Many people feel that computer and network security is only applicable to large corporations and governments. Why would a regular Internet user need protections? Big mistake - regular users and especially teleworkers need to protect their computer and information from hackers, viruses, trojans and more. Every minute that your computer is connected to the Internet, it is vulnerable to intrusions and theft from hackers. Most companies require some sort of personal firewall along with the VPN software being used to ensure safety of their data. Broadband or modem - full time home workers or road warriors - a personal firewall and good anti-virus software are essential.
Here we review some of the more popular personal firewall packages and see how they stack up against each other. The main criteria for the decision were functionaligy, ease of use, support and price. The preferred choices are McAfee Personal Firewall and ZoneAlarm Pro.
McAfee Personal Firewall ReviewMcAfee Personal Firewall
McAfee is a name long associated with personal computer security products. They have taken their anti-virus expertise to the firewall/security area. This application has many layers of security and provides an ideal mix of intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, logging and application monitoring. It can help you secure your PC against port scans, hack attempts, trojans and more. You might also learn about what some of your existing applications are sending out over the Internet! The price is a reasonable $24.95 for a year (updates) and comes in on the low end of our comparison. Excellent bang for the buck from a trusted name.
Zone Alarm Pro ReviewZoneAlarm Pro
This latest version of ZoneAlarm (4.0/4.5) is an easy to use and effective firewall that takes an application-based approach to securing your computer. The software maintains a database of the applications installed on your computer which make use of the Internet/network connection, and keeps track of which applications you do and don't want to have access to the Internet. When you first install ZoneAlarm, it will frequently ask you to decide whether a given application (Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, RealAudio, etc.) should be allowed to send data over or receive data from the network. One the rules are created, you can sit back and let Zone Alarm decipher what is allowed and what is not. Its not just a personal firewall, its also a virus controller, an ad blocker, an application/program controller, an invisible shield and hacker tracker. At $39.95 (after rebates) it is decently priced with ease of use, flexibility and many added features making it a preferred choice.
Black Ice Defender/Protection Review
Black Ice Protection
This firewall is only an intrusion detection tool for personal computers. It does NOT monitor you application's network access - instead it only focuses on trying to catch the bad guys breaking in making it far from a complete firewall solution for a Teleworker. By only concentrating on intrusion detection, Black Ice Defender is leaving the user vulnerable to a whole gambit of security issues including trojans and other malicious software. If you are only going to use one firewall application (why use more?) then your $24.99 can be better spent elsewhere.