In spite of hardware firewalls today Firewall software for Windows is just about a necessity for a networked Windows machine. Fortunately since SP2 of Windows XP the software firewall in Windows has been enabled by default and that certainly put an end to the many worms that networked pc’s saw prior to SP2 of XP. On this page we will do a roundup of all the Firewall Software out there for Windows as well as Mac and Linux and we’ll be including other subpages in the future that may highlight free or highly recommended products.
Originally firewall software was designed with the idea of closing off the network ports of a machine and not answering requests to those ports unless they were specifically allowed through the firewall. However, firewall software has evolved since then to include rules for software connecting out through the firewall to the internet. Most firewall software packages today include this outbound filtering and control of software as well as the inbound protection.
I remember the first firewall I used on windows was blackice, followed by zonealarm and then after that I had moved from Windows to linux. On linux workstations typically there isn’t the concern with having outbound filtering due to the lower incidence of malware on linux systems.
We’re just starting to build this page right now and will update and flesh out some of the details as time allows.
Windows Firewall Software
Built in Windows Firewall – this includes inbound protection only and doesn’t allow users to control which applications can connect out to the internet. (Outbound protection. (Outbound filtering is available in Vista))
Zonealarm – (Free and pay versions) This is perhaps the best known standalone firewall software for Windows. Made by zone labs and it includes outbound monitoring as well as inbound protection. They have since been acquired by Check Point
WinRoute – by Kerio – it can also act as internet access control, bandwidth limiting and web filtering.
Sunbelt Personal Firewall – (pay) Free trial/Pay version – Filters inbound/outbound traffic. XP and Vista Compatible. Used to be called Kerio Personal Firewall
PC Tools Firewall Plus – free
Kaspersky Internet Security – (Pay)
Lavasoft Personal Firewall – (Pay)
Outpost Firewall Pro – (Pay)
Norton 360 – (Pay)
Online Armour Personal Firewall – (Free/Pay)
Comodo Firewall Pro – (free)
CA Personal Firewall – (Pay)
Sygate Personal Firewall – (free)
Trend Micro Internet Security – (Pay)
AVG Internet Security – (Pay)
Panda Internet Security – (Pay)
Agnitum Outpost Firewall – (free)
Jetico Personal Firewall
Core Force – (free/open source) – discontinued late 2007
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus – (Pay)
PeerGuardian – (Open Source)
Linux/Unix Firewal Software
IPCop – complete firewall distribution tat allows you to turn a complete system into a hardware firewall for a network with intrusion detection, web filtering and other plugins available (bandwidth shaping/etc.)
Ipfilter – Some Unixes and BSDs
Netfilter/Iptables – default filtering in the linux kernel
PF – BSD firewall
m0n0wall – BSD based embedded firewall distribution.
pfsense – fork of M0n0wall – BSD based router/firewall.