One way of protecting yourself is, of course, through the use of antivirus program. 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 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
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.
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
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
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.