If you’re searching for the best firewall for Windows 7, look no further. We’ve got plenty of choices for you to select from. Most routers come integrated with hardware firewalls. While many consider them better than software counterparts in terms of stability and assurance, others prefer adopting a second line of defense. It’s better safe than sorry, after all. However, there are certain drawbacks when it boils down to implementing a software-based firewall. The main issue may be related to performance which can be noticeably affected, with resources being allotted to these applications, while the ones integrated within a router aren’t likely to cause much bother. Also, the default firewall bundled with the Microsoft OS in question is considerably strong and effective. Here are your options anyway –
We have more reasons than one to place the Zone Alarm firewall tool first in today’s roster. For starters, it provides 2-way filtering which not only monitors inbound packets, but also outbound ones. Through this, it aims to deliver enhanced protection from hackers and viruses trying to get hold of your personal data. The UI employed here is simple and clean, delivering a convenient layout for every user. And here’s the best part – the company says that it can play nice with almost any anti-virus software. The free edition tags along a firewall with a security toolbar, while the Pro version is accompanied by 24/7 customer support as well.
Price: $29.95 for the Pro version
2. ESET Smart Security:
The next candidate in the firewall for Windows 7 roundup is Smart Security 5.0 from ESET. We’ve got a number of good reasons as to why we’re recommending this software suite. Apart from a 2-way firewall, it packs in an anti-malware scanner to rid you of those pesky intruders, an anti-spam filter and parental controls for a safer web experience. To top it off – definition updates are sent over silently so you’re not coerced into tolerating those annoying pop ups.
3. Kaspersky Internet Security 2012:
Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 is an all-round protection tool that provides enhanced security against viruses, Trojans, spam, hackers and the likes. With the URL Advisor, you’ll be notified which websites are dangerous or harmful to visit based on a color-coded tag. Well, the choice of proceeding is still yours. The System Watcher tool has been improved in this version to deliver better safety by monitoring all application activities, while the Safe Run mode allows you to access content in an isolated environment where no harm can be inflicted upon your system. Let’s not forget to note the 2-way personal firewall either.
4. Comodo Firewall:
Comodo Firewall is one of the most recommended utilities among the tech know-it-alls and it’s quite convenient in terms of usability. Not only that, it’s fast and free. Setting up the tool is relatively simple. The credit for that goes to the intuitive interface which pushes a host of options to the forefront. Additionally, the application delivers prevention based security by blocking viruses and malware from infiltrating your system. Like we mentioned earlier, software-based firewalls can take a toll on performance. Well, this application is prepared for that. It packs in a game mode that puts operations such as alerts, virus database updates and scheduled scans on hold.
5. Norton Internet Security 2012:
Amongst the many options in today’s firewall for Windows 7 lineup, Norton Internet Security 2012 is one of our personal favorites. Equipped with a ‘Smart’ 2-way firewall, the software aims to prevent cyber-criminals from gaining unauthorized access to your confidential documents and content. In addition to this, you get enhanced spam blocking, various bandwidth management tools, monthly threat reports, a dose of the company’s anti-phishing technology and the Identity Safe attribute which can be configured to automatically enter form details into your website. What’s more, it tags along a Bootable Recovery Tool that enables you to create an emergency rescue disk, just in case you’re hit hard with infections.
6. Bit Defender Total Security 2013:
The Bit Defender Total Security 2013 software is definitely at par with Norton Internet Security. And just like the latter, it comes with a complete set of tools for fending off viruses, spyware, rootkits and the likes. What’s more, it does have a few extra perks including a built-in PC tune-up utility. Similar to ZoneAlarm, you get 2-way firewall protection which constantly monitors your internet connection to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, you’ll be able to remotely wipe or lock your portable PC if stolen or lost. Each subscription can be installed on a maximum of 3 PCs.
The Windows7FirewallControl 5.0 utility doesn’t quite fit in with the others featured in our firewall for Windows 7 roster. But here’s why it’s on the list anyway – What this tool does is, it provides intuitive methods for beginners to configure the protection software pre-loaded on the OS in question. Through this, you’ll be able to monitor and block unwanted incoming as well outgoing threats with ease. The application is fully compatible with the latest versions of Windows. It also gets integrated with Explorer to deliver instant notifications. The company is offering this utility in free and paid editions.
8. Outpost Security Suite:
The last entry is a ‘fully-functional’ free internet security suite. If you haven’t heard the name Outpost before, here’s a brief introduction to the software – The tool is basically built based on the company’s Pro anti-virus application and it packs in a host of features for enhanced protection, all fitted within a small, lightweight package. The basic requirements needed to smoothly run this software include 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista or XP on systems equipped with 256MB RAM, 200MB free storage and a minimum 450MHz CPU clock frequency.
We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again – if you want a worry-free web experience with minimal threat of getting hacked or having your confidential data in the hands of a cyber-criminal, we really recommend that you get a good NAT router. Adding any of the above-mentioned best firewall for Windows 7 options could provide a second layer of protection. Apart from performance, another drawback of third-party packet monitors is that they come bundled with anti-virus and other security features. If you happen to come across any noteworthy software that’s worthy of this list, do drop in a word or two.