Windows Firewall comes pre-installed on all Windows operating systems. While Windows Firewall is good in many ways, it still leaves a lot to be desired. One of them is tighter access control. Like all Windows applications, the Windows Firewall is also intended to be user-friendly to the novice user.
As a result, it leaves a lot of traffic open. Meaning, most of the traffic can go in and out without user intervention. While most people find this good, I certainly don’t.
Before I tell you about some free firewall alternatives to Windows Firewall, here’s a look at it:
1. Turned on by default for private and public networks
2. Allows you to configure application settings
3. Outbound rules – allows everything (Not good)
4. Inbound rules – allows everything (Not good at all)
While the Windows Firewall does a good job at getting you started when you have a fresh OS installation, it certainly needs to be replaced with a better alternative. Here are some best free firewall programs:
Free alternatives to Windows Firewall
This one’s my favorite. I’ve been using this for over 3 years now and it’s bang on.
Multiple modes to get you started – Disabled, Training Mode, Safe Mode, Custom Ruleset, Block All
Host Intrustion Prevention System (HIPS) – gives you additional protection against Malware
Sandbox – test applications in a virtual environment
File rating module – allow / block files from being executed
Zone based filtering of traffic
Custom trust level for programs
I feel less secure when I’m using the Windows Firewall. It feels safe to have a firewall that allows you to control and monitor your traffic, that alerts you when a program is trying to make an access attempt, a firewall that learns your behaviour and makes adjustments.
I’ve tried Comodo and ZoneAlarm, and both fit well as a great firewall. Have you used any other firewall and found it to be great? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!