The Internet is a hostile network like the wild west without a sheriff.
The purpose of the Home PC Firewall Guide is to provide easy access to independent, third-party reviews of Internet security products for home, telecommuter, and SOHO (small office, home office) end-users. Sign up for our Newsletter for links to new articles, product reviews, virus alerts, and special sales.
The Wild West? The only way to make your computer completely secure is to turn it off or disconnect it from the Internet. The real issue is how to make your computer 99% secure when it is connected. Not having protection is like leaving your car running with the doors unlocked and the keys in it which a thief might interpret as "please steal me". Stated another way, when was the last time you handed a stranger your wallet and encouraged them to take your social security card, drivers license, cash and credit cards? Locking a car, using a "club" or installing a security system makes stealing a car more difficult. Internet security and privacy products provide adequate protection by making it difficult for the "outlaws" to find and gain entry to your computer.
The Bottom Line -- To protect your security and privacy, choose an Internet service provider (ISP) that offers online virus, spam and content filters; use personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-Trojan, anti-spyware and privacy software; and install a hardware firewall router between your modem and computer or network.
Security Overview -- Read our write up on "layers of defense" based on reading hundreds of Internet security articles and product reviews. Look at our links to the best articles on Internet security issues.
Best Reviews -- These are the best reviews of Internet security products that we have been able to find online. Coverage includes personal firewalls, anti-virus, anti-Trojan, anti-spyware, spam stoppers, wired and wireless routers.
Internet Security Suites -- These products include a personal firewall, anti-virus, and other security and privacy features in a single package.
Internet Security Freeware -- You may not be able to get the best for free but there is good freeware available to help you deal with many Internet security needs -- personal firewalls, ad blocker, anti-spam, anti-virus, browser and email software alternatives, email encryption, password manager, spyware removal, firewall testing and software update services.
Personal Firewall Software -- Read reviews on BlackICE, CheckIT, ConSeal, Deerfield, eSafe Desktop, eTrust EZ, Firekeys, Freedom, GuardWall. HackTracer, Internet Firewall 2000, Kaspersky, Kerio, Look'n'Stop, McAfee, Mindsoft, NeoWatch, Norman, Norton, Outpost, pcInternet Patrol, PC Viper, Preventon, Privacyware, SecureUp, SurfSecret, Sphinx, Sygate, TermiNet, TGB:BOB, Tiny, VirusMD, VisNetic, Webroot & ZoneAlarm.
Wired & Wireless Routers -- Get networking, Internet connection sharing, and NAT (network address translation) or SPI (stateful packet inspection) firewall features. Read reviews on products from 2Wire, D-Link, Hawking, Linksys, Microsoft, NetGear, Nexland, SMC, SnapGear, SofaWare, SonicWall, WatchGuard & Zyxel.
Firewall Testing -- Test your personal firewall online with Shields Up, Hackerwhacker and Security Space. After you install or update a firewall, the next step is to test it to make sure that it has been configured correctly.
Anti-Virus Software -- ISP filtering, email services, reviews, freeware, testing and anti-virus payware -- BitDefender, Command, eTrust EZ, NOD32, Norton, F-Prot, Kaspersky, MailDefense, McAfee VirusScan, Panda and PC-cillin.
Anti-Trojan Software -- Articles, reviews, testing, free removal tools, and anti-Trojan payware links -- BOClean, The Cleaner, PC DoorGuard, PestPatrol, Tauscan, Trojan Defense Suite (TDS-3), Trojan Hunter, Trojan Remover and Tiny Trojan Trap.
Anti-Spyware Software -- Articles, reviews, resource sites and software links -- Ad-aware, SpyBot Search & Destroy, SpyBlocker and SpywareBlaster.
Anti-Spam Software -- Articles, comparative reviews and product links -- ChoiceMail One, iHateSpam, Qurb, SpamAssassin Pro, SpamCatcher, SpamKiller & Spamnix.
Security & Privacy Software -- Articles. reviews and links for a variety of Internet security and privacy software tools available to prevent and fix browser hijacking, manage passwords, fill online forms, block email virus scripts, manage cookies, detect web bugs, filter content for kids, encrypt outgoing email, remove scumware, clean temporary browser files, block outgoing private information, and block ads (banner, pop-up & pop-under).
Tighten Windows -- Links to the best Internet security web sites suitable for home and SOHO end users that offer specific check lists and directions on how to secure your computer or small network.
Installing Security Products -- A step-by-step guide to installing Internet security products. It is a lot of work the first time, but the payoff is a clean, fast and secure computer system.
Broadband -- In-modem firewall, Internet connection locking devices, DSL Internet service providers (ISP) with networking and security services, and broadband resource sites.
Networking Software -- Using a hardware router is a better choice for most home and SOHO users. We provide reviews and links for Microsoft Internet connection sharing (ICS), Sygate Home Network, WinGate, WinProxy, and WinRoute networking software.
PDA Security -- We hope that you never, ever lose your PDA, but if you do, you should make sure that no one can steal your identity, use your credit cards, or open your files. Articles and reviews.
Macintosh -- Articles, reviews and links for personal firewalls, anti-virus, networking and routers.
Linux & BSD -- If you are interested in Linux and/or BSD, we provide links to resources to get you started.
This page was last updated on