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I personally prefer Avast, however I've noticed on my Win98 system the resident shield can't be enabled therefore I installed AVG instead. For Win2k and WinXP I'd use Avast (without the skins).

 

As for free third-party software-based firewalls, you can take your pick from many (to find them Google them):

* ZoneAlarm (2 way protection, buggy, free, updated often).

* Sygate Personal Firewall (2 way protection, buggy, free, not updated often, bugs reported by users go unresolved).

* Outpost Free (2 way protection, free, an old version, to me it has an unconventional way of configuration via the terms used).

* Kerio Personal Firewall v2.1.5 (2 way protection, free, old version, has vulnerabilities if not properly configured to block certain incoming TCP and UDP ports -- you'll have to know what to block, can lose it's configuration when least expected).

* Jetico (2 way protection, free, needs to mature through a few versions and eventually pass GRC.com as TruStealth).

 

If I missed any someone else will probably give the lowdown on them.

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Avast by far, updated more frequently, removes malware better, and way betteruser support.

 

however I've noticed on my Win98 system the resident shield can't be enabled therefore I installed AVG instead.

 

I have a Win98 machine downstairs, resident shield works fine there, prehapes you had previously had an Anti-Virus software on there that was conflicting with it? (iv seen people try to run 2 AVs on the same machine before, same thing happened)

 

 

For software based firewall, Sygate and Zonealarm are the top contenders, however the free version of Zonealarm is very bad with networks, and i find overall Sygate has the better security because of its application based system (using HTTP/localhost connections), although it doesn't work well with other proxy programs. (not a problem for most users)

Plus its intrusion detection system is very good and it doesn't block ALL access to the network like the free Zonealarm does, so you can still share you files/printer on your local network if wanted/needed.

 

Hope this helps

 

--lee

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prehapes you had previously had an Anti-Virus software on there that was conflicting with it? (iv seen people try to run 2 AVs on the same machine before, same thing happened)

 

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No, I only had a DOS av scanner which at the time was F-PROT Antivirus for DOS which doesn't install anything into the registry and isn't resident at all. I decided I needed real-time protection when I discovered Avast's resident shield wouldn't work. It's been like that for over two years now through various versions of Avast and in one version the resident shield could be enabled during a Windows session, but would not be active when the computer was restarted.

 

It doesn't matter all that much to me since the Win98 is only a backup PC to transfer files from my WinXP PC, I just keep it updated in the event my WinXP PC goes kaput for any reason.

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I decided I needed real-time protection when I discovered Avast's resident shield wouldn't work. It's been like that for over two years now through various versions of Avast and in one version the resident shield could be enabled during a Windows session, but would not be active when the computer was restarted.

 

Very strange indeed, not heard of this happening with Avast before, maybe you could report this bug on the avast forums, there could be others with your problem, from what iv used of the avast forum, there usually quite quick and good at fixed problems.

 

--lee

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