Firewalls are the important security tools that make your PC safe and secure from any vulnerabilities. Inbuilt security tools on your Windows PC are not strong enough to tackle hackers. For additional security, you need third-party security software – a firewall.
You can buy host-based firewalls for less than $100, while their enterprise versions would cost you more than $1500 a year. Top antivirus brands such as Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee, among others, offer advanced firewalls at mid-range prices.
But, what if you could get a firewall that’s completely free and as advanced as the paid ones? Here’s a look at the latest and the best free firewalls to protect your PC in 2019.
1. AVS Firewall
AVS Firewall tops the list of 2019’s best free firewalls. It has a super-friendly interface that allows you to use it easily. The basic features of AVS Firewall are found common in all firewall software in the market.
They include – ad blocking, pop-up blocker, malicious software removal, restoring registry changes made by a virus, and more.
You can customize the features on this firewall, too. After installing the AVS Firewall on my Windows computer, I tweaked a few settings such as –
- Create a blacklist of websites you don’t want to access (Parent Control)
- Enable ad blocker and banner blocker on specific URLs
- Deny or grant access to selective IP addresses and programs
The firewall has a ‘Journal’ feature on its dashboard. You can view the overall history of network connections here. The AVS Firewall, however, faces technical glitches when you run it on Windows 10. These issues are primarily linked to recent Windows 10 updates.
Overall, the AVS Firewall is a great product that offers standard-to-advanced security features and is completely free.
2. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
ZoneAlarm offers a free firewall that comes as a part of the ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall package. It does everything that you’d expect from a firewall.
It is essentially a security software that offers you interesting choices on online activity monitoring, response to threats and data backup. You get a free toolbar on your browser apps, and it lets you view the list of blocked ads and banners.
What’s best about ZoneAlarm free firewall?
A few salient features of this product make it a unique tool to create an additional wall of security for your PC. With ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, users can –
- browse in stealth mode
- manage programs – provide internet access to selective apps
- customize permissions to restrict unwanted internet use
- monitor the connected networks to detect local system threats
- create an online backup for data
You can also make use of the firewall’s identity protection features for authentication purposes.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall could force the toolbar on your browser apps and change your default homepage. And, the firewall’s latest version doesn’t have any antiphishing features.
When you customize the firewall’s threat sensitivity to maximum, it flags the bad as well as the good programs.
Don’t get fooled by the name, TinyWall is not at all a ‘tiny’ firewall when stacked up against dozens of online threats and multiple hacking attempts. It is a best-in-class free firewall to scan your PC for threats and malware.
TinyWall works best in stopping the installation of malware. Malicious software is unable to bypass the security permissions set by TinyWall, and their spread in your PC gets curbed significantly.
- Doesn’t annoy you with too many notifications
- It has an app scanner to create a safe list of good programs
- Autolearn mode – the smart firewall identifies trusted apps and allows network access accordingly
- The firewall lacks a user-friendly interface
- You can access it from pop-ups only
- It works only on a .NET framework
Overall, the TinyWall firewall is simple and effective, and best for recognizing apps, processes, and websites that are safe for use.
4. Comodo Firewall (Free Version)
A good firewall should allow you to block a process or an app without disconnecting the network. The Comodo Firewall (free version) fits the bill of a comprehensive firewall with hands-on blocking features.
Comodo’s Free Firewall is a trusted firewall that makes the security functions easy for you. It is not hard to tweak settings on this firewall and step up your PC security.
Top features of Comodo Free Firewall include –
- Virtual internet browsing
- Custom ad-blocker
- DNS-server supported browsing
- Rating Scan – an option to test the trust of processes running in the background
Behavioral detection of malware, automatic sandboxing, and simple UI make Comodo Free Firewall an appropriate security measure for your Windows computer.
However, the software is huge in size and takes up time in download and installation. It can slow your network connections. There’s a KillSwitch feature that terminates the blocked apps and processes when enabled. It doesn’t take your permissions in doing so.
Comodo Firewall is usually installed as a part of the Comodo Antivirus 10 suite. You can also bootleg and download the free version of this firewall.
5. OpenDNS Home Firewall
OpenDNS Home is the best free firewall for personal use. It is not made for offering enterprise-level security but can be used for mid-level businesses.
A cool feature of this firewall is that it installs only when you connect to OpenDNS servers. As a result, the firewall protection gets employed on all devices connected to your network.
The firewall’s alternate approach to security makes it perfect for your hyper-connected homes and workplaces.
The setup instructions are a bit boring, but the OpenDNS free firewall is simple to use after installation. Also, there are too many filtering options on this firewall, but it only helps you by keeping a track of known threats and new dangers.
I found out about this simple software that lets you cut off the network traffic to secure your connection. The NetDefender firewall is a program that scans IP addresses, blocks pop-ups and ads, and at the same time – monitors incoming and outgoing traffic.
It allows you to view processes that are forcefully connecting to your network server. You can customize and select the processes to block the traffic on your network.
The firewall also shows details and status of these blocked apps and items every time they show up.
Why choose the NetDefender Free Firewall?
It may lack some advanced features revealed earlier in other free firewalls. Nonetheless, the NetDefender firewall is useful software that manages your security rules and creates a quick response to online threats.
7. GlassWire Firewall
GlassWire is a tool that keeps a sharp eye on data being sent and received between your computer, connected devices, Local Area Network, and the internet. This is how the firewall tackles security threats in a conclusive setup.
While the user interface is not so friendly and you need to keep clearing the activity logs, GlassWire is still a trusted free firewall for your PC.
What’s best about GlassWire Free Firewall?
It is a well-designed firewall that boosts you security by –
- Scanning apps
- Monitoring network traffic usage
- Notifying programs with internet access
You can also set alarms whenever a new app or program wants to use internet access. This way, you can choose to provide access or not.
Sometimes, you need software like the Privatefirewall to switch between the security profiles. It is a tool that can instantly put your PC into a protected mode. You can move to safe browsing and block unwanted apps or processes from entering your PC.
Privatefirewall has a unique feature of being able to switch into different firewall modes. You can customize the rules for each firewall mode and change them as needed. When you switch from one firewall mode to another, Privatefirewall restores the new security rules.
You may not find advanced features on Privatefirewall, but it is an effective program for basic firewall functions.
9. Windows Firewall (Basic Version)
It comes at the end of this list, because the default Windows Firewall stays less evolved compared to other free firewalls. Your Windows computer already has the Windows Firewall and it is a utility that is free to use and upgrade.
Windows Firewall is a full-featured product made for professionals and amateurs, both. You can control the internet access to apps & processes, and create notifications for your consent.
This built-in tool gives you full control over any form of data being drawn into or from your Windows system. However, you may feel its security basic when you’re up against intricate cyber-threats and cunning hackers.
Over the years, hackers have found loopholes in the Windows Firewall and made their way into user systems. But, updates on Windows Firewall continue to close up these open links.
You may also face an issue while using advanced features of Windows Firewall on a Windows 10 system that has been completely updated.
10. Outpost Firewall
You don’t need a paid firewall if you have Outpost Firewall on your PC. It is a tool that lets you skip the usual firewall wizard and set new rules in simple steps.
Along with that, the Outpost Firewall allows users to run new apps and scan their behavior with internet access.
It is designed for users interested in creating custom block lists. You can whitelist an app or process easily, and the Outpost Firewall continues to scan them to avoid any oversights.
Key features of Outpost Firewall
- Simple and easy-to-follow user interface
- Standard & advanced settings are coupled together for interlinked security
- Anti-Leak Control – a feature that cuts down your system’s data throughput
Sadly, the Outpost Firewall is no longer being developed to the latest versions. You can still put it to use on almost all operating systems.
11. PeerBlock Firewall
The visibility of a firewall – such as PeerBlock – sets it apart from other free firewalls. PeerBlock doesn’t directly block programs, but makes these selections visible to users.
You can use PeerBlock to block programs and websites, but the tool does this with a different approach. It makes a list of blocked apps and IP addresses. This list is visible to users at any time and gets updated from time to time.
Now, the PeerBlock program categorizes this list and classifies the blocked apps and processes. A summary of this method helped me in understanding which app on my computer was at a higher risk than the other.
PeerBlock labels the blocked content in various formats – IP addresses, business ISPs, ads, educational banners, P2P links and spyware, among others.
12. Firewall App Blocker
Even with limited security components, a program like Firewall App Blocker serves the purpose of being the best free firewall for your computer.
The Firewall App Blocker makes the list of top free firewalls of 2019. It is a program that offers effective response to online threats and internal app activities.
The setup and installation is easy and quick. You can primarily use the Firewall App Blocker to block programs from accessing the internet.
A simple drag-drop allows you to create a list of apps with restricted internet access. The program also gels well with other free firewalls on your computer.
A free firewall does what paid firewall’s do, and these 12 programs don’t miss the mark. You can use some for protecting your businesses and securing your enterprise systems. For personal use, each free firewall on this list is befitting.
Tell us how you chose and settled on the best free firewall for protecting your computer in 2019. If we’ve missed out any software, let us know in the comments below.
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