If you have a Windows computer, then you already have a firewall. However, that firewall is disappointingly easy to hack, which is why many users simply don’t trust it to block out unwanted internet traffic.
Well, this list of free firewalls isn’t significantly better than the Windows Firewall, but these firewalls do use a different protection system than Windows, which could mean that hackers bypass your computer and move on.
Hackers are expecting you to use the free firewall that comes with Windows. Why not surprise them and use one of the free firewalls featured in this roundup?
4) ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2013
ZoneAlarm is the most consumer-friendly firewall on our list. ZoneAlarm features a professionally-designed interface and superior security protection. It does everything a firewall should do and comes with bonus features that make it even better for PC security.
3) Comodo Firewall (2013)
Comodo Firewall is a free firewall that gets re-released every year. The 2013 edition has better support than many paid firewalls, and it has plenty of advanced technical features for those who want the best blend of protection and customization. Techies will enjoy a sandbox feature, secure DNS lockup, and other features that will likely intimidate novice PC users.
2) TinyWall 2.1
TinyWall 2.1 is one of the most effective firewalls listed here because it works alongside the Windows Firewall – it doesn’t force you to disable it. In other words, your computer now has two layers of protection against intrusions. TinyWall is a free and small application that doesn’t come with any bells and whistles – it just quietly does its job and keeps out threats.
1) Ashampoo FireWall
Yes, Ashampoo is a weird name for a firewall. However, Ashampoo is a niche name for a niche audience: this firewall is only for Windows XP and Windows 2000 users, which makes it a throwback program for you older OS users out there. Ashampoo has about the same number of pop-ups as the Windows Firewall, and it’s not a perfect firewall, but if you’re looking for a free alternative to the Windows XP/2000 firewall, then Ashampoo is a good option.
How to disable the Windows Firewall
The Windows Firewall is easy to disable – once you’ve installed a new firewall, Windows will ask you which firewall you want to use. If it doesn’t, then go here:
-Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall, then simply turn off the firewall from there
-Alternatively, if you’re using Windows 7 or above, just search for Windows Firewall using the default Start menu search bar and turn it off from there
Why “anything but Windows Firewall” isn’t a bad idea
When hackers are trying to exploit PC security, they like to visit PCs with security systems that they recognize. Above all, hackers recognize Microsoft’s firewall system more than any other security system in the world. The vast majority of PC users use only the Windows Firewall, which means a talented hacker can recognize that you’re using a common firewall and then use that knowledge to their advantage.
As soon as you switch to a free firewall, you trip up that hacker and encourage them to move onto another system. Why would they waste time figuring out a foreign, unfamiliar firewall when there are a million other PCs with the default Windows Firewall installed?