A lot better. A hell of a lot better. Saying that, a firewall is not necessarily the most fundamental piece of security software (that has to be AV, in which NOD32 and Avast are the kings). If you'd like Kerio, get it quickly. The free version is available until the end of the year, though updates will continue for 12 months after that. A good alternative is Sygate Personal. Or, if you're willing to pay, Outpost is reckoned by those who know to be the most powerful firewall short of a hardware NAT firewall.