Every PC needs a firewall to keep it secure. As it is a necessary feature for a PC, Windows does include a basic firewall. However, for more security conscious and advanced users, a third-party firewall solution is a useful addition to your antimalware arsenal.
The money spent on a firewall can easily be paid in dividends of less downtime, and a more secure PC that has hardened from an online attack. Here are some excellent firewall software options to consider.
1. Bitdefender Internet Security 2018
A comprehensive security suite with a top-level firewall
Can be managed from a mobile device
Includes ransomware protection
It is no longer classified in the top in tests  Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 is a full-length player in this space and includes a full set of security features to keep your PC safe from attack.
In addition to the excellent firewall, Bitdefender includes many advanced features, including privacy protection of the webcam, multilayer ransomware protection and management from a mobile device.
It also includes an anti-phishing feature, a file shredder to safely delete files, a rescue mode and a password manager to block all the multiple vulnerability points commonly found in modern PC systems.
On the Bitdefender website, the company points out the numerous awards this software has won, including the "Best protection" and "Best performance" awards from AV Test an independent laboratory that rates software security . Although the product did win these awards from 2013 until the tests of December 2017, in the most recent test of February 2018, Bitdefender Internet Security was not chosen as a "Superior Product" since some competitors obtained better grades, although the company still did it well.
A free 30-day trial version is available, and the program is available through a subscription for up to three devices, with a year that costs $ 44.99 (£ 33, AU $ 59).
2. Kaspersky Internet Security 2018
Another great name in security …
Best ranked in the latest tests
No file shredder or password manager
Based in Moscow, Kaspersky Lab is a well-known multinational cybersecurity provider that works to identify malware threats and offers a range of security software.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2018 is your offer for a software firewall for the personal Windows user. It has many additional functions, including malware disinfection, software cleaning to remove unused applications that reduce system performance, blocking of ads through the Anti-Banner feature and a higher level of security for purchases and online banking . Virus scans and database updates can also be performed remotely through a portal.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2018 is a & # 39; Superior Product & # 39; of AV-Test in the last round of tests. A one-year license and three devices can be purchased for $ 39.99 (£ 29, AU $ 53).
3. Norton Security Standard
The firewall that covers all the malware
100% money back guarantee
Best valued in tests
Integrated anti-spyware and anti-ransomware
The subscription only covers one single device  Norton Security Standard comes in four levels that start in Basic, and Standard is the lowest that includes a firewall.
The program has a smart firewall and also adds protection against all types of malware, including antivirus and anti-ransomware and antispyware for comprehensive protection. Norton Security Standard also offers "always customer service," and even backs this up with a 100% guarantee to keep your device virus-free or provide a refund. It is also a & # 39; Superior Product & # 39; in the security results of the AV test.
Norton Security Standard is available as a subscription for a device for $ 39.99 (£ 29, AU $ 53) for the first year. Users with multiple devices will be better served by upgrading from Standard to Deluxe, which covers five devices.
4. Zone Alarm Pro Firewall 2018
The first firewall software
Makes the PC invisible to hackers
Unstable with other anti-malware software
Not as complete as some rivals
While some security suites offer a firewall as one of their services, Check Point's Zone Alarm Pro Firewall 2018 has its firewall function as its main feature.
It has an "advanced firewall" that monitors the suspicious behavior of the computer and, therefore, can detect new attacks before the malware has been identified and the signature can be distributed to the software, called & # 39; Zero hour protection & # 39; You can also protect the system during startup, a time when it is particularly vulnerab
le before most other security programs are uploaded and running.
This is a bi-directional firewall to prevent the PC from being visible to hackers, and the program also has automatic wireless network security, which "detects wireless networks and automatically applies the most secure firewall protection settings" to maintain The system is safe when connected via Wi-Fi.
Zone Alarm Pro 2018 is an affordable price of $ 24.95 (£ 18, AU $ 33) for an individual license, and $ 29.95 (£ 22, AU $ 40) for five licenses, both through a one-year subscription.
5. F-Secure SENSE
A box to protect them all
A firewall for the smart house
Network level antivirus protection
Higher cost as a router requires continuous subscription
The router specifications are not class leader  In a home network configuration, the traditional approach has been to run the security suite at the PC level, with less security emphasis at the router level. With the growing number of "Internet of Things" devices, such as your thermostat or video transmission box, which are essentially impossible to protect through a security package, the focus has shifted to harden the router, taking a set of security on the network that the level of the client, and doubling this box as a & # 39; smart home security device. & # 39;
Examples of this include Bitdefender Box 2 and the F-Secure SENSE. The latter includes antivirus and anti-bot protection for the entire network, integrated in an always updated router, which can be managed through a simple mobile application.
While the level of network security sounds attractive, keep in mind that there are some disadvantages. The first is that the router is not the most robust in wireless tasks, and the F-Secure SENSE complies with the pedestrian standard AC1750. The other is that the cost is $ 199 (£ 144, AU $ 262) for the box that includes the first year of subscription, and subsequent annual subscriptions are $ 109 (£ 79, AU $ 144) thereafter, what which makes it more expensive than the other solutions here, both in terms of initial and ongoing costs.