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best free firewallThe Internet is a dangerous place. Viruses, worms, Trojan Horses – there seems to be all manner of threats just waiting to spring on your computer and cause trouble.

One way of protecting yourself is, of course, through the use of antivirus program 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed Read More . An antivirus can detect a problem and quarantine the file which is attempting to infect your system. However, antivirus programs can’t catch everything, and they don’t monitor your network connection for unauthorized attempts to access your computer.

That is the job of firewall What Is The Definition Of A Firewall? [Technology Explained] What Is The Definition Of A Firewall? [Technology Explained] Read More software. When combined with an antivirus program, firewall software can provide excellent protect against a wide range of threats. Let’s take a look at three best free firewall programs which will help you protect your Windows 7 PC.

Comodo Internet Security

best free firewall

Comodo has long been considered one of the best free firewall tools available. Comodo is now a full Internet security company providing many for-pay solutions, but they still provide a comprehensive free Internet security suite (with firewall) which has been given a five-star rating from CNET. Comodo technically includes an antvirus and a firewall, and the antivirus is quite good. Of course, it is up to you if you want to actually keep the antivirus protection active or you choose to just use the firewall.

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Comodo has many advanced features which can help protect your computer if malware does become active on the system. This includes the ability to lock down specific files and registry keys. Comodo also has received praise for being relatively light on system resources, which is commendable for any free product. This makes it the best free firewall for computers which are older and sometimes struggle running firewall programs.

Be aware that Comodo does install the Ask.com toolbar by default, but you can opt out if you desire.

PC Tools Firewall Plus Free Edition

best free firewall

A powerful firewall capable of providing excellent protection for your computer, PC Tools Firewall Free Edition offers a focused feature set well suited for tackling network security issues.

PC Tools Firewall Free Edition has been praised for its great interface which makes it relatively easy to use compared to other free firewalls. Many users have found that the PC Tools Firewall is easier to install than other options and that it has a low rate of false positives, an annoying trait which plagues some free firewalls. PC Tools Firewall also received a four star rating from CNET, placing it just behind Comodo.

PC Tools Firewall will ask to install Spyware Doctor, a free anti-malware program. Spyware Doctor is not a third party program but rather another program made by PC Tools. It is competent, but the free version isn’t a replacement for antivirus software. Overall, PC Tools is a great choice for users who have been confused by firewall interfaces in the past.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

best free firewall

ZoneAlarm was one of the first free firewalls available for Windows computers. It has a long history of providing great protection against numerous types of threats. While the basic functions of ZoneAlarm remain the same as ever, ZoneAlarm has been refined significantly over the years.

The free version of ZoneAlarm has many advanced features, such as automatic Wi-FI security, anti-phishing protection, and behavioral threat detection. Many of these extra features are not really the responsibility of a firewall, but it is always nice to have extra protection. The core firewall features of ZoneAlarm Free remain strong, prompting a five-star review from CNET. The outbound protection is cited as being particularly strong. Outbound protection helps ensure that malware attempting to relay data from your computer to another computer will not be allowed to function

ZoneAlarm can appear a be daunting, but it provides the best overall firewall protection and is a good choice for advanced users.

Which is your favourite firewall program? Why is it better than the ones listed here? Tried any of the apps above? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  1. Viking
    June 28, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I hadn't heard anything either. Which is why I made note of my experience and did not make an accusation, only an observation. If no one else sees this, must have been a coincidence.

    Perhaps it said 'monitor' and not scan. The point is, it only 'looks' or detects or acts as an indicator without taking action. But apparently it does want to take your credit card. What I do know is that after I installed it, it began to nag with popups elements at the lower right hand corner. Over the tray. No matter how I remembered the verbiage, the nag screen is enough to pass on this program.

    I am curious. Did you test this product? Did you see the nag screen?

  2. M.S. Smith
    June 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Sorry things didn't work out for you. I haven't heard anything about PC Tools being malware or ran into problems when using it on my laptop.

    I am a little confused by what you mean in regards to the scanning, though. You don't scan anything with the firewall. Are you talking about the antivirus?

  3. M.S. Smith
    June 26, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Sorry things didn't work out for you. I haven't heard anything about PC Tools being malware or ran into problems when using it on my laptop.

    I am a little confused by what you mean in regards to the scanning, though. You don't scan anything with the firewall. Are you talking about the antivirus?

  4. Viking
    June 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I installed the PC Tools product at two things happened...I had a Malware hit and had to remove it manually. Can't say for sure....but it happened just after I installed.

    But for certain, the PC Tools was nonsense. I installed, started using, within 10 minutes I started getting nag screens to upgrade saying 'we only scan, if you want to remove you gotta buy'...that sort of thing.

    Total rip off of my time and total misrepresentation of their part.

  5. Rono_solo
    June 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I have used "zonealarm" for several month it does it job quite well but i found softwarebased firewall pretty worthless.So now i decided to use some hardware based firewall.

  6. micro sd card
    June 9, 2010 at 7:37 am

    It works very well. It also automatically works well, just as a watchdog. When warned, allow or deny access to all. If you make a mistake, it is easy to measure

  7. Fred Husby
    June 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I have tried all these three and ended up buying ZoneAlarm Pro. It does the job very well. It even works well on automatic, just as a watchdog. When warned, deny or allow access, that's all. If you make a mistake, it is easy to remedy. All my votes goes to ZoneAlarm.

  8. mido
    June 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Online Armor is the best firewall.

  9. sd
    June 8, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Comodo is the Best and only one I use other than Windows firewall.

  10. Sut
    June 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Have used Comodo and PCTools firewall in the past but found Comodo to be a bit too 'noisy' and PCTools a bit basic in the information it presents to the user. Agnitum Outpost Free seems to be a perfect solution somewhere between the two and would recommend it to XP users. There is no free version for Windows 7 last time i checked.

  11. Nat Jay
    June 8, 2010 at 5:26 am

    I've been using the freeware PC Tools firewall for over a year, and it works well without the need for excessive tweaking. However, for the sake of additional security, I'm looking at the paid versions of either Outpost Pro or Comodo.

    • Alex
      June 8, 2010 at 7:24 am

      why to pay? Comodo is free as far as I know

  12. Tj
    June 8, 2010 at 1:10 am

    The windows firewall is good for keeping things out of your comp, but fails at keeping things in. Try the leak test at Gibson Security to test your setup.
    https://www.grc.com/lt/leaktes...
    Check out all the security stuff there, you may be surprised.
    I've only seen 2 firewalls pass this test, Comodo and Netveda, but I haven't tested any in 2 years. Netveda is a good firewall for old comps, using only 4mb of ram compared to Comodo's 30mb. Netveda is difficult to set up and is for 32 bit only, but will lock down your comp until you allow things to run just like Comodo.
    Netveda is never updated but it really doesn't need it. Comodo is easy to use.

  13. ezza
    June 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    The firewall that comes with windows is pretty good, what do these free firewalls have over the one thats already there?

    • Tj
      June 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      The windows firewall is good for keeping things out of your comp, but fails at keeping things in. Try the leak test at Gibson Security to test your setup.
      https://www.grc.com/lt/leaktest.htm
      Check out all the security stuff there, you may be surprised.
      I've only seen 2 firewalls pass this test, Comodo and Netveda, but I haven't tested any in 2 years. Netveda is a good firewall for old comps, using only 4mb of ram compared to Comodo's 30mb. Netveda is difficult to set up and is for 32 bit only, but will lock down your comp until you allow things to run just like Comodo.
      Netveda is never updated but it really doesn't need it. Comodo is easy to use.

    • M.S. Smith
      June 8, 2010 at 12:37 am

      Phishing protection, ability to lock down files and registry keys, network monitoring, behavioral threat detection and etc. I agree that Windows Firewall is pretty good, but I would rather use one of these programs. I also don't think the interface of Windows Firewall is very good at all.

  14. Pat
    June 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Peer Guardian 2 > all

    • M.S. Smith
      June 8, 2010 at 12:37 am

      I will check that out.

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