There are many tools out there to help you manage your firewall’s operations, but there aren’t too many free ones. Putting a list together may help you contrast and compare the decent programs that are out there.
In this article, I am going to cover the top free firewall operations management tools, detailing their key features and where to find them.
Last month, Matt wrote about The Three Best Free Firewalls for Windows. The three firewall programs he wrote about are definitely worth revisiting and are a good starting point for this list. Since they were covered previously, I will only briefly cover them here.
Comodo, always a popular choice among our readers (see ’08 poll), has merged its antivirus program with Firewall Pro, creating a free security program for everyone. If you are only interested in the firewall (or antivirus), the installer does let you opt out of either of the components.
PC Tools Firewall Plus is a powerful personal free firewall that protects your computer from hackers and intruders. It can stop Trojans, backdoors, and keyloggers from damaging your computer and stealing your private information.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is an excellent tool for replacing the default Windows firewall. It’s always among the top 1 or 2 rated firewall programs and includes better outbound protection, antiphishing guards, and ZoneAlarm’s behavioral detection network.
Ashampoo FireWall Free is an easy-to-use program that lets users control and prevent unwanted connections to the Internet. It has a tabbed interface that is easy to navigate and comes readily configured.
The program provides automatic notifications when an app attempts to connect to the Internet and gives you the power to block or allow such actions. You can also go in and add rules for programs manually, along with viewing connection stats and logs.
With the Internet Cleaner feature, you can erase evidence of Internet activity as well.
Online Armor has all of the normal features of a firewall, but it also comes with a keylogger guard, tamper protection, script and worm protection, and autostart protection. It can defend you from a wide range of attacks, which can be pretty useful.
The program installs incredibly fast, and offers many initial settings and configurations during the start-up wizard so you can be all set right from the beginning.
Next up on the list is Outpost Firewall. This program offers many advanced features that you would usually only find with commercial software, including proactive protection against malware, control over installed applications’ activity, illegal termination prevention capabilities, policy correction for popular applications, and real-time network statistics.
Filseclab Personal Firewall Professional Edition is another great free firewall. It can block most attacks from worm viruses and Trojans, as well as some main Adware and Spyware.
It supports real-time monitoring, interactive rules creation, password protection, logging, live updates, and privacy protection. Windows Security Center integration, including balloon message alerts, are also among its unique features.
If you’re looking for a replacement for the default Windows firewall, there are a lot of great, free alternatives available to you. While features may vary, you will find that all of the programs mentioned are more than capable of handling all of your firewall needs.
What do you think of the list? Did I miss any great firewall apps? Leave your thoughts, ideas, and opinions below!
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