A firewall is a kind of network security device that helps to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. It decides whether to permit or block any particular traffic depending on a defined set of security rules.
Setting up a personal firewall is the simplest way to protect one’s home network from any attack. The firewall acts as a barrier between the trusted, secured and controlled internal network and the unreliable outside network.
A firewall protects a network or network device from unauthorized access by averting traffic to or from these systems. Here, we can distinguish firewalls into two types.
Firewalls provided by the OS which are generally installed on the computer by default are also known as host firewalls. For example, the Microsoft Windows system firewall or iptables firewall by Linux systems.
The other type is network firewalls. They are devices placed in the network and are an essential component in the industrial sector, especially when they are linked to additional networks, or wired transmissions are combined with unsecure network technologies.
In such cases, the network firewall sets up the network boundary as the first line of defense against any attack and permits only desired traffic in and out of the network.
In this article, we will discuss regarding some of the top firewall softwares available in the cyber world that help us to strengthen the security of our network as well as systems. Let’s begin.
What are the top personal firewalls?
ZoneAlarm Pro acts as a first line defense for your device. In the Stealth mode, it makes your computer invisible to the hackers.
Also, ZoneAlarm blocks spyware from sending user data to the internet and helps in protecting your identity and personal information.
The advanced firewall observes behavioral patterns within the system and stops even the most sophisticated attacks if spotted, which traditional antivirus softwares can’t.
ZoneAlarm allows backing up of files and data restoration in case of any hardware malfunction.
It offers free upgrades for one year and notifies when a free new version is available. It has the provision of online customer support through forums, chats, etc 24/7.
ZoneAlarm Pro is supported on Windows 7/8/10/2000/Vista/XP. A 2 GB RAM, 2 GHz or faster processor and 1.5 GB free hard disk space are the other requirements.
ZoneAlarm Pro also provides email attachment protection and ICS/NAT support.
Bitdefender Internet Security 2019 has a compelling personal firewall which prevents malicious threats like rootkits, worms, bots, trojans, etc from entering your internet connection. It is advanced security protection for Windows computers.
Bitdefender’s firewall performs scans to check weak spots through which risks can penetrate the system. It searches for any suspicious program installed on the computer and takes actions to remove it.
Besides protecting against malware attacks, the software includes a secure browser to allow you to work online without facing cookies or spyware. However, Bitdefender is not suitable for Android phones or Apple tablets.
Intego Mac Premium bundle comes with a variety of packages for Mac systems to offer security and protection. It helps in protecting sensitive data, as well as prevents anti-malware or anti-phishing attacks.
It also provides firewall protection and parental control for blocking apps.
In its Mac Internet Security X9 package, it offers the firewall feature with real-time protection and automatic scans. It is very user-friendly and secures the device from unknown systems or threats.
It also provides antivirus protection to Mac systems against Mac OS, OS X, and Windows malware.
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus monitors your connection (broadband, dial-up, or wireless) constantly and averts undesired traffic to or from your device.
It prevents cyber attacks, unauthorized access by hackers and sharing personal information.
It integrates with McAfee VirusScan virus detection. It auto-updates to protect against newer threats. It also has the Gaming mode feature which suppresses additional pop-ups and lets you have a great online time.
It lets trusted programs to connect automatically but blocks connection to any malicious site or application. There are pre-set security levels that allow you to configure security settings as per your demand.
McAfee Personal Firewall is available for Windows 98/XP/Me/2000. It is easy to install and friendly to use. However, it does not support Windows ICS network or IIS web server.
For Macs, smartphones, tablets as well as latest versions of Windows, McAfee has launched McAfee LiveSafe. It includes McAfee’s antivirus protection as well as personal firewall feature.
The firewall monitors the network connection for any risk or threat like rootkits, bots and other malware programs which hackers can use to invade the systems.
It allows one to check for the vulnerabilities present in one’s system through which attackers can intrude.
McAfee LiveSafe is user-friendly and also suitable on Android phones as well as Apple devices.
BlackICE PC Protection offers a comprehensive firewall and intrusion protection to your computer. It remains a user’s first choice of firewall product.
This provides an intuitive interface as well as industrial-grade protection and control features. It has logging capability too.
BlackICE PC Protection automatically blocks traffic from specific network addresses to protect the user’s system.
It is available for Windows XP/NT/Me/95/98/2000.
Comodo Free Firewall offers one-click access to sandboxed forms of Chrome, Firefox and Comodo browser for safer surfing. Managing permissions for various networks is easy.
You can set up rules for allowing incoming or outgoing traffic or else block both of them. Website filtering helps you to block unwanted or malicious sites.
Comodo free firewall helps in monitoring any suspicious activity though Viruscope.
It may suggest you use their secure Comodo Dragon as the default browser or change your DNS provider to Comodo Secure DNS for quicker and safer browsing.
Comodo Free Firewall is suitable for Windows 7/8/10.
Avast Internet Security is a renowned security measure adopted by different users worldwide. Besides offering a firewall, it provides additional defense against ransomware, malware and other cyber attacks too.
The firewall monitors the traffic going to and coming into the devices. It checks for any weak spots which hackers can utilize to invade a system. Using wifi-inspector, it detects vulnerabilities in your network.
Overall, Avast skillfully handles threats and takes actions on finding any suspicious activity or malicious program.
GlassWire is a powerful firewall product to bolster the security of the network. It shows network traffic, blocks individual programs and monitors for detecting any suspicious activity.
It displays which programs are sending or receiving how much data. You can clear the GlassWire logs in very few seconds. GlassWire notifies if any service wants internet access and you can also block it if you wish.
It is very attractive, informative and has an interface built over the Windows Firewall.
However, the premium version offers extra features like monitoring webcam or microphone, gathering records for a month, monitoring many remote connections, etc.
Anyway, the free edition is fantastic for primary use.
TinyWall is a small and simple application with a clean interface and requires manual configuration. It does not show any unnecessary pop-ups. It is mainly designed to boost the performance of the Windows firewall.
It uses hotkeys or lists to ensure comfortable usage of applications online. It makes sure that no unwanted threat penetrates the system, switches off the firewall or does any malicious activity.
TinyWall is neat and takes 1MB space on the computer. When compared with other softwares for boosting Windows firewall performance, TinyWall stands unbeatable.
Azure firewall is available for Windows systems. It is a noted security suite for different users globally.
It offers a stateful firewall as a service. It monitors and controls both incoming and outgoing traffic from your system.
An azure firewall allows filtering internal spoke-to-spoke and hybrid connections via Azure VPN and ExpressRoute gateways.
The azure firewall uses a static public IP address for your virtual network (Vnet) resources through source network address translation (SNAT).
This lets outside firewalls to detect traffic generating from your Vnet. Destination network address translation (DNAT) helps in filtering inbound traffic.
OpenDNS Home is an alternate approach to firewall security. It is not a downloadable feature, but a change one can make to router settings. In this way, it will connect to the internet through the OpenDNS’ servers.
Thus, the protection will apply to any device on this network. So, it is highly useful for hyper-connected homes and businesses.
OpenDNS Home blocks known threats and has multiple content filtering options. It also prevents phishing attacks. The service is free, and you can try OpenDNS Home to bolster your network security.
Firewall softwares help to bolster the network security and manage traffic. As we know, a firewall is like a barrier between a trusted internal network and the unreliable outside network. By installing firewall software, the security is enhanced to a significant level.
Some of famous firewall softwares like ZoneAlarm Pro, Azure, Bitdefender, Glasswire, etc. Your decision on choosing a firewall should mainly depend on the features they offer.
They help in monitoring incoming as well as outgoing traffic, to detect any suspicious activity; they provide an intuitive interface and block known threats, etc.
Firewall is one of the easiest ways to protect your computer and firewall softwares ease this process. There are both free and paid firewall softwares. However, beware of downloading the free software. You should always download from reliable sources as often malwares are hidden in them.