after reading the article about no more support for Sygate i then saw some suggestions for some other free firewalls.
i first downloaded Tiny Personal Firewall. i could tell right away that i wasn't going to like it. and after playing with it for a while i found out i was right.
so i then tried NetVeda. now this is a nice program. very simple user interface, nothing fancy. and much less obtrusive than Sygate is. i'm surprised i've never come across this program before.
plus it is not a resource hog like programs such as zonealarm.
here's a few links to it: