After reading about it in a tip here: 3 Things You Should Know About Your Windows 7 Firewall
, I have been trialling the free version of W7FC - Windows 7 Firewall Control
- and since I could find no reference to it in a search of DC Forum, I thought it could be useful to forum members if I posted my observations about this proggy.So here goes:
First off, I will say that I have been using the built-in WF - Windows Firewall
in Win7-64, and found it very good, but setting up specific rules for applications is not as simple as I would like (I have to think carefully about it). For example, years ago I used a paid-for version of Black Ice Defender
and found it to be a brilliant Firewall, and very simple and straightforward to use. I suppose that experience rather set the standard for my expectations.
W7FC is a sort of bolt-on GUI or "front-end" to WF - i.e., all it does is it augments WF - and it goes some way to being as easy to use as Black Ice Defender was for a typical PC user (though Black Ice could also be hairy to use if you wanted to climb into the guts of the Firewall). The built-in WF in Win7-64 is perfectly capable IMHO.
This free version of W7FC seems to be sufficient for my purposes - all I want is to have an easy-to-use dashboard to enable me to keep track of - and control - at a glance what is and is not allowed to communicate on the network. When you install W7FC, it defaults to NOTHING
being allowed to communicate in or out except for system functions. Thus, every time a programme tries to communicate in or out, then you have to set that to Enable/Disable to some extent (i.e., fully or partly), or permanently or temporarily. So, after a few days of use of W7FC, you will probably have assigned general access rules for most of your proggies. It need only be done once per proggy. You may even be surprised to discover some proggies that are communicating when you might have expected them not to need to be communicating in/out at all.
I already use a paid-for version of Malwarebytes, which is excellent for detecting malware and intercepting in/out traffic to/from malware or malware sites. W7FC will tell you which proggy/malware on your PC is trying to communicate, and you can then control it. Thus, if you pay attention to what you enable/disable in the W7FC Dashboard, then it can give you warning that something strange is going on. That gives you a chance to clean it up before you (say) join the ranks of the botnets out there without your being aware of it.I'd rate W7FC as definitely worth trying out - "suck it and see".
I'm going to keep on using it on my laptop now, anyway.