The native Windows Firewall is notoriously poor at stopping/analysing outbound traffic, especially the types generated by
a) Trojans trying to download other malware.
b) Keyloggers calling "home" with potentially dangerous information from your PC (credit card/bank account details)
c) Malware reporting surfing habits.
It does a passable job at blocking inbound hacking, but not as good at "stealthing" (hiding) ports as many others, like Comodo, Sygate etc.
Hardware firewalls, such as may be in your Router/Modem are very good at stopping hackers & other inbound traffic that you don't initiate.
However they can fail in the following circumstances:
a) You browse through a "doubtful" site, some of these are loaded with malware code. A hardware firewall cannot discriminate between the good & bad code, so, because you initiate the process, it lets it all code through.
b) A trojan calling out to download other malware, appears to a hardware firewall, to be a legitimate request, so let's the outbound request & inbound answer through.
You should check out:- Comodo Firewall Pro
or Sunbelt Personal Firewall
User manuals are available for both:
Comodo's manual is built in and accessable from the Help Menu.Sunbelt Manual HereBoth are simple to install & free to use. Please install only 1
I use Comodo myself.
Many find it a bit daunting, especially with the Defense+ module running, as it generates a high number of popup requests.
This is during the "learning" phase that most firewalls go through, while it adjusts its behaviour to suit your setup.
I now disable the Defense+ module, because I don't require that level of protection, but it is up to you.
Edited by sage5, 07 April 2008 - 06:55 PM.