The anti-virus tools page has been expanded and moved. This page deals exclusively with free for personal use, third-party firewalls and internet connection speed test resources. If you are looking for information on troubleshooting XP’s built-in firewall, go to the Networking and Internet Connections page.
XP’s built-in firewall stops in-bound traffic. Sygate and Zone Alarm are more advanced in that they also stop outbound traffic.
I have no views on the Sygate Personal Firewall because I have never used it.
Zone Alarm is not for the faint-hearted. Its interface is not intuitive and, if not configured properly, can stop your network from operating. However it is a solid firewall and highly recommended if you know what you are doing.
There are other free for personal use firewalls, such as Agnitum’s Outpost, that have not been included here, mainly because, when compared to Sygate and Zone Alarm, they are effectively crippled, in my opinion.
You take responsibility for using the products on this page, not me. Back to Top
Sygate Personal Firewall - Free for Personal Use
From the Sygate website: Protects against Trojans, spyware, worms and other known & unknown threats. Prevents unauthorized or malicious applications from bypassing the firewall. Enables even inexperienced users to easily customize and fine-tune security policies. Provides best of breed evidence logs for intrusion analysis. Easiest-to-use PC firewall and still free for personal/home use.
NOTE: Sygate Personal Firewall 5.1 is free for personal/home use, serial number and registration code are not required to register the program. The text at the top of the linked page is misleading because it states “Welcome to our downloads section. You can download and evaluate Sygate software for a full 30 days to see if it suits your need(s). After the 30 day trial period, you can continue using the software by purchasing a license key to unlock it…” The statement refers only to the Pro version, not to the free personal version. Back to Top
Zone Alarm - Free for Personal Use
From the Zone Labs website: Millions of users have selected ZoneAlarm as their trusted Internet security solution. The award-winning personal firewall automatically blocks dangerous Internet threats - known and unknown - guarding your PC from hackers and data thieves. ZoneAlarm provides the basic protection individuals need to secure their PC and keep their valuable information private. Back to Top
Kerio Personal Firewall - Free for Personal Use
From the Kerio website: Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) is a software agent that builds a barrier between your personal computer and the Internet. KPF is designed to protect your PC against attacks from both the Internet, and other computers in the local network. KPF controls all data flow in both directions – from the Internet to your computer and vice versa, and it can block all attempted communication allowing only what you choose to permit. Back to Top
ShieldsUP! From Gibson Research Corporation. 18,432,027 system tests had been performed when this link was put here. “The Internet's quickest, most popular, reliable and trusted, free Internet security checkup and information service. Easily check your system here, and begin learning about using the Internet safely.” Simply click the “Test My Shields!” and “Probe My Ports!” buttons.
LeakTest, also by Gibson Research Corporation. “LeakTest is a safe and small (27k bytes), completely benign "chameleon utility" which can be used to simulate the presence and effect of Trojan horses, viruses, and adware/spyware running in your computer. It simply and quickly tells you whether it has been able to slip out past your firewall's outbound Trojan/Virus/Spyware protections and establish a standard TCP connection with our NanoProbe server.”
Try the Sygate Online Services suite of tests. Offers Quick, Stealth, Trojan, TCP, UDP, and ICMP scans. Can be time consuming for the latter four tests. This link was recommended by S. Heenan in news:alt.os.windows-xp . Back to Top
Check your connection speed to the internet with speed tests from all over the world.
Other speed test sites: