Free PC Tools Firewall – Casual Computer User Friendly
When I installed Windows 7 Beta on one of my home machines earlier this year, I was disappointed to find that I was initially stuck with the Win 7 built-in Firewall which monitors inbound Internet traffic only.
In my view, a Firewall application that does not monitor both inbound and outbound traffic is essentially worthless.
So now I was on the hunt for a free two-way firewall, which would monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic from my Win 7 installation without being overly intrusive. The key here was “without being overly intrusive”. Firewalls that demand attention every 5 minutes drive me crazy!
There are many free Firewalls available, but most of them are intrusive and not really appropriate for casual computer users. Despite the fact I’m not a “casual computer user”, my requirements for my personal machines are similar, in many respects, to a casual user’s requirements.
After a great deal of searching I found PC Tools Firewall, a free application which meets all my needs and then some. Incidentally, I was not alone in my search for a replacement Firewall. In the early days following the release of Windows 7 Beta, search engines were burning up with requests for a free Firewall that was Win 7 ready.
I’ve been running with PC Tools Firewall for a few months, first on Win 7 Beta, and now on Windows 7 RC, and in this short time period I have been impressed with its performance. It installed easily, set up quickly, and has not caused any conflicts with my machine despite my sometimes esoteric running requirements.
The default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users – and despite the hype put out by the IT industry, most computer user can be classified as having limited system experience.
Experienced users on the other hand, can tinker to their hearts content, customizing and tweaking the application to meet their specific requirements.
Protects your PC as you are working, surfing and playing.
Protects against Trojans, backdoors, keyloggers and other malware designed to damage your computer and potentially steal your confidential information.
Includes ThreatFire, a heuristic application for additional protection.
Intelligent, automatic protection without all the questions.
Easy to use – designed for both, novice and expert users.
Advanced rules to protect PCs against common attacks.
Inbound and outbound protection.
Simple, user friendly interface.
Free – no catches, limitations or time-limits.
If you are a casual computer user, PC Tools Firewall is definitely worth considering as a new Firewall installation, or as a replacement for a current Firewall that is not meeting your expectations.
System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Server 2003
Download at: PC Tools
Note: While reading the forums in researching other users’ view on this application, I found comments in which the “complainer”, generally people who state that they “know” computers, made the point that this application caused difficulties on their system.
The reality is – if an application makes a computer crash, or causes other difficulties, it’s generally due to improper system settings and not the application. It is true however, that some applications don’t “play well” with certain other applications.
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