Sygate Personal FirewallSygate Personal Firewall is free for personal use, and provides intrusion detection as well as a powerful personal firewall.
InstallingInstalling Sygate Personal Firewall (SPF) only takes a few moments, and then you are protected from malicious attacks while connected to the internet. The basic interface provides simple details on your network connection, and which applications are using the internet. But delve a little deeper and SPF allows a great deal of advanced configuration. Enough to keep any power user happy for weeks.
Unusually amongst personal firewalls, SPF includes intrusion detection features to detect malicious connection attempts. If you are running any servers (web or ftp for example) on your PC then this could be ideal for you, as it protects against attacks that other firewalls would miss.
SurfingAs with most personal firewalls, you have to tell it which applications are allowed to access the internet. So the first time you go online after installing it you need to authorize your browser and email applications to access the internet. If you tick the remember my answer check box, then you will only need to do this once for each application.
Once done Sygate provides solid protection from internet attacks, and has a button on the toolbar that takes you to a website where your firewall can be tested. This is a great idea, as it allows you peace of mind by checking your firewall is working.
Another great feature, is the ability to look up the details of computers that are trying to connect to you, providing you with the name and address of whoever is responsible for the computer (or their ISP)
Pros and ConsThe interface initially appears quite simple, but as you delve into it more, it becomes quite complicated as there is a great deal of customizing that can be done. These advanced features are not really needed by most users, and only a few will tweak their settings from the defaults.
All of theses advanced features both add and detract from the firewall depending on whether you are a new user or a very experienced user who likes tinkering with settings. They add to what is a very powerful firewall, but to configure them, requires a good deal of understanding first.
Overall we give Sygate Personal Firewall a 7/10 rating
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