Windows Firewall Control 6.4Free
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Despite its undisputable utility, Windows Firewall is not the easiest tool to manage and configure. That is why many Windows users have turned to Windows Firewall Control to customize its different layers of protection. This free utility not only makes it easier to deal with the technicalities of your Windows Firewall, but it also enhances its functionality with a set of useful features.
The interface itself is much more user-friendly than that of the native Windows Firewall. First of all, it displays a useful Dashboard where you can see at a glance the status of your Firewall, the inbound and outbound connections, and the nature (public or private) of your Internet connection. From here, you can move to a set of tabs where you can easily customize your profiles, notifications, rules, security options, etc.
The program offers three levels of filtering, from High – which blocks all your inbound and outbound connections – to no filtering at all, with a recommended Medium Filtering option (based on the rules you have set up for your connections) and a Low Filtering one, with more permissive rules for outbound connections. These rules will let you define a set of outbound and inbound conditions that applications and locations need to meet not to be blocked. The Notifications area will display (or not) those outbound connections that have been blocked as per your conditions, which includes a list of exceptions to specific programs and folders.
The Security tab takes you to a set of enhancements that add value to your Windows Firewall, namely, Secure Boot, Secure Profile, and Secure Rules. Here you can define if you want the program to block all your connections by default at startup and leave them that way until you change that profile manually. You can also protect your Windows Firewall from “external tampering”, so that only you and only through this program firewall rules can be modified or cancelled. Last, you can tell the program here to protect your Firewall against rules that haven’t been created in any of the authorized groups defined by you.
You will also find a Tools tab, which – promising as it sounds – merely contains but a list of direct links to certain system utilities and URLs to certain useful services, such as a site to check the reputation of IP addresses or a site to start a WHOIS query, among others.
This free tool, acquired by Malwarebytes some time ago – hence the branding at the top-left corner of the interface – will take up a chunk of your computer’s memory, but it will let you make the most of your Windows Firewall without the fuss involved in dealing with this system tool directly. Downloading and trying it out for yourself will surely do you more good than harm.
- Takes away all the complexities of managing the Windows Firewall directly
- Offers security enhancements to Windows Firewall
- Has three filtering profiles
- Apply your own inbound and outbound rules
- Takes up a good portion of your system's memory