Get a good secure firewall!
Get a good secure firewall on your Windows computer for free. For those who have no idea what a firewall is, it is like having a security guard at the entrance to a building, monitoring who is coming and going. The guard stops those entering the building who he sees as suspicious or dangerous, and prevents those leaving the building who may have broken in and be trying to steal something. A computer firewall basically a security guard for your computer.
Everyone, no matter what OS (Operating System) they are using, Windows, Linux or Apple, should be using a good secure firewall. Windows, from XP onwards, has a Windows firewall built into the OS. The stats suggest that the average Windows machine on the Internet without a firewall is hacked within minutes.
You can greatly improve your Windows security by using an alternative free or commercial firewall instead. There are lots out there. The question is which one to use? A lot of firewalls that are free or commercial are useless, and are not giving you any protection. On the Matousec firewall program rating page click on the "Products Rating" item, then scroll down to product rating list for a comparison of firewall products. This is to make sure your firewall is actually effective against the latest threats. Take note of the version that is being rated. It is the version that has been tested is important, make sure you get the best rated version.
Purchased versions of the firewalls will often give you extra features over the free version, and with some deals support you if you are having difficulties, or issues using the product. At present the Comodo firewall it is rated as one of the best.
Important, if you want the free firewall versions of a recommended firewall program, go directly to the firewall creators web site, as the links at Matousec will direct you to the paid versions.
For example, to get the free Comodo firewall go directly to, https://www.comodo.com/
Because of the changing security environment, just like anti-virus software, the firewall has to be constantly updated and improved to protect you from the latest security issues. The effectiveness of any firewall can change with time, so I suggest you check the Matousec site to see where your firewall stands in the independent firewall testing ratings from time to time.
You can't have multiple firewalls running on your computer at the same time. Not only may they clash, they will drive you crazy with all the questions they will ask! If you find the popular security suite you are using has a firewall component rated as useless, then do this. After you download and install one of the recommended firewall programs, turn off the security suite firewall feature, in its options or settings, then shut down, and restart the computer.
Yes, modern Windows firewalls are constantly asking you questions, and more questions, on whether something should be, or not be allowed to change something on your Windows computer. There is a firewall learning period. After it has been trained on what is safe or not, it will not ask as many questions. There are no easy answers to some of these questions.
These are the best general suggestions I can give you to deal with all those firewall questions.
If you are installing, un-installing or updating a software that has been virus checked, or you know is safe, Allow / Remember it in the firewall pop up when asked. In Comodo, it will give you the option to select “Treat this as an Installer / Updater.” Select this option if the program fits the above program profile. If in doubt, temporarily block the program in the firewall pop up options box and do a search engine search, Google / Yahoo etc., to see if it is malicious. (To temporarily block the program in the firewall, select Block in the firewall pop up options box plus un-tick the Remember / Permanent option until you find out if it is malicious or not.)
Good luck in the present security environment, you need it in my opinion, using a Linux or Apple computer on the Internet, is a much more peaceful experience at present.
© peter Daley 2009 (updated April 2015)
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