Windows XP firewall

Is the Windows XP firewall a competent program or should I download ZoneAlarm?

Competent? It’s barely (not really) adequate. Better than nothing. But yes, you should definitely try Zonealarm.

Thanks Hail Ants. I’m pretty computer illiterate so I’m looking for something that’s easy to use. I know that the XP ICF won’t stop outgoing traffic, is that why you say it’s barely adequate? If so would regularly running Ad-aware solve this problem? Or are there other problems? I’m worried that trying to figure out how to use ZoneAlarm might put me in my grave.

ICF is functional, but a pain to configure. I heard that XP SP2 really improves on this problem.

I really like ZoneAlarm. It is easy enough for a novice to use. When you run an internet program for the first time, ZoneAlarm pops up a dialog box asking if you want to allow the program to access the internet. You just say yes or no.

There are several other firewall programs that are as good as ZoneAlarm.

Good point, ICF doesn’t block outgoing traffic, which I think is just as important as inbound traffic. Ad-aware won’t really solve this problem.