In today’s world, Windows and Mac operating systems already have a built-in firewall. When it comes to security, the built-in firewall does half the job, and the firewall that comes with your preferred security package does the rest. There is no longer any reason to consider installing a separate personal firewall.
Of course, there are certain situations in which you want to ensure the absolute minimum of security. This means that you may need another layer of firewall. Contrary to what some might say on the Internet, there are still many firewalls available, both paid and free, to choose from.
Best third-party firewall you should consider installing
To add to what has already been said, your WiFi router also has its own firewall that works with both the built-in product of your device’s operating system and the security package you choose. It uses network address translation (NAT) to assign each device an IP address in a range visible only on the local network. Even then, it may not be enough for some.
There are also incredibly rare cases where a computer is directly connected to the Internet, in which case an additional firewall will prove to be more beneficial. When you’re on the road using public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or hotel room, having a router won’t do you any good. This puts you in an undesirable position when you become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. In these cases, you may need an additional firewall or virtual private network (VPN).
Luckily, while there are paid products out there that might try to trick you into unnecessary features, the free ones should provide additional protection on top of what they already have.
Understand that most third party firewalls will try to control how programs use your network and connect to the Internet. This is necessary to ensure security and limit the chances of network hacking. Adding another firewall can also help address any flaws in existing security measures.
Firewall without ZoneAlarm support
The best choice for securing third party firewalls is ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, and it has been for a while now. Combined with the best free antivirus or its own built-in antivirus component, you get the foundation of a great security system.
ZoneAlarm is one of the most popular Windows firewalls. It’s lightweight, easy to use, fully featured, and free. One of the more useful features is the added benefit of being connected to DefenseNet, which is a live, real-time threat database that alerts your firewall of incoming attacks.
The firewall includes a “stealth mode” that protects your connections from hackers, enables identity protection services, and blocks malware. It hides open ports, detects abnormal traffic, disables malware, and offers 5GB of online backup to iDrive. If you are in the United States, you can contact the company for assistance in recovering victims in the event of identity theft.
ZoneAlarm updates automatically and you can install it on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Anyone who uses the Internet a lot for leisure or business will find it a great choice for home Wi-Fi networks and laptops that want to connect. to public Internet hubs.
Installing ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
All you need to get started is an internet connection to download and an email address to activate.
- Go to the official ZoneAlarm website.
- ZoneAlarm offers a Pro option for an annual fee of $ 14.95, but we’ll skip that as the free version is more than enough for our needs.
- Click the FREE DOWNLOAD button.
- You will be taken to another page with available download. Choose a file name and location for the program and click Save.
- On the page, you will also most likely receive an offer for ZoneAlarm Mobile Security.
- This is a 7-day trial only and the choice of using it is yours.
- Now that the software is loaded, launch it. You should find the icon in the location of your choice.
- In the very first window, you will be asked to choose a quick install or a custom install.
- The quick install will give you all the default features. Custom installation will require additional steps to configure ZoneAlarm the way you want it to work. In this guide, we will choose a quick install.
- Read the End User Agreement and click Agree.
- Give him some time to fully install the software.
- Once completed, ZoneAlarm will ask you for your email address for future suggestions and updates.
- ZoneAlarm promises that information will not be shared with third parties. So, if that’s not a problem, ZoneAlarm Free Firewall should be the only third-party firewall you need.
- You can now start ZoneAlarm. Your best bet is to reboot your device to make sure everything is working properly.
- After reboot, start ZoneAlarm.
- In the main window, you can see what has been activated and is currently running and what is not. Optionally, you can activate the built-in antivirus provided by ZoneAlarm. However, if you already have a good antivirus, it’s best to leave this feature disabled.
What about macOS?
Contrary to popular belief, macOS can face major challenges in dealing with intruders, just like Windows. Likewise, the biggest threat to a macOS device is using the internet on a public connection. This is when you may need extra protection.
As far as Mac goes, there are two possible third-party firewall solutions depending on your budget. Those looking for free support should turn to Avast for Mac to resolve their issues. This company has been very popular in the antivirus market for some time now and offers excellent software packages, including firewalls.
Norton Antivirus and Vallum are preferred if you’re willing to spend some money. Between the two, Vallum is the only one that contains its own firewall application. Its design complements the macOS firewall, which is capable of intercepting connections at the application level and keeping them blocked until you decide how to proceed.
Wallum is the most recommended of the three for your protection. It allows you to create a custom list of applications with custom predefined rules to decide which applications are allowed to access the Internet. You can quickly and easily block or allow apps using the drag and drop support feature. Put an end to outgoing connections in a variety of ways, such as geolocation, a predefined schedule, or many other methods.
Vallum serves as a great little tool to help you track all of your applications’ connections. You can purchase one license for $ 15 including a full 15 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.
- Go to the official site and scroll down to find the download link. It will be a gray button labeled VALLUM, followed by the current version.
- After downloading, double click the icon and let it install.
Vallum will stay in the corner of your Mac’s menu bar so it doesn’t invade and pollute your dock or desktop.