June 18, 2009

Windows 7 Firewall gets better

When XP added a built-in firewall, many of us were excited about it. Finally, no need to find 3rd party software….. NOT! XP’s firewall was about as basic as you could get. It only covered incoming data (and not all that well) with no outbound traffic monitored.

With Vista, the situation got better. Finally, I could be comfortable recommending it for the average user who has difficulty with 3rd party firewalls. It’s a very difficult job balancing the need to ask whether an application should be accessing the internet vs. the need for simple, understandable information to make that decision. Too often the info was so much “techno-babble”, that the user was unable to make a decision and ended up just saying “OK”.

This article by Deb Shinder on WindowSecurity.com gives a lot of good information on the W7 firewall vs. Vista.

Looks like MS did some listening…. For the average user, I think that the W7 firewall will be sufficient assuming that they practice what I call “Safe Computing”:

  • Have a good AntiVirus software installed and up to date.
  • Have secure passwords
  • Open attachments that are from folks you know and expect to get.
  • Scan periodically with good malware detectors (More than one is recommended.


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