Windows free Firewalls: ZoneAlarm vs. Comodo
A few years ago, there was this little software firewall, called ZoneAlarm, that captured every Windows power-user's attention. It was easy to install and use, no need for handling complex configuration files. It even allowed to block individual programs from accessing the internet or accepting inbound connections, instead of just blocking ports, protocols, etc., like a regular firewall. And all this for free!
But as time went by, the little firewall became a big firewall, turning into a bloated, resource-hungry and slow piece of software. ZoneLabs started to bundle other products with ZoneAlarm, making it nag its users with questions about trying out the "new and improved version of ZoneAlarm", which now had anti-virus and anti-spam protection, and a bunch of other stuff that most users just wouldn't need.
Then Check Point Software bought ZoneLabs (the makers of ZoneAlarm) and... well, and basically, they killed ZoneAlarm.
What used to be a good product, is now a bloated, resource-heavy, nagging and buggy piece of software.
As anyone who knows a bit more than average about computers, some of my friends and family have always asked for my help when it came to stuff that went beyond using the mouse to perform 3 consecutive button-clicks. I used to install ZoneAlarm on their computers but as time went by, some of them started to complain that since I had installed that software on their computer, it became very slow.
This couldn't be. My reputation was on the line, so I started looking for another free Windows firewall software. It had to be as simple and easy to use as ZoneAlarm and provide the same level of protection, as well as the possibility of blocking individual applications.
I found COMODO Firewall Pro a few months ago and, so far I must say I'm quite happy with it. It has everything I expected and is way less resource-intensive than ZoneAlarm. Given that I don't use Windows for my everyday work and play, I'm not the best person to judge but all my friends and family who have been using it in the last few months say that they're quite happy with it and that they noticed the improvements in their computers' performance.
So, the conclusion: goodbye ZoneAlarm, welcome COMODO Firewall Pro.