Please could someone explain the advantage of using Norton's Smart Firewall over Windows Firewall?
I've searched for nearly an hour and came up with very little info.
Thanks for any help
Easiest way to tell you the difference, with hitting you with lingo and jargon is:
Microsoft Firewall (you didn't say which version) in XP defends you with your traffic coming from the web but doesn't protect what is sent to the internet. In Win Vista/.7 - the firewall protects both up and down stream traffic from the internet. If you don't run any other firewall software then Microsoft and experienced users will recommend you turn this on. The main difference is the Windows Firewall is like a starter edition. It doesn't have features or capabilities of a 3rd party product like Norton, Mcafee and others. If you have 7 you should also consider if you do not plan to buy or get for free any anti-virus and other protection software that you get as part of security suite like Norton Internet Security 2012 to download Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and that Windows Defender is also turn on and kept up to date.
Norton can be viewed as a more powerful firewall software. It gives you the ability to adjust many more settings in your firewall defense and if you don't feel comfortable you can leave the software in the automatic mode and it will do all the work for you in the background.
You can get by with the Microsoft products only but they will not be fast or easy to make small changes to a small program. Also they don't always get update immediately when a new problem has been discovered. I am not a Norton salesperson, but you should buy a 3rd party solution which will do a much better job of protecting your computer, but not everyone can afford the cost and that is where Microsoft offers you a basic/starter with its software (most of which use to be sold as a retail program). However watch sale papers as they will (depending on where you live) offer sales where you might get a good discount on the software.
Did that help?
Thanks for the reply.
Besides default outbound protection, and automatic rules creation, does Norton's Firewall provide any additional security features that you won't find in Win7's Firewall?
The Norton Smart Firewall integrates with other components of Norton Internet Security. The firewall's Automatic Program Control is able to consult the local Norton trusted file database, as well as the antivirus engine, if necessary, for whatever information it may need in order to determine the legitimacy of any program that is requesting network access. Additionally, the Smart Firewall is employed by the Norton Network Security Map to enforce the Map's network and device trust levels, which control the communications that your computer has with other devices on your local network. Those are two advantages that the Norton Smart Firewall would offer..
If you are using WIndows 7, the Windows Firewall will be totally disabled whenever a third-party firewall, such as Norton's, is installed. This is a Windows feature that prevents the accidental running of two firewalls at the same time. Therefore, should you wish to use the Windows Firewall you would need use a security program that did not include its own firewall, such as Norton Antivirus. If you have Norton Internet Security installed, the only way to use the Windows FIrewall would be to remove NIS completely.
Thank you! Exactly the info I was looking for, much appreciated .
Thanks also to TheSaber007 for your help .
No prob glad to help.
[Edit: Removed a potentailly malicious link to conform with the Participation Guidelines and Terms of Service]