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I would like to control outbound Internet connections from my computer.

ZoneAlarm can do this, but only works on 32 bit versions of Microsoft Windows.

What options do I have to control outbound connections (e.g. to block access to certain sites or from certain applications or from certain ports) on a 64 bit Windows system, e.g. Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition? Software and/or hardware. Free or commercial.

My router has some primitive way to block certain sites, but I would have to know them beforehand or in block all by default mode enter every site I want to go to. This is not feasible.

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    Please do not use ZoneAlarm, for anything. While working technical support for an ISP, ZoneAlarm and Nortons firewall solution accounted for around 15-20% of all calls by themselves. – Stefan Thyberg Jul 15 '09 at 12:14
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Comodo works on either 32 or 64 bit versions of XP/Vista and you can tweak the firewall to allow certain ports, programs and also what type of packets are sent through.

It does not allow for blocking certain sites though so you may have to look for something else if that's a deal breaker.

If you do choose to go with it, beware that it's marked as ad-ware by Softpedia for the install to want to add on optional toolbars and such.

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I used to use ZoneAlarm, but after some troubles with it (and Windows shutdown), I've moved to Kaspersky Internet Security. It's pretty configurable, although also quite chatty.

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  • Don't want to be a wet blanket, but doesn't ZA actually use Kaspersky AV engine? I am running ZA on my 64bit W7 system and it's showing as Kaspersky anyway. – funbi_grace Feb 25 '10 at 8:46
  • You could be right - I never used ZA's anti virus so I don't know. Whatever's going on under the covers, Kaspersky definitely didn't cause the same shutdown problems for me! :) – Ant Mar 10 '10 at 10:02
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On Vista and Windows 7 you can configure the built-in firewall to do outbound filtering as well.

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Maybe Comodo can do that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comodo_Firewall_Pro

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