PC Tools Firewall Plus (184.108.40.206) is a free personal firewall for Windows. It helps you prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. By monitoring applications that connect to the network, it can stop malware from damaging your computer and stealing your private information.
The installation process is simple, but it takes a couple of minutes. You are notified that the installation will disable other firewalls on your PC, and you are asked to choose if you want to have installed PC Tools Spyware Doctor along with Firewall Plus. Also, you have to choose the default firewall behavior:
After the installation and the restarting of the PC, you are ready to see what the software offers. Firewall Plus immediately detects any network your computer is part of:
Let’s just take Spyware Doctor for a spin before we go on to see what Firewall Plus has in store for us:
As you can glean from the last screenshot, Spyware Doctor has found threats on the computer, but to remove them you have to buy the full version.
Moving on to Firewall Plus – the welcome screen:
You can manage (add, remove, configure) the applications that are allowed to access the network:
You can create and manage firewall rules for individual profiles, and set up the firewall to allow only certain IP ranges:
At any moment, you can see an overview of the current network traffic and firewall activity:
PC Tools Firewall Plus has the advantage of being a rather simple program – despite the multitude of options. Of course, a foreknowledge of networking principles is required to understand the given options. To try the software out, go here.