I have Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS) installed on my system. I always keep it disabled, yet using a few practices, I kept my system virus free for years:
- I disabled autorun using these tricks;
- I installed the freeware Panda USB Vaccine;
- Every time I get a new file from the web or by other means, I run KIS on it. When in doubt, I check it using VirusTotal.com. If still in doubt, I run it via Sandboxie;
- I keep my Windows & other software updated.
- I enabled Windows Firewall.
Believe me or not, these simple tricks made my system 100% immune against malware.
However, while keeping KIS disabled frees the system of performance degradation, there is one drawback: Programs can freely access the web.
I need a lightweight firewall (for Windows XP) which does not have any extra features; that is, it only controls the connection. There are many free/commercial firewalls, like Comodo, ZoneAlarm, Outpost, Privatefirewall, etc., but they have a lot of extra features, like Application Integrity Check and other application controls (whether an app can create/terminate process, can use interprocess communication, can setup hooks, etc.).
To sum up:
I need a lightweight firewall which is capable of setting what apps can access what ports/protocols/etc., but does not bother me with other application checks.
Edit: Anyone has experience with Jetico Personal Firewall? It seems to be very lightweight (the installer package is about 3.5 MB). I recall an older version once ruined my XP and I had to reinstall it. Yet newer versions might have come with bugfixes.