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-   -   Privatefirewall opinions (http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=258677)

Tnelson 05-10-12 09:49

Privatefirewall opinions
 
Looking for opinions on Privatefirewall as a replacement for PC tools firewall plus.

Been happy with PC tools (light on resources and not intrusive), but now that updates will no longer be available as a stand alone, I thought I would look for another freeware firewall with a good reputation. Read some real favorable reviews so I thought I would ask those here that are using PF to give me their 2 cents.

Also, since security software and firewalls in general can sometimes be difficult to entirely remove, would Revo Uninstaller be a good way to uninstall PC tools if I used the moderate scan option?

satrow 05-10-12 10:27

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
I've been using PF for quite some time now (mid-08), no real problems with it (or it would be long gone), it nags to be updated when needed - 5+ times already this year I think; that's usually a good sign that they're proactive in bug-fighting. It is very light on resources, similar to PC Tools; it can be more or less intrusive than PCT, depending on how it's setup - download the manual and study it to get familiar with all the options.

Unless PC Tools have their own uninstaller, Revo (or a check for still-loaded PCT drivers using DriverView) should be a decent alternative.

Tnelson 05-10-12 10:46

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
If you were to use the default settings how would you rate the annoying popup permissions that I've seen with programs such as Comodo?

I would also expect that after a period of time the intrusiveness would decrease as it learns your software and tendencies?

satrow 05-10-12 11:32

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
I think the default settings on any newly installed firewall should be pretty noisy; one of those annoying popups might just alert you to something you weren't previously aware of ;) I never install anything default - unless I'm running time-consuming comparison tests= very rarely.

There's a training mode available in PF, several options in there, too - that's why I suggested you study the manual

mjnc 05-12-12 08:56

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
I switched from PC Tools Firewall to Privatefirewall about three months ago.
Initially, I found the increased number of alerts to be quite annoying.
The system monitoring is more extensive than PC Tools Firewall.
Also, I had to update the firewall about three times soon after the first installation.

The default setting for "Tray alerts" is to time-out after either 15 or 30 seconds and block the process if not specifically
allowed by the user.
According to the documentation, the Auto-Respond behavior can be changed to Manual Control which always requires a user response
and provides a little more information.

However, that setting has never worked properly for me.

Privatefirewall - Product Tour

Quote:

Click 'Details/Options' in the Tray Alert to display an expanded Alert (see below), which contains more detailed
information about the suspicious activity and additional threat management options. If the 'Require user approval for each
alert' box is checked in the settings menu, the expanded Alert will appear automatically and no tray alerts will be
displayed.
When updating, you typically have to Uninstall the current version.
You should always save the current settings before uninstalling.
  • Open the program interface
  • In the File menu option, select Export Settings

After you install the updated version, follow the same process to Import Settings.

Tnelson 05-13-12 19:14

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mjnc (Post 1737127)
When updating, you typically have to Uninstall the current version.
.

Seriously? :confused

That's bogus.

So far it hasn't been too intrusive although I haven't been on that much in the last couple days.

Right now I have everything at default, but I don't think I would know what to change anyway?:-o

Is it worth it to use the training portion to speed up the learning process?

I did read the user's guide a bit but still seems a bit confusing to me.

Quote:

Click 'Details/Options' in the Tray Alert to display an expanded Alert (see below), which contains more detailed
information about the suspicious activity and additional threat management options. If the 'Require user approval for each
alert' box is checked in the settings menu, the expanded Alert will appear automatically and no tray alerts will be
displayed.
Could you explain this a little better in laymans terms. What's the difference between an "expanded alert" and a "tray alert"?

mjnc 05-13-12 19:39

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
Yes, sorry, you do have to uninstall when updating:

Privatefirewall - Product Information
Quote:

GENERAL INSTALLATION PROCEDURE:

Please uninstall the existing version of Privatefirewall (via Add/Remove programs or Start -> All Programs ->
Privatefirewall 7.0 -> Uninstall...) and reboot system before installing an update.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tnelson (Post 1737379)
Could you explain this a little better in laymans terms. What's the difference between an "expanded alert" and a "tray alert"?

The expanded alert shows more information, gives a few more options and Requires a response - it will Not just time out
and take the default action.

satrow 05-13-12 19:54

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
That's the general instructions, all the individual updates are linked to (or downloaded from) a page which makes suggestions suited to that particular update - I'm pretty sure less than half of the updates over the last 4-6 months haven't needed an uninstall/clean install routine.

The problem inherent with any deep-seated driver change is that there's a risk of a BSOD crash if a replacement is attempted on a 'live' driver, PF's uninstall/clean install routine avoids that and is surprisingly fast.

The update is usually flagged up on boot/reboot as PF loads and checks for any updates, so it's not like you have to close down 6 hours of work session just to update it.

mjnc 05-14-12 03:19

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mjnc (Post 1737127)
According to the documentation, the Auto-Respond behavior can be changed to Manual Control which always requires a user response
and provides a little more information.

However, that setting has never worked properly for me.

Quote:

If the 'Require user approval for each alert' box is checked in the settings menu, the expanded Alert will appear
automatically and no tray alerts will be displayed.

This alert lists the program name, version number, date, time, and incoming/outgoing IP address. It will also specify whether the Traffic is inbound or outbound.
see: Top of page 2 - Product Tour

I found that this feature description is incomplete - maybe from an earlier version.
It is also necessary to check the option Disable Auto-Response to always get the Expanded Alert.

Tnelson 05-14-12 14:57

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
Would it be fine to go into applications and process monitor and set applications such as Avast, CCleaner, Malwarebytes (pro), Spywareblaster, Palemoon, Firefox etc.. to allow traffic?

Those are programs that I use all the time, their are others as well?

mjnc 05-15-12 02:56

Re: Privatefirewall opinions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tnelson (Post 1737517)
Would it be fine to go into applications and process monitor and set applications such as Avast, CCleaner, Malwarebytes (pro), Spywareblaster, Palemoon, Firefox etc.. to allow traffic?

Those are programs that I use all the time, their are others as well?

Privatefirewall - product tour - page 3
Quote:

Process Monitor

Privatefirewall maintains a set of default processes that are related to commonly used applications, such as Internet
Explorer, and are set to 'Allow'. Non-default processes that are detected by Privatefirewall will be set to 'Filter'
if allowed or 'Deny' if not allowed.


Better to wait until you run those programs and respond to the alerts as they appear.
Remember this setting will probably be checked by default. If not, check that option.

At one point, I had some error messages at boot up about Malwarebytes Anti-malware PRO.
The following settings should take care of that.
Right click the item to change the setting.

For Malwarebytes PRO:

In Applications:
  • mbamservice.exe - Allow
  • mbam.exe - Allow

In Process Monitor:
  • mbamservice.exe - Allow
  • mbam.exe - Allow
  • mbamgui.exe - Allow


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