Best free firewall?

I’m incredibly slow about this; I know that. However, I’ve finally done it: I’ve downloaded Zone Alarm and Freedom. I’ve installed both. I ran Zone Alarm for several days; now I’m running Freedom. It’s frightening, seeing how many are out there peeping or perving the innocent/ignorant/careless person’s computer.

However, though I like the additional features available in the Freedom software, I don’t know enough yet to be able to tell which is doing a better job, and I certainly don’t know whether there’s another freeware program that does a better job. Therefore, I’m asking the computer geniuses here for opinions/recommendations.

ISTR that someone told me last year (in another venue) that it was possible to run more than one firewall at a time. Not being very adventurous, I’m not about to try that without also getting the considered judgement/experience of people who know more than I about this stuff.

For those who know less than I, downloads of the software mentioned above are available from the following sites:

I used zone alarm, never freedom. it worked but now I use a hardware firewall. the benefit it no drain on system resources.

I’d say that either one will protect you so use the one thats the least drain on your machine

ZoneAlarm is usually the free firewall of choice. It’s better that some of the commercial products (for instance, it checks to see if the software is what it claims to be, so no can can slip in a trojan and rename it “iexplore.exe” and get through).

Zone Alarm is quite good, but lacks all the diagnostic feaures I’d want in a firewall. It’s rather more difficult to customize than some would have you believe.

I happen to like ‘Defender’ by BlackIce ( ), even though cNet doesn’t give it top marks. It gives me fewer false alarms.

Note: It is important to realize that the vast majority of hits and ‘intrusion’ attempts reported by most low-end firewalls are completely innocent, such as DNS queries.