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Firewall Security Software - How to Find the Right Firewall Security Software

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There are various types of firewall security software; some made for many computers, some made for just one, some come with multiple features, and others are the bare minimum of security. There are some that are free, and others that cost a fortune. How do you pick the best one for you?

Before you choose the best software for you, decide what you want it for. If it’s only for your home, with one computer, you won’t want to purchase a whole network firewall security system – there is no need for it. If you only use the Internet sparingly, you will probably only want the minimal protection, but if you constantly are online, you’ll want firewall protection software with many more features, such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and many different other features.

The firewall itself acts as a brick wall, stopping unauthorized access by outside systems, while still letting through the communication that you want. There are both hardware and software versions, but software is much more common. The firewall and software systems examine both incoming and outgoing messages, making sure that they meet a set of requirements, defined by the firewall and your preferences. The most basic type is a packet filter, which inspects each packet, or grouping of information, and is mostly invisible to users, but it is not very powerful. An application gateway secures specific applications, such as an FTP server. Circuit-level gateways secure various connections, before the connection is completed, but then packets flow through uninterrupted. A proxy server intercepts all messages, both incoming and outgoing, and effectively hides the various network addresses.

There are also non-rule-based and rule-based versions for each type. The former is easiest to install, but is more difficult to customize and is more an all-or-nothing sort, a set-it-and-forget-it. The latter offers more ability to control which applications and servers can access your system, and also how they access it, but is much more time-consuming and involved to set up, install and customize, and it is constantly being updated and changed by certain choice that you make.

There are many features that can come with your firewall protection software. There are ad, cookie, pop-up blocking and privacy measures, antivirus and anti-spyware software programs that find and destroy viruses and spyware, as well as other invasive programs and codes. These features allow for a more integrated security system, and each will require more time spent for use and customization.

Each feature, of course, adds a price to the firewall security software. There are indeed many free programs, and some are certainly legitimate. But there are others that just make it easier for your system to be infected by spyware and the like, while pretending to give you protection. When in doubt, go with more trusted programs, even though they come with a price. The best programs include Norton and ZoneAlarm. Both of these programs come at a price, but they’ve proved over and over again that they work. Don’t let price be a factor for your computer’s security, but you can be reasonable about it by selecting features that you really need.

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