If you are looking for the best free firewall, you are at the right place. I am taking a look at some of the best software-based firewalls that are available for Windows.
Anyone who has ever used a computer has heard of a thing called “firewall.” While most people are aware of what firewall is, we cannot say the same for everyone. In simpler words, a firewall is a system whose purpose is to prevent unauthorized access. You can get a free firewall and protect your computer.
The unauthorized access can be to or from a private network. The implementation of a firewall is either through the use of software, hardware, or both. Depending on the amount of security the user is looking for.
Firewalls are there to protect unauthorized internet users from accessing private networks that are connected to the internet, especially intranets. Windows has its firewall, and there are several other software, as well as hardware-based options too.
Best Free Firewalls of 2017 For Windows 10/8/7
ZoneAlarm – Best Free Windows 10 Firewall Software
I will be honest, ZoneAlarm firewall is the first firewall that comes to my mind everytime someone brings up the word “firewall.” I guarantee that the same goes for a lot of people who are reading this.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is one of the oldest firewalls available for the users to download; it introduces some advanced features that are otherwise missing from the stock option. It can protect your computer from any unwanted guests with great ease.
- The firewall can hide open ports.
- The firewall also looks for malicious traffic and protect against it.
- It can disable also disable programs that are not in the trust.
These are just a few of the amazing features you get with ZoneAlarm free firewall; if you are not curious enough already, the firewall will connect your computer to DefenseNet. That will allow the firewall to provide you real-time security updates against threats.
Last but not the least, it can also protect your computer if you connect it to a wireless network. I did not run into any issues with ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, so I can assure you that it is among the best free firewalls out in the market.
File sharing is essential, and we all know it. Whether you are doing a physical file share or doing it over the internet, the risk is always there. Especially if you are sharing files with someone you do not know very well; after all, it is the internet.
If you are a heavy file sharer, and you worry about your safety, start using PeerBlock. It is a free firewall that is available for Windows at the moment. It is explicitly targetting the people who like to share their files or have someone else send data to them.
The primary purpose of PeerBlock is to protect the user from the traffic that comes their way from IP addresses that are not trusted.
- PeerBlock protects unwanted traffic from user-specific IP addresses.
- It is completely free.
- The firewall does not take a lot of resources.
The reason why PeerBlock is on the list is that it focuses on something specific rather than going all out on security. It plays well with other firewalls on the computer as well. Most importantly, it does not act as a resource hog, allowing you to use your PC effectively.
Setting it up is extremely simple; upon installation, you are asked about the websites or IP addresses you want to block. PeerBlock then updates the list every day to make sure your PC is secure.
Comodo Free Firewall
Comodo Free Firewall is easily one of the best free firewalls available to download because of the smart implementation. Although it is a proper firewall, it also comes with a browser in the installation package that you can install if you please.
The purpose of this firewall is to provide you a sandboxed experience when it comes to exploring the internet. If you are a person who visits a lot of websites in a day, then using Comodo Free Firewall is a good idea because you get a sandboxed version of browsers.
- Creates a sandboxed version of the browser you want to use.
- Allows the user to add other programs to the sandbox for maximum security.
- The firewall offers easy control over permissions.
- Comodo Free Firewall has a very good implementation going on for it; the firewall itself is easy to use, and you can even get a sandboxed environment right on your computer. Everything is super-easy to handle, and do not take up a lot of resources either.
It has a website filter allowing you to block websites you do not want someone to access, and monitors that help the software keep an eye on the suspicious activities and programs.
TinyWall – Best Lightweight Firewall Software
Unlike some of the other firewalls that I have taken a look at so far, TinyWall does things a lot differently. Instead of giving you popups now and then, TinyWall does not act as a firewall itself. Instead, it gives you a lot more options on the default Windows firewall.
Now a lot of people may wonder why that is important; Windows firewall is good as it is, but with the features and options you get using TinyWall, it becomes even better. I am writing down some of the additional features down below.
- TinyWall offers hotkeys for the majority of functions.
- Allows you to whitelist or blacklist IP addresses and websites.
- The firewall does not have any unnecessary pop-ups.
TinyWall is perhaps the most straightforward software in the entire list; unlike the others, it does not rely on brute force. It takes something that is already there and makes it even better. This way, you do not have to think whether or not your Windows firewall is good enough.
Since it does not introduce any other change, the overall size and resource requirement are low, allowing you to run it on almost any computer.
Open DNS is not a software-based firewall at all. Instead, it is a simple method that will change the way your router handles incoming and outgoing data. There are some neat but straightforward changes that you will be making to your router.
The changes will allow your router to connect to the internet using the Open DNS servers rather than the usual ones. This means that one small change will apply to the entire number of devices that you have connected to the internet.
- Open DNS is completely non-intrusive.
- THe change applies to all the devices connected to the same internet.
- Automatically blocks non-trusted content and websites.
- Open DNS provides a lot of filtration options.
While you may have doubts about Open DNS at the start, there is no denying that it gives you excellent control over how you want your internet to behave. It is a simple change, and once that is in place, you no longer have to worry.
Since there is no download link to it, the link below will guide you to the tutorial. You just have to use the tutorial on your central computer, and the settings will take get into effect across the entire network.
GlassWire is a relatively newer kid on the block, and even though the need for firewalls is always on a high, it is never too late to have something new. On paper, GlassWire is a simple networking monitoring tool. However, it does have some advanced functionality
With GlassWire, you get options to manually block the incoming, or outgoing traffic on your network, especially the one that you think is suspicious. The developer does not market as a full-blown networking security software, but it does work like one for the most part.
- GlassWire provides efficient network monitoring.
- The software is easy to use and simple to understand.
- Uses Windows firewall to do all the heavy work.
The good thing about GlassWire is that instead of having its firewall, it relies on the Windows firewall to do all the work. It does have its network monitoring tool, but it uses Windows firewall to handle the blocking and unblocking side of things.
Another important thing that I should point out is that despite having a free version, the firewall comes with three paid options too. Though, unlike some other firewalls, it does not force you to upgrade against your own will. So, you can be just fine with the free version too.
NetDefend is one of the more basic firewall programs available for download. It is free and has a pretty basic list of features. The good thing, however, is that it works well for what it is. The setting up can be quickly done, the interface is clean, and the software is free.
Sure, it does not bring most features to the table, but I appreciate the features that are available for the users to take full advantage of. The software can show the apps and processes that are trying to connect to the internet, allowing you to take action.
- It is simple, convenient, and easy to use.
- NetDefender allows you to block the incoming traffic, as well as block the apps from connecting to the network.
- The firewall does not take a lot of resources.
NetDefender surely does not look like a firewall that can last much longer. However, it has been holding on pretty well. Quickly becoming one of my favorites in the list. The pure simplicity of this firewall is what makes it such a treat to use.
As I am finishing up the list, I am wondering about how far the firewalls have become, and how important the security on the internet is. All thanks to softwares like Outpost Firewall, things have become a lot easier than they once were.
The whole purpose of a 3rd party firewall is to make the overall user experience more comfortable and make firewalls more accessible to the general public. Outpost Firewall understands it well and makes everything more comfortable for the average consumer.
- Outpost firewall can allow or deny programs to access the internet.
- The firewall also allows the user to add specific IP address and ports for getting network access.
Outpost Firewall is simple and works well in all the instances. it does not require you to have rocket science level of knowledge. It is free to download, and you can use it the way you want to use it.
Windows Firewall is going to come as a surprise to a lot of people, but the default Windows firewall has come a long way from the days of Windows XP. Back in the days of Windows XP, the same firewall was full of bugs that would render it useless.
Thanks to Microsoft’s close attention to detail, things are a lot different now. WIth the Windows 10, the default Windows firewall is one of the best we can recommend. It is easy to use, comes pre-installed, and does not require a lot of getting used to.
- Completely non-intrusive.
- Easy to use and setup.
- The firewall gets updated regularly.
Considering how it is a default Windows feature, the updates on it are regular as well. It can block pretty much every malicious program, or website. Sometimes, it does get too aggressive, and start returning false positives though.
However, it allows you complete control over how you want to use it and the best part? You do not require any downloads, whatsoever.
Writing about firewalls is not easy. That is mainly because not a lot of people consider these fantastic pieces of software to be significant. However, it is essential for you to know that one of the biggest reason why your computer is protected against malicious activity is the firewall.
Whether you are an average PC user or a hardcore enthusiast user, it is essential for you to to make sure that your PC remains protected. The firewall does a great job, and having the right firewall with the perfect antivirus will get the job done.
Sometimes it does get difficult to decide whether or not you should go for a firewall, but I would suggest that you try it out once to make up your mind.