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Best free antivirus firewall software

The Best Free Firewalls  November 21, 2016 – 10:17 pm

Windows itself has an effective firewall built in, but for full-scale two-way firewall protection you'll want a free, third-party firewall. We'll tell you which is best.

OB Roundup

Firewall protection has been built into Windows since the introduction of Windows XP in 2001, so paying for a third-party firewall utility doesn't make a lot of sense. On the other hand, the built-in Windows firewall specifically protects your system from outside attacks, not from local programs abusing your network connection. For two-way firewall protection, you do need more than Windows alone can offer. Fortunately there are a number of free personal firewalls available to handle that task.

Port Protection
Your computer's Internet connection grants you access to a limitless collection of entertaining and informative websites. It also opens your computer to access by others via the Internet, and that can be a bad thing. One major firewall task involves permitting all valid network traffic and only valid traffic.

Your PC's ports, the entry points for network connections, can be open, closed, or stealthed. When a port is stealthed, it's not visible at all to an outside attacker, which is ideal. Windows Firewall alone is completely capable of stealthing all of your PC's ports. TinyWall 2.1, which is compatible only with Windows Vista and later, leaves that task to the built-in firewall and adds its own enhancements. All the remaining free firewalls do handle port and network protection correctly.

TinyWall logoSelf Protection
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2013 is the free firewall with the longest history, and it was the first to build in protection against malware attacks. The most elaborate firewall in the world isn't much use if a malicious program can terminate it, after all. For testing, I try to disable protection using techniques that could be copied by a malware coder.

Very occasionally I encounter a firewall that stores its status unprotected in the Registry. A tweak as simple as changing the value of "Enabled" to zero can turn off protection. None of the current free firewalls will yield to this simple-minded attack.

Attacking and terminating the firewall process is another possible approach. I thought at first that Comodo Firewall (2013) was vulnerable to simple termination, but I learned that it makes an exception for Task Manager; termination by other processes isn't permitted. I killed TinyWall's user interface, but the firewall protection remained active. ZoneAlarm actively resisted termination, as did Ashampoo FireWall FREE.

Many firewalls rely on a dedicated Windows service for some functions; Ashampoo Firewall is an exception. I couldn't stop or disable ZoneAlarm's service, or Comodo's. TinyWall didn't permit stopping the service but seemed to yield when I set the Startup Type to Disabled. However, on reboot it recovered nicely.

Source: www.pcmag.com



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  • avatar what is the best free antivirus and firewall software? | Yahoo Answers
    • umm i really have a lot of trust in AVG.. and spybot.com as a side kick.. they work well on my comp.. but whichever you choose, don't skip read when downloading.. because some anti's will take 4 hrs 2 scan.. and there is a place on AVG, when your downloading that you need 2 read 2 get the faster scan.. and AVG, is free , not a trial.. stops hackers, pop ups and easy on your comp.. just be sure you do a update before you scan each time on whatever one you choose ; )

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