Windows has a built-in firewall that is quite powerful and highly configurable. However, Windows built-in firewall only does one-direction filtering by default. Moreover, the user interface makes it a complicated job to properly configure rules and block/allow applications. In fact, unless you are an advanced user or system administrator who knows your way around, it is very hard to configure the built-in firewall.
That being said, there are quite a few free firewall software for Windows 10 that make it a treat to manage application and operating system access to the internet and protect you from malicious connections. Here are some of the best free firewalls for Windows 10.
Best Firewall For Windows 10
Comodo Firewall is one of my favorite and generally my go to Windows 10 firewall thanks to its ease of use and included features. One of the reasons I really like Comodo Firewall is that it makes it easy to allow or block an application from accessing the internet. Moreover, out of the box, Comodo Firewall monitors and blocks certain processes and show a warning or permission window whenever they are trying to access another process or making system changes.
Comodo Firewall also has other features like HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System) protection, application sandboxing, predefined and custom firewall and HIPS rulesets, website filtering, dynamic process analyzing and scanning, kill switch to stop or block problematic processes, etc.
Even with all these features, Comodo is pretty easy to use, even for beginners. If you are an advanced user and know what you are doing, you can create custom rulesets to manage the firewall activities however you want.
All in all, Comodo Firewall is pretty good at what it does. However, be vigilant while installing Comodo Firewall as it offers to change your DNS to Comodo DNS and tries to install additional Comodo software like Comodo Dragon browser.
Price: Comodo Firewall is completely free but if you want to, you can upgrade to Comodo Internet Security for additional features like anti-virus and anti-malware protection. In case you are wondering, as of writing this, Comodo doesn’t bother its users with constant upgrade pop-ups.
Glasswire is another popular free network monitor and firewall application for Windows 10. Unlike other software in this list, Glasswire’s user interface is pretty modern and fluid. What I like most about Glasswire is how easy and intuitive to use it and the beautiful graphs it shows relating to the network activity. The graphs are not just beautiful but they serve as a time machine where you can see past network activity like when a certain application or process first connected to the internet, security alerts, host information etc.
Features of Glasswire include but not limited to full-fledged bandwidth monitoring, privacy protection, evil twin detection that alerts you when a WiFi network is using the same name as you or when your network suddenly losses its password, application blocker, multiple remote server monitoring, lockdown mode to restrict all firewall activities, ask only mode that blocks all the applications from accessing the internet unless you give the permission, etc.
Additionally, you can also create custom firewall profiles so that you can easily switch between different firewall rulesets. So, if you are looking for a firewall that does the job while looking good and giving you the options to create custom firewall rules then Glasswire is for you.
Price: The base version of Glasswire is free but it is severely limited. For instance, you will not have access to the ask-only mode or you cannot block applications from connecting to the internet. For that, you need to upgrade it to either Basic, Pro, or the Elite version that costs $39, $69, $99 respectively.
PeerBlock is not your traditional firewall the monitors and blocks specific or all applications. Instead, PeerBlock is made to block incoming and outgoing connections to and from specific IP addresses. In case you are wondering, PeerBlock has a centralized built-in list of IP addresses that are considered malicious and/or related to government entities or shady ISPs, ads, etc. If need be, you can add your own list or individual IP addresses to block. Additionally, you can also block specific organizations and even entire countries too.
As you can tell, PeerBlock is not for everyone. If you are a heavy torrent user or just someone who share files via peer-to-peer then give PeerBlock a try. It is effective at monitoring and blocking IP addresses.
Price: PeerBlock is free and open-source.
As the name suggests, TinyWall is a free, small, and lightweight application that lets you easily manage the incoming and outgoing connections. TinyWall is very different compared to the others on this list. i.e, it uses the highly efficient built-in Windows firewall to manage all the connections. Not only TinyWall configures the Windows firewall to be more secure but gives you a sane user interface to quickly configure the rules as needed. Moreover, being a non-intrusive firewall, TinyWall doesn’t show any pop-up notifications asking you to permit an application to access the internet, instead, it makes it simple to block or unblock various applications and processes from accessing the internet.
Features of TinyWall include the ability to whitelist and blacklist programs, automatic learning mode, restrict or allow LAN communication, monitor open ports, blocklists for ports and domains, multiple firewall modes, password protection for settings, etc.
If you are looking for a no-nonsense and lightweight program that makes use of the powerful built-in Windows firewall then TinyWall is for you.
Price: TinyWall is completely free.
When it comes to third-party Windows firewall, ZoneAlarm is one of the oldest and popular one out there. ZoneAlarm has a very solid firewall that blocks any and all malicious connections while being easy to customize and configure. The application can also block ports, hide ports, monitor and block malicious traffic, and auto-block programs on suspicious activity. Though the user interface looks a bit dated, it is updated quite regularly with new definitions.
All in all, ZoneAlarm is a pretty good firewall that is good enough for most users. However, compared to Comodo Firewall, ZoneAlarm lack a few advanced features that I would like to have, like custom rulesets, HIPS protection, etc. That being said, if you are a beginner, ZoneAlarm is pretty good.
Price: The base version is free but for additional features like zero-hour protection, application control, multi-layer protection, boot protection, etc., you need to upgrade it to the pro version which costs you $24.95 per year.
The app name says it all. If you are looking for a simple app that lets you block applications from accessing the internet then the Firewall App Blocker is for you.
To block an application using Firewall App Blocker, all you have to do is simply drag and drop the applications into it or use the menu options to manually browse, find, and add the .exe files. No need to shift through different menu or options. What makes Firewall App Blocker special is that it does one job only and does it better. Moreover, Firewall App Blocker is completely portable. i.e, you don’t have to install the application to use it.
Price: Firewall App Blocker is completely free.
Hope that helps. Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above firewall apps for Windows 10.