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Firewall Software is the first line of defense against the both inbound and the outbound threats. Firewalls can protect your system against many threats that your Antivirus may miss.
Windows has an inbuilt Firewall since the release of Microsoft Windows XP in 2001. It did provide basic protection against network threats but was not very configurable. In Windows Vista, Microsoft released a much better and configurable firewall built on their advance Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) technology.
The Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) is an API toolkit provided by Microsoft itself that can be used by companies to create network filtering products for Windows Operating System. Starting from Windows Vista, the Windows Firewall component included in all of the Microsoft operating systems, based on the Windows Filtering Platform technology.
Most of the software that Microsoft ships with Windows are not that best in their field. They only have the basic settings and provide basic protection. But that is not the case with Windows Firewall Program. It is a very competent program. However, if you are looking for something more user-friendly interface and more enhanced protection and customization then you need to look at the third-party firewall software.
Comodo Free Firewall is known for providing a strong multi-layer protection for Windows PCs against many internet threats. Even if you are ok with Windows Firewall, you can use Comodo only for the additional tools that it provides along with the main firewall component such as Sandbox, HIPS, File Rating Tool, etc.
In Comodo Free Firewall, along with the Firewall and Website Filtering features, you get many other great security components that provide a strong protection to your computer, these components are – VirusScope Behaviour Blocker, Defense+ HIPS, Sandbox Virtualization, File Rating Cloud Protection, and Comodo Secure DNS.
All of these features are categorized in four sections – General Tasks, Firewall Tasks, Containment Tasks, and Advanced Tasks. Additional computer security tools such as Comodo Rescue Disk Creator, Comodo Cleaning Essentials, and Rating Scan are also included in this software. Another nice feature is the password protection that protects Comodo and its settings from malicious programs that try to change settings or disable the security software installed the computer. Four themes are available that you can use to customize Comodo Firewall.
It does include some third-party services (addons) in its installer that make changes to the default configurations of your web browsers. Make sure you clear those checkboxes while installing Comodo.
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ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is the oldest, the most popular, and the most downloaded free firewall software available for Windows OS.
ZoneAlarm protects your system or PC against threats by using their technologies in the following three sections – Firewall, Application Control, and Identity and Data.
The Firewall section handles the incoming connection protection of your computer or the traffic coming from the Internet to your system. It filters the harmful traffic automatically to protect your computer from getting hacked and other malware attacks. You can also change the Firewall security level by changing the Public Zone and Trusted Zone settings.
The Application Control section handles the outbound protection of your system or the connections made from programs from your computer to the Internet. ZoneAlarm manages this section automatically. However, you can create your own set of rules and policies as well. ZoneAlarm uses their two advance technologies called Network firewall and DefenseNet to make this feature work.
The Identity & Data section protects your important personal data through their feature called myVault, which lets you securely store your important text data such as Passwords, Bank Account Numbers, Social Security Numbers, etc. Another feature called Trusted Sites lets you manually add websites that you think are safe to visit, and do not want ZoneAlarm to block them.
Keep in mind, during installation, it tries to set Yahoo as the default search, homepage, and new tab page of your web browsers. Also occasionally, you will see ads of their paid products.
Evorim Free Firewall is a lightweight and full-featured firewall software that can also work alongside the Windows in-built Firewall to provide you with a much better protection against harmful programs and malicious websites.
Evorim imports all of the installed programs and services on your computer, and then categories them into various groups such as Active and Inactive. It uses a unique concept of color codes to differentiate between different types and groups of programs and services.
It works in two modes – Credulous and Paranoid. In the Credulous Mode, all of the applications for whom the user has not set any kind of rules, are permitted to connect to the Internet. In the Paranoid Mode, all of the applications for whom the user has not set any rules, will get blocked from connecting to the Internet. There is another option called Blockade, which completely disabled the internet connection on the system.
Evorim Free Firewall does not have pro or a paid version, so you do not get any banner and buttons asking you to upgrade to the premium security. It’s a clean looking program overall.
As it name says, simplewall is a lightweight, and straightforward rule-based firewall software for Windows PCs. It works on top of the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP). It is also available in the Portable mode as well.
It’s not a real-time monitoring firewall software. In fact, it is a rule-based Windows Firewall fronted. Because it does not support the real-time monitoring of processes and services.
you do not get the HIPS type popups and alerts from this firewall about programs or services trying to connect to the Internet.
It works with the help of a Blocklist and Rules. The developer has his own Blocklist rules that blocks the Windows Telemetry from connecting to the Internet, and sharing user data with Microsoft. It has predefined System rules for various software. There is also support for Custom rules as well through the Rules editor option. Two types of rules can be created in this software– Global and Special. The Global rules are applied to all of the programs and services whereas the Special rules are applied to the specific manually selected programs.
You can also create your own rules for the various programs, and set actions like Allow or Block in either of the directions, Inbound or Outbound. The Rule editor also let you specify Network Protocols and Ports. These Custom rules can be used along with the System own rules.
simplewall is a free and open source software that comes without any ads, promotions, or adware.
Windows Firewall Control extends the functionality of the Microsoft Windows Firewall by acting on top of it. Windows Firewall Control application is much more usable, user-friendly, and feature-rich version of the Windows Firewall. It lets the user have more control over the programs and services that connect to the Internet.
Windows Firewall Control lets its users configure the Firewall-related settings in these three sections – Profiles, Rules, and Security.
Under the Profiles section, there are total four filtering modes are available – High Filtering, Medium Filtering, Low Filtering, and No Filtering. Filtering is the sensitivity level of the Firewall measuring how much aggressively it going to filter network traffic. The next important section is Rules, which lets you configure settings for both, the Outgoing and the Incoming network connections. You can also Import or Export the Windows Firewall rules, or reset them to their defaults if you want to. The Security section gives you some great advanced security settings such as Secure Boot, Secure Rules, and Secure Profile.
You can also create your own rules for specific software. These rules can easily be locked by password, protecting the program.
Windows Firewall Control is great for those users who want the security and feel of a great premium firewall software.
but don’t want the impact that these software can have on their systems due to their continuous monitoring of processes and network traffic (like high processor and RAM usage).
Windows Firewall Control runs only essential services and processes, hence it does not affect the overall system performance.
There are no ads or third-party PUPs bundled in the installer. The program interface does not show any promotions or ads.
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