Knowledgeable people say that an un-protected machine that is connected to the Internet can and will probably be penetrated within 72 hours or less. Without proper protection chances are you will be targeted and penetrated – even if you have nothing secret or important to hide.
That is why you MUST install and properly configure a firewall on your computer (the one that is connected to the Internet), or on a dedicated computer that will act as a dedicated firewall.
I’ve used many free/low-cost firewalls on various operating systems and different network scenarios. I’ll try to create a full section out of this page it the future, full with reviews and pros/cons for each deal. For now I’ll give you a list of links you can go through.
Note: The next firewall products are not listed in any particular order. Some of these products are free for all, some are free for home users, and others offer a shareware or limited-capability version you can download. Remember that links and product versions might change without notice. If you see a broken link or want to recommend or make a comment on one of these firewalls – please contact me via the Feedback page.
Note: I do not intend to update this page to often. I simply don’t have the time for this right now. If any of you feel that other new products should receive credit, or that listed products deserve to be deleted due to lack of functionality or discovered bugs – please mail me with the details and I’ll gladly edit the page .
Tiny Personal Firewall represents smart, easy-to-use personal security technology that fully protects personal computers against hackers. Built on ICSA-certified security technology, it is also an integral part of The Tiny Software Centrally Managed Desktop Security system selected by the US Air Force for its approximately 500,000 desktop computers.
Windows XP includes Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) software you can use to restrict what information is communicated between the Internet and your home or small office network. ICF also protects a single computer connected to the Internet with a cable modem, a DSL modem, or a dial–up modem.
Sygate Personal Firewall Pro offers unparalleled protection against malicious intrusion attempts by hackers, script kiddies, and cracks. With the combined power of bi-directional intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment, and extensive logging and forensics capabilities, you can’t find a better protection package.
VisNetic Firewall delivers protection to security-conscious professionals. More secure than the average personal firewall or application-level firewall, yet more cost effective than high-end firewalls, VisNetic Firewall provides peace-of-mind through comprehensive intrusion protection. VisNetic Firewall examines each packet being sent, inside and outside of the network to verify whether the packet is allowed or denied access through the firewall. VisNetic Firewall guards the computers of Telecommuters/Mobile Users, Windows-based Workstations, Windows-based Servers, and Business Networks.
ZoneAlarm Plus 3.1 represents the next generation of personal Internet security. ZoneAlarm Plus protects the PC from intrusions and hostile attacks by combining a personal firewall with Program Control. ZoneAlarm Plus was designed from the ground up to offer something for everyone: from “set and forget” users seeking easy, instant security, to tech-savvy users seeking powerful control and customization. ZoneAlarm Plus also offers powerful security features, intuitive support for wireless networks, and a robust user feedback and analysis engine. ZoneAlarm Plus 3.1 provides advanced program control that ‘fingerprints’ not only the applications that have been granted permission to access the Internet, but also the components of the applications at the .DLL level. This helps ensure that rogue code masquerading as a trusted application in order to gain unauthorized access cannot be inserted onto a PC.
ZoneAlarm Pro is the award-winning PC firewall that keeps your personal data and privacy safe from Internet hackers and data thieves. ZoneAlarm Pro 3.1 doubles your protection with Cookie Control and Ad Blocking for a faster, safer Internet experience. Unlike other personal firewalls, ZoneAlarm Pro includes Program Control to protect against known and unknown Internet threats. Program Control monitors all outbound traffic to prevent rogue programs from transferring your valuable data to a hacker. With ZoneAlarm Pro, you’re in control with the ability to specify which programs, known or unknown, can be trusted to access the Internet.
ZoneAlarm makes it easy. Unlike other personal firewalls, ZoneAlarm protects automatically from the moment it’s installed – no programming required. ZoneAlarm delivers simplicity without compromising your security. Getting Started tutorial explains Controls and Alerts to get you up and running quickly. And, to keep you confident that you’re always protected, intuitive color-coded alerts rate security risks – in real time.
The Outpost Personal Firewall system is the world’s most advanced firewall software for Windows. It combines power and advanced features with a remarkably easy-to-use interface. With Outpost, you’ll have: Filters the viruses, worms, and trojans out of your e-mails; Puts your computer into stealth mode, making it invisible to crackers; and blocks attacks and intrusions from hackers; Prevents sending your personal information to the bad guys; Blocks web sites’ attempts to gather information about your browsing habits; and guarantees peace of mind from invasion of your privacy through the Internet. It protects your children from illegal, inappropriate web sites; Allows businesses to control the content that is allowed to be viewed by employees; Offers complete flexibility for power users who want to fine-tune their firewall protection.
BlackICE is professional-strength protection for your PC. BlackICE PC Protection features both an intrusion detection system and a personal firewall for a one-two punch of protection. BlackICE automatically detects and blocks attacks through a comprehensive inspection of all inbound and outbound information to your computer. And BlackICE PC Protection is constantly working to secure your dial-up, DSL, and cable modem from hackers 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
When it detects an intrusion, NetWatcher alerts you immediately and provides you with all the information you need to report an intruder. NetWatcher logs the date, time, IP address, port number and host used by anyone trying to get into your system – giving you everything you need to report uninvited guests to their Internet Service Provider.
With McAfee Personal Firewall Plus you can take control of your online security. Personal Firewall Plus places a barrier between the Internet and your PC, helping to block hackers from accessing your computer and allowing you to digitally ‘fingerprint’ trusted applications. Personal Firewall Plus also gives you the unique ability to track the apparent source of an attack on a world map and obtain detailed identification information on the originating source IP address. Every time your computer is probed or attacked, you get detailed reports and clear follow-up options. Learn what happens to your PC and report hacker activity to conveniently assist law enforcement.
Which, among other features, includes the latest version of McAfee Firewall. McAfee Firewall enables you to control the communications in and out of your PC and helps keep hackers at bay. With powerful Application Control, Intrusion Detection, and easy Home Networking and Custom Rule Creation Wizards, McAfee Firewall provides essential security for your Internet connection.
Excellent virus scanner incorporating a suite of security tools, including system/e-mail/system scan, internet filter, and MacAfee firewall. this latest version also includes visual trace for finding information/troubleshooting connection problems, and quickclean lite for cleaning up unused/temporary files on your hard drive, and secure data shredding for permanently deleting files.
Symantec’s Norton Internet Security 2003 provides essential protection from viruses, hackers, and privacy threats. Included are full versions of Norton AntiVirus and Norton Personal Firewall, which efficiently defend your PC from the most common Internet dangers. You also get Norton Spam Alert to block unwanted e-mail, and Norton Parental Control to protect your children online.
Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall 2003 keeps hackers out and personal data in. Its robust defenses include intrusion detection, application control, and privacy protection in one easy program. It hides your PC from hackers, blocks suspicious incoming connections, stops malicious programs from spying on your system, and prevents confidential information from being sent out without your knowledge.
Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) is a software agent that builds a barrier between your personal computer and the Internet. KPF is designed to protect your PC against attacks from both the Internet, and other computers in the local network. KPF controls all data flow in both directions – from the Internet to your computer and vice versa, and it can block all attempted communication allowing only what you choose to permit. This makes KPF an ideal solution for notebook computers that freely travel in and out of the corporate network, facing exposure to various risks as they connect from different locations.
Network firewall for mid-sized businesses, Kerio WinRoute Pro is a robust network firewall that protects your network from hackers and Internet threats. It easily connects the network to the Internet using various access devices. Built-in mail server allows users to have their own corporate e-mail. Kerio WinRoute Pro runs on all Windows-based systems and can serve any computer (client) within the corporate network using TCP/IP regardless to whether it runs Linux, Mac OS, Unix or AS400 operating systems.
PC-cillin 2002 protects against new, unknown, and script-based viruses through enhanced antivirus scanning. PC-cillin 2002 also includes a personal firewall for secure Internet computing. With adjustable security levels, a trusted-site list, and port-blocking capabilities, PC-cillin’s personal firewall helps you keep your computer safe from malicious programs and Internet intruders.
Your permanent Internet connection can be scanned permanently from the outside. It requires a protection against Internet hackers. Look ‘n’ Stop provides a permanent and highly secured protection against Internet hackers attacks. Look ‘n’ Stop protects you against the programs like “Trojan horse” that try to transmit your personal data to the outside without your agreement.
Security Focus Online has a very good article about personal firewalls:
I will also add more pages on this topic later, when time permits.