Firewalls, firewalls, and more firewalls


I have to say that I’m taking the idea for my next series from PCMech and their Tips of the Day.  Today’s tip is a comparison of firewalls—both personal and commercial.  So, I’ll be reading up on that, and doing my own comparison along with some tips about firewalls in general and what to look for.

The first thing I want to note is that if you can’t/won’t install a firewall before you go online the first time (and yes, as much as I hate to admit it, there are reasons why people won’t do it), please make sure that Windows Firewall is enabled at the very least.  It’s not perfect—far from it in fact.  But, it’s better than not having anything at all.  Plus Windows usually will turn it on by default, if it doesn’t recognize that you have another firewall in place.

I’ve used a few of the firewalls that are mentioned in the comparison, and some I’ve never heard of at all.  Most are for Windows-based computers, but a few are for Linux and BSD computers.  Who knows…  Someone could possibly port them over to Windows and make a halfway decent firewall out of them.

One place you can check to see how well your firewall is performing is GRC’s Shields’ UP website.  It performs scans of your computer to see whether the ports that are most commonly used by malware and abused by people are “Closed,” “Open,” or “Stealthed”.  In a perfect world, every port will be “Stealthed” or hidden from the scanner.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

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