HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FIREWALL?
One of the main reasons for installing personal firewall software is to help protect against remote intrusion as well as outgoing attempts. Learn what type of software you need before implementation and what kind of traffic verification you should perform.
#1. ZoneAlarm PRO FirewallEDITOR RATING: excellent
Protect yourself with the best multi-layered firewall technology around. Simple to install (step-by-step installation wizard gets you up and running in minutes). Easy to use (comes with default security settings for "out-of-the-box" protection).
Can be a little bit confusing for the beginner if the right options are not chosen during installation.
In spite of a few annoying features, the program is by far the most reliable protection you can get. This useful software also blocks and detects the latest attacks. Includes site status and anti-phishing option.
Compatible with anti-virus software
Stops online threats
The latest release improves the operating system firewall and applies more robust spyware detection and removal functions.
- Prevents intrusions with professional-grade firewall
- Quarantines suspicious attachments
- Maps your wireless home network
- Wireless PC protection
- License can be used on up to three PCs
- AlertAdvisor helps you by automatically setting program access rights for you
- Includes an antivirus scanner and new antispyware tools
- Robust firewall with lots of new features
Best of all, fully compatible with major antivirus software and Windows operating systems. Besides, ZoneAlarm Pro's documentation is well organized, making it easy to find answers fast.
Overall, ZoneAlarm Firewall 2013 Pro is a great product that will keep your computer safe from intrusions and online Internet threats.
The following requirements are recommended for the best performance levels: 250MB of available hard-disk space. Microsoft IE 7 above. All Windows versions.
Hard Drive Requirements
Most Laptop and Desktop computer PCs are supported. The current edition needs 100 MB of free hard disk space.
Enables to control all incoming traffic. HTML authentication. 8.17MB
Capable of detecting and blocking common attacks. Offers various statistics.
Protection against cross-site scripting, SQL injection and buffer overflows.
Designed to detect open relays. 2.05MB
#2. Panda Global Protection 2013EDITOR RATING: very good
Designed for home and small office settings, this suite (identity protection, anti-spam filter, etc) provides a reliable solution to intrusion prevention and a personal firewall for individual PCs.
In testing, Panda detected only up to 92% of threats; however, it scored best against rogue programs (adware, trojan, etc) with 100 percent detection.
The latest edition offers a new and intuitive interface. Capable of working on a 64-bit Windows system including daily updates. It is well worth the investment.
Includes 2GB online storage
Technical support 24x7x365
In addition, this application constantly adapts its behaviour based on network traffic analyses in order to build the best defence for your computer and keep your system running smoothly. Finally, the firewall component is identical to the optional firewall in Panda's antivirus.
The backup option is unchanged since last year's edition. Moreover, Panda Global Protection 2013's parental control system approaches the better standalone products.
The program comes with file encryption and a shredding module. Available for monitoring sensitive data. It also protects you immediately upon installation.
It may not have all the features of other security suites out there, but it works well without slowing down your PC. Simple to use and deploy, this current version also has been tested by independent certification bodies.
Windows 7, XP and Vista (32-bits and 64-bits). Firefox 2 or above; Internet Explorer 6.0 or above and Chrome.
USB port. Pentium 300 MHZ or faster. 275 MB free space (hard disk).
Is able to protect against know and unknown threats by separating applications.
This INternet proxy prevents misuse of the Web resources.Browser based customisable GUI
Offers a database of safe applications. Free to try. 2.29MB
Customizable options. Capable of controlling which programs are accessing the Internet
#3. F-Secure Internet SecurityEDITOR RATING: very good
The advanced firewall provides a complete and easy-to-use protection against Internet threats. Ensures good protection against all new external attacks. Clean user interface. Phone support available. Enhanced anti-spam tool. Helps you stay free from spam email.
Parental control and phishing protection are weak. There is room for improvement here. Supports Firefox and Internet Explorer, only.
Like most of its competitors, the program provides the maintenance free, easy-to-use solutions for computer security and virus protection that you need in order to ensure safe and easy online surfing. Receives high scores from independent experts.
Detects and removes rootkits
Today, many computers around the world are still unprotected against threats spreading through the Internet. You can keep your private data to yourself with the personal firewall that stops hackers from breaking into your computer.
Its system modification allows you to block a program. Besides, F-Secure offers a good defence rate against malicious programs from the Internet.
On top of the protection found in the standalone edition, F-Secure DeepGuard, a new technology, constantly monitors the heart of your computer, ensuring that no malicious programs can take over your computer. It filters unwanted spam and phishing attempts from your email. The installer gives an option to choose from F-Secure Internet Security 2013 or F-Secure Anti-Virus installation.
On the plus side, F-Secure Internet Security is a good personal firewall protection software. It includes an antivirus and an improved anti-spyware. However, some of the components, such as its antispam performance, is actually not as good.
Disk Space: 600 MB during installation. Capable of running Windows 7 or Windows Vista. RAM: 1GB recommended.
English, Dansk, Deutsch, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski... Covers installation on up to 3 PCs
Can be added to other 3rd-party VPN gateways and be used as a gateway. 10.28MB
Allows LAN traffic and blocks all outgoing packets. File size: 803.4KB
Protection to stop intruders and malicious network traffic.
Checks each TCP connections requests. 456.12KB
#4. ESET Smart Security 6EDITOR RATING: very good
Protects you from viruses, worms, spyware, and all Internet threats; also blocks spam and includes a personal firewall. The best way to constantly monitor and defend your PC from internet attacks.
Anti-spam protection could be better, as compared to suites from other security product vendors.
Light on system resources, it combines multiple layers of detection protecting you from Internet threats. Offers three security modes to choose from, depending on your security preferences.
It analyzes each application behaviour and detects any suspicious activity before allowing Internet access. The program may consume up to 20MB of RAM when running a deep scan.
ESS builds upon the latest version of the company's NOD32 ThreatSensescanning engine by augmenting it with firewall and spam filtering. This being said, it also shows IPv6 addresses and allows users to create rules for them.
It is now possible to scan incoming emails and block access to infected files. The updates all went smoothly after re-starting.
A little more expensive than other programs, but well worth the extra money. When compared to other popular downloads, the latest version of ESET really does the job. Overall, reliable protection without slowing down your PC with minimal resource usage. Great product.
Before performing a real‐time protection check, it is mandatory to disable the firewall. As a result, unspecified connections will be blocked by the program.
Windows 7, Vista: 1 GHz 32-bit-64-bit. Minimum 512 MB RAM of system memory. Minimum 130 MB available space.
Ability to stop over 2,000 types of intruder activities. 6.39MB
Kerio WinRoute Pro
All-in-one olution for small to mid-sized businesses. Available in multiple languages
Filter for TCP/IP protocol. Version 1.0
Capable of creating multiple pricing for users. Includes control console
#5. Norman Personal FirewallEDITOR RATING: good
The program starts operating as soon as it is installed. It defends your computer or laptop against most intrusion techniques used by intruders.
Does not report Web-based exploits. Unable to detect all leak tests. Parental control module is not so good. The program may not be best for beginners.
Lists each application and process that has active connections. It also protects your system against spyware and other threats.
Web Traffic Scanning
Trial version available in multiple languages
An online help provides information on interface, settings, and functionality. Norman Firewall is available for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of operating systems. Note: You must uninstall any other firewall software on your computer and reboot before using the Norman Personal Firewall.
Full support for TCP/IP connections
Free tools available: special program to clean SinowalMBR rootkit from infected computers can be downloaded from their site.
Please note that after completing the firewall set up, the program may crash. The error message is: ModVer: 7.0.2600.2180 Offset. From control panel, run the command "bypass:beginner"
Contents blocking based on specific rules
At last, you can specify whether you want well-know applications to be created automatically when they are required for the first time.
Available as a standalone firewall. Toll free number: customer support : $20 per incident
Spotify (digital music service) does not work when Norman Personal Firewall is on. Patch available from their Website.
Three levels of protection are available. 3.56MB
Protects registry from being modified by malicious software. 22.9MB
Offers inbound and outbound protection. 4.33MB
Offers authentication to your network traffic. 1.43MB
#6. Net Firewall 2012EDITOR RATING: good
An effective solution for protecting your system or local network from external and internal threats and malicious acts without limiting network capabilities. Only the data permitted by the security policy in use are passed along.
As the previous versions, online documentation is weak. Links broken.
As noted, Net Firewall controls inbound and outbound network traffic ensuring that the final destination of each connection is valid; however, the program has some flaws: unable to block exploits.
Custom filter rules
Complete stateful firewall
All packets are blocked in emergency level, regardless of security rules in use. Ability to monitor activity at the transport driver interface.
Not very effective
In terms of features, the latest version of Net Firewall is a decent program, although there are certainly better ones. However, you can hide or show the management console on program starts. And it runs at a level below the TCP-IP protocol stack as IP packet filters.
Easy to use Interface
NeT Firewall implements a complete network traffic monitoring cycle on your system as well as viewing and sorting traffic. The current version allows enabling and disabling access to your personal computer resources, such as files and printers, mail services and web server.
Processor: 450+ MHz Pentium-based platform. 100 MB of available disk space
450MHz CPU. 256 MB of RAM and 100 MB of available hard disk space .
Compatible with Symantec, Avast and McAfee. No SocksCap required
Ability to detect all code intrusions and attacks. 2.21MB
Allows to restrict access to the Internet. Version 4.11
The port scanner can be used to scan your computer system. 2.03MB
#7. Rising Firewall 2011EDITOR RATING: good
Designed to protect your computer from online attacks, Rising firewall alerts you to all events without the hassle of being prompted to monitor your PC's traffic. It starts running in the background and provides an additional layer of security.
Configuring the options may take a while. Can be slightly difficult for those who do not know what to do. Administrative privileges required.
The program uses fewer resources than most known firewalls.
ARP spoofing defence
Integrated Trojan shield
IE Function Call Interception
There are many ways in which a user can find protection. Designed to protect your computer from online attacks. Tailored to provide effective protection against Internet threats and unwanted programs, Rising Firewall also supports multiple users.
You can bind a gateway to your MAC Address. This will add the specific address to the fixed ARP rules and avoid spoofing attacks. Best of all, you can change the setup later.
In addition, you can create a program that enables you to install the latest edition at any time.
In conclusion, you can choose a pre-defined security policy through the rule set. This means that each entry can be associated with specific rule. By default, the software is set to update automatically. All network connection are controlled and monitored. Ability to track the suspicious intruder in LAN.
CPU:P3 500 MHz or higher. RAM: 256 MB or above.
Windows 7 Firewall
Prevents unwanted incoming and outgoing activities. From SphinxSoftware
Protection from ARP spoofing attack. File size: 1.72MB
Anti NetCut 3
Anti spoofing technique. Runs in the back ground
Offers multiple protection layers for the desktop. 4.1MB
#8. Outpost Firewall ProEDITOR RATING: fair
Designed specifically to monitor incoming and outgoing packets, Outpost 7.0 offers an automatic update function and stops malicious software. The version is available in both paid and freeware versions.
Web-based protection not as powerful as that of the full Norton suite. May erroneously identify very obscure utilities as risky.
The latest version 7.0 offers a line of defence against malicious software by controlling each application.
Activity tracker in real time
Thanks to the two-way firewall, Outpost 7.0 is able to monitor each inbound and outbound connection and prevents unauthorized remote network access. It can also detect most spam messages with minimal false positives. Supports all popular versions of Windows.
The proactive protection module proactively defends your computer against the majority of intrusion techniques. Includes an automated definition of security configuration and other utilities. Compatible with mobile broadband devices.
It monitors all the network traffic and prevents any attempted intruder attacks from outside. You can also list all local events currently in the system from the control panel.
Lastly, Outpost Firewall Pro from Agnitum enables you to control its behaviour when your computer starts up. It runs invisibly in the background. Designed for more experienced users, beginners may want to choose a less complex firewall to begin with.
32-64-bit All Windows. 450 MHz or faster CPU. Multi-language available: Russian, Spanish, English, Deutsch and Française.
The 64-bit edition requires a separate installation package.
You must uninstall all other firewall applications before installing Outpost Firewall.
Release date: July 14, 2011
Allows to define connection rules for each applications. Dedicated to novice and intermediate users
Version 1.1. File size: 2.01MB
Net Time System
Ability to synchronize all computers time. 2.95MB. Fom Softros Systems
Watch WAN IP
Enables to detect external IP address. Version 1.31
#9. Online Armor PremiumEDITOR RATING: fair
You can select a policy that will be applied when the program starts without your interaction. You can also start the application manually at any time.
The basic features should be more than adequate for personal computers. Keylogger protection is ineffective.
Designed to be easy to use. Includes HIP (Host-based Intrusion Prevention) functions. Protects from and keylogging and phishing techniques.
Light on system resources
Online help file
Developed by Emsisoft, each module is easy to configure while system resources remain within normal limits. However, you have to restart your computer to fully enable Online Armor.
The latest version utilizes the Online Armor Software Information Service (OASIS) to provide complete protection making the program easier to use and enhancing protection.
Before running a software, Online Armor checks whether it recognizes the program as trusted or not trusted.
On April 4, 2012, the program still had several flaws. Not recommended!
Windows 7 and XP versions. 512 MB RAM. 20 MB hard disk space
Does not support the following versions: Windows XP, Vista 64 and 98/ME
Offers SMTP mail server and socks server support. 582K
Each rule is based on port and IP address. Real-time connection monitoring
Runs on wireless and VPN as well. No simultaneous connections allowed.
Allows to control which users can access on a local computer. 1.53MB
#10. BitDefender 2013EDITOR RATING: fair
BitDefender Internet Security 2013 allows you to keep your Facebook social life safe from online threats. Each action is recorded. Works silently in the background.
Installation may take about 40 minutes. Upper toolbar issues.
The product operates in game mode and offers an antispam module to automatically bounce junk mail. However, during our online tests BitDefender failed to block injection attacks.
Multiple scan levels
The Auto Pilot mode allows you to block anything suspicious on your system. This new feature also manages automatic updates including firewall protection. In addition, you can see a history of actions achieved by Bitdefender by opening the events window from your main console.
Important: the program regularly sends reports containing information about how you use it to the company's servers. As always, you can deactivate this option anytime.
From the setting window, you will be able to manage and configure firewall rules and monitor network activity. It automatically scans incoming and outgoing e-mails and web traffic.
As an alternative, the previous 2011 version is still a good program.
Minimum System Requirements
Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (32-bit). 1.8 GB available free hard disk space.
.NET Framework 3. Internet Explorer 7 or higher. Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher.
You must register your product by entering a valid license key.
Nihuo Web Log Analyzer
Server log analyzer. Schedule and attack reports. Version 4.09
8Signs for Servers
Rules based firewall. 30 day trial. File size: 5576KB
HIPS with default deny protection. Ssuitable as for beginners as for experienced users.
Ability to select several applications. HIPS technologies
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