Saftware firewalls are not a replacement for a REAL firewall. SonicWall, Linksys, Sysco, and netgear are all pretty good. But to bypass a software firewall, all a hacker really needs is better software.
In a lot of respects that is true, a software firewall may or may not do enough.
Windows Firewall (which came with the Windows XP Sp2 upgrade) doesnt do the job at all when it comes to anything going outbound from your computer. (Not that it does much catching stuff coming inbound either)
Thats kind of why I'm looking at Untangle, it gives someone that ability to build their own firewall and install the software to it. (Plus it does a lot more as well)
I use AVG when I fix a friend's computer who is too tight to purchase anti-virus software and they somehow get a virus. It's easy to download the latest version and then install it on their computer. However, when new viruses that make the news come out (like MyDoom was at one time), I have found AVG to be one of the slower ones to come up with the preventative / innoculator / restorer fixes and upgrades to the software. It is almost as if they wait for McAfee or Norton to develop the fix and reverse engineer the fix that McAfee and Norton developed and then apply it to their software.
You are right about windows firewall, it is useless. I may have to check out 'comodo' one day. I have used Zone Alarm ever since BlackIce went to 'payware'. BlackIce, to me was the same level of protection but less taxing on computer resources.
Is opera totally independent now? I remember at one time, older versions of Opera and Neoplanet used common files from Internet Explorer to make a 'lite' browser.
I used to use all those things before I got a mac mini, and for the past 9 months I've done absolutely nothing, no scans, no virus/spyware updates, no crashes, no nothing.
And it's pretty nice~used to feel that all the scanning was about all I got done with the computer, now it's just boringly reliable.
One of the things I've noticed is with the PC magazines (of which I was a subscriber) the issues tended to deal with handling problems, and the mac magazines just deal with how to play with stuff:dance:
<<sorry, I used to get tired of the mac/linux guys over at another forum go on and on, you know how it is with converts >>
Macs are nice, they are less of a target because there are fewer of them. If the userbase was larger, then they would be just as vulnerable, especially since most people that use them don't bother with some of the "basic" neccessities of protection.