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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.

Review Date: 2014/09/01

#1. Panda Global Protection 2015

EDITOR RATING: excellent
$35.00

Pros

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.

Cons

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 Verdict

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.

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Features

Behavior analysis

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.

Shared Extras

The backup option is unchanged since last year's edition. Moreover, Panda Global Protection 2014'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.

Final Verdict

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.

Specs Data

Details

Windows 7, XP and Vista (32-bits and 64-bits). Firefox 2 or above; Internet Explorer 6.0 or above and Chrome.

Technical Requirements

USB port. Pentium 300 MHZ or faster. 275 MB free space (hard disk).

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DefenseWall



$39.95

Is able to protect against know and unknown threats by separating applications.

SafeSquid



$200.00

This INternet proxy prevents misuse of the Web resources.Browser based customisable GUI

pcInternet Patrol



$59.95

Offers a database of safe applications. Free to try. 2.29MB

SensiveGuard



Free

Customizable options. Capable of controlling which programs are accessing the Internet

Review Date: 2014/09/01

#2. ZoneAlarm PRO Firewall

EDITOR RATING: very good
$29.95

Pros

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).

Cons

Can be a little bit confusing for the beginner if the right options are not chosen during installation.

The Verdict

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.

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Features

Compatible with anti-virus software

Frequent updates

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.

Specs Data

Details

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.

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Fastream Proxy



$95.00

Enables to control all incoming traffic. HTML authentication. 8.17MB

iolo Personal



$39.95

Capable of detecting and blocking common attacks. Offers various statistics.

ServerDefender



$649.95

Protection against cross-site scripting, SQL injection and buffer overflows.

RelayTest Pro



$29.95

Designed to detect open relays. 2.05MB

Review Date: 2014/08/01

#3. F-Secure Internet Security (2014)

EDITOR RATING: good
$41.99

Pros

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.

Cons

Parental control and phishing protection are weak. There is room for improvement here. Supports Firefox and Internet Explorer, only.

The Verdict

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.

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Features

Facebook privacy checking

Browsing time limits

Advanced online safety

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.

Effectiveness

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 2014 or F-Secure Anti-Virus installation.

Bottom Line

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.

Specs Data

Details

Disk Space: 600 MB during installation. Capable of running Windows 7 or Windows Vista. RAM: 1GB recommended.

Available languages

English, Dansk, Deutsch, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski... Covers installation on up to 3 PCs

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Katana Configuration



$49.99

Can be added to other 3rd-party VPN gateways and be used as a gateway. 10.28MB

TinyWall



Free

Allows LAN traffic and blocks all outgoing packets. File size: 803.4KB

nDispatcher 1.3



Free

Protection to stop intruders and malicious network traffic.

AS3



Free

Checks each TCP connections requests. 456.12KB

Review Date: 2014/07/08

#4. ESET Smart Security 6

EDITOR RATING: good
$59.99

Pros

Protects you from viruses, worms, spyware, and all Internet threats; also blocks spam and includes a personal firewall. Malware protection included. The best way to constantly monitor and defend your PC from internet attacks.

Cons

Anti-spam protection could be better, as compared to suites from other security product vendors.

The Verdict

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.

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Features

Intelligent firewall

Cloud-based detection

ThreatSense technology

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.

Performance

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.

Conclusion

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.

Specs Data

Notes

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.

System Requirements

Windows 7, Vista: 1 GHz 32-bit-64-bit. Minimum 512 MB RAM of system memory. Minimum 130 MB available space.

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D-Guard Anti-DDoS



$350.00

Ability to stop over 2,000 types of intruder activities. 6.39MB

Kerio WinRoute Pro



$149.00

All-in-one olution for small to mid-sized businesses. Available in multiple languages

IPfilter



Free

Filter for TCP/IP protocol. Version 1.0

HandyCafe



Free

Capable of creating multiple pricing for users. Includes control console

Review Date: 2014/07/09

#5. Norman Safeground (Personal Firewall)

EDITOR RATING: fair
$65.46

Pros

The program starts operating as soon as it is installed. It defends your computer or laptop against most intrusion techniques used by intruders.

Cons

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.

The Verdict

Lists each application and process that has active connections. It also protects your system against spyware and other threats.

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Features

Web Traffic Scanning

Simple configuration

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.

Specs Data

Details

Available as a standalone firewall. Toll free number: customer support : $20 per incident

Note

Spotify (digital music service) does not work when Norman Personal Firewall is on. Patch available from their Website.

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Jetico Personal



$39.95

Three levels of protection are available. 3.56MB

AVS



Free

Protects registry from being modified by malicious software. 22.9MB

NetVeda Safety



Free

Offers inbound and outbound protection. 4.33MB

Securepoint



Free

Offers authentication to your network traffic. 1.43MB

Review Date: 2014/08/03

#6. Net Firewall

EDITOR RATING: fair
$49.99

Pros

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.

Cons

As the previous versions, online documentation is weak. Links broken.

The Verdict

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.

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Features

Custom filter rules

Scanning scheduler

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.

Specs Data

Details

Processor: 450+ MHz Pentium-based platform. 100 MB of available disk space

System Requirements

450MHz CPU. 256 MB of RAM and 100 MB of available hard disk space .

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PingFu UDP



$8.00

Compatible with Symantec, Avast and McAfee. No SocksCap required

XPAlert 1.47



$19.99

Ability to detect all code intrusions and attacks. 2.21MB

iNet Protector



$29.85

Allows to restrict access to the Internet. Version 4.11

Net Defender



Free

The port scanner can be used to scan your computer system. 2.03MB

Review Date: 2014/06/28

#7. Rising Firewall (TERMINATED)

EDITOR RATING: fair
$19.95

Pros

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.

Cons

Configuring the options may take a while. Can be slightly difficult for those who do not know what to do. Administrative privileges required.

The Verdict

The program uses fewer resources than most known firewalls.

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Features

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.

Firewall Status

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.

Final Verdict

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.

Specs Data

Details

CPU:P3 500 MHz or higher. RAM: 256 MB or above.

Limitations

30-day trial.

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Windows 7 Firewall



Free

Prevents unwanted incoming and outgoing activities. From SphinxSoftware

NetCut Defender



Free

Protection from ARP spoofing attack. File size: 1.72MB

Anti NetCut 3



Free

Anti spoofing technique. Runs in the back ground

Tiny Personal



$49.00

Offers multiple protection layers for the desktop. 4.1MB

Review Date: 2014/06/22

#8. Outpost Firewall Pro

EDITOR RATING: fair
$29.95

Pros

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.

Cons

Web-based protection not as powerful as that of the full Norton suite. May erroneously identify very obscure utilities as risky.

The Verdict

The latest version 7.0 offers a line of defence against malicious software by controlling each application. Including upadte and support, all year round.

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Features

Packet filtering

Activity tracker in real time

Self-protection technology

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.

Setup

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.

Summary

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.

Specs Data

Supported Platforms

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.

Note

You must uninstall all other firewall applications before installing Outpost Firewall.
Release date: July 14, 2011

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Ashampoo Firewall



Free

Allows to define connection rules for each applications. Dedicated to novice and intermediate users

PeerBlock



Free

Version 1.1. File size: 2.01MB

Net Time System



$190.00

Ability to synchronize all computers time. 2.95MB. Fom Softros Systems

Watch WAN IP



Free

Enables to detect external IP address. Version 1.31

Review Date: 2014/06/28

#9. Online Armor Premium

EDITOR RATING: fair
$40.00

Pros

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.

Cons

The basic features should be more than adequate for personal computers. Keylogger protection is ineffective.

The Verdict

Designed to be easy to use. Includes HIP (Host-based Intrusion Prevention) functions. Protects from and keylogging and phishing techniques.

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Features

Version 7.0.0.1866

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.

Key Features

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.

Summary

As of May 16, 2014, the program still had several flaws. Not recommended!

Specs Data

Recommended Requirements

Windows 7 and XP versions. 512 MB RAM. 20 MB hard disk space

Note

Does not support the following versions: Windows XP, Vista 64 and 98/ME

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Proxy+



Free

Offers SMTP mail server and socks server support. 582K

Mil Firewall



$29.90

Each rule is based on port and IP address. Real-time connection monitoring

Atelier Web



$69.95

Runs on wireless and VPN as well. No simultaneous connections allowed.

PortsLock



$50.00

Allows to control which users can access on a local computer. 1.53MB

Review Date: 2014/06/21

#10. BitDefender

EDITOR RATING: fair
$64.99

Pros

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.

Cons

Installation may take about 40 minutes. Upper toolbar issues.

The Verdict

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.

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Features

Multiple scan levels

Rescue mode

Network map

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.

New Interface

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.

Conclusion

As an alternative, the previous 2013 version is still a good program.

Specs Data

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.

Software Requirements

.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.

Compare Prices

Nihuo Web Log Analyzer



$99.00

Server log analyzer. Schedule and attack reports. Version 4.09

8Signs for Servers



$199.00

Rules based firewall. 30 day trial. File size: 5576KB

Comodo



Free

HIPS with default deny protection. Ssuitable as for beginners as for experienced users.

Privatefirewall



Free

Ability to select several applications. HIPS technologies

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