Re: Norton Smart Firewall vs Windows Firewall
06-25-2012 12:03 PM
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?