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Personal Firewall Reviews

After Important Tips and Comparative Reviews, this page provides links to vendors and reviews of over thirty personal firewall products plus a list of sixty more that are gone or fading away.

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6 Top Picks -- Checkpoint's ZoneAlarm Pro, Comodo Firewall Pro, Outpost Firewall Pro, PC Tools Firewall Plus, Privatefirewall, and Tall Emu's Online-Armor.

9 More Choices -- Ashampoo, Jetico, Lavasoft,  Look'n'Stop, Microsoft Windows, Net, Preventon, Sphinx [Software], Sunbelt.

10 Moved to Suites -- Bullguard, Computer Associates, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, MicroWorld, Norton, Panda & Trend Micro, Webroot.

 

9 Not Reviewed -- Iolo, Netveda, Norman, Omniguad, R-Firewall, Rising, The Shield, SoftPerfect, VisNetic.

60 More That Are Gone or Fading Away

Hacker Proof! The perfect personal firewall would be inexpensive and easy to install and use, would offer clearly explained configuration options, would hide all ports to make your PC invisible to scans, would protect your system from all attacks, would track all potential and actual threats, would immediately alert you to serious attacks, and would ensure nothing unauthorized entered or left your PC." Source: Make Your PC Hacker Proof, Jeff Sengstack, PC World, July 21, 2000.

Important Tips

  • Check Windows -- Before installing personal firewall software on a Windows XP, Vista or 7 computer, be sure that the firewall built into the Windows operating system is turned off.
  • Just One, Not Two -- Never use two software firewalls at the same time. Completely uninstall one before installing another. Use the vendor's uninstall utility or if not available, try  AppRemover, for Symantec products use the Norton Removal Tool, or use the Windows add/remove software tool in the control panel.
  • Hardware Firewalls -- You can and should use a hardware firewall with a software firewall including a Wired Router, Wireless Router or a Broadband Gateway.
  • Patches & Updates -- As soon as your firewall is installed, check the vendor's website for patches and updates. If the firewall offers an automatic update function, turn it on.
  • Testing -- After you install a firewall, be sure to check it with an online service like Security Space to make sure that it is configured correctly. Testing your firewall is the only sure way to tell that your computer is really being protected.

Comparative reviews of personal firewall software

  • Proactive Security Challenge, [firewalls, suites, hips] Matousec, last update Nov 5, 2010 -- top rated firewalls include Comodo Internet Security, Online Solutions Security Suite, Outpost Security Suite Pro, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, Malware Defender, and Privatefirewall.
  • Best Free Firewall, Cyberlightning, Gizmos's Freeware, last update Sept 23, 2010 -- Comodo Firewall, Online Armor Free, Zone Alarm Free Firewall 2010, Outpost Firewall Free, Privatefirewall.
  • Firewalls, Consumer Search, April 2010, best firewall is Online Armor, best free firewall is Comodo Internet Security.
  • Personal Firewall Software 2010 -- 11 products [4 firewalls, 7 security suites], TopTenReviews

Top Picks Personal Firewalls

The following selections were chosen based on the results of independent third-party comparative and individual reviews. They are listed in alpha order.

Checkpoint ZoneAlarm Pro includes network, program and operating system firewalls. There is also the ZoneAlarm Free Firewall.

Online Armor Personal Firewall free and retail versions

Comodo Firewall Pro freeware

Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro

PC Tools Firewall Plus freeware

PrivateFirewall freeware

More Personal Firewalls

These are listed in alpha order and have been reviewed.

Jetico Personal Firewall

Lavasoft Personal Firewall

Look'n'Stop

Microsoft Windows Firewall, free, built into Windows XP-SP2/3, Vista and 7

NeT Firewall, NT Resources Kernel

Preventon

Sunbelt Personal Firewall

  • Terry's Computer Tips review, July 7, 2007
  • Personal Computer World review, Paul Rowlingson, July 20, 2006

Sphinx Software Vista/7 Firewall Control

Firewalls Moved to Internet Security Suites


Firewalls from these vendors are no longer available as separate products, see our Internet Security Suites page for reviews.

Personal Firewall Products Not Reviewed

Product descriptions on software download sites do not qualify as reviews. Nor do end user write ups on sites like Amazon because they seldom include firewall testing.

Firewalls Fading Away or Gone Completely

  1. 1-ACT Personal Firewall from Only PCTools, Inc

  2. Adorons Firewall from Enigma Software Group, Inc.

  3. Antechinus Ultimate Security Suite from C Point Pty Ltd.

  4. AntiHook from InfoProcess Pty Ltd

  5. Armor2net last update was in 2003

  6. Ashampoo Firewall Pro (last update12-22-2006) and Ashampoo Firewall Free (last update 4-10-2007). Ashampoo Firewall Free 1.2, CNet, September 15, 2009.

  7. BitGuard Personal Firewall from Try Us ApS

  8. BlackICE PC Protection, IBM bought Internet Security Systems in 2007, ISS purchased NetworkICE in 2001. Latest release was 3.6 in September 2004. IBM to bury BlackIce by next year, Jeremy Kirk, Infoworld, August 3, 2007.

  9. CheckIT Firewall, Smith Micro Software product not listed

  10. CORE FORCE from Core Security Technologies

  11. ConSeal PC Firewall, replaced by 8Signs

  12. eSafe Desktop, Aladdin Knowledge Systems, no longer available or supported

  13. eTrust from CA

  14. Filseclab Personal Firewall from Filseclab Corporation

  15. Fireball Cyber Protection Suite, Redcannon, product not listed

  16. Firekeys, Software Appliance Company, product not listed

  17. Firewall X-treme, StompSoft, product not listed

  18. Freedom Personal Firewall, Zero Knowledge, no longer available

  19. GateSweeper from GateSweeper Solutions, Inc

  20. Ghost Security Suite from Ghost Security

  21. GoldTach Personal Firewall from Matinsoft Inc.

  22. HackerSmacker not listed

  23. HackTracer, Sharp Technology (NeoWatch by Neoworx related product)

  24. Hurricanesoft Personal Firewall from Hurricanesoft

  25. InJoy last update 2005, gone

  26. Internet Firewall 2000, gone

  27. Maximum Protection family from DATA BECKER

  28. Mindsoft Firewall, gone

  29. Neoava Guard from Arman Nayyeri

  30. NeoWatch, NeoWorx was purchased by McAfee in Fall 2001, related to HackTracer

  31. NetOp Process Control from Danware A/S

  32. NetPeeker from Ming Jin

  33. Netveda Safety.Net (last update October 2007)

  34. OnIt Firewall from Copeland Software

  35. PC Viper, Source Velocity, gone

  36. pcInternet Patrol, gone

  37. PER Firewall from PER SYSTEMS

  38. Primedius gone

  39. Prisma Firewall gone

  40. ProcessGuard from Diamond Computer Systems Pty. Ltd

  41. ProSecurity from ISecSoft, Inc.

  42. ProtoPort Personal Firewall from SoftCab, Inc.

  43. Safeworld Hacker Stopper gone

  44. SecurePoint Personal Firewall gone

  45. SecureUp Personal Firewall gone

  46. SensiveGuard from BrightTime Technologies, Inc

  47. Škoda Firewall from Škoda Auto Deutschland GmbH

  48. SSky Net Personal Firewall from sky.net.cn

  49. SmartFix Security Center from DefendGate Inc.

  50. Sphinx, BioData, went out of business

  51. Surf Secret Personal Firewall gone

  52. Sygate Personal Firewall -- Symantec Shelves Sygate Personal Firewall, Paul Roberts, eWeek, November 28, 2005. Sygate was purchased by Symantec (Norton) in August 2005.

  53. System Safety Monitor from System Safety Limited

  54. TermiNet, Infotecs, last update March 1, 2007

  55. The Green Bow gone

  56. Tiny Firewall (acquired by CA, June 2005)

  57. VirusMD Personal Firewall, gone

  58. WyvernWorks Firewall from WyvernWorks

  59. Xeon Personal Firewall from eConcept Software

  60. XMicro family from XMicro LLC – XMicro Personal Firewall, XMicro Internet Security Suite