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I'm setting up a windows machine for a friend and wanted to install a free firewall. The trick is, I need the firewall to be interactive in that if a program requests to get 'out' the firewall gives an alert and the chance to block all external connections for the given program (and remembers the choice).

The last time I was on windows I used a firewall that seemed to grant access to programs willy nilly which was incredibly frustrating.

Does anyone know of such a program for windows (vista)?

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3 Answers 3

zone alarm has a free, but naggy offering. Should do what you want.

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I've always used Comodo in the past and it's very good (and free). Has several dynamic learning modes, one of which prompts when any new program tries to go on line and remembers your answers.

(However, I haven't tried it since they merged their antivirus and firewall products together, so I don't know if it's still as good. I personally don't use antivirus software)

[Edit: I checked and apparently each of the components are optional during the installation, so you can just install the firewall part if you want]

Matousec run regular firewall security challanges, in which Comodo, Outpost and Online Armor all have free versions rated at "10+ Excellent protection"

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Why dont you use anti-virus software on windows? –  ae. Jul 16 '09 at 11:44
    
@ae: Waste of resources. I have a firewall, I use FF and a white-list based script blocker, and I've never had a virus. I also manage me system in such a way that a full format & re-image doesn't really matter. Everything is recoverable pretty quickly. I find I'm often formatting my PCs anyway to try out different things like OS betas etc. A lot of advanced users have similar setups. I strongly recommend anti virus to most people though. See here: superuser.com/questions/561/do-you-run-anti-virus-software –  Simon P Stevens Jul 16 '09 at 12:06

The built in Windows Firewall does prompt to allow applications external access at the first attempt. The Vista built-in firewall is actually quite powerful when used in conjunction with UAC.

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The one program I am trying to block, it allows free reign. Probably because it is from a big trusted company, but I still want it blocked. –  ae. Jul 16 '09 at 11:53
    
Which program would that be? If it is trusted by MS there should be no reason to want to block it? –  Diago Jul 16 '09 at 12:08

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