care what's happening on anyone elses?"

Helping others is one of the few things we humans can do to give meaning and purpose to our life. I feel there's nothing more altruistic than helping your fellow man. Over the years I've learned better and better ways to secure a PC and wanted to share this knowledge with others. I think that's what these forums are meant for, people helping other people.

In your first thread, you said you saw no point to my thread and wanted to end it, in your second reply you say "there's a better way to acheive my end" , "there's more going on than meets the eye" implying I have a hidden agenda and "and why should I care about others if the security on my computer is good". Nowhere in your replies do you offer security advice or how to determine the intregity of a firewall.

None of these statements or implied accusations are of benefit to others forum members seeking help. I'm not sure what you're angry about but hopefully venting at me has made you feel better, since I believe this was your objective.

Let me leave with a final thought; my objective is to help those who want to check their firewall for security leaks. It is not to be an online anger management therapist for people who have no security questions.

Edited by GTGT, 03 March 2006 - 07:53 PM.


#22 teacup61

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 09:13 PM

I believe I'm inclined to share hornet777's concerns here. It's not like you've been a member for years, but only a matter of days. I certainly don't trust what looks almost like SPAM, or some other way for you to benefit from this. You're touting a known firewall for a price. My first impression is that you're getting commissions off each sale you make. I'm wondering what the mods think about this......
My help is free, but if you wish to help keep these forums running please consider a donation, see this topic for details.

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#23 Starbury

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:46 PM

1) ZoneAlarm was just updated to version 6.1.7.44, I haven't tried the newest release but Starbusy posted that she tried it and it passed the PCAudit test.



First of all, it's Starbury. Second of all, I'm a he. Third of all, I was talking about Zone Alarm Free version 6.1.737, not 6.1.744. The latest version just happened to update on the same day I made my original post, so I can understand why you got mixed up when I said I was using the latest version. I didn't know about the latest version until later in the day.

Edited by Starbury, 03 March 2006 - 10:47 PM.


#24 GTGT

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 12:03 AM

I believe I'm inclined to share hornet777's concerns here. It's not like you've been a member for years, but only a matter of days. I certainly don't trust what looks almost like SPAM, or some other way for you to benefit from this. You're touting a known firewall for a price. My first impression is that you're getting commissions off each sale you make. I'm wondering what the mods think about this......

I joined this group in an effort to help people and I feel I'm on trial. I have never sold a product of any kind, let alone pose as an imposter to sell firewall products for a commission on a forum. Sorry to disappoint you. I've tested many products and listed the ones that worked best for me. I was hoping to see the security resulst of other people's firewalls too.

What I think Teacup and Hornet focused on was my mention of the experiences I had using Kerio and that it was available for a limited time at a discount. If you want to intrepret this as me trying to sell a product for a commission tht's fine, but I wasn't going to exclude my experiences and stifle this information for benefit of being flamed by a suspicious forum member. When I mentioned the product with a price the idea that I came across as someone selling something didn't cross my mind. But now, I guess I can see how it can.

My experience with Kerio is valuble information and the reason it was valuable it based on test results, it passed the security tests I've mentioned, PCAudit being one of them. I wanted others to know it was a good firewall but better yet I gave links so people could test their firewall for themselves as well as the any other firewall including the firewalls I thought were decent. I wouldn't normally post a price of a product online. Unfortunately I did this time because I knew the price was going up and wanted to make that knowledge know. Little did I suspect I'd be accused of spamming.


If you want to discredit me do it in an honorable way with data not emotional suspicion. Here's how you could see if I had an agenda. First you would test the firewalls I've mentioned and then see if you had similar or different results. If the results were contrary to mine then you could post the contrary results and challenge me as to why there was a descrency in results. Did either of you double-check my results before posting??? Did either of you do anything to disprove my results before trying to discredit me???


Neither of your posts indicate any type of comparison testing, only that Hornet tried PCAudit and it didn't work on his machine. My guess is neither of you are willing to gather the data because running multiple tests on multiple firewalls entails a lot of effort and time. It's much easier to flame someone wiithout a shred of evidence or without doing the foot work it takes to obtain evidence.

It is okay to be suspicious, I mentioned I was suspicious of ZoneAlarm, but I also stated it was my opinion and not a fact. It's another thing to be suspicious and then without any evidence harrass a new forum member knowing that you have friends in the forum who will back you up whether you have any evidence or not.

I think this thread has deteriorated to the point of no return, thanks Teacup and Hornet for diverting my efforts to help others in a quest of a secure firewall. I feel that a moderator should step in at this point and investigate the pot-stirring that's taken place.

I no longer feel motivated to contribute here to this. I'm not sure how many other Hornets and Teacups are out there waiting to pounce instead of engaging in constructive dialog. But I'd like to make sure that these two (Hornet and Teacup) won't put other new members through the ringer. This forum can be a vibrant area for constructive communications instead of let's chase off the new guy attitude.

I will gladly volunteer my personal information to the Moderator if he wants to call Kerio to check if I sell or make commissions from their product or any other product I've mentioned at this forum.

If anyone reading this thread learned something about testing firewalls (before the heat up) then I've accomplished my goal. For those with a suspicious tendencies I apologize if I sounded like I was trying to sell something, for this was the last thing on my mind, but shame on you for poor etiquette and bringing out the pitch forks and torches without really having a clue.


Moderator you may step in at any time....

Edited by GTGT, 04 March 2006 - 01:00 AM.


#25 GTGT

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 12:06 AM




1) ZoneAlarm was just updated to version 6.1.7.44, I haven't tried the newest release but Starbury posted that he tried it and it passed the PCAudit test.



First of all, it's Starbury. Second of all, I'm a he. Third of all, I was talking about Zone Alarm Free version 6.1.737, not 6.1.744. The latest version just happened to update on the same day I made my original post, so I can understand why you got mixed up when I said I was using the latest version. I didn't know about the latest version until later in the day.

Hello Starbury, I apologize for the mispelling of your name and gender mixup. I loaded and tried the new version of ZoneAlarm free v6.1.744 today on my daugher's computer and it passed the PCAudit test. I was not able to pass PCAudit using the 6.1.737 version just as YaB was not able to pass this test. It's information like this that I think is really helpful to other forum members. I not sure why version 6.1.737 passes PCAudit on some computers but not on others, but your data shows just that. Thanks for the update and again sorry for the mixup on your name and gender.

PS I made corrections to my previous post to change the errors

Edited by GTGT, 04 March 2006 - 01:10 AM.


#26 Bello

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 01:00 PM

I use Outpost Firewall and it did not pass the test. However, I do have a question. Outpost did inform me of the pc test trying to install on my computer. It's not surprising that outpost did not pass the test since I allowed it to be installed. My question is, didn't outpost do what it's suppose to be doing by catching the pc audit before I allowed it to run on my computer?

#27 hornet777

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 02:11 PM

Your "efforts" to "help" were/are for nought, simply for the fact of a flawed methodology, guaranteed to produce meaningless results, GT. This is why I questioned in the first place. Instead of addressing why you were interested in the "results" on other peoples' systems, you resort to obfuscating emotional blackmail, leading me to a deeper suspicion, not clarity regarding your intent.

Frankly I don't care what you are up to personally, but in light of various posts that I have observed here and other security-related fora that look like quasi-phishing expeditions with the possible intent of subverting these venues, I was just wondering, since although this isn't as overt as some of the ones I've seen, it certainly isn't completely transparent either.

You have yet to directly answer the questions I posed, which is almost more telling than the answers you did give.
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?

#28 GTGT

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 03:51 PM

Your "efforts" to "help" were/are for nought, simply for the fact of a flawed methodology, guaranteed to produce meaningless results, GT. This is why I questioned in the first place. Instead of addressing why you were interested in the "results" on other peoples' systems, you resort to obfuscating emotional blackmail, leading me to a deeper suspicion, not clarity regarding your intent.

Frankly I don't care what you are up to personally, but in light of various posts that I have observed here and other security-related fora that look like quasi-phishing expeditions with the possible intent of subverting these venues, I was just wondering, since although this isn't as overt as some of the ones I've seen, it certainly isn't completely transparent either.

You have yet to directly answer the questions I posed, which is almost more telling than the answers you did give.

I've answered your questions so please go back and read again. I tried to provide three criteria when I made my recommendations on this forum.

I think most people use the same three criteria for selecting a security product. Effectiveness, features, and cost. I provided these criteria as data to the forum members.

What makes something SPAM, as Teacup mentioned, or having a hidden motive (aka getting a commission from selling products in a forum) is by establishing a link between the seller and the buyer.

Let's engage in your fantasy scenerio for a moment. Let's say I make a commisson selling Kerio firewalls. What ways could be established for me to make a commission from selling products on this forum:

I can only think of three ways (listed below):

a) When you bought Kerio, you would have to mention me by name.
b) If you bought Kerio you would have to mention that you were from the SpywareInfo forum to establish a link between me (being a shill for Sunbelt Security) and you.
c) I could be a partner selling Kerio as a personal business, in which case I would have to provide a link to a website I owned.

The question you and Teacup should answer is where is the link established in this situation? If you wanted to buy Kerio, you would buy online or by some other method. When you make the purchase nobody at Sunbelt would know you are a member of this forum (which means no link between is established between you and me), when you buy the product you are not telling anyone that it was recommended by me (nobody at this forum knows my name so this would be impossible anyway), and I did not provide a link to a personal website to buy Kerio from.

So please comment on your reasoning?

I'd be a poor sales person if I made my living this way. By the way I live in Washington state, as far from Florida (were Sunbelt is located) as you can be. I'd have a long commute if I were a Sunbelt employee.

I've attempted to answer every question you've asked. So what question was it that I did not answer?

#29 Bello

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 05:29 PM

Ok...new to the forum. My first post has been ignored by the bickering. I will post again and if possible could someone please reply to this so I can figure out if my firewall stinks or not.


I use Outpost Firewall and it did not pass the test. However, I do have a question. Outpost did inform me of the pc test trying to install on my computer. It's not surprising that outpost did not pass the test since I allowed it to be installed. My question is, didn't outpost do what it's suppose to be doing by catching the pc audit before I allowed it to run on my computer?


Thank you.

#30 teacup61

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 05:41 PM

Yes, Your firewall did just as it's supposed to. :D If it was faulty, it would have not alerted you to anything. I wasn't ignoring you. This is my first time to be back since last night. Please keep in mind that YOU actually have 2 firewalls, since you have Outpost in addition to your standard Windows firewall.
My help is free, but if you wish to help keep these forums running please consider a donation, see this topic for details.

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#31 Bello

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 06:00 PM

Teacup,
Thank you for the reply.
I have my windows firewall disabled. Figured there would be a conflict running both at the same time.

Thanks again.

#32 sytem32tweek

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:17 AM

Well i tried to download that program but Mcafee detected it as a PUP.

*Sigh*

#33 Rube

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:26 AM

[quote name='GTGT' date='Mar 2 2006, 10:56 PM' post='375291']


Hi GT, thank you for a very in-depth reply, I will try those links you have provided and see if it makes things better.

I donít understand computers and it took me a while to pluck up the courage to join in this forum and it is very off putting when old members pounce on you before you get a chance to settle in.

I hope it hasnít put you off GT as I was beginning to enjoy this thread up to a point.

Yab if your still there and not been frightened off, I got my anti-virus and firewall package as a download from my Internet Service Provider off the internet, it is free to Broadband users, it also has Parental Control, Anti-Spyware, Pop-up Blocker and Privacy Manager.

#34 Blink

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 06:57 AM

i just tested it on kerio and it PASSED! woot
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#35 hornet777

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:41 PM

The danger of allowing this nonsense is that the naive are pursuaded by far-flung arguments that have nothing to do with the stated or inferred aim, to do things that have no substance and are designed from the beginning to evoke some sensation, rather than to lead to anything meaningful.

Next come the emotional appeals when the floobydust is challenged in any way, as though any of this is amenable to will, argument, coersion, pursuasion... whatever. All well-known and -worn tactics which have been implenented flawlessly.

Additionally, it serves the pernicious misconception that somehow computer security is somehow about best products, with all the attendant gratuitous emotion surrounding brand loyalty, and not as it genuinely is: best practices.

None of this changes the truth that what is called a personal software firewall is composed of a few main components, which are all about the same, from vendor to vendor.

On the other hand, if the mods here feel comfortable allowing it, I accept their judgment. In either case, I am done with this thread; enough time has been wasted already.
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?

#36 GTGT

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:26 PM

[quote name='Rube' date='Mar 5 2006, 02:26 AM' post='376412']
[quote name='GTGT' date='Mar 2 2006, 10:56 PM' post='375291']


Hi GT, thank you for a very in-depth reply, I will try those links you have provided and see if it makes things better.

I donít understand computers and it took me a while to pluck up the courage to join in this forum and it is very off putting when old members pounce on you before you get a chance to settle in.

I hope it hasnít put you off GT as I was beginning to enjoy this thread up to a point.

Yab if your still there and not been frightened off, I got my anti-virus and firewall package as a download from my Internet Service Provider off the internet, it is free to Broadband users, it also has Parental Control, Anti-Spyware, Pop-up Blocker and Privacy Manager.
[/quote]
Hello Rube, I appreciate your sympathy. I have a pretty hectic schedule and decided to join this forum to help people. Had I known the consequence of my posting as being called spam or having hidden motives I probably wouldn't have joined the fourm.

If you have any more questions, and I know the answer I will answer them. Thanks! GT

#37 GTGT

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:28 PM

[quote name='Rube' date='Mar 5 2006, 02:26 AM' post='376412']
[quote name='GTGT' date='Mar 2 2006, 10:56 PM' post='375291']


Hi GT, thank you for a very in-depth reply, I will try those links you have provided and see if it makes things better.

I donít understand computers and it took me a while to pluck up the courage to join in this forum and it is very off putting when old members pounce on you before you get a chance to settle in.

I hope it hasnít put you off GT as I was beginning to enjoy this thread up to a point.

Yab if your still there and not been frightened off, I got my anti-virus and firewall package as a download from my Internet Service Provider off the internet, it is free to Broadband users, it also has Parental Control, Anti-Spyware, Pop-up Blocker and Privacy Manager.
[/quote]
Hello Rube, I appreciate your sympathy. I have a pretty hectic schedule and decided to join this forum to help people. Had I known the consequence of my posting as being called spam or having hidden motives I probably wouldn't have joined this fourm.

If you have any more questions, and I know the answer I will answer them. Thanks! GT

#38 GTGT

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:44 PM

I use Outpost Firewall and it did not pass the test. However, I do have a question. Outpost did inform me of the pc test trying to install on my computer. It's not surprising that outpost did not pass the test since I allowed it to be installed. My question is, didn't outpost do what it's suppose to be doing by catching the pc audit before I allowed it to run on my computer?

Hello Bello, sorry for the delayed response I had been away from the computer for a while. Although Teacup answered your question I would like to respond also. Initially Outpost will indicate that you are trying to start up a new application (PCAudit in this case unless you are trying to run one of the other tests.) You may allow this. But once you type something into an application (which PCAudit asks you to do), it will try to hijack your computer and send information packets to the email address you provided. Outpost will try to signal that it is doing this. You should deny the request. This will block the hijack attempt. If you allow the transmission consider your computer hijacked. This would be the same thing that would happen if a real Trojan is on your computer.

You'll need to carefully examine the Outpost pop-up warning and make sure to deny anything that you know is not legitimate. If unsure always DENY.

Hope this helped.

#39 YaB

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:44 PM

Hi GT, thank you for a very in-depth reply, I will try those links you have provided and see if it makes things better.

I donít understand computers and it took me a while to pluck up the courage to join in this forum and it is very off putting when old members pounce on you before you get a chance to settle in.

I hope it hasnít put you off GT as I was beginning to enjoy this thread up to a point.

Yab if your still there and not been frightened off, I got my anti-virus and firewall package as a download from my Internet Service Provider off the internet, it is free to Broadband users, it also has Parental Control, Anti-Spyware, Pop-up Blocker and Privacy Manager.



Thanks for the reply Rube :cool:, I tested out the Kerio firewall and it was successful 7 times. Removed Kerio and downloaded Zone Alarm, I tested out against ZA and it failed all 6 times.

Edited by YaB, 05 March 2006 - 10:46 PM.


#40 GTGT

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:38 PM

As a courtey to budding forum members learning about security I felt it in their best interest to post a counter-argument to a previous post.

I believe the implementation of test-proven firewall is a "best practice" and that the selection of a product based on how secure it's security rating (established by rigorus testing), it's feature set, and it's cost is not selection based on brand loyality, quite the opposite.

My argument follows:

I define "best practices" as doing whatever is necessary, within reasonable means, to secure one's PC from being compromised by an intruder. This definition includes the usual things such as , having an up-to-date firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware solution, updating your OS on a regular basis, not opening unknown emails, backing up data on a regular basis, using non-dictionary passwords, etc. but unlike the previous post, my definition includes using the most reliable test-proven security software available.

Many aspects of firewalls are not implemented the same. Some have intrusion detection some don't. Some intrusion detection rules are better than others. Yes, there are many similarities between firewalls, but it is the differences, not the similarities, that makes one firewall superior over another.

The reason this thread was initiated was to make this distinction.

Now to address "brand loyalty." To suggest posting the results of a test-proven firewall as "brand loyalty" couldn't be further from the truth. Brand loyalty infers buying a product based on a brandname without regard to its competitors.

Dictionary.com defines "Brand Loyalty" in this manner:
"The tendency of consumers to continue buying a specific brand's product or service, despite the competition."

This thread is titled "Check to see how effective your firewall is" and NOT "Buy brand X firewall because it is the best brand!". The title states the exact opposite. It implies your firewall (possibly selected by brand loyality) may not be the best solution and testing will determine if a competition's solution is better.

I found Kerio, Outpost and the latest version of ZoneAlarm to be the most secure firewalls based on my limited testing with Kerio being the least buggy of the three. Unfortunately, some members felt posting test results was equivalent to posting spam (frankly, I can't think of another way to post test results without giving the name and version of the winners).

It is my hope that other forum members will test and find firewalls even better than those I've tested myself.
In the end we must make our own security decisions. Personally, I want to know what my firewall can handle and what it can't.

I've posted a link below comparing popular firewalls (note: the chart is somewhat dated based on the products versions.)

To conclude, the "best practices' motto should include implementation of the best security solution for your PC based on rigors of testing and not on brand loyality (as suggested by a previous posting.) Sorry this post got long-winded.

http://www.firewalll...r.com/tests.htm

Edited by GTGT, 06 March 2006 - 09:43 PM.





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