A personal firewall is software designed for use on a single PC. Personal firewalls lock out intruders to keep your individual PC safe, at home or at the office. If you're shopping for a firewall to protect your computer, you've come to the right place.
Feature Set –A personal firewall should offer features that go beyond standard protection. The bare necessities include keeping your system hidden and keeping uninvited people and programs out. The best firewalls include tools to manage spyware, cookies (software outsiders put onto your computer) and viruses. Some firewalls offer Internet filtering to restrict content viewed in your home.
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.
Setup Ease –Installing personal firewall software should be simple and fast, even for a computer novice. Your personal firewall should not be so finicky that it requires you to uninstall other programs before it will function. And your firewall should be compatible with any typical operating system.
Reliability – The least a firewall should do is to keep intruders out and keep your system stealth (well hidden) online. 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 to see these. Your personal firewall should do its job consistently, without clashing with your other software.
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.
Help Documentation – Is there a help document available? Is the help section well-written with easy-to-understand without confusing technical jargon? Can you find your answers fast?