Just a general question.
I only just began using Vista... seeking YOUR opinions here...

lately I've been using mostly: FireFox, uTorrent, DownLoad Accelerator, and HTML tidy for any "work" I do (nothing heavy).
On a wireless (unsecured) network (shared across a whole house of apartments). It's not my router, but I'm invited to use the signal.

What is a good (free) FireWall? (I've always used ZoneAlarm)
---any known troubles with Zone Labs?
what're YOUR opinions? good? bad? ugly?
(any OTHER good free-ware that you'd recommend?)

Right now I have installed on it: SpyWare Terminator and it's integrated AntiVirus 'ClamAV'
also, I activated it's "WebSite Monitoring" facet.

again, ---any KNOWN troubles with SpyWare Terminator?
(and or it's sub-parts AntiViral, WebMonitor)
and--- YOUR opinions? good? bad? or ugly?
(any other good (free) substitutes that YOU like?)

Since I AM "just beginning" to use Vista, are there any other GENERAL security and setup/protection/backup issues that are TOPS on your minds? (that I might NOT understand 'till too late) If so, please just list them or point me to areas to look at/consider.

I already try to maintain any "important" information OFF the main hard drive, so, ultimately if I lose the main H.D. (to hardware failure or infection) I just reinstall the O.S. and off I go...

Thank you for your consideration.
Happy Wednesday

Opinion on Firewall: ZoneAlarm is generally heavy on resources (at least it has been while I was using it) and has really poor security(the free edition that is). Best free firewall that I was using was Comodo Personal Firewall.
AV: Avira was always very good to me and to my PC in general.
Currently I'm using ESET Smart Security, and I'm very satisfied with it (it is not free tho, but they have a trial-offer I think). ClamAV? Uninstalled it the same second as it claimed that my application (that I made with vb.net 2005) is a trojan lol. But that was way back.
OTHER APPS: Google Chrome as Web-Browser (very cool piece of app), Free download manager, NetWorx (Bandwidth watching), Foxit Reader (for PDF Files), K-Lite Codec Pack...
well... that's it...

commented: rapid fire list of ideas- what I wanted +1

I like Avast for anti-virus and Zonealarm for Firewall, but lately I've been using Comodos security suite. It's free and from everything I've read (and seen) Comodos firewall is on par or better than zone alarm and the anti-virus seems to do pretty well too.

commented: Obviously very experienced, kind and helpful +1

Spyware doctor from PC Tools as Anti Spyware , AVG or NOD 32 anti virus.

commented: kindly gave his own experience +1

Tank You people, I shall check these titles out.

(hookdevil) Yah, I bought Zone Alarm a while back, I'm just USED to it. And always liked how it worked myself. But it doesn't stop me from using a good or BETTER freeware version if it's "there". I don't mind that it's a resource hog, in fact, for the act of downloading questionable software, that's just fine. Just downloaded Google Chrome. Speaking of questionable software... along these same lines, I know that when I was using JUST XP, I'd set Symantec Corp A/V to check compressed files down to 4 levels--- because the default setting was 3, and I assumed that any hacker that'd put a virus INTO a piece of software would bury it at LEAST 4 levels deep (since the default WAS "3") any thoughts on THAT aspect (for Vista A/V virus protection)? if it's an unfair question I'll repost it as an antivirus problem... if not ... just "discuss openly" .

I'll leave this question open 'till tomorrow afternoon in case other opinions collect here. then close.

But thanx for the leads you've IMMEDIATELY given me!
very much.

still learning how to work THIS SITE, so, if I'm doing anything improper please let me know how "things" should be done.

many thanx

right now I'm thinking hook devil pretty much covered my question the best. giving me a lot to check out. I'm looking up points assignment now, to see if there are rules for it...

Okay, the "rules" didn't mention anything and I'm thinking I'm re-opening the problem to get into the virus-depth-directory thing... I'll close it in a couple hours, if anyone ELSE does wish to comment feel free. I shall close it in an hour or 2. with many thanx.

Okay, the "rules" didn't mention anything about points, and I'm thinking I'm re-opening the problem to get into the virus-depth-directory thing... I'll close it in a couple hours, if anyone ELSE does wish to comment feel free. I shall close it in an hour or 2. with many thanx.

The reputation system at Daniweb is pretty casual, Give points for any post you feel is thoughtful and informative enough to deserve it. You'll never get penalized for being too giving of it, the only place you might need to worry would be in giving negative feedback too aggressively.

On the scan depth issue I have a couple thoughts:
1. The more steps down you go the less files are compressed that far. Most of the files will be compressed in the first three so the ones in the 4+ wont add much of a load to the scan.

2. You're point about a thoughtful virus writer going four down to avoid the defaults, but on top of that a lot of software that you would find is compressed when you download it. If somebody has a virus in the third level of compression and then that program is in a zip/rar file or on an ISO image that makes it four. Anybody who's actually thinking about these settings probably has their system set up in a way that it would scan again when you decompress or run the archive but it's better not to let it get that far.

HookDevil, that installer program sounds pretty cool. Interesting problem (it's beyond me) but very NEAT "thing" to have.

I read you (olycomp)

I use Firefox, Freedownload manager (Have integrated torrent ability)

On security:
Avast Home,
COMODO Firewall

commented: Kindly contributed His Own experience +1

Thank You, evstevemd. Now, I am going to try to close this properly AND assign points, I want to thank you ALL----------------- all of you. Happy Wednesday (night)!