East Firewall makes managing the Windows Firewall much simpler than the native tools, but still has a steep learning curve, and not everyone needs the functionality the $25 program offers.
Buy Easy Firewall for $25 from Ashampoo.
Easy Firewall, available for $25, is not a standalone firewall, but instead a helpful graphical user interface for the complex Windows Firewall already included with your PC.
Easy Firewall lists which applications have received permissions to send data to the internet or receive data from there. If an app tries to obtain rights that it did not have before, you about it in real time and can decide for yourself whether you want to allow it.
You can also change the existing rules with a few mouse clicks. For example, some programs require Internet access to enable activation, but do not actually need access to the network afterwards. Easy Firewall makes changing that access, well, easy. The tool uses a dialogue box to explain, without any technical jargon, what each setting means, though there is still a definite learning curve involved with wrapping your head around Windows Firewall management.
A convenient feature is the panic mode: With a mouse click, all Internet connections can immediately be cut. It’s even faster than, say, using Windows network settings to disconnect your PC from your network. If you suspect you’re under attack, it’s a handy feature.
Alternative: If you’re looking for more control over how the Windows Firewall behaves, but aren’t sure whether you want to spend $25 on Easy Firewall’s straightforward design and presentation, Binisoft’s free tool Windows Firewall Control offers similar features.
Easy Firewall simplifies the handling of the Windows Firewall, which otherwise works largely automatically. It may be overkill for a lot of people — Windows Firewall tends to handle its job well despite being in the background — but for more technically inclined users, it should be informative to learn which programs establish network connections at all, and how they do so. Whether the Windows Firewall would have done its job better or worse without your intervention may vary from case to case and is hard to gauge, however.
Buy Easy Firewall for $25 from Ashampoo
This review was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.