ESET's Smart Security takes the structure built by their popular antivirus program NOD32 and adds on two wings: a personal firewall and a spam filter. Because much of Smart Security is the same as NOD32, this review will focus only on the firewall and spam filter.
The firewall's advanced settings are Smart Security's strength. Users can extensively customize the firewall's behavior, but don't have to. There are five default settings: automatic, automatic with user-defined exceptions, interactive, policy-based, and learning. You can set safe zones, configure remote desktop access, and manage intrusion detection, all from an … Read more
ZoneAlarm Extreme provides a high-end, all-in-one PC security and tune-up utility for users who are looking for a supermarket approach to their computer's ancillary functions. Under the Extreme roof, you'll get an antivirus, antispyware, firewall, and parental control utility. Additional browser, identity theft, and e-mail protection are also rolled in, while extras like the free 2GB of encrypted online backup and the tune-up utilities are accessible but have components that must be downloaded separately.
The interface is smooth and modern, with big labels to draw your eye to the biggest features in each pane. A left sidebar collects … Read more
My previous post on free alternatives to Windows' built-in utilities confused the Windows Firewall with Windows Defender, which protects against viruses. (My thanks to the folks who pointed out the error.)
The fact is, I stopped paying attention to both programs a long time ago. First, I decided security is too important to leave up to Microsoft. Second, I can do without the hassle of managing separate applications for various security tasks. To me, the time I recover repays the cost of a security suite many times over.
So what's wrong with the Windows Firewall? It doesn't monitor … Read more
I wouldn't give you a nickel for all the system tools that come with Windows. That's because I can replace them with programs that do the job better without spending even that much.
Start with the firewall, which most people would consider an indispensable piece of software. Windows Defender's firewall is better than none at all, but not by much. Of the free alternatives, my favorite is the Comodo Firewall Pro. I described why and how I switched from ZoneAlarm to Comodo in a post from last February.
Since that time, I replaced the Comodo firewall and … Read more
Check Point Software Technologies announced Monday it plans to acquire the security appliance business of cell phone giant Nokia.
With the acquisition, the security software maker plans to use Nokia's security appliance business to broaden its footprint in the security appliance market.
Check Point, which is predominately known for its security firewall business, has branched out into the security appliance business over the past five years, beginning with its VPN-1 Edge device.
Nokia's security appliance business currently serves 23,000 customers throughout the world and is already designed to work with Check Point's firewall, virtual private network (… Read more
Updated 3:36 p.m. PST with SonicWall comment.
An outage at SonicWall's licensing server disabled subscription-based security services for customers for at least several hours on Tuesday, according to the company and an angry customer.
Beginning around 2 a.m. PST, "some SonicWall products contacting a particular SonicWall licensing server began receiving erroneous responses," the company said in an e-mail notice to customers sent around 5:40 p.m. PST on Tuesday.
"You are receiving this mail because our monitoring systems indicate that your SonicWall product(s) may have been affected. This may have caused … Read more
Since Monday, I have been running a prebeta copy of Windows 7, the next operating system from Microsoft.
At first glance, build 6801 of Windows 7 appears very much like Windows Vista; that's because enhancements to the look and feel part of the operating system typically come late in the development process. Right now, the core programming is being set, and there are already some changes in how Windows 7 will handle computer security.
Gone is the Security Center, introduced in Windows XP SP2. Instead, there will be an "Action Center" that incorporates alerts from 10 existing … Read more
It slows down your browsing. It makes some Web sites inaccessible for no discernible reason. It doesn't even offer you any xiao long bao or pu'er tea for your troubles. But if you want to know what life behind the Great Firewall of China is like, then the Firefox plug-in China Channel is the cheapest and fastest way to experience using the Internet in China without actually being there.
After installation, getting to experience Web surfing the way the Chinese do isn't hard at all. Users have three ways to activate China Channel: via the China Channel … Read more
This week, Eric and Dong discuss why they're so stretched, and it has everything to do with the cold-blooded qualities of Jasmine France, Donald Bell, and Lieutenant Barkley Robert Vamosi.
Tired of that annoying firewall that bogs down your system and won't let you play Crysis higher than 60fps? Dong has some insight into why you may not need it.
Also, Dong recounts his first days at CNET and why Starcraft looked so stupid to him.