Your computer’s security is a serious business. The internet has become an important part of our daily lives and we have become dependent on the flow of information from the world wide web. Yet this connection can also be a source of risk. Malware threats such as viruses, spyware, and ransomware, to name a few, are a presence on the internet and they can harm you and your information. Good thing there are ways to protect yourself and your computer. These apps, called firewalls, stand as your first line of defense against electronic threats. While firewalls can be expensive, some of them are free to download and use. Let’s take a look at these firewall freeware and check out the best of the best.
What Are Firewalls?
A firewall is a security device or app that works to keep your computer safe. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic from your computer. They can block or allow data to flow through or from your computer to the outside internet. This lets it block malicious traffic from the internet.
If you use a wifi router, you likely already have a layer of security. Windows users will have an additional layer of security because of their built-in firewall, Windows Defender. These security measures, while good, aren’t enough. Here’s a quick list of the best firewall freeware available.
Sophos XG Firewall Home Edition
Sophos is a rising star in the world of computer security, and now its top-flight security software is available for home use. Their firewall is a comprehensive network security solution that is light-years ahead of the competition. Anti-malware, application control, network security, and URL filtering are some of the services their firewall provides.
All this comes at a price, as Sophos’ software has a very steep infrastructure requirement. It installs its own operating system on your computer and won’t allow the reinstallation of Windows as long as it’s running. It also requires your computer to have four cores and at least 6GB worth of RAM.
If the stringent system requirements don’t turn you off, then you will be in for a treat as this firewall provides rock-solid protection for your network.
Zone Alarm Free Firewall
The Zone Alarm Free Firewall is a great choice for computers running Windows 7, 8 and 10. If you regularly connect to the Internet using public wifi connections, then you should definitely look at this app. It is easy to install, requiring only an active internet connection and a valid email address for account activation.
It comes with a few nifty extras. Regular updates keep it running in tip-top shape. Stealth mode protects you from hackers and provides identity protection services and anti-malware protection. They also help resolve cases of identity theft.
This firewall runs on all versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10. It provides solid protection including an ad blocker and pop-up blocker, parental controls and a bandwidth allocation app. They also block any alterations to your Windows Registry, a critical step in stopping persistent malware.
The only con we see is that the software is relatively difficult to find. It isn’t available on Online Media Technologies Ltd.’s (the developer of the app) website and you have to get it from Softpedia or Tucows.com.
Comodo Free Firewall
Comodo is an award-winning software developer that focuses on security apps. They claim that their free firewall is the world‘s #1 firewall, and they try their level best to prove it.
The Comodo Free Firewall blocks incoming connections and continually monitors for threats. The software alerts its users in real-time when it detects a threat. The software uses AI to help predict threats and blocks them from taking root.
Other features are a browser cleanup utility and a game mode that lets interactive apps operate on the internet safely.
If a simple, easy-to-use interface is your jam, then NetDefender is the firewall for you. Easy installation combined with a user-friendly interface gives you all the basic functions of a firewall. The best feature of NetDefender is its ability to block all incoming network traffic with a single push of a button.
Other features include a pop-up blocker, port scanner, and anti-spoofing features. A good choice for people who aren’t completely computer savvy.
And there you have it, five of the best firewall freeware available today. Remember, keep your computers and your information safe and sound with our recommended firewall apps.