1. Application or Location-based Firewalls: An application firewall operates by monitoring and potentially blocking the input, output, or system service calls which do not meet the configured policy of the firewall while a location-based firewall blocks the traffic of a particular territory
Though Geo Firewall is relatively newer in the world of firewalls, yet it looks very promising. It follows a theory which states that large number of security threats come from the limited number of countries. You have to create and apply rules for specific geographical locations. When applied, the rules affect all TCP and UDP communication to and from your computer. It protects your system even if you accidentally reach the territories that you selected to block. Moreover, Geo Firewall is compatible with other security software you may have. It is compatible with all major version of Windows like XP, Vista, 7, 8 & Server 2008.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
This is a Windows OS based free firewall. The two-way firewall makes sure that your PC is safe from outside attacks and intrusions. It makes the system invisible to hackers & spyware and doesnÃ¢??t allow your personal information to get leaked. Also, there is a ZoneAlarm Security Toolbar which helps you in private and secure browsing and Internet experience. But then there is no antivirus, parental control feature to support the firewall.
Online Armor Free
Online Armor is a very handy option amongst free firewalls to go with. It protects your system from hackers, malicious programs and secures your personal identity. Though, it is weak on antivirus definitions, root-kit scanning and phishing filtering, it has features like execution, termination, tamper and worm protection which are necessary for a strong firewall. Its real-time protection means that there would be no lengthy scans, in fact, Online Armor evaluates each program as it runs.
There are other firewalls like Tinywall, Agnitum Outpost, PrivateFirewall, AVS and Wallix Pro following the typical application based approach.
2. Firewalls with Antivirus/Antimalware protection: Viruses, malwares, root-kits, Trojans etc are potential threats that cause abnormal behavior in a system. Some firewalls have the ability to counter the threat while others leave it for the dedicated antivirus software
This free firewall is compatible only with Windows 7 & Vista. Like ZoneAlarm, Tinywall keep check on both incoming and outgoing data. One good thing about this firewall is it doesnÃ¢??t annoy you with irregular pop-ups. You can formulate your own customized Ã¢??white listÃ¢?? against which no action will be taken by the firewall. From the menu, you can change the mode to block everything, allow outgoing traffic, and enable an auto-learning feature. TinyWall updates automatically, too, and notifies you when settings have been changed or updated. But the firewall is high on system and memory usage.
Agnitum Outpost Firewall
Agnitum Outpost is another entry level free firewall. It is more robust than Windows firewall as it has the capability of outbound filtering at default settings. It provides proactive protection against unknown malware by controlling installed applicationsÃ¢?? activity. There are usability aid tools that automatically assign correct policies for widely-used applications. But the firewall is outdated and there are suspicions over its updation.
This firewall runs as a standalone program on a computer. It monitors all traffic to and from your PC and prevents trusted applications from being hacked in order to steal local or network accessible files. It has ability to identify characteristics of intrusion techniques and malware activity. The firewall displays training statistics that show which programs it analyzed and when. However, the graphic interface and usability is slightly tailored for advanced users. Beginners may want to consider another firewall instead, but if you are comfortable with the basics of Windows & firewall software, you should definitely consider this.
Other firewalls having antivirus protection are AVS firewall and Wallix Pro firewall while ZoneAlarm, Online Armor and Geo Firewall do not possess this feature.
3. Firewalls with Parental Control: There are not many firewalls having parental control feature as it is thought this action should be handled by a dedicated Internet Security software.
AVS Firewall is somewhat different from other firewalls discussed here. Its features set include security against the malware, protecting system registry and blocking online ads & spyware. It automatically identifies applications and programs that try to connect to the net from your PC and alerts you about them. AVS Firewall also comes with a monitoring utility so you can check the size of network traffic which is sent and received by each application. Parental control is something that you will not find in most firewalls. But then, it limits the list of websites that can be accessed. You have to add each website to be trusted manually. Also, there are not many options to customize setting according to your needs.
Wallix Pro has an intuitive interface with clear details that presents you a list of all programs installed in your computer. It is capable of detecting and blocking all incoming and outgoing threats and promptly alerts you in case of serious attacks. Adwares and spywares are not allowed to infiltrate in the system. Wallix lets you set custom rules for applications as some of them require specific ports to be open. There is an added feature of parental control which protects your children from accessing unwanted websites.
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