October 25, 2006

Two best Firewalls that i use

Internet has become a part of the life for many. Its the closest friend for many. It is hard to identify a single domain that doesn't use Internet. The privileges we get from Internet do not come to us without a big liability. Yes, I am talking about security. Internet Security. Most of the users connect to Internet from Home System. In most cases, A Windows system.

Windows Operating Systems have many vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be patched with Service Packs and other similar Additional patches from Microsoft. We cant have sigh of relief wit a fully patched Windows system. Its still open to baddies!

The solution is: FIREWALL

Have a firewall installed in your system. Some Windows Operating Systems come with a built in Firewall, but its not efficient enough to counter the attacks.

Using Third party Firewalls is strongly recommended. I use two competing firewalls.

ZoneAlarm and Mcafee.

Let me talk about these wonderful firewalls.


Arguably, the most effective firewall in the industry. It has both free and paid versions. The free version is a full-fledged firewall that protects the system excellently. The paid version has a few more feature added in it. Features:

Program control:

It has a great control over those applications that tries to connect to net. The permissions for those applications can be customized very easily. We can set either of these 3 options:

1. Always allow everything.
2. Always block everything.
3. Let me decide what to do.


It has 3 zones namely Internet, Trusted and Blocked. You can set the security level for each zone. As you can see in the image at right, the Blocked zone blocks everything. You can Allow or Block any ports for Internet and Trusted Zones. There is another option called expert rules. You can create expert rules that overrides the general settings for a particular network, application or port.


You can control the sites. You can allow or block sites from planting cookies in your system. You can create a whitelist and set ZA to allow those sites that are listed in the whitelist only to plant cookies.

Identity Protection:

Prevents your identity from going to unauthorised destinations. It prevents Emails Clients, Browsers, Instant Messengers, etc. from sending information that are blocked by you.

IM Security:

Patrols All Instant Messenger chats. I prefer to switch this feature off as it is annoying at times.

Overall, this product is highly recommended.


It has only paid version. An excellent product that protects the system very efficiently. It has an Antivirus, Spam Guard and Privacy Guard built in with it. Wonderful Package.



It has 5 levels of security:

1. Open [Will allow all traffic except for the internet applications that are blocked previously]
2. Trusting [Allows all trafic automatically]
3. Standard [Prompts the user when new applications request for net access]
4. Tight [Prompts the user for both inbound and outbound net access for applications]
5. Lock down [Net connection is totally blocked]

Traffic Monitor:

It has a Traffic Monitor tool that is very useful. It lists the applications that are actively connecting to Net. It also shows the % of bandwidth each application comsumes and average speed of Internet connection.

IP Management:

It can have a Whitelist and Blacklist of IPs. Entries can be added in the list manually or automatically.

My final verdict of this product is, Go Get It!!