There were several severe troubles with my laptop lately that almost cause a permanent Windows OS damage. I wasn’t able to boot and to dress the system. It simply stuck during the startup letting no anti-virus software do its job. I managed to recover somehow fidgeting in a seat for more than a day.

Once I got everything back online, I decided that it’s about time… yeah after more than fifteen years of pressing and clicking buttons, it’s about time to install some anti-virus software and configure a firewall. So I started with the former. The network is no longer a safe place for me.

I checked several famous solutions, but all of them were either expensive or didn’t promise what I need. I shared my worries with Pito, and he suggested trying one FREE solution which was supposedly what I needed — AVG Free Edition. (Later I discovered that my father uses it for more than two years already.) The checker appeared to be surprisingly useful: with selected and critical area checks, daily updates and other bells and whistles.

Now, that I regained the trust in my applications, it became crucial to protect my network. About a month ago I got a static IP address from my ISP. Since then the idea of protecting the interface didn’t give me a sleep. I recalled some names of respected companies from my distant youth and gave them a quick shot. Nothing looked promising again either it was expensive or weight a ton. The next step was to scan some reviews, and it’s where I found another FREE product crowning the list of competitors — COMODO Firewall Pro. There’s a firewall ratings table showing how all known firewalls stand different kinds of attacks, and you can clearly see the leader, which is to put it mildly, extremely impressive. Installing…

What’s your experience with firewall and anti-virus software?

Comments from the past

Dael Says: September 9th, 2007 at 22:47

Well, it’s a trucky question - what to choose, freeware or commercial software. I prefer to use last one. Especially in case of security questions. Look at Agnitum Outpost Security Suite. It’s effective, easy to use combination of firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware engines. Really effective and user-friendly. You mom gonna like it. :-)

Aleksey Gureev Says: September 10th, 2007 at 04:47

Dael, thanks for the suggestion!

I checked it in the past. It looks good, but system performance degradation was an issue, as I can recall. As I use a laptop, it’s important to keep system usage at minimum, or otherwise my batteries go off quickly. Outpost simply took too much CPU. The positive side was its clean GUI that I liked better than of ZoneAlarm Pro, which is somewhat comparable in price and provides slightly better protection.

Dael Says: September 10th, 2007 at 07:54

Well, I use Agnitum both on my laptop and desktop actually. The first is Pentium Mobile / 512 RAM machine, desktop is Core 2 Duo / 2048 RAM. I guess that is the reason why I have no problems with performance. :-) I can’t tell you exactly CPU utilization and RAM usage, but it seems to be OK for me.