May 5, 2006

Free Windows Firewalls

It seems like every year I need to go through this exersize over and over again.
The Firewall landscape seems to be like a formicating pool changing goalposts and lanscape as you watch.

What was good is now deprecated and vice-versa.

I used to prefer AtGuard, but then new exploits came on the scene which it did not catch (Due to some Windows low-level flaws) and the product was discontinued (and later bought by another company and defiled)

Then I swote by Tiny Personal Firewall (version 2015a), and that also went the way of the dodo.

Then it was Zone Alarm 5 (version 55940).

Then it was Kerio Personal Firewall

And for the past year I was using Sygate Personal Firewall (which I bought)

To my great dismay I have now discovered that Symantec has bought Sygate and basically deprecated the product, and having no great love for Norton/Symantec or MacAfee I started to look for alternative.

These are my options now. (in order of preference)
  1. Core Force
  2. ZoneAlarm 55940
  3. Sygate 5.6
  4. Tiny Personal Firewall 2015a
  5. Kerio
  6. AtGuard 322u

For most people I would suggest ZoneAlarm 5 which can be found at OldVersion, but if you have a bit of time (at least initially) but want FULL and I mean *FULL!* control over all programs and access on your machine, look no further than Core Force. It may not be as polished as the rest, but it is totally free and massivle configureable.

Most of these firewalls and versions can be found using google or on the OldVersions site.

My criteria have been:
  • Machine Performance Degredation/Footprint (Sygate was the best here)
  • Ease of Use (ZoneAlarm)
  • Configureability (Core Force, Sygate, Kerio, Tiny)
  • Cost (Can't argue with Free)
Any comments welcome.
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