10 Best Firewall

10 Best Firewall

The Internet is a magnificent yet dangerous place. No matter how careful you think you are, you will encounter malware and viruses that range from mild nuisances to major security risks. That is why we recommend that you equip your computer with a firewall. As it happens, in this article, we go over ten of what we consider the best firewalls on the market. Follow along, and we will help you find the protection you need to enjoy the wonders of the Internet without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Product FAQ

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A firewall is computer software that acts as a barrier between your computer or computer network and the Internet at large. A firewall will filter the traffic that goes in and out of your computer or network, examining all data to ensure they meet your chosen security criteria before they interact.

Firewalls provide an invaluable level of protection for your computer or computer network. They monitor the data sent to and from your computer, checking whether they are safe or not. The Internet is filled with malware and viruses. Coming into contact with them is, at best, a nuisance, and at worst, a major security risk. Without a firewall, you leave yourself and your personal information vulnerable to hackers, malware, and the like. Rather than taking that risk, we highly recommend you set your computer up with any of the best firewalls, so you can enjoy your time on the web without issues.

When connected to the Internet, your computer is constantly sending and receiving data. Firewalls monitor this process, examining all data and ensuring they meet your security standards. When they encounter data that pose any sort of threat, they block entry and alert you of the issue.

You can find firewalls available for download on the Internet, on sites like Amazon. Any store carrying computer equipment is likely to have a selection of firewall hardware and software.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) categorizes firewalls into three types. These groups are not mutually exclusive, however, and most firewalls will have characteristics from more than one. These categories include packet filters, stateful inspection, and proxies.

How We Reviewed

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The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We set our sights on these criteria because they allowed us to review these firewalls as comprehensively as possible without bogging you down with unnecessary details. With these five parameters as our focus, we are confident that our reviews can guide you to the best firewall for your computing needs.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

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These firewalls range from $0 to $1000. At the lower end, you will find primarily software. At the higher end, you will find physical appliances robust enough to cover entire businesses with their protection. Other price determinants include brand name, comprehensiveness of protection, overall system impact, and company support.

What We Reviewed

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Features

Emsisoft Anti-Malware provides three protective layers, including surf protection, file guard, and behavior blocking. It operates on two scan engines and covers three computers at a time. It is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows XP, and Windows 7.

PROS

  • Runs quickly due to two scan engines
  • 100% detection
  • Three protective layers: surf protection, file guard, and behavior blocking
  • Covers three computers
  • Both anti-virus and anti-malware

CONS

  • Can be tricky for beginners
  • Only compatible with Windows

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $50.

Visibility and Control

Emsisoft Anti-Malware offers a high degree of user control. It is one of the best firewalls for users who know their way around computers.

Protection from Threats

Protection is quick and absolute.

Design Quality

The software is effective, but the interface may take time to learn.

Remote Users

The software is viable for remote users.

Design

The design goes more in-depth than the average firewall, allowing for more complex user interaction.

Where To Buy

Cisco ASA5508-K9 Network Security/Firewall Appliance

Cisco ASA5508-K9 Network Security

Features

The ASA5508-K9 is a physical firewall appliance equipped with 8 ports. It provides a triple-factor threat defense that protects you before, during, and after attacks.

PROS

  • Simple to use
  • Easy to install
  • Great for businesses of all sizes

CONS

  • Somewhat buggy
  • Lackluster customer support

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $950.

Visibility and Control

This firewall offers complete user management.

Protection from Threats

It provides comprehensive threat protection, whether it is before, during, or after an attack.

Design Quality

The hardware design is excellent though there have been numerous issues regarding software updates and bugs.

Remote Users

Because it is a physical appliance, user interactions cannot be completely remote.

Design

The design is slim, unobtrusive, and appealing.

Where To Buy

ZoneAlarm

ZoneAlarm

Features

ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2016 covers three PCs for one year at a time. It has a download size of just 3 MB. It protects PCs against inbound and outbound cyber attacks, monitors suspicious behaviors, and provides security from start-up to shut-down.

PROS

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Intuitive user interface

CONS

  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Does not work well with Windows 10
  • Prone to crashing

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $40.

Visibility and Control

ZoneAlarm Pro offers a high degree of user control through a simple interface.

Protection from Threats

Protection is fairly basic as firewalls go.

Design Quality

The design is lackluster, coming with bugs and dubious compatibility with Windows 10.

Remote Users

This firewall is composed completely of software and is suitable for remote use.

Design

The user interface is fairly intuitive and should not pose any issues for new users.

Where To Buy

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes

Features

A subscription to Malwarebytes will cover three PCs for a period of one year. This software uses three powerful technologies in synchrony to protect your computer from malware that most antivirus programs are unable to spot. It features anti-phishing and identity theft protection, as well as fast scanning.

PROS

  • Runs very quickly
  • Does not have issues with bugs
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Dependable customer service
  • Great value for $40

CONS

  • Can make start-up take longer
  • Some may find it provides too many notifications

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $40.

Visibility and Control

It allows for fairly comprehensive user control but does so in a way that is easy for new users to understand.

Protection from Threats

It provides complete coverage. It is one of the best firewalls in terms of comprehensiveness.

Design Quality

Design quality is definitely above average. The software is free of bugs and the interface is easy to use.

Remote Users

It is a fantastic option for remote users.

Design

The design is easy to understand and fairly comprehensive.

Where To Buy

TinyWall

TinyWall

Features

TinyWall is a small, simple application (not much more than 1 MB). It is designed to provide security without impacting system performance. Best of all, it is completely free.

PROS

  • Completely free
  • Non-intrusive
  • Minimal impact on PC
  • Suitable for beginners and computer experts alike

CONS

  • Somewhat lightweight

Price

This product is available for free on the TinyWall website.

Visibility and Control

TinyWall offers a high level of configuration, as well as a number of pre-set settings for beginners. It is one of the best firewalls in terms of versatility.

Protection from Threats

The protection of TinyWall is somewhat basic but undeniably reliable.

Design Quality

The design does not have the bells and whistles of more expensive firewalls, but it is solid and easy to navigate.

Remote Users

It is perfectly viable for remote users.

Design

The design is easy to understand and comprehensive, despite the somewhat threadbare appearance.

Where To Buy

Fortinet FortiGate

Fortinet FortiGate

Features

The Fortinet FortiGate is a firewall appliance that provides end-to-end security for your network through a single platform. It uses a purpose-built security processor technology and delivers routing, switching, wireless controller, and high-performance IPsec VPN capabilities.

PROS

  • High level of visibility
  • Decent value for firewall hardware
  • Excellent for businesses

CONS

  • Requires registration
  • Installation can be tricky

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $450.

Visibility and Control

It allows for 360-degree visibility for easy identification of issues.

Protection from Threats

This is one of the best firewalls when it comes to complete protection.

Design Quality

The design quality is impeccable, free of bugs and reliable.

Remote Users

This is a physical appliance, so its remote viability is limited.

Design

The design is white, sleek, and sturdy. Overall, it is a well-designed product.

Where To Buy

Comodo Firewall

comodo

Features

The Comodo Firewall covers three PCs for one year. It is compatible with Windows 10, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows XP, and Windows 7. It provides complete protection

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Highly transparent, real-time protection
  • A very intuitive firewall

CONS

  • Only compatible with Windows

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $40.

Visibility and Control

Comodo allows for a high level of user configuration, but not to a daunting extent.

Protection from Threats

It is guaranteed to block 100% of viruses and other malware.

Design Quality

The interface is free of bugs and easy to navigate.

Remote Users

This is one of the best firewalls for remote use.

Design

The design is fairly standard and does not depart from the norms of firewall interfaces.

Where To Buy

Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls

Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls

Features

The Cisco Meraki MX is a physical appliance with a firewall throughput of 25 mbps. It serves up to 50 clients and supports up to 4 SSIDs. It features Layer 7 application visibility and traffic shaping.

PROS

  • Provides 3 years of coverage
  • Includes 24/7 support
  • Easy setup

CONS

  • Major limitations in its secondary backup port
  • Does not include the security license enabling content filtering

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $700.

Visibility and Control

We were somewhat disappointed in the amount of control the Meraki allows. It is not the best firewall in this regard.

Protection from Threats

Threat protection is comprehensive and runs without issues.

Design Quality

The design quality is above average, but lags in two regards: backup internet and VPN use.

Remote Users

This is a physical piece of hardware, so remote use is limited.

Design

The physical design is sleek and pleasing on the eyes. The hardware is sturdy and well-built.

Where To Buy

Outpost Firewall

outpost

Features

The Outpost Firewall provides complete security without impacting your computer’s performance. It offers four customizable security levels over an intuitive security interface.

PROS

  • Self-learning algorithm to store your responses to pop-ups
  • Available for free
  • Easy to use
  • Minimal impact on system performance

CONS

  • Free version comes with advertisements

Price

This product can be found for free on the product’s website.

Visibility and Control

It offers a surprisingly high level of configuration for free software.

Protection from Threats

Its protection is comprehensive, matching that of priced software.

Design Quality

The design quality is solid and reliable. You will not encounter many, if any, bugs while running this software.

Remote Users

This is a great choice for remote use.

Design

The design is simple, even for beginners, and offers a great deal of room for tinkering. The advertisements are a minor annoyance.

Where To Buy

pfSense

pfSense

Features

The PfSense is a network security industrial mini PC with four gigabit Intel LAN ports, 4G RAM, and 32G SSD I5. It is a fanless system that functions as both a mini PC and a firewall.

PROS

  • One of the best firewalls for Linux
  • Can be used as a mini PC
  • Low CPU utilization

CONS

  • Time-consuming upgrade process
  • Can be confusing for beginners

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Visibility and Control

The pfSense provides among the highest levels of control and visibility.

Protection from Threats

The threat protection is basic but reliable.

Design Quality

The pfSense is well constructed, if not a bit dated.

Remote Users

This is a physical piece of hardware with limited viability for remote use.

Design

The design is reliable and solid, but somewhat dated.

Where To Buy

The Verdict: The Best Firewall

Of the ten firewalls we have reviewed, one in particular stood out: TinyWall. TinyWall is completely free, (price rating: $), yet it provides a level of protection that rivals firewalls that would burn a hole through your wallet. TinyWall is easy to use, with an interface free of distractions. It has minimal impact on your system’s performance and does its job without pestering you with constant notifications. We highly recommend you give TinyWall a shot.

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