Top 5 Best Free Firewall for Windows

by Ramesh Natarajan on May 18, 2011

Are you looking for free and effective firewall software to protect your computer system? You have come to the right place. Below is the list of the Top 5 free firewall for Windows operating system.

1. Zone Alarm Basic Firewall

Zone alarm basic firewall is amongst the most downloaded and widely used FREE firewall software available. It is a great inbound and outbound OS firewall solution designed to suit every user’s level of experience. With its user friendly interface, even a novice would be able to easily follow the pop up prompts. It protects the system from intrusions and hack threats as well as controls how programs access the web. Users also have the ability to adjust security settings to suit their requirements to the point of being able to turn off the firewall if necessary.

2. Comodo Firewall

Comodo firewall is again one of the best free firewall solutions that will provide your system a full featured security package similar to that of a paid product. It has topnotch network defense and proactive defense features against malicious attacks. It also allows for flexibility of security control and customization.

3. Online Armor Free Firewall

This is yet another FREE firewall that is powerful enough to protect your computer from external exploitations as it prevents hacker attacks, malicious programs and protects your online transactions and identity. It is also easy to install and manage and does not hinder computer performance.

4. PC Tools Firewall Plus

This free version of PC Tools Firewall Plus provides screening of incoming or outgoing website traffic in your system. It also provides an enhanced security verification which alerts user about possible threats.

5. PC Tools Outpost Firewall

The free version of outpost firewall provides flexible protection without complicated usability. It has a user-friendly interface designed specifically for average users with simplified alert messages and flexible HIPS. It also provides automatic updates.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

sri December 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

hi

forgot to add sygate firewall…

it is also good… imo

thanks…

sri

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Anonymous January 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

online armor only offers online banking and other transactions with paid upgrade.

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anonymous May 10, 2012 at 1:42 am

Zonealarm latest update completely destroyed my PC. Can’t even open in safe mode. Found many other similar reports on the net.

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Barbara Kelly May 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Check Point caused major unnecessary problems when they added the Anti-Virus to the Free Firewall. I have been using Zone Alarm’s free firewell for several years, since I got my first computer. I was more than happy with it and felt my computer was well-protected. That came to a crashing halt today!!!! I could not change my Anti-Virus as I had paid for that program. I hope you are happy with your decision. I also hope you know how many of your former customers you have needless hurt;

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Pepe LePew October 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I love Comodo…..but, I do not use it because I don’t have the option of not adding their anti-virus. Yes, I know that I don’t have to install their Anti-virus, but it tales up space on my drive.

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phloidster October 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I too was a ZoneAlarm fan and user for many years, but alas, recent ‘upgrades’ have degraded it.

The most recent time I installed ZA, it completely broke my browsers’ ability to connect to the internet, even though I could verify connectivity by pinging well known sites.

Also they got they too have gotten the bundling disease. I don’t want anybody’s so-called ‘anti-virus’ or ‘protection’ software — they all break things and cause problems, and still don’t actually protect against anything.

I use a true hardware firewall for my home computers, but for a laptop on public wifi I need a good standalone software firewall. Sadly, most of the good ones are gone or have been ruined by combining into ‘security suites’.

This is a very real problem.

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Kelly Palmer November 14, 2012 at 4:29 am

I could not find Firewall Plus at the PC Tools web site (they are owned by Symantec). The only free product available is Browser Defender.

Outpost Firewall is now owned by Agnitum and is only available for a 30-day trial, but they do have a free security suite that contains a firewall and anti-spam/anti-virus capabilities.

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Chris Muriel March 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

LOL.. I hate ‘security suites’ too. I prefer simple solutions. I think Sygate has very less hassles. I still use it though unsupported. Besides that I’ve used ZA and Outpost. I was happy with ZA many years ago, but not at present. Outpost is good, but not simple when making rules.

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amit March 23, 2013 at 4:05 am

I find comodo is best firewall it show you the list of connection in/out and option to terminate…..

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melen001 June 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

Online Armor Free Firewall has been up-dated so that it can receive software up-dates. This site is nice so please up-date it also…

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Xian September 24, 2013 at 6:36 am

Tinywall and PrivateFirewall are recommended as both offer excellent security whilst taking up very little resources. ZA is boatware and so is Comodo. Read about port scanners here.

I need to disable Windows 8 Firewall but it reactivates itself and then cripples my 3rd party firewall, leaving my system open to port scanners. Also, i use a lot of wireless hotspots and need super security. Advice welcome.

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George Melendez September 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

If you want to disable Wins 8 firewall just go here, and just follow the instructions and your good to go. If you want an excellent firewall I can recommend Private Firewall Version 7. It is very good and no set-up hassle, it’s also free, just run it with the default settings and your good to go. You can get it here download and your good to go. Please let me know how it all works out. Have a great day and God Bless. Hope to rear from you soon.

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Xian September 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hi George, thanks and also thanks for the blessing from God; what a wonderful touch on an ICT website where believers usually get mocked and ostracized!

Regardless of how much I disabled Windows Firewall when using either Tinywall or Private Firewall, WF always reactivates itself and then I lose stealth status. I wrote to both mentioned firewall providers but only received a response from Greg Salvate here, the Private Firewall people. He suggested that I keep using ZA which I meanwhile installed and set up. ZA disables WF and my system now is truly stealth. Moreover, it offers lots of added protection as well as an antivirus.

If anyone needs to secure data and do not wish to use cloud computing, or if they have either no “cloud cover” or are faced with insanely expensive data plans, synchronizing data via USB is still possible between devices. Ultra-secure mobile OS’es such as Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry OS also can be synchronized properly with Outlook by using a paid application called Companionlink.

Only about 34% of the global population can use cloud computing because they have broadband access. Of that group, only 15% have it either cheap or free. The remainder has to face excessive rates and simply cannot afford it. Steve Wosniak ex-Apple warned against using cloud services but few would listen and the industry is forcing users to a system that is far from mature and, for the most part, non-existent.

My quest is for privacy as well as for computing affordably. I am in a 3rd world country where data cost is one of the 10 most expensive in the world. The service is also not consistent and I need my ICT ecosystem to be functioning properly for as little as possible. ZA is using less than 6MB system resources and this is a welcome change, as I remember it eating into my RAM compulsively when I used it a few years back.

I think that I have found the sweet spot here, having excellent firewall and antivirus protection that runs extremely well on a laptop with Windows 8 64-bit and only 2GB RAM! As I need Outlook, I am forced to use Windows. I love Linux and there, I use Firestarter (it is just a GUI for the excellent built-in Linux firewall) which is as solid as you can get.

So, here we are with a proper solution offering true stealth plus added information of how to keep data safe and secure. Few people realise that your data legally becomes the property of a third party when you host it in the cloud and that you lose control over who can access , use or abuse your sensitive client records, personal information, etc, It is of little use to secure your own system back home/office and then let others hack into your records while sitting on a server somewhere in a foreign country!

I hope this helps and yes, I am blessed and I hope that God touches you all in the wonderful way that He had been blessing me since 1985.

You can see some screen shots here, these are not clear as I had to zoom out to fit it in. However, it gives you and idea what a protected computer should look like when tested.

When users have Android phones, just know that you will need much added security there. At the very least, use Bitdefender Internet Security for Android but I fear that may not even be enough, despite its firewall being excellent. Research the topic of Android (in)security and you may get a real fright. Do not download unneccesary approved apps, as even these are proven to be contravening your security wishes without telling you. Do install proper mobile security but also remain alert. As for myself, I may consider Apple’s iOS but never Android. It leaks like a sieve!

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George Melendez September 27, 2013 at 12:09 am

Hi Xian….

Nice to hear from you and glad you have resolved your issue. Please email me. I would like to hear from you.

Hope to hear from you soon, God Bless, Que Dios te Bendiga (Spanish)

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Xian September 27, 2013 at 7:43 am

I find every day that people believe that a firewall keeps out computer viruses. Some firewalls do have added functionality that does that but its primary role is to protect against intrusions from outside BUT also to monitor and control outgoing connections.

The biggest threat to the average user come from the inside. Android devices are a good example. Many APPROVED apps contain spyware or simply function in a way that it communicates much of who you are, what you do and what you have on your computer or smartphone, without your knowledge or consent. The biggest data security breaches usually come from inside an organisation and not from intrusion from the outside. Do not download and install apps that you do not really know are safe, do not trust approved apps, either.

Perhaps reading here may also give bits of insight. Be blessed beyond recognition and have a super day!

Another site to read is here. At that site, I posted a link back to your site here, George, so that users can read as widely as possible. Thank you for your most excellent blog here, one that serves the greater community out there and thank you for guiding folks to cyber safety.

OK, so I did have ZoneAlarm installed and it did work well, but I still like Private Firewall more and I have it running in stealth now. To disable Windows Firewall, I have manually disabled it in programs>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Services & Applications>Services. I suppose I also could have disabled it with a DWORD = 0 value in the registry, but the menu driven way has worked well this time around.

ZoneAlarm has been uninstalled completely with RevoUninstaller and Private Firewall 7.0 is now up and running with maximum settings and this grc reports my machine as stealth.

Thanks for all you excellent advice.

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