Computer Security & Viruses/firewall


QUESTION: I have an old Windows XP desktop. I've always used a 3rd party free firewall (Online Armor) but it uses a lot resources and sometimes gets in the way. I know it only protects against incoming and not outgoing, but would Windows built-in firewall be sufficient? Some says it's fine while others say it offers little protection. Just wondered what your opinion is.  Thanks


The firewall in XP is only one-way in that it can prevent incoming attacks, but cannot control what leaves your system.  3rd party options, especially for XP, are really a necessity.  I recommend PrivateFirewall:
It's better on resources than Armor for the older systems, and it's free.  Hope that helps you.  Cheers!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, I'll have to get a new computer soon, with Windows 8.1. Do you recommend a 3rd party firewall for that as well? I heard the one that comes with Windows is much improved since XP.

Hi Lee,

Yes, the built-in Windows firewall has advanced well beyond the features that were in XP.  Personally, I do not use a third-party firewall, but I do use the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security on 8.1.  Here is a link to more information on how to set that up when you are ready:

Just one other side bit - If you are thinking of a new computer now, you may wish to wait another 6 months or so.  That's when Windows 10 is rumored to be released.  Reviews so far to previews have been positive, much more so that when 8 was released.  We should have an exact date some time in January, so holding off for a bit may be wise.  Cheers!


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Brian Benosky


I will help you in eradicating malware and all forms of virus/trojans/adware. I can answer all PC-related hardware issues. I can also troubleshoot Windows OS errors (all versions) and other software problems. HijackThis logs are a MUST for virus related help. If you do not know how to do this, I have posted easy-to-follow instructions on the Ask a Question page. Every computer infection is different, so I will give you personal instructions on how to remove the malware, not a 'pat' answer. You can be assured of a prompt, polite, and knowledgeable response in all regards.


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