- A firewall is a barrier that sits between your computer and the Internet.
- It filters unwanted traffic or activities in order to safeguard your PC against hackers and cyber-criminals.
- Windows comes with a perfectly fine built-in firewall. However, a third-party firewall software will make it easy to configure rules and offers better security.
5 Best Free Firewall Software
How We Tested? Firewalls are arguably one of the cumbersome software products to use and have a reputation for causing user angst. We evaluated each free Firewall software for functionality, ease of use, performance and reliability on our test system running Windows 10.
After a lot of trials and testing, we bring you the top free firewall software available on the Internet today!
Important! A free firewall is not a replacement for good antivirus software!
1. Malwarebytes Windows Firewall Control
If you are looking for a no-nonsense and lightweight program that makes use of the powerful built-in Windows firewall and makes it better, then this is the software for you.
- Configures the Windows Firewall to be more secure. Offers multiple filtering modes to choose from.
- Allow or block a program to connect to the Internet with just a click.
- Full support for creating, modifying and deleting Windows Firewall rules with ease. Also, rules can be locked by password protecting the program.
- Disables the ability of other programs to tamper the Windows Firewall.
- Intuitive user interface which is quickly accessible through a system tray icon. It is designed to be used by beginners.
- Global hotkeys are supported and various shortcut keys are available.
- It runs only the essential services and processes, hence does not affect the system performance.
- Best tool to manage the native Windows Firewall. This software takes something that is already there and makes it even better.
- Comes with limited features.
- Needs more polishing.
TinyWall is designed to improve Windows’ own firewall features without requiring any expert knowledge.
- Scans inbound and outbound connections and renders essential security.
- It has an auto-learning mode and also allows you to password protect the settings.
- An application scanner is included to scan your PC for programs that can be added to the safe list.
- A Connections monitor shows all the active processes that have a connection to the Internet as well as any open ports.
- You can choose a process, file, or service manually and give it firewall permissions that are permanent or temporary.
- TinyWall blocks known locations that harbor viruses and worms. Can lock down the hosts file from unwanted changes.
- Does not display tons of notifications and prompts like most other free firewall software.
- Simple and clean interface. You can easily modify and personalize its settings. Good for beginners.
- TinyWall is not loaded with features.
- Alerts generated by it are fairly easy to ignore.
- You will have to manually whitelist even popular Windows applications. So, if you notice a certain program which requires the Internet to be not working correctly, check the firewall.
3. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is one of the oldest and most downloaded free firewall software for Windows.
- Can hide open ports and isolate suspicious traffic.
- Connects with DefenseNet to get real-time security updates about emerging threats.
- It allows you to choose which applications and programs are allowed to access the Internet.
- ZoneAlarm adds an extra layer of protection to your connections when you connect to public WiFi hotspots.
- It assesses the security of your home WiFi network to improve protection from attacks.
- You can also password protect settings to prevent unauthorized changes.
- It has a simple and interactive interface that can be easily customized as per your preferences.
- Choose the ‘Custom Install’ option during setup and read through each step carefully to avoid installing anything but ZoneAlarm Free Firewall.
- The program sometimes has conflicts with other third-party antivirus programs.
- Occasionally, shows ads of their paid products.
4. Comodo Firewall
If you are looking for a highly advanced and top-level firewall security system, then Comodo Free Firewall should be your choice.
- Monitors both inbound and outbound traffic. Prevents any malicious software from sending your private data to hackers and cybercriminals.
- The system uses AI to build up a profile of normal operating behavior on your computer so that it can block suspicious activity.
- It’s easy to control permissions for different networks, and you can create rules for specific programs.
- The Rating Scan feature scans all running processes on your system to indicate how trustworthy they are. Is useful in spotting malware processes.
- Comodo Free Firewall offers a Sandbox environment, meaning that if you download some random software over the Internet, you can first test it for hidden viruses.
- The program offers a wealth of bonus features, including a hardened browser, ad-blocker, game mode and secure DNS lookup.
- The built-in antivirus makes Comodo more resilient against the latest malware attacks.
- This free firewall is best suitable for advanced users. Beginners may be a bit overwhelmed.
- Comodo Free Firewall comes bundled with a lot of unwanted extras. Take some time to go through each step of the setup and only install what’s necessary.
- Beware! The program will try to change your default homepage and search engine unless you deselect that option during installation.
5. Free Firewall
Free Firewall is a full-featured professional firewall that protects your computer against the threats of the Internet.
- Controls every program on your computer trying to access the Internet.
- It features multiple modes that you can choose as per your preference to prevent threats.
- By default, Free Firewall blocks viruses and botnets by disabling data transmission in the background.
- Imports all of the installed processes and services on your computer and then categorizes them with color codes.
- Protects your privacy and personal information by preventing web tracking while surfing and collecting telemetry.
- The Cooperative mode allows Free Firewall to be operated along with the built-in Windows Firewall or any other firewall.
- The user interface is optimized for touch sensitive devices. Feel free to use it on tablets and touch-enabled Windows laptops.
- The firewall needs more refinement.
- Certain functions didn’t perform as expected.
A Firewall Alone Is Not Enough!
While a firewall can guard against intrusions, it’s not a replacement for antivirus software, and you should consider running virus protection, whether you have a firewall or not.
To maximize the level of security on your computer, you should:
- Use a firewall.
- Install antivirus software.
- Use a VPN service when connecting to public WiFi networks.
- Do not open email attachments or links from unknown sources.
- Use strong passwords for your accounts.
Let us know your views on firewalls from the comments below.