Well this looks great, definately got my download... what (in my opinion) is the best free antivirus, is releasing a firewall too... If you wish to try it out then then the beta version is available for download from here http://www.grisoft.com/doc/avgplusfw/lng/us/tpl/tpl01 don't think there is much more to say... everything seems to be covered below

Taken from http://www.grisoft.com/doc/191/lng/us/tpl/tpl01

New AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall will ensure your privacy and protect your data from abuse.

“We had a look at this new version and we can say that already the beta version is fully functional. We can label the AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall already as a successful security system, not only against viruses but also against hackers.” wrote Mr. Jakub Dvořák, the author of the contribution in iDnes magazine.

Ideal pair (perfect couple)

The developer, Grisoft, is fully aware that computer threats does not represent only viruses but also worms. More and more users realize the need to defend themselves from hackers and various attacks coming through the network. Computers that are not protected by a firewall are at risk that its data might be stolen by unauthorized persons. These computers are easier targets for data thieves. Combined solutions, those which include anti-virus and also firewall protection, offer better protection.

Until now, Grisoft offered anti-virus protection only. With the Firewall component, the software also checks the communication between the computer and internet or intranet. The main features of the AVG plus Firewall product are protection against unauthorized access to your computer from Internet sources, automatic AVG Firewall rules settings with configuration guide help (manual setting as an advanced option is also available), and easy control and automatic updates. The product is aimed to Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP operation systems.
Easy Installation

During the AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall installation, it is necessary to confirm the license number that is automatically inserted. The license number of the beta version is valid until June 15, 2005. In case you already have an AVG product installed, you must enter the new license number manually otherwise you will not be offered to install the firewall. The beta version license number can be found at the Grisoft web site. If you use firewall integrated in Windows XP, you will be notified that the installation will turn it off. Grisoft recommends switching off any other firewall product being currently used. After the installation, it is necessary to restart your computer.
First configuration of the firewall

In the first stage, the system learns of applications currently installed on your PC. The predefined mode differs from the manual one only in the possibility to choose which disks needs to be scanned. You cannot choose files or folders only.

Based on the explored disk content the guide offers you a list of system applications and protocols of your PC. For the selected items of the list, a new rule will be created. The rule will define a way for the application to communicate over the network. If you are not sure what services you should create the rules for, please continue. The guide will choose the ones that are necessary. Or, you can define your own list according to the service name and its description. We recommend choosing and keeping just the services you really use.

Config Int
AVG Firewall Configuration Interface

As a next step, you should define which application needs to access the network. The list is predefined again. It includes applications that AVG knows and considers them as harmless and even necessary for communication over the network.

When clicking on “Next” and then “Finish”, the settings will be submitted and the system will automatically restart.
Which applications should communicate over the network and which should not?

In case you did not uninstall AVG, after the restart a new window is displayed. You are lead through the final phase of the product setting in your system (you should not forget to update your data).

Some users may be surprised that some previously working applications are not required to work now. This is what happens when you try it immediately. But as you launch these applications, the AVG Firewall window opens and informs you that the application is trying to communicate within the network. You are asked whether to permit that communication. If you authorize it and do not want the firewall to ask you for permission again next time, you will have to confirm this choice as a rule. When you select “Show details”, you receive more details about the application. Information such as the address that would like to communicate with your computer, its connection type or direction are displayed.
Advanced configuration of the firewall

The AVG Firewall is accessible as a component of the AVG Control Center. By the firewall option, there are three buttons available. The first one can immediately disable PC communication with the network. The second is for AVG Firewall configuration and the third one shows,the state of the AVG Firewall. The most important settings are under the second button, as the rules are configured here. The rules are specified in a detailed way. For every application, it is possible to set exactly how to communicate over the network and which protocols to use. This will be surely appreciated by system administrators.

Control Center
AVG Control Center - access to the main AVG components, including AVG Firewall

Event Logging might also be very helpful, which records AVG Firewall events. It displays transparently which applications were permitted and which were denied.
What is the new AVG actually like?

Even though the product is still in beta, we can already speak of this security system as maximum protection against viruses and also from hackers. The integrated Firewall component should be maximally easy to handle, being suitable for users who do not understand or do not want to understand the processes of communication between their computer and the network. This is mainly accomplished with the help of a rules guide, but some users might still have doubts when deciding whether a communication is desirable or not. Not even talking about opening a certain port, where the application communicates. Users that are not very computer savvy usually rashly enable communication, which results in practical dysfunction of the firewall. It might be useful to create a list of the most common and “safe” applications – but this is a problem of all personal firewalls, not only AVG Firewall. It would also be very beneficial to provide users with documentation.

In case you are an AVG satisfied user, than the AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall could be interesting to you. The only question still is the license policy of the new product…

The translation of an article released on 28. April, 2005 was approved by its author Jakub Dvořák.