The importance of a firewall cannot be over-emphasized. Firewalls, no doubt, are one of the most important components of your computer (network). A Firewall can block threats that your Antivirus may miss. Not only that, it can prevent hackers from breaking into your computer! The inbuilt Windows Firewall is great – and just good enough for the regular home user who wants protection and who does not want to be bothered with setting it up.
You know you need a firewall so that your computer (network) is not visible on the Internet to the bad guys. These bad guys find computer ports and access your computer through one of them. Their tactics keep on changing and hence, the firewall designing companies add more and more security to their firewalls – firmware or software.
Leaving the default values for your Windows firewall should suffice, and along with a good antivirus software, give you ample protection for your Windows computer. But if you want an easy UI that will help you configure the Windows Firewall, you could check out Windows Firewall Control and Windows Firewall Notifier.
Free Firewall software for Windows 11/10
However, if you are looking for a third-party firewall for your computer, there are several free solutions available. Let us check out some free firewall software for your Windows PC.
- Comodo Free Firewall
- ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
- Sophos Firewall Home Edition
- Free Firewall
- Glasswire Firewall
- Fort Firewall.
1] Comodo Free Firewall
These days, the feature-rich and easy-to-use Comodo Free Firewall has become very popular. It promises to stealth your computer’s ports against hackers and will also block malicious software from transmitting your confidential data over the Internet. The Comodo Free Firewall will monitor all aspects of communications between your computer and the Internet. This prevents common hacking methods such as port scanning. The firewall references a list of over two million known PC-friendly applications. If a file is not on this ‘safe-list’, the Firewall immediately alerts you to the possibility of attacking malware.
2] ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall at one point in time was the most popular third-party firewall for Windows – but over time some started getting the feeling that it had become too bloated. It is nevertheless still the world’s most downloaded firewall software. The firewall is very easy to configure and for an average user, its settings are best left at default. It is very effective in stopping Internet attacks at the front door and even catches thieves on their way out. Its 2-way firewall proactively protects against inbound and outbound attacks while making you invisible to hackers. There are still many today who swear by it.
There are ways you can configure the Windows firewall using some third-party tool. TinyWall is freeware that further hardens the advanced firewall of Windows. It is a lightweight solution with negligible performance impact and lets you work without giving out any pop-ups whatsoever. No additional drivers or kernel components are installed with it. TinyWall will give your Windows Firewall a secure configuration and present you with a simple interface where you can easily define what has network access and whatnot. It will also allow you to easily prevent other programs from modifying or overwriting your firewall settings. If you are looking for a very basic and simple solution, you might want to consider using this firewall.
Read: Closed Port vs Stealth Port – Difference discussed.
PrivateFirewall is a proactive, multi-layered defense solution for Windows desktops and servers. It detects blocks and quarantines activity characteristic of known malware, hacking, phishing, and other threat types. Its packet inspection, URL filtering, anti-logger, process monitor, and application/system behavior modeling and anomaly detection components stop hackers, spyware, viruses, and other forms of malware before they can cause damage. It is a 3.5MB download.
5] Sophos Firewall Home Edition
Sophos Firewall Home Edition features full protection for your home network, including anti-malware, web security and URL filtering, application control, IPS, traffic shaping, VPN, reporting and monitoring, and much more. It is free for Home users.
6] Free Firewall
Free Firewall is a full-featured professional firewall that protects against the threats of the Internet. You can control the internet access of every program on your computer – and the program will notify you when applications want to access the Internet in the background without your knowledge. No software can access the Internet or network without your prior authorization.
8] Glasswire Firewall
Glasswire Firewall is a simple tool for network monitoring with a firewall built-in for allowing/denying Internet access to apps.
9] Fort Firewall
Fort Firewall is a free open source firewall designed for Windows, offering both simplicity and robustness. It employs its own kernel driver, which is based on the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP). WFP is a set of system services and APIs provided by Microsoft that allows developers to create network filtering applications for Windows. It is available on github.com.
Do you use any third-party firewall on your Windows, and if so, which one? Which firewall would you like to recommend? We’d love to hear this.
Yesterday, we read about the difference between hardware firewalls and software firewalls. In a few days, we will show you ways to test your firewall software, for free, and find out how well it is protecting your computer.
Go here if you are looking for free Internet Security Suite software for your Windows computer.