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Product: Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0
Company: Symantec
Website: http://www.symantec.com
Estimated Street Price: $49.95
Review By: Julien JAY

Advanced Features

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Features
3: Advanced Features
4: Conclusion

Norton Personal Firewall allows advanced & expert users to define advanced options such as the authorized HTTP ports, the firewall rules and much more… Users are guided step by step to create new rules and when a rule alert appears when for example you try for the first time to update your Microsoft Money online financial data users are prompted to create a new rule for this event in order to prevent the alert to be redisplayed each time they use Money. Concerning the updates Norton Personal Firewall 2.0 should be updated on a regular basis in order to make sure you’ve got the latest protection rules, etc. So it comes with a one year of free updates subscription. After that you’ll have to pay the sum of $6.95 to renewal your subscription.

Report Features

Norton Personal Firewall will report in a very accurate & complete window all your Internet security statistics: connection speed, number of inbound/outbound permitted and blocked accesses, packets processed, bytes sent and received and more! Best of all it'll track every Internet connection, every visited website, every program that uses Internet such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Money and much more… It's really good to see that a firewall can monitor that way your internet connection and your internet's use to keep stats about it! The log windows of Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 keeps track of all the events that occur when you're using the firewall: blocked websites, permitted network communication, program that attempt to use your connection, etc. are logged as shown below (you’ll be able to print the logs). 

Norton Personal FireWall Logs (click to enlarge) Norton Personal FireWall Statistics (click to enlarge)

Is it useful?

Norton Personal Firewall 2000 2.0 is not a “BluffWare”: it really works and protects your computer from all the internet threats. It’s not a ‘NoBo’ like program… All Internet users, from the cool surfer to the passionate one, should use it. You can try it for free at http://www.symantec.com/trial.

Real Tests

To ensure that Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 is a high quality product, we tested it by connecting a machine to the Net and trying to hack it using various methods. The first thing we noticed is that Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 really monitors every of your current running software that may access the internet connection without your knowledge and alert you. Indeed we've seen that Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 may tries to connect to the net to check for updates without you even asked it to do so: in that case Norton asks you what to do and if it should permit or not this network communication. We repeated the test with Napster (here if someone is trying to pickup a MP3 file on your computer Norton Personal FireWall gives you an alert asking what to do), PC-Cillin (viruses updates), Copernic 2000 Pro, CuteFTP 4, FrontPage 2000, and many other software like the MSN Zone games  (chess, checkers, etc.) and Norton Personal FireWall each time warns us about the fact that a software is trying to use our connection. Sure you can create rules that will always authorize this network communications in order to avoid multiple alerts. Wide used and safe recognized programs like AOL 5.0 are instantly recognized and Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 automatically creates a rule to allow every connection using AOL.  Concerning the hack problem the first thing we have tested is a basic treat: we enable the Windows Folders sharing feature and we attempted to connect to the machine using its IP address and the name of the shared folder: when we tried to pick up a file or to remove one on the Norton protected PC, we were instantly alerted about the fact that someone was trying to access the computer (sure you can decide to authorize or not this communication). Then we tested Norton Personal Firewall with serious tools that serious hackers used to pirate a computer. We first ping our Norton Protected PC using BO2k and the software displays a security alert on the remote PC that prevent us to reach it. Every security alert event is logged in a text file you can later consult. However we regret that you can't know the IP address of the machine that tried to ping you. Using Trojans horses programs like SubSeven, Backdoor we were unable to access the Norton protected PC as Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 always detect our numerous attempts to hack it. Last thing we did is to test the firewall with some programs that aren't malicious ones but that require an internet connection to display advertisement banner: for PKZip we were instantly alerted as well as for DAP (Download Accelerator Plus). However this wasn't the case for FileFerret a freeware that displays ads: however the treat isn't harmful so we don't blame Norton Personal FireWall to not alert users for this outbound. Finally at the privacy level we were impressed by the Norton Personal Firewall 2000 2.0 ability to really protect our privacy by blocking some cookies, hiding email address, etc. Using this features and by completing the data to protect form we were able to access almost all our usual websites we like except one. If you asked Norton Personal Firewall to protect your phone number and if you type it in a web form to send it over the net you'll receive an alert asking what to do. In conclusion our test results are more than good and show that Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 has got a very good built engine and that its sensibility isn't too marked in order to avoid annoying user by detecting false treats. 

 

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