I've been using ZoneAlarm for awhile now and it seems to get the job done.

However about 48 hours ago I downloaded and installed Tiny Firewall and have been playing with it. It appears that setting up filter rules is part skill and part magic and that rules must be prioritized into a special "pecking" order. Unfortunately the manual does not provide enough information.

Through some experimentation by rearranging certain items in the filter rules you can range from a constant barrage of messages asking to create more rules to locking up any program that accesses the internet to a near standstill. It seems that some catch all filters that 'deny' need to be at the bottom the pecking order to prevent the slow downs.

When installing Tiny Firewall you get 5 pre-assigned filter rules and if you are on a LAN the manual suggests adding a sixth to protect your NETBIOS.

There are some programs?/users? like the 'SYSTEM' and the 'kernel' that try to access certain ports. Should the rules on these be set as deny always or permit always or something in between?

These are just a few of my observations that have come with a lot of tinkering.

Does anyone know of any web sites that provide further information on Tiny Firewall or have any personal experience they can share? It would be much appreciated.

Presently it seems that I have the beast relatively tamed but I have a gut feeling that I have too many rules trying to block out phantoms.