The rise of the internet has led to the rise of malware.
Trojans that sneak into desktop computers to broadcast private data. Sniffers that search out vulnerabilities in networks before attempting an all-out attack. Today, if you’re online, you need a firewall to protect against these threats.
Anti-virus and anti-malware technology has improved as the second line of defense — but firewalls remain your first point of protection, particularly if you use a PC. Why is that? Well, some malware can abuse the permissions granted to software and apps to establish an unauthorized internet connection. Should this happen, anyone could harvest data from your device.
A firewall ensures that all software on your PC has explicit permission to connect to the internet, which all-but-eliminates most threats. Check your cyber security services to see which firewall they use.
Here are the best firewalls to keep your device out of harm’s way.
Best Firewalls To Use In 2020
Firewalls often come as part of an internet security package.
Anti-virus providers like to integrate firewalls into their cyber security services to give single users and big businesses alike comprehensive protection against a range of cybersecurity threats. Most are paid-for, some are free — here, we’re covering both worlds, leaving you to pick the best option for you.
- Robust firewall
- AI-enhanced threat detection
- Comprehensive toolkit
SentinelOne is our first choice when it comes to firewalls for small businesses.
The service boasts one of the best security protection toolkits on the market, keeping businesses protected from malware, ransomware, first-day exploits, and insider threats. Better still, you can mitigate the threat of a cyberattack by restoring your system in seconds, effectively immunizing your network against the threat.
SentinelOne’s use of intelligent automation even keeps networks secure from emerging threats before they materialize — spotting malicious code that looks odd, then isolating the potential security risk.
2. Bitdefender Total Security
- Microphone protection
- Up to 5 devices
Bitdefender Total Security is a comprehensive security suite that includes a firewall amidst a collection of other valuable services.
Multi-layered malware protection also stops ransomware, while anti-virus software is built-in. While additional features include anti-phishing, anti-fraud, and anti-theft protection, alongside a performance optimizer. And privacy controls cover anti-tracking, file encryption, and shredder options.
One of the benefits of Bitdefender is it works across operating systems, including Android, macOS, and iOS devices. Better still, you can install it on up to five devices on one license, ensuring ‘total security’ across smartphones and laptops. And it doesn’t cost the earth: if you want protection beyond a standard firewall, it’s an economical and easy path to peace of mind.
3. Avast Premium Security
- Robust firewall
- Up to 10 devices
Avast Premium Security offers similar functionality to Bitdefender across two packages: for single-use or on up to ten devices, covering Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
The service gives you the option to protect everything you use at work. Or, you can use it to protect your family’s devices. And the firewall is only the first layer of protection with anti-ransomware, file encryption, and file shredder, all keeping your data secure. Then there’s the benefit of anti-fraud and anti-phishing protections, meaning safer online banking and no risk of a third party hijacking your webcam.
The only downside to Avast is the stream of pop-up ads that bombard you with cross-selling. If you can ignore them, it’s a sound security option.
4. Norton 360 Deluxe
- Smart Firewall
- Secure VPN
- Password Manager
- Online Back-up
Norton 360 Deluxe offers one of the richest internet security experiences available.
Of course, the package includes a firewall alongside anti-virus and anti-malware protection. But it goes several steps further. Additional options include a secure VPN, a password manager, and cloud-based back-ups. You can even use the dark web monitoring service to find out if your personal or business details ever appear for sale following a data breach.
However, all these features come at a price. If top-level identity protection or continuous credit rating monitoring isn’t your number-one priority, you may find the other options offer better value.
- Free option available
- Easy to use
- Robust anti-virus protection
ZoneAlarm offers a remarkably effective firewall for free, so it’s little wonder over 20 million users have downloaded it.
The free version does have ads and doesn’t offer every feature. However, it is more than capable of flagging unsafe traffic, blocking unauthorized connections, and disabling malicious software. A two-way firewall monitors both inbound and outgoing traffic, ensuring that your device is invisible to hackers while stopping spyware from sharing your data.
Then there’s the early-boot protection that prevents rootkits from taking over your computer. As well as anti-phishing scans that check URLs for potential security threats and warn you off sharing information with untrustworthy sites — while ZoneAlarm can also delete malicious code should you mistakenly click the wrong link.
6. Comodo Firewall
- Free option available
- Low resource usage
- ‘Virtual Kiosk’ for testing apps
Comodo Firewall is another free option worthy of your consideration.
It monitors traffic for suspicious activity. It keeps ports hidden from hackers. And it blocks spyware from broadcasting your data to unknown third parties. It even comes with a secure browser. And a host-intrusion protection system (HIPS) that can spot when any software is acting suspiciously, then ask if you’d like to allow an action, block it, or use the program as an installer.
This secure browser guarantees higher security, privacy, and performance than you get with standard browsers — while the ‘virtual kiosk’ lets you run unknown applications in a secure, sandboxed environment, ensuring no malicious software can launch an attack on your actual computer.
Check Your Cyber Security Services Use The Right Firewall
Whether you use a free version or opt to pay, know you’re doing the right thing by installing a firewall.
They act as your device’s first line of defense when you connect to the internet. And they can protect you from viruses, malware, and ransomware — alongside a host of other cyber-security threats.
If you’re not sure if you’re using the right firewall, feel free to call Mid-Coast Tech on 207-223-7594: we’d be delighted to share everything we know about such cyber security solutions.