Problems with the LifeWire article "10 Free Firewall Programs: A list of the best free firewall programs for Windows"


#1

FYI, here’s the content of an email I’ve just now sent to feedback@lifewire.com. I’m posting it here as a warning but also because the article ignores GlassWire version 1 which would be one of the better options.

I read the LifeWire article 10 Free Firewall Programs: A list of the best free firewall programs for Windows because it was updated earlier this month. But it looks like the update was link checks without updating the actual content of the article.

The article has serious issues that should be remedied because it can lead users to compromise the security of their Windows systems by installing firewall software that is less secure than the default Windows Firewall.

Some of the products fail basic firewall tests, e.g. leak tests.

Six of the ten applications are discontinued software that no longer have bug fixes or active support. They are easy to find because the download links are from download sites. Of course, being a discontinued product does not automatically make them bad products but the article should at least have a much stronger warning about the potential for compromised security. Note that the dates are indicative:

  1. Comodo Firewall
  2. AVS Firewall - Discontinued 2010
  3. TinyWall
  4. NetDefender - Discontinued 2010
  5. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
  6. PeerBlock
  7. PrivateFirewall - Discontinued 2013
  8. Outpost Firewall - Discontinued 2015
  9. R-Firewall - Discontinued 2002
  10. Ashampoo Firewall Free - Discontinued

One of the products, R-Firewall, was discontinued before XP Service Packs SP2 and SP3, and maybe even SP1, were released. So why in 2019 are you recommending a product like this? Windows Firewall was first released in Windows XP SP2 which may have been why R-Firewall was abandoned. It would be far better to recommend a product that has been fully tested with Windows XP Service Pack 3 which came out in 2008, six years later. This would be more consistent with the usual good advice to use Windows XP SP3 (How to Find Which Windows Service Pack or Update You Have Installed: “If you only have SP1 or SP2 installed, it is highly recommended that you install Windows XP SP3 immediately, either via Windows Update or manually downloading and installing the Windows XP SP3 update.”)

At least two of the products were basically short-term projects, e.g. to meet a study course requirement.

There are also more modern solutions that could be added to the article.

Thanks for your attention to this issue
Remah


#2

Yup, agree that article is a bit out of date!


#3

The article has been modified with a different sequence and a note to clarify the sequence. :+1:

Note: The list of free firewall tools below is ordered in a very specific way: from actively developed software to those that are no longer updated by their developers. The ones at the bottom of this list are therefore less secure, but might still provide what you need.

That is a lot better although it still has insecure firewalls above more secure firewalls and leaves out Windows Firewall which should be included in " A list of the best free firewall programs for Windows". GlassWire should be there too.


#4

Definitely Glasswire improves a lot over the years and should be mentioned at top


#5

PeerBlock…
Ashampoo…
Ah, the memories. :smile: