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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Personal Firewalls

What to Look for in a Personal Firewall Program 

A personal firewall is software designed for use on a single PC. Personal firewalls lock out intruders to keep individual PCs safe at home or at the office.
TopTenREVIEWS uses the following criteria to evaluate personal firewall software:
Firewall Features
A personal firewall should offer features that go beyond standard protection. The bare necessities include keeping the system hidden and keeping uninvited people and programs out. The best firewalls include tools to manage spyware, cookies and viruses. Some firewalls offer Internet filtering to restrict content.
A firewall should keep intruders out. The firewall should keep your IP address and browser hidden while you browse the internet in stealth mode. This means that others should not be able to see your computer or personal identity unless you allow them. Your personal firewall should do its job consistently, without clashing with other software.
Additional Security Features
Great firewall software will include extras like antiphishing, antivirus and antimalware tools. Parental controls and instant message protection are also nice features to find in these types of programs.
Ease of Use
A computer novice should be able to understand and use the firewall product without help. The control panel should be intuitive and convenient. We’ve reviewed a few advanced firewall products that are powerful tools, but inappropriate for novices. When we include one of these products we note this in the “Ease of Use” section of the review.
Help & Support
The firewall software should give enough instruction for a computer novice to set up the product without help. The manufacturer should also have help online to answer common questions. Look for a firewall manufacturer willing to help you. Customer service telephone support is excellent; toll-free telephone support is a bonus. Some manufacturers use email or online question forms. Our favorite method of support is live chat online.
The software should offer a well-written help section with easy-to-understand information. The manufacturer should also provide technical support in the form of FAQs, email and phone support.

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