Free, lightweight firewall...

Discussion in 'Software for Windows' started by Dreakon, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Dreakon

    Dreakon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

    I don't really need anything fancy, just something that sits in the background and blocks everything from the internet except applications added to a whitelist. Preferably something that doesn't eat a ton of resources.

    I may have just described a firewall lol. I don't need some big security suite or anything.

    Anything like that out there?
     
  2. dave_the_nerd

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    11,440
    Likes Received:
    70
    Windows has a built-in firewall.
     
  3. Dreakon

    Dreakon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Indeed, to my understanding it was kind of crap?
     
  4. Saylick

    Saylick Senior member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got W7 Pro, only use Windows Firewall, and I have never encountered issues regarding computer security.

    The best defense is to not click on suspicious links. Simple as that.

    I used to use Avira AV since it's free for personal use but I do not recall if you can set up a whitelist with it.
     
  5. beginner99

    beginner99 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,810
    Likes Received:
    2
    Get a router (if you don't already have one). Due to how routers work, they act as simple "firewalls", meaning nothing that you did not request gets in. + Windows firewall. That in general enough. However they don't protect you if you surf on dubious sites or double-click on executables from such sites or pirated software.
     
  6. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    30,672
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, it's fine and I believe you can have it block outbound by default but I don't know why you would want something like that. If you're running software that you trust that little you have other issues with your PC, IMO.
     
  7. MontyAC

    MontyAC Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    4,124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try Comodo Firewall.
     
  8. Dreakon

    Dreakon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your opinion would be incorrect. I want my presence on the internet to be unknown except to the few applications I run on a daily basis. Isn't that the whole point of a firewall?
     
  9. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    30,672
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess that perspective could be argued, but the original, general purpose of them is to protect machines not to provide personal privacy. But I still don't get why you're running apps that connect to the Internet if you don't want them to connect to the Internet. Just don't run apps that connect to the Internet and you achieve the same thing without the duct tape solution.
     
  10. Dreakon

    Dreakon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Better safe than sorry, right? Unless Windows is going to burn out my PC when using it's firewall for an arguable purpose. :D
     
  11. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    44,392
    Likes Received:
    37
    The overall point is if you can't trust your programs with net access, you can't trust them at all. Firewalls are best used to protect from probing coming in. Your router will do a fine job with that, and for some icing on the cake, Windows firewall can be used also. Third party firewalls sometimes cause issues, and don't give real benefit in return. They make people feel like they're being secure by providing nags to chase after when a program wants net access, but they do very little for /real/ security. Your efforts would be better spent hardening your browser to prevent exploits and data leaks.
     
  12. Dreakon

    Dreakon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Windows Firewall seems to be doing the trick, didn't realize it could be rigged up to block everything but a whitelist. Thanks guys, your concerns with my privacy and whether or not it should be protected via a firewall have been noted. :)
     
  13. entropism2

    entropism2 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matousec is generally crap. he gets paid to publish those results, and generally whoever pays more scores higher.

    Case in point: Bullguard security uses Bitdefender as their antivirus and Outpost as their firewall. How is it that Outpost with a sponsored link scores near the top, while bullguard is at the bottom?
     
    #14 entropism2, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  14. John Connor

    John Connor Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    17,231
    Likes Received:
    19
    Well, the site has firewall testing tools and if they pass the firewall gets a higher score. I trust Comodo. I ran the tests. Read the reports.
     
    #15 John Connor, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  15. beginner99

    beginner99 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,810
    Likes Received:
    2
    exactly.

    For OP see this:

    https://panopticlick.eff.org/

    If you are paranoid you should not trust your browser and even better avoid internet completely.
     
  16. gevorg

    gevorg Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,075
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. cl-scott

    cl-scott ASUS Support

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0
    No pejorative or anything intended here, but your understanding is mistaken. So another vote for listening to lxskllron this.

    Security is all about layers. Every layer will have holes, and the idea is that the layer above or below will not have a hole in the same spot. So a firewall is but one layer, not the end all of security. You need to add to that things like careful software selection (e.g. not using programs like Internet Explorer which have well documented issues with malware), and adopting safe(r) computing habits like not clicking on any random link someone sends you in an email, or opening any random attachment sent to you in an email (no matter what celebrity it claims to be nude photos of).
     
  18. ultim

    ultim Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, the firewall you have described is exactly TinyWall.
    URL: http://tinywall.pados.hu

    It is free, and uses Windows' built-in filtering to do its stuff, so it is very lightweight. Works just the way you described it: blocks everything except for programs on your whitelist, and does not display popups at all, it just sits in the background doing its work.

    I'm am actually TinyWall's author, so you might want to read an independent professional review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421764,00.asp
     
  19. John Connor

    John Connor Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    17,231
    Likes Received:
    19
    This looks great for my thin client. I was using Private firewall.

    Edit, oh crap, I just read the review and I use Win XP embedded SP3.
     
    #20 John Connor, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Administrator<br>Elite Member
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    35,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1 :thumbsup:

    Comodo Firewall is excellent. It's included in their Security Suite, but if you are already happy with your AV and anti-spyware progs, to avoid conflicts, you can download just the firewall from CNET. Read the reviews to see why it's so good.

    When you install it, look for the subtle link to options in small type at the bottom of one of the first screens, and uncheck the options to install Comodo Dragon, a Chrome-based browser (like we need yet another browser) and Geek Buddy, their online help service (unless you want it and are willing to pay for it). You can also choose NOT to use their alternate secure DNS system.

    Doing this will save time during setup and reduce the footprint/resource utilization on your system. If you miss the options link during installation, you can completely uninstall Dragon and Geek Buddy, later, from either the Comodo folder in the Start Menu or Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
     
  21. John Connor

    John Connor Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    17,231
    Likes Received:
    19
    I use Comodo. There are two problems with it. One is that if you have Comodo installed before you install Avira, Avira will complain. So install Avira first, the Comodo. Second, if you use an Alcohol 120% virtual DVD drive Comodo will block it. Comodo used to have the option of not installing the defense shield which will block communication to the virtual DVD drive, but now it will install the defense shield whether you like it or not. I should write to Comodo letting them know of the flaw so they can correct this in future updates.
     
  22. ultim

    ultim Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Harvey: Comodo's a good firewall, but your recommendation is exactly what the OP didn't want to have: he asked for a firewall that blocks everything except for things he added to the whitelist. In contrast, Comodo will automatically allow all trusted programs in its database, only asking the user for permission for unknown applications. Also, even if you leave out Dragon, opt out of the secure DNS and so on, you still get drivers installed, sandboxing, behavioral analysis, cloud-based functions etc. Sure, these are nice functions and can actually increase your security, but the OP explicitly asked for "nothing fancy", just a plain firewall.
     
    #23 ultim, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  23. Harvey

    Harvey Administrator<br>Elite Member
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    35,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ah! My bad. That sounds like it would be almost inverse logic for a general purpose firewall. Until I read your post, I didn't know such a firewall existed. Guess the OP will be glad you came along. :cool:

    FWIW, I believe Comodo does allow you to turn off sandboxing, as well.
     
  24. John Connor

    John Connor Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    17,231
    Likes Received:
    19
    Comodo does allow you to turn off the sandbox. Right click Comodo's icon in the task bar.