Free GeSWall Isolates You From Cybercriminals

imageI originally reviewed GesWall in September, after having tested this free security application for roughly 30 days. I’ve now gone well past the testing stage, and GesWall has become a permanent fixture on my personal machines.

Since installing GesWall on these home machines (I do not use these machines for testing purposes), I have not had to deal with a single instance of malware intrusion. GesWall is not entirely responsible for this of course, but it has certainly given me an enhanced level of confidence while surfing the Internet.

I think that all users, but particularly new and less experienced users, could benefit significantly by adding this application to their existing layered anti-malware defenses, and here’s why:

Anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall applications generally offer reasonable protection against the increasingly more powerful and destructive Internet based attacks, against home computer systems. Unfortunately, these applications, even taken together, do not make up for the lack of experience, and intuitiveness, of many computer users.

A good example of the effects of this lack of experience can be seen in the field day that malware such as rogue applications, or scareware, is currently enjoying on the Internet. Unaware users are downloading these highly damaging applications by the boatload. Regular readers are aware, that we report on these extremely malicious applications frequently.

Techies and geeks, on the other hand, have the ability to respond to these types of Internet threats in ways that would dazzle an average computer user. They can do this because of their experience, and their highly developed intuitiveness.

So, why not develop a software application that is, in a sense, experienced and intuitive?

GentleSecurity has done just that with the release of GesWall, an intrusion prevention system that is non-intrusive, and requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user.

I’m going to describe this application, as best I can, in a non-technical way, since the objective is to convince less experienced users to give this free application a try. Power users already understand the principals involved in “isolating”, or “sandboxing” applications. Strictly speaking though, GeSWall is not a sandbox.

Simply put, GeSWall is an isolator which dynamically isolates Internet applications including Web Browsers, Chat Clients, Email Clients, and so on. In fact, it can isolate any installed application which the user is unsure of, including application installation applets.

By handling security in this way, GeSWall prevents damage from intrusions and malicious software: viruses, worms, spyware, key loggers etc., including preventing rogue software from being installed.

The following graphic illustrates, in an uncomplicated way, how GeSWall works. Use your screen magnifier to make viewing easier.

GeSWall 2

Following the installation of GeSWall, you are presented with the following screen at which time you have the opportunity to isolate specific applications; particularly applications that interact with the Internet. For example, I have isolated all of my web browsers, and I strongly recommend that you do so as well.

GeSWall 3

There is nothing to be gained by re-inventing the wheel, so I’ll refer you to an excellent video, posted on YouTube, which provides a terrific overview on how effective GeSWall is at protecting a computer against infection. This is an impressive video, and Kudos to Matt over at RemoveMalware.com, for putting it together.

Regular readers of this site are aware that I surf the underbelly of the Internet regularly, seeking out unsafe and damaging sites, malware, rogue applications, etc. I regularly infect the test bed machine I have set aside for this purpose. I then test the removal ability of anti-malware applications.

No matter how I tried however, (being reasonably responsible, of course), I could not infect the machine I set aside to test GeSWall  – it performed flawlessly. If you watched the video I recommended above, then you’ll have seen just how effective this application can be.

GeSWall Fast facts:

Prevents key loggers, rootkits, backdoors.

Prevents confidential file disclosure.

Prevents targeted intrusions.

Prevents malicious software infection.

Independent of attack techniques.

Easy to use, non-intrusive.

Central Management through Active Directory Group Policy

If you use any of the following applications, you can increase your Internet security substantially by installing this free application.

Chat Messengers

Download Managers

E-Mail and News

IRC

Multimedia

Office

P2P

Viewers

Web Browsers

Operating system: Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 7

Download at: Download.com

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

About these ads

17 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Rogue Software, Software, System File Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools

17 responses to “Free GeSWall Isolates You From Cybercriminals

  1. Liam O'Moulain

    I installed this after you first recommended it and I have to say it saved my butt more than once.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Hey Bill,
    Is Geswall better than a free firewall? Thanks!

    • Adrian

      Pochp,

      GESWall, strictly speaking, is not a firewall. This app isolates your web browsers, IM clients, download managers, etc. from changing your computer, just like Sandboxie, another usually recommended app on Tech Thoughts.

      To answer your question, yes, GesWall is better than any firewall, but it would still be a good precautionary measure to include a firewall in your security arsenal.

      Adrian

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Pochp,

      You guys in the Far East are half a day ahead of me, so Adrian gets to answer first – and he’s right in what he says. Just one thing to add – Geswall is NOT a replacement for a firewall (they have nothing in common), so be sure to run a firewall, or you’ll be owned within minutes.

      Happy New Year.

      Bill

  3. Hey Adrian,
    I appreciate your advice. Thanks!
    poch

  4. I’m always a bit wary of applications which are unable to spell common English words such as, er, “applications” (see picture GeSWall3 above).

    Is this suitable for an oldie with no concept of how computers work, Bill? If so, does it allow web browsers to behave normally and still work for home banking? I’m thinking that it’s more use to my father than myself – having plenty of security stuff installed already.

    I’m beginning to feel overloaded by security applicaions (sic). Maybe I’ll just run security apps on my PC and not bother actually using it for anything. ;-)

    Dave K

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Dave,

      I hear ya loud and clear – soon we’ll have 2 security apps for every productivity app, unless something is done to curb cybercriminals.

      The days of limited user knowledge are gone. As we know, the best defense against the bad guys is a knowledge – security applications cannot, and do not, offer ultimate protection. GeSWall, set up properly however, does provide a significant additional layer of protection, and I highly recommend it for less experienced users, such as your father.

      I wouldn’t be too concerned with misspellings where English is not the developers first language, although it’s always good practice to be cautious. One can never be too careful.

      Happy New Year.

      Bill

  5. CE

    Hi Bill,

    I have been using GeSWall since your September column–glad to see more info.

    As a mildly proficient computer user, I was wondering if you could more specifically address layered security at some point. What you consider a typical or acceptable set-up for the average computer user, how many on-demand scanners, how often, etc.

    I use multiple security programs but wonder if I overdue it and worry about their ability to play nicely together. The whole “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

    Thanks for everything. I owe a lot of my knowledge to your columns. Happy New Year.

    –CE

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi CE,

      Your question is very important and as such, requires an in-depth answer. You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, when I tell you that today being New Years Eve, does not allow me the opprtunity to answer in an appropriate way.

      Give me a day, or so, and I’ll lay out a system for you, using overlapping security applications, that will provide the maximum in PC malware protection.

      Your question has certainly provoked some thinking on my part, as to how to cover this important issue in an article. Thank you for that.

      Happy New Year.

      Bill

    • Bill Mullins

      On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Bill Mullins wrote:

      > Hey CE, > > I finally finished that article on your question on layered security, > Please see “Layered Computer Security What Is It? Why Use It? > “. > > Best, > > Bill > > > > On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 3:09 PM, Bill Mullins wrote: > >> Hi CE, >> >> Your question is very important and as such, requires an in-depth answer. >> You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, when I tell you that today being New Years Eve, >> does not allow me the opprtunity to answer in an appropriate way. >> >> Give me a day, or so, and I’ll lay out a system for you, using overlapping >> security applications, that will provide the maximum in PC malware >> protection. >> >> Your question has certainly provoked some thinking on my part, as to how >> to cover this important issue in an article. Thank you for that. >> >> Happy New Year. >> >> Bill >> >> >> >>

  6. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Happy New Year.

    How is this application on system resources. I don’t have a super fast machine, and try and limit what is running in realtime, so performance isn’t affected. Some people I have met have so many security apps running it isn’t funny. I believe in being safe, but not overkill to the point enjoyment of the computing experience is affected.

    Cheers

    Mal

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      I very much hear what you’re saying. You’re right, overkill is pointless and can have dramatic impact on system resources and consequentially, user enjoyment. GeSWall though, sits on my primary personal machine operating in the background, using 805 K of memory, which is virtually no load.

      I find the real problem with over usage of resources is, the crap that people have running in the background that is of no value until needed. Apps such as IM clients, ITunes (a real killer), and so on.

      Later this month, at the suggestion of a reader from down your way incidentally, I’m going to put together an article on what constitutes a proper layered security scheme.

      Happy New Year.

      Bill

  7. Pingback: Invasive Web Sites – Flash Cookies Revisited « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

  8. Pingback: Trackback

  9. Pingback: Layered Computer Security – What Is It? Why Use It? « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts