ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
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Full user review
"Silent - don't know it's there, but powerful/ safe"
Been using with AVG for over 1 week, and it is working great. On Windows 7. Silent - no weird alerts but I checked and the outbound firewall is on. Every other free firewall is noisy as anything or too weak (like the Windows Firewall).
The old version was noisy and ZoneAlarm did not tell me about the new version - I had to find out myself.
Unless you are going to pay for a full suite, get this Free Firewall. I've built my own free security suite with AVG plus ZoneAlarm (and ZoneAlarm's toolbar with anti-phishing, came with the firewall). I think some people just stop at antivirus but I think you also need a good firewall, and I wanted something that is not too hard to use but still safe. ZoneAlarm has powerful security (check out review at PCMag) and this new version has gotten rid of the alerts so now it is easy - doesn't get in my way with weird alerts when I'm doing stuff.ZoneAlarm just updated the build. I had no problems, but it is supposed to address some issues people had on win7 64 bit and if your IE8 didn't load fast, it should fix that too.
Updated on Jun 27, 2010