[Windows] Best giveaway firewall — Online Armor vs Comodo vs Privatefirewall vs ZoneAlarm vs Outpost vs TinyWall

There are dual simple components of mechanism security: anti-virus/anti-malware and firewall. dotTech has already reviewed a best giveaway anti-virus module for Windows. Now it is a spin of firewalls. Keep reading to learn about a best giveaway firewall for Windows.

[Note: All a firewalls featured in this examination are giveaway for personal and business use.]

This examination is partial of a Best Free Windows Software section. Check out some-more articles on a best giveaway Windows programs from here.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

Before we excavate into a examination of best giveaway firewall for Windows, I’d like to contend a few words.

The biggest emanate with firewalls is compatibility. Because of their inlet and design, firewalls are a form of module that might work on one mechanism yet means bluescreen of genocide on another; firewalls can dispute with other programs and if a firewall works on your mechanism or not depends on what programs we have installed. The tip four firewalls listed in this examination are all excellent. So if we find that a firewall we arrange as #1 is not operative on your computer, simply pierce down a list until we find a firewall that does work on your computer.

That said, let’s begin…

Table of Contents [Online Armor vs Comodo vs Privatefirewall vs ZoneAlarm vs Outpost vs TinyWall]

  • Best Free Firewall
  • Runner Up
  • Honorable Mention 1
  • Honorable Mention 2
  • Honorable Mention 3
  • Honorable Mention 4
  • Other Alternatives

Best Free Firewall

2013-03-24_195252Program Name: Online Armor Free

Developer: Emsisoft

Download Size: 28.8 MB

Version Reviewed: 6.0.0.1736

Supported OS: Windows XP (32-bit only), Windows Vista (32-bit only), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Pros

  • Is a two-way firewall — monitors inbound and outbound traffic
  • In further to being a firewall, has HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System) features:
    • Anti-Keylogger — identifies programs operative like keyloggers and blocks them

      • Note: Online Armor’s Anti-Keylogger does not strengthen we from keyloggers by encrypting keystrokes. It protects we from keyloggers by identifying programs that are operative like keyloggers and seeking we if we wish to retard them. So Anti-Keylogger in Online Armor does not dispute with other anti-keylogger programs that do encrypt keystrokes, like KeyScrambler. In other words, we can use KeyScrambler (or KeyScrambler-like software) and Online Armor during a same time with no conflict.
    • Program Guard — prevents programs from creation nonessential changes to your computer, accessing areas they shouldn’t be accessing, or from regulating (if a module is famous to be malicious)
      • Programs Guard has an overwhelming ‘RunSafer’ choice that allows we to force specific programs to run as a Limited User as against to as Administrator, if we are on a Windows comment that has admin access
    • Autoruns Management — scans programs/processes that automatically run during Windows and allows we to block/unblock them
    • HOSTS Protection — monitors and prevents changes to HOSTS file
    • Web Shield — blocks famous antagonistic websites/domains
      • Note: The Web Shield in Online Armor Free is opposite from a Web Shield we find in anti-virus programs, like Avast. Web Shields in anti-virus programs typically detect and retard famous antagonistic downloads/files; Online Armor’s Web Shield detects and blocks famous antagonistic websites/domains. The dual don’t conflict.
  • Helps to lessen a series of popups around a use of ‘Learning Mode’ (a mode that automatically creates manners for programs we already have commissioned before to installing Online Armor) and by automatically formulating manners for programs famous to be stable formed on a database of known, safe, and devoted programs (aka Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network)
  • Allows users to simply invalidate all HIPS facilities and usually use firewall features
    • Note: You contingency restart your mechanism after disabling HIPS features
  • Can be cue stable so that Online Armor Free settings can't be altered with a password
  • Has Tamper Protection that helps forestall malware from shutting or modifying Online Armor Free
  • Has paid versions for people that wish some-more facilities (see draft on a right for underline differences between giveaway and paid versions)2013-03-24_194255

Cons

  • No involuntary updates to newer versions of Online Armor. If a new chronicle is released, we need to manually update. If we wish involuntary updates, we need to squeeze a paid chronicle of Online Armor.

    • Note: You don’t get involuntary updates to newer versions of Online Armor in a giveaway version. However, as per my tests, in a giveaway chronicle we do get involuntary updates for things like database updates.
  • I wish there was improved pier tracking
  • ‘Advanced Mode’ (a mode that allows modernized users to take some-more control over Online Armor manners and settings) is usually accessible in a paid versions of Online Armor.
  • Does not work if we have VirtualBox installed. You need to uninstall VirtualBox and/or mislay VirtualBox Bridged Networking motorist if we wish to implement Online Armor. (Read dotTech’s how to mislay VirtualBox drivers beam if we are carrying issues.)
  • Does not work for 64-bit versions of XP and Vista. (Works for 64-bit versions of Win7 and Win8.)
  • You need to have Windows 7 SP1 commissioned to run Online Armor on Windows 7.
  • You need to make certain your mechanism is giveaway of malware before to installing Online Armor. Online Armor’s ‘Learning Mode’ (which runs a initial time we use Online Armor) is set to automatically configure firewall manners for programs we already have installed, so as to not ceaselessly prompt we with popups. If we have malware on your mechanism before installing Online Armor, Online Armor’s ‘Learning Mode’ will concede that malware to make connections.
  • When installing Online Armor Free, we are stirred to run a 30-day hearing of Online Armor Premium or squeeze a paid chronicle now. To use usually Online Armor Free (which is totally free, not a trial), we need to click on “Limited freeware version”. Don’t be duped into regulating a hearing of a paid version, if we don’t wish a paid version.2013-03-24_180251
  • The Help record is ubiquitous for all Online Armor products — it isn’t privately for Online Armor Free. So we might find a Help record articulate about/listing some facilities that aren’t in Online Armor Free.

Discussion

Trying to establish a *best* giveaway firewall for Windows is utterly a task. Not given there are no good giveaway firewalls. On a contrary, they are copiousness of glorious giveaway firewalls. Rather, anticipating a best giveaway firewall for windows is a tough charge given a) there are many glorious firewalls with identical facilities that yield identical insurance and b) firewalls tend to be picky due to harmony issues — a firewall will work on one mechanism yet a same firewall might not work on a opposite computer. After researching, reviewing, and contrast mixed firewalls, we motionless to climax Online Armor as #1 for 3 reasons:

  • Lots of facilities yet causing conflicts with other confidence programs and yet being bloated
  • Excellent insurance yet bogging down your computer
  • It works on my computer!

You might find a third reason we list above as stupid but, honestly speaking, no matter how good a firewall might be, we can't suggest it as best giveaway firewall if it doesn’t work on my mechanism (because I’m a one essay this review). I’m not condemning firewalls that don’t work on my mechanism because, as a we said, harmony is one of a biggest issues with it comes to firewalls and conflicts mostly arise due to what module we have installed; this is a ubiquitous thesis for a firewall genre of software, so it is unfit to singular out a sold module and repremand it. However, Online Armor is one of a few that we have been means to successfully run on my mechanism that gives it an advantage for a functions of these rankings.

That said, substantially my favorite underline of Online Armor is a intelligence. The developer of Online Armor, Emsisoft, has a database of known, safe, and devoted programs (“Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network”, a database that contains info about over 17 million files/programs). This database allows Online Armor to automatically emanate firewall and HIPS-related manners for programs that are famous to be stable and trusted, so severely dwindling a series of prompts Online Armor creates to a finish user. And anyone that has used a firewall before knows prompts are substantially a many irritating aspect of firewalls, so a module that does reduction prompts is one step forward of a crowd.

Of course, Online Armor’s database does not enclose information about each singular module on Windows so we will get prompts occasionally. But, while we can't quantify my results, I’ve tends to arrangement reduction prompts than your normal firewall interjection to a database.

I also like a fact that Online Armor has facilities over simple firewalling yet not so many facilities that Online Armor is magisterial or that it starts to dispute with other programs. Indeed, it is an hapless trend that firewall developers — in ubiquitous — have started to gold anti-virus/anti-malware modules with firewalls. Bundled firewall/anti-virus make it increasingly formidable for people who cite to have seperate firewall and apart anti-virus (often given a anti-virus bundled with a firewall is sub-par and unattractive while a firewall itself is glorious and desired). Thankfully, Online Armor has not left this track in their giveaway and Premium versions; Online Armor Free and Online Armor Premium are not magisterial with facilities that have no business being bundled with a firewall.

Probably a biggest emanate with Online Armor is for VirtualBox fans. Online Armor conflicts with VirtualBox’s Networked Bridge driver, so Online Armor will not implement if we have VirtualBox installed. According to Emsisoft, a error lies with Oracle; a blue shade of genocide is caused if we have Online Armor and VirtualBox commissioned given of “improper parameter validation inside a Virtual Box network motorist when releasing NDIS associated memory”. Since this error is with VirtualBox and not Online Armor, there is zero Emsisoft can do to solve a dispute solely forestall users with VirtualBox commissioned from installing Online Armor. So if we have VirtualBox commissioned currently, we will need to uninstall VirtualBox and make certain a drivers have been removed before we are authorised to implement Online Armor. If we are a doctrinaire VirtualBox fan and don’t wish to get absolved of it for Online Armor, afterwards check out a #2 collect — Privatefirewall.

Runner Up

2013-03-30_195052Program Name: Privatefirewall

Developer: Privacyware

Download Size: 3.6 MB

Version Reviewed: 7.0.29.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Privatefirewall is one of those reduction famous gems in a firewall world. It manages to container glorious protection, good performance, and a lot of facilities yet carrying a magisterial software. A 3.6 MB download for a firewall? Yes, please!

Like Online Armor, Privatefirewall has an in/out firewall and HIPS features:

  • Program monitor
  • Registry monitor
  • Process monitor
  • Email “anomaly analyzer”
  • System “anomaly analyzer”

By utilizing all these monitors/analyzers, Privatefirewall is means to brand and retard malware (viruses, spyware, rootkits, trojans, keyloggers, etc.) by monitoring behavior. Anything that behaves like malware (e.g. a module tries to entrance areas of a mechanism that unchanging programs would not access, a module tries to record keys, etc.) is flagged by Privatefirewall and possibly blocked or we are asked to retard it. The best partial is Privatefirewall is not a normal signature-based anti-virus/anti-malware; it is some-more of a function blocker, so it will work alongside your normal anti-virus/anti-malware programs.

The biggest downside to Privatefirewall is we can solely to accept a lot of prompts — or during slightest some-more prompts than Online Armor. Privatefirewall does have a “Trusted Publisher” underline that it uses to try to brand devoted programs so we aren’t prompted, yet Privatefirewall’s “Trusted Publisher” is nowhere nearby as extensive as Online Armor’s Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network.

That being said…

When doing my investigate on giveaway firewalls, we suspicion Privatefirewall would dwarf a rest. Unfortunately, when we commissioned Privatefirewall it froze my mechanism on foot each time… that creates it tough for me to arrange this firewall as #1, notwithstanding how good it sounds. Typically if a module freezes my computer, we won’t ever find me giving it a certain review. However, as I’ve mentioned mixed times already, firewalls are a bit opposite than standard programs; they are disposed to causes conflicts on a case-by-case basis. Just given a firewall does not work on one mechanism does not make it bad. Indeed, we know many people who suffer Privatefirewall yet issues; I’m usually not one of them — there contingency be something on my mechanism that Privatefirewall doesn’t like. If a same thing happens to we with Privatefirewall and we were also incompetent to get Online Armor working, it is time for we to pierce onto a subsequent firewall in a list: Comodo Firewall.

Overall, notwithstanding a fact that it did not work on my specific computer, Privatefirewall is an glorious firewall and a viable choice for anyone. Some might even contend it is improved than Online Armor, nonetheless we apparently disagree.

Honorable Mention 1

2013-03-30_222341Program Name: Comodo Firewall Free

Developer: Comodo Group

Download Size: 125 MB

Version Reviewed: 6.0.260739.2674

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

When it comes to pristine insurance and zero else, there is no firewall that beats Comodo Firewall. Period. Comodo Firewall has, for as prolonged as we can remember, been a best firewall (free and paid) out on a marketplace when it comes to protection. Between a mixed of in/out firewall, auto-sandboxing, function blocking, and other features, Comodo Firewall provides good protection.

The biggest thing holding Comodo Firewall behind is that it is so overly aggressive, it is disposed to causing bluescreen of genocide on many computers. In fact, out of all a firewalls listed here, Comodo Firewall is substantially a many scandalous when it comes to harmony issues. Combine that with a lot of prompts (despite carrying a database identical to Online Armor’s of devoted and famous programs) and many people cite to stay divided from Comodo Firewall.

Another vital emanate with Comodo Firewall is it comes packaged to a margin with crapware. The download for Comodo Firewall is 125 MB; usually 40 MB of that is a tangible firewall. The rest is Comodo GeekBuddy and Comodo Dragon, dual other Comodo module that come packaged with Comodo Firewall. Plus Comodo Firewall will steal your homepage and change your DNS to use Comodo SecureDNS, if we don’t uncheck a applicable options during installation.

Now that doesn’t meant Comodo Firewall is unfit to use. Comodo has finished prolonged strides over a past few years to make Comodo Firewall some-more user-friendly, such as introducing easy setup for beginner users and carrying a database of dual million stable programs, that helps lessen a series of times Comodo Firewall prompts you.

Overall, Comodo Firewall provides good protection. However, there are some clear drawbacks to Comodo Firewall and something we wish to cruise before jumping on-board. If we have a choice, I’d suggest Online Armor or Privatefirewall before Comodo Firewall, yet Comodo Firewall is still a viable choice for those that are interested.

Honorable Mention 2

tinywall_screenshotProgram Name: TinyWall

Developer: Károly Pados

Download Size: 1 MB

Version Reviewed: 2.0

Supported OS: Windows Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Note: .NET Framework 3.5 is compulsory to use TinyWall. Windows 7 and Windows 8 users already have it (.NET Framework 3.5 or aloft comes with Win7/Win8) yet Vista users will have to download it.

Discussion

TinyWall is not a firewall in and of itself. Rather, TinyWall is a module that utilizes Windows Firewall. The suspicion behind TinyWall is, given Vista, Windows Firewall is an adequate firewall that will work for in/out control for a normal Joe. So TinyWall builds on Windows Firewall, adding a few additional facilities (like HOSTS record monitoring and domain blacklist) yet especially permitting we some-more control over Windows Firewall.

This use-Windows-Firewall proceed may, in a eyes of some, make TinyWall reduction secure than other firewalls given of miss of HIPS yet a and indicate is TinyWall will work on roughly all Vista/Win7/Win8 machines — it doesn’t dispute (as much) as other firewalls. (TinyWall is not upheld on Windows XP given Windows Firewall on Windows XP is terrible.)

Probably a many important aspect of TinyWall is a “no prompt” approach. TinyWall will never (never) prompt with with a summary to retard something. Rather, all blocking/allowing finished by TinyWall is finished behind a scenes and we are given mixed opposite ways to block/unblock programs and processes, by a use of hotkeys and white/black lists.

Another underline we adore about TinyWall is a ability to emanate proxy firewall rules. This unequivocally helps if we are looking to exam a module or aren’t certain about a module and usually wish to temporarily give it access. we wish all firewalls had this feature.

For all intents and purposes, TinyWall is not in a same joining as a formerly mentioned Online Armor, Privatefirewall, and Comodo Firewall. After all, TinyWall is usually as good as Windows Firewall. However, TinyWall is not dictated to contest with a competition. It is here to offer a opposite form of firewall while still providing a simple firewall trade filtering necessities.

Honorable Mention 3

2013-03-30_220344Program Name: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

Developer: Check Point Software Technologies

Download Size: 34 MB (2 MB downloader, 32 MB firewall)

Version Reviewed: 11.0.000.057

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2+/Vista SP1+/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

In my book, ZoneAlarm confidence module have always been “the programs that could… yet don’t”. On paper, they demeanour good. For example, ZoneAlarm Free Firewall includes an in/out firewall, function analysis, a ability to precedence crowd-sourced information to minimize prompts, a download analyzer, and more. (Note: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall comes bundled with a toolbar it tries to install. Some facilities of a firewall are usually accessible if we use that toolbar.) However, they always spin out to have sub-par performance.

If we examination eccentric tests and feedback per ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, we will learn it is utterly leaky when compared to other firewalls. Features meant zero if they can be beat. In fact, we never would have featured ZoneAlarm Free Firewall in this examination had it not been popularly demanded. (Since when did ZoneAlarm spin so popular?! we contingency be behind a times.)

Personally speaking, we wouldn’t hold ZoneAlarm Free Firewall with a ten-foot pole. As a final resort? Maybe. But Online Armor, Privatefirewall, and Comodo Firewall blow divided ZoneAlarm Free Firewall in my book; we would always collect one of them (even Comodo Firewall) before going with ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, if we had a choice.

Honorable Mention 4

Program Name: Outpost Firewall Free

Note: Outpost Firewall Free is accessible as partial of Outpost Security Suite Free

Developer: Agnitum

Download Size: 94.7 MB

Version Reviewed: 7.1.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Anyone that has been following dotTech for a prolonged time knows Outpost Firewall Free has been a dotTech favorite for a prolonged time. So given is it positively final in a examination on best giveaway firewall for Windows? Because of dual reasons.

Firstly, Agnitum finished a hapless preference a few years ago to pause Outpost Firewall Free as a standalone product and confederate it into Outpost Security Suite Free. Many people, including my self, don’t like giveaway firewalls bundled as partial of a confidence apartment that includes normal signature-based anti-virus/anti-malware. Sure Outpost Security Suite Free is intelligent adequate to invalidate a anti-virus/anti-malware components if it detects we already have anti-virus/anti-malware on your computer, yet it is irritating to have to download a whole confidence apartment usually for a firewall… and it is tough to suggest to other people given we have to explain a whole story for them.

Secondly, and some-more importantly, Agnitum clearly no longer cares about their giveaway product offerings. Outpost Security Suite Free — and by association, Outpost Firewall Free — has not been updated given Apr 2011. Apr 2011. Two years. A confidence module that hasn’t been updated in dual years. (Agnitum is actively updating their paid programs, though.)

It would be crime for anyone to download and use Outpost Security Suite Free now. I’m usually inventory it here for comparison purposes.

Other Alternatives

  • Too many to name

<!–

There are dual simple components of mechanism security: anti-virus/anti-malware and firewall. dotTech has already reviewed a best giveaway anti-virus module for Windows. Now it is a spin of firewalls. Keep reading to learn about a best giveaway firewall for Windows.

[Note: All a firewalls featured in this examination are giveaway for personal and business use.]

This examination is partial of a Best Free Windows Software section. Check out some-more articles on a best giveaway Windows programs from here.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

Before we excavate into a examination of best giveaway firewall for Windows, Id like to contend a few words.

The biggest emanate with firewalls is compatibility. Because of their inlet and design, firewalls are a form of module that might work on one mechanism yet means bluescreen of genocide on another; firewalls can dispute with other programs and if a firewall works on your mechanism or not depends on what programs we have installed. The tip four firewalls listed in this examination are all excellent. So if we find that a firewall we arrange as #1 is not operative on your computer, simply pierce down a list until we find a firewall that does work on your computer.

That said, lets begin

Table of Contents [Online Armor vs Comodo vs Privatefirewall vs ZoneAlarm vs Outpost vs TinyWall]

  • Best Free Firewall
  • Runner Up
  • Honorable Mention1
  • Honorable Mention 2
  • Honorable Mention 3
  • Honorable Mention 4
  • Other Alternatives

Best Free Firewall

2013-03-24_195252Program Name: Online Armor Free

Developer: Emsisoft

Download Size: 28.8 MB

Version Reviewed: 6.0.0.1736

Supported OS: Windows XP (32-bit only), Windows Vista (32-bit only), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Pros

  • Is a two-way firewall monitors inbound and outbound traffic
  • In further to being a firewall, has HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System) features:
    • Anti-Keylogger identifies programs operative like keyloggers and blocks them
      • Note: Online Armors Anti-Keylogger does not strengthen we from keyloggers by encrypting keystrokes. It protects we from keyloggers by identifying programs that are operative like keyloggers and seeking we if we wish to retard them. So Anti-Keylogger in Online Armor does not dispute with other anti-keylogger programs that do encrypt keystrokes, like KeyScrambler. In other words, we can use KeyScrambler (or KeyScrambler-like software) and Online Armor during a same time with no conflict.
    • Program Guard prevents programs from creation nonessential changes to your computer, accessing areas they shouldnt be accessing, or from regulating (if a module is famous to be malicious)
      • Programs Guard has an overwhelming RunSafer choice that allows we to force specific programs to run as a Limited User as against to as Administrator, if we are on a Windows comment that has admin access
    • Autoruns Management scans programs/processes that automatically run during Windows and allows we to block/unblock them
    • HOSTS Protection monitors and prevents changes to HOSTS file
    • Web Shield blocks famous antagonistic websites/domains
      • Note: The Web Shield in Online Armor Free is opposite from a Web Shield we find in anti-virus programs, like Avast. Web Shields in anti-virus programs typically detect and retard famous antagonistic downloads/files; Online Armors Web Shield detects and blocks famous antagonistic websites/domains. The dual dont conflict.
  • Helps to lessen a series of popups around a use of Learning Mode (a mode that automatically creates manners for programs we already have commissioned before to installing Online Armor) and by automatically formulating manners for programs famous to be stable formed on a database of known, safe, and devoted programs (aka Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network)
  • Allows users to simply invalidate all HIPS facilities and usually use firewall features
    • Note: You contingency restart your mechanism after disabling HIPS features
  • Can be cue stable so that Online Armor Free settings can't be altered with a password
  • Has Tamper Protection that helps forestall malware from shutting or modifying Online Armor Free
  • Has paid versions for people that wish some-more facilities (see draft on a right for underline differences between giveaway and paid versions)2013-03-24_194255

Cons

  • No involuntary updates to newer versions of Online Armor. If a new chronicle is released, we need to manually update. If we wish involuntary updates, we need to squeeze a paid chronicle of Online Armor.
    • Note: You dont get involuntary updates to newer versions of Online Armor in a giveaway version. However, as per my tests, in a giveaway chronicle we do get involuntary updates for things like database updates.
  • I wish there was improved pier tracking
  • Advanced Mode (a mode that allows modernized users to take some-more control over Online Armor manners and settings) is usually accessible in a paid versions of Online Armor.
  • Does not work if we have VirtualBox installed. You need to uninstall VirtualBox and/or mislay VirtualBox Bridged Networking motorist if we wish to implement Online Armor. (Read dotTechs how to mislay VirtualBox drivers beam if we are carrying issues.)
  • Does not work for 64-bit versions of XP and Vista. (Works for 64-bit versions of Win7 and Win8.)
  • You need to have Windows 7 SP1 commissioned to run Online Armor on Windows 7.
  • You need to make certain your mechanism is giveaway of malware before to installing Online Armor. Online Armors Learning Mode (which runs a initial time we use Online Armor) is set to automatically configure firewall manners for programs we already have installed, so as to not ceaselessly prompt we with popups. If we have malware on your mechanism before installing Online Armor, Online Armors Learning Mode will concede that malware to make connections.
  • When installing Online Armor Free, we are stirred to run a 30-day hearing of Online Armor Premium or squeeze a paid chronicle now. To use usually Online Armor Free (which is totally free, not a trial), we need to click on Limited freeware version. Dont be duped into regulating a hearing of a paid version, if we dont wish a paid version.2013-03-24_180251
  • The Help record is ubiquitous for all Online Armor products it isnt privately for Online Armor Free. So we might find a Help record articulate about/listing some facilities that arent in Online Armor Free.

Discussion

Trying to establish a *best* giveaway firewall for Windows is utterly a task. Not given there are no good giveaway firewalls. On a contrary, they are copiousness of glorious giveaway firewalls. Rather, anticipating a best giveaway firewall for windows is a tough charge given a) there are many glorious firewalls with identical facilities that yield identical insurance and b) firewalls tend to be picky due to harmony issues a firewall will work on one mechanism yet a same firewall might not work on a opposite computer. After researching, reviewing, and contrast mixed firewalls, we motionless to climax Online Armor as #1 for 3 reasons:

  • Lots of facilities yet causing conflicts with other confidence programs and yet being bloated
  • Excellent insurance yet bogging down your computer
  • It works on my computer!

You might find a third reason we list above as stupid but, honestly speaking, no matter how good a firewall might be, we can't suggest it as best giveaway firewall if it doesnt work on my mechanism (because Im a one essay this review). Im not condemning firewalls that dont work on my mechanism because, as a we said, harmony is one of a biggest issues with it comes to firewalls and conflicts mostly arise due to what module we have installed; this is a ubiquitous thesis for a firewall genre of software, so it is unfit to singular out a sold module and repremand it. However, Online Armor is one of a few that we have been means to successfully run on my mechanism that gives it an advantage for a functions of these rankings.

That said, substantially my favorite underline of Online Armor is a intelligence. The developer of Online Armor, Emsisoft, has a database of known, safe, and devoted programs (Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network, a database that contains info about over 17 million files/programs). This database allows Online Armor to automatically emanate firewall and HIPS-related manners for programs that are famous to be stable and trusted, so severely dwindling a series of prompts Online Armor creates to a finish user. And anyone that has used a firewall before knows prompts are substantially a many irritating aspect of firewalls, so a module that does reduction prompts is one step forward of a crowd.

Of course, Online Armors database does not enclose information about each singular module on Windows so we will get prompts occasionally. But, while we can't quantify my results, Ive tends to arrangement reduction prompts than your normal firewall interjection to a database.

I also like a fact that Online Armor has facilities over simple firewalling yet not so many facilities that Online Armor is magisterial or that it starts to dispute with other programs. Indeed, it is an hapless trend that firewall developers in ubiquitous have started to gold anti-virus/anti-malware modules with firewalls. Bundled firewall/anti-virus make it increasingly formidable for people who cite to have seperate firewall and apart anti-virus (often given a anti-virus bundled with a firewall is sub-par and unattractive while a firewall itself is glorious and desired). Thankfully, Online Armor has not left this track in their giveaway and Premium versions; Online Armor Free and Online Armor Premium are not magisterial with facilities that have no business being bundled with a firewall.

Probably a biggest emanate with Online Armor is for VirtualBox fans. Online Armor conflicts with VirtualBoxs Networked Bridge driver, so Online Armor will not implement if we have VirtualBox installed. According to Emsisoft, a error lies with Oracle; a blue shade of genocide is caused if we have Online Armor and VirtualBox commissioned given of crude parameter validation inside a Virtual Box network motorist when releasing NDIS associated memory. Since this error is with VirtualBox and not Online Armor, there is zero Emsisoft can do to solve a dispute solely forestall users with VirtualBox commissioned from installing Online Armor. So if we have VirtualBox commissioned currently, we will need to uninstall VirtualBox and make certain a drivers have been removed before we are authorised to implement Online Armor. If we are a doctrinaire VirtualBox fan and dont wish to get absolved of it for Online Armor, afterwards check out a #2 collect Privatefirewall.

Runner Up

2013-03-30_195052Program Name: Privatefirewall

Developer: Privacyware

Download Size: 3.6 MB

Version Reviewed: 7.0.29.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Privatefirewall is one of those reduction famous gems in a firewall world. It manages to container glorious protection, good performance, and a lot of facilities yet carrying a magisterial software. A 3.6 MB download for a firewall? Yes, please!

Like Online Armor, Privatefirewall has an in/out firewall and HIPS features:

  • Program monitor
  • Registry monitor
  • Process monitor
  • Email curiosity analyzer
  • System curiosity analyzer

By utilizing all these monitors/analyzers, Privatefirewall is means to brand and retard malware (viruses, spyware, rootkits, trojans, keyloggers, etc.) by monitoring behavior. Anything that behaves like malware (e.g. a module tries to entrance areas of a mechanism that unchanging programs would not access, a module tries to record keys, etc.) is flagged by Privatefirewall and possibly blocked or we are asked to retard it. The best partial is Privatefirewall is not a normal signature-based anti-virus/anti-malware; it is some-more of a function blocker, so it will work alongside your normal anti-virus/anti-malware programs.

The biggest downside to Privatefirewall is we can solely to accept a lot of prompts or during slightest some-more prompts than Online Armor. Privatefirewall does have a Trusted Publisher underline that it uses to try to brand devoted programs so we arent prompted, yet Privatefirewalls Trusted Publisher is nowhere nearby as extensive as Online Armors Emsisoft Anti-Malware Network.

That being said

When doing my investigate on giveaway firewalls, we suspicion Privatefirewall would dwarf a rest. Unfortunately, when we commissioned Privatefirewall it froze my mechanism on foot each time that creates it tough for me to arrange this firewall as #1, notwithstanding how good it sounds. Typically if a module freezes my computer, we cannot ever find me giving it a certain review. However, as Ive mentioned mixed times already, firewalls are a bit opposite than standard programs; they are disposed to causes conflicts on a case-by-case basis. Just given a firewall does not work on one mechanism does not make it bad. Indeed, we know many people who suffer Privatefirewall yet issues; Im usually not one of them there contingency be something on my mechanism that Privatefirewall doesnt like. If a same thing happens to we with Privatefirewall and we were also incompetent to get Online Armor working, it is time for we to pierce onto a subsequent firewall in a list: Comodo Firewall.

Overall, notwithstanding a fact that it did not work on my specific computer, Privatefirewall is an glorious firewall and a viable choice for anyone. Some might even contend it is improved than Online Armor, nonetheless we apparently disagree.

Honorable Mention 1

2013-03-30_222341Program Name: Comodo Firewall Free

Developer: Comodo Group

Download Size: 125 MB

Version Reviewed: 6.0.260739.2674

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

When it comes to pristine insurance and zero else, there is no firewall that beats Comodo Firewall. Period. Comodo Firewall has, for as prolonged as we can remember, been a best firewall (free and paid) out on a marketplace when it comes to protection. Between a mixed of in/out firewall, auto-sandboxing, function blocking, and other features, Comodo Firewall provides good protection.

The biggest thing holding Comodo Firewall behind is that it is so overly aggressive, it is disposed to causing bluescreen of genocide on many computers. In fact, out of all a firewalls listed here, Comodo Firewall is substantially a many scandalous when it comes to harmony issues. Combine that with a lot of prompts (despite carrying a database identical to Online Armors of devoted and famous programs) and many people cite to stay divided from Comodo Firewall.

Another vital emanate with Comodo Firewall is it comes packaged to a margin with crapware. The download for Comodo Firewall is 125 MB; usually 40 MB of that is a tangible firewall. The rest is Comodo GeekBuddy and Comodo Dragon, dual other Comodo module that come packaged with Comodo Firewall. Plus Comodo Firewall will steal your homepage and change your DNS to use Comodo SecureDNS, if we dont uncheck a applicable options during installation.

Now that doesnt meant Comodo Firewall is unfit to use. Comodo has finished prolonged strides over a past few years to make Comodo Firewall some-more user-friendly, such as introducing easy setup for beginner users and carrying a database of dual million stable programs, that helps lessen a series of times Comodo Firewall prompts you.

Overall, Comodo Firewall provides good protection. However, there are some clear drawbacks to Comodo Firewall and something we wish to cruise before jumping on-board. If we have a choice, Id suggest Online Armor or Privatefirewall before Comodo Firewall, yet Comodo Firewall is still a viable choice for those that are interested.

Honorable Mention 2

tinywall_screenshotProgram Name: TinyWall

Developer: Kroly Pados

Download Size: 1 MB

Version Reviewed: 2.0

Supported OS: Windows Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Note: .NET Framework 3.5 is compulsory to use TinyWall. Windows 7 and Windows 8 users already have it (.NET Framework 3.5 or aloft comes with Win7/Win8) yet Vista users will have to download it.

Discussion

TinyWall is not a firewall in and of itself. Rather, TinyWall is a module that utilizes Windows Firewall. The suspicion behind TinyWall is, given Vista, Windows Firewall is an adequate firewall that will work for in/out control for a normal Joe. So TinyWall builds on Windows Firewall, adding a few additional facilities (like HOSTS record monitoring and domain blacklist) yet especially permitting we some-more control over Windows Firewall.

This use-Windows-Firewall proceed may, in a eyes of some, make TinyWall reduction secure than other firewalls given of miss of HIPS yet a and indicate is TinyWall will work on roughly all Vista/Win7/Win8 machines it doesnt dispute (as much) as other firewalls. (TinyWall is not upheld on Windows XP given Windows Firewall on Windows XP is terrible.)

Probably a many important aspect of TinyWall is a no prompt approach. TinyWall will never (never) prompt with with a summary to retard something. Rather, all blocking/allowing finished by TinyWall is finished behind a scenes and we are given mixed opposite ways to block/unblock programs and processes, by a use of hotkeys and white/black lists.

Another underline we adore about TinyWall is a ability to emanate proxy firewall rules. This unequivocally helps if we are looking to exam a module or arent certain about a module and usually wish to temporarily give it access. we wish all firewalls had this feature.

For all intents and purposes, TinyWall is not in a same joining as a formerly mentioned Online Armor, Privatefirewall, and Comodo Firewall. After all, TinyWall is usually as good as Windows Firewall. However, TinyWall is not dictated to contest with a competition. It is here to offer a opposite form of firewall while still providing a simple firewall trade filtering necessities.

Honorable Mention 3

2013-03-30_220344Program Name: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

Developer: Check Point Software Technologies

Download Size: 34 MB (2 MB downloader, 32 MB firewall)

Version Reviewed: 11.0.000.057

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2+/Vista SP1+/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

In my book, ZoneAlarm confidence module have always been a programs that could yet dont. On paper, they demeanour good. For example, ZoneAlarm Free Firewall includes an in/out firewall, function analysis, a ability to precedence crowd-sourced information to minimize prompts, a download analyzer, and more. (Note: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall comes bundled with a toolbar it tries to install. Some facilities of a firewall are usually accessible if we use that toolbar.) However, they always spin out to have sub-par performance.

If we examination eccentric tests and feedback per ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, we will learn it is utterly leaky when compared to other firewalls. Features meant zero if they can be beat. In fact, we never would have featured ZoneAlarm Free Firewall in this examination had it not been popularly demanded. (Since when did ZoneAlarm spin so popular?! we contingency be behind a times.)

Personally speaking, we wouldnt hold ZoneAlarm Free Firewall with a ten-foot pole. As a final resort? Maybe. But Online Armor, Privatefirewall, and Comodo Firewall blow divided ZoneAlarm Free Firewall in my book; we would always collect one of them (even Comodo Firewall) before going with ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, if we had a choice.

Honorable Mention 4

Program Name: Outpost Firewall Free

Note: Outpost Firewall Free is accessible as partial of Outpost Security Suite Free

Developer: Agnitum

Download Size: 94.7 MB

Version Reviewed: 7.1.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Anyone that has been following dotTech for a prolonged time knows Outpost Firewall Free has been a dotTech favorite for a prolonged time. So given is it positively final in a examination on best giveaway firewall for Windows? Because of dual reasons.

Firstly, Agnitum finished a hapless preference a few years ago to pause Outpost Firewall Free as a standalone product and confederate it into Outpost Security Suite Free. Many people, including my self, dont like giveaway firewalls bundled as partial of a confidence apartment that includes normal signature-based anti-virus/anti-malware. Sure Outpost Security Suite Free is intelligent adequate to invalidate a anti-virus/anti-malware components if it detects we already have anti-virus/anti-malware on your computer, yet it is irritating to have to download a whole confidence apartment usually for a firewall and it is tough to suggest to other people given we have to explain a whole story for them.

Secondly, and some-more importantly, Agnitum clearly no longer cares about their giveaway product offerings. Outpost Security Suite Free and by association, Outpost Firewall Free has not been updated given Apr 2011. Apr 2011. Two years. A confidence module that hasnt been updated in dual years. (Agnitum is actively updating their paid programs, though.)

It would be crime for anyone to download and use Outpost Security Suite Free now. Im usually inventory it here for comparison purposes.

Other Alternatives

  • Too many to name

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