10 Best Free Firewall Programs

A list of the best free firewall programs for Windows

Windows has a great built-in firewall, but did you know there are alternative and completely free firewall programs you can install? It's true, and many of them have features and options that are easier to use and understand than the one Microsoft has built into its operating system.

Below are 10 of the best free firewall programs we could find. The list is ordered in a very specific way: from actively developed software to those that are no longer updated by their developers. The ones at the bottom of this list are therefore less secure, but might still provide what you need.

A free firewall is not a replacement for good antivirus software; here's more on scanning your computer for malware and the right tools to do that with. Also remember: It's a good idea to check that the built-in Windows Firewall is disabled after installing one of these programs (two lines of defense could actually do more harm than good).

of 10

Comodo Firewall

Screenshot of Comodo Firewall in Windows 10
What We Like
  • Reasonably priced and streamlined for cybersecurity novices.

  • Integrates well with the Comodo Dragon secure browser.

What We Don't Like
  • Automatic sandboxing is disabled by default.

  • Offers no defense from exploit attacks.

  • Tries to make changes to your home page and search engine unless you deselect that option during setup.

  • Might try to install other Comodo tools on your computer (you can remove them later if that happens).

Comodo Firewall offers virtual Internet browsing, an ad blocker, custom DNS servers, a Game Mode, and a Virtual Kiosk in addition to features to easily block any process or program from leaving/entering the network.

We especially appreciate how easy it is to add programs to the block or allow list. Instead of walking through a long-winded wizard to define ports and other options, you can just browse for a program and be done. However, there are also very specific, advanced settings, if you want to use them.

Comodo Firewall has a Rating Scan option to scan all running processes to show how trustworthy they are. This is especially useful if you suspect that some kind of malware is running on your computer.

Comodo KillSwitch is an advanced portion of the program that lists all running processes and makes it a breeze to terminate or block anything you don't want. You can also see all your computer's running applications and services from this window.

It might take longer than you're used to for it to install. It's said to run on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

of 10


TinyWall Firewall Settings
What We Like
  • No annoying pop-up queries.

  • Easily create exceptions with the auto-learn feature.

What We Don't Like
  • No protection against exploit attacks.

  • Must create exceptions for web-enabled programs you use.

  • Might be blocked from downloading by your browser.

  • Infrequent app updates.

TinyWall is another free firewall program that protects you without displaying tons of notifications and prompts like most other firewall software.

An application scanner is included in TinyWall to scan your computer for programs it can add to the safe list. You're also able to choose a process, file, or service manually and give it firewall permissions that are permanent or for a specified number of hours.

You can run TinyWall in an auto-learn mode to teach it which programs you want to give network access to so that you can open all of them, and then shut down the mode to quickly add all your trusted programs to the safe list.

Connections monitor shows all the active processes that have a connection to the internet as well as any open ports. You're able to right-click any of these connections to abruptly terminate the process or even send it to VirusTotal, among other options, for an online virus scan.

TinyWall also blocks known locations that harbor viruses and worms, protects changes made to Windows Firewall, can be password protected, and can lock down the hosts file from unwanted changes.

You can use it on Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

of 10


GlassWire v1.2 in Windows 7
What We Like
  • Really simple to use.

  • Block programs in one click.

What We Don't Like
  • Not all features you see are free to use.

  • Can't block all apps at once.

  • Missing advanced customizations like port blocking rules.

The GlassWire firewall program has an incredibly simple user interface that organizes all of its functions very well.

The first tab at the top of the program is called Graph, which lets you see a real time view of apps using the network and the type of traffic they're using, as far back as one month. This is also where you go to see when any specific program first connected to the network.

In the Firewall tab is a list of actively running programs, and you can see exactly which hosts each program has an established connection with. If you want to block that program, just click the icon to the left, and it'll instantly no longer have access to the web.

Usage details how much data each app has used today, this week, or over the whole month, both incoming and outgoing traffic. View all apps together or select specific ones from the list to see usage ordered by host and traffic type, such as HTTPS, mDNS, or DHCP.

The Network tab isn't supported in this version of GlassWire but if you were to buy the program, you'd be able to see the devices detected on your network and receive alerts when new ones join.

The Alerts section is a hub for all the alerts GlassWire collects, such as when a program was first identified as using the network and what host it connected to.

In GlassWire's menu is an option to go incognito, which will prevent the program from logging all traffic until you turn it back on. There's also a snooze option to disable all notifications for 24 hours. In the settings are additional features like to launch GlassWire at startup and to turn on or off specific alerts, like for bandwidth overage, changes made to proxy settings and/or DNS servers, and ARP spoofing detection.

Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP are supported.

The download link above is for v1 because it includes features that were later available only in the paid version of the program. You can get the latest GlassWire release here, for Windows 11 through Windows 7.

of 10

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
What We Like
  • Includes 5GB of free cloud backup.

  • Integrates with many other security programs.

What We Don't Like
  • Highest security setting flags everything, including safe programs.

  • No exploit attack protection.

  • Must skip offers during setup to avoid installing other things.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is the basic version of ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall but just without the antivirus portion. You can, however, add this portion to the install at a later date if you wish to have a virus scanner alongside this firewall program.

During setup, you're given the option to install with one of two security types: AUTO-LEARN or MAX SECURITY. The former makes changes based on your behavior, while the latter gives you the ability to control each and every application setting manually.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall can lock the hosts file to prevent malicious changes, enter into Game Mode to manage notifications automatically for less disturbance, password protect its settings to prevent unauthorized changes, and even email you security status reports.

You can also use this program to easily adjust the security mode of public and private networks with a slider setting. You can slide the setting from no firewall protection to medium or high to adjust whether anyone on the network can connect to you, which allows restricting file and printer sharing for certain networks.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall should work fine in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

of 10


PeerBlock protection tab
What We Like
  • Easy to toggle on and off.

  • Blocks most ads and pop-ups from websites.

What We Don't Like
  • Not updated or supported.

  • Need basic IT knowledge to set it up.

PeerBlock is different from most firewall programs because instead of blocking programs, it blocks whole lists of IP addresses under certain category types.

It works by loading a list of IP addresses that the program will use to block your access to—both outgoing and incoming connections. This means any of the listed addresses won't have access to your computer in the same way you won't have access to their network.

For example, you can load a list of pre-made locations to block IP addresses that have been labeled as P2P, business ISPs, educational, ads, or spyware. You can even block entire countries and organizations.

You can make your own list of addresses to block or use several free ones from I-BlockList. Several are also available during installation. Lists you add to PeerBlock can be updated regularly and automatically without any intervention.

It works in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

of 10


What We Like
  • Detailed help file with links to cybersecurity resources.

  • Easy for anyone to configure.

What We Don't Like
  • Cluttered, text-heavy interface.

  • Need administrator privileges to save updates to the default destination.

There are three profiles in Privatefirewall, allowing for easy switching between unique settings and firewall rules.

The list of applications that are allowed or blocked is very easy to recognize and alter. You can add new applications to the list and clearly see which are blocked and which are allowed. It's not confusing in the slightest.

When editing the access rule for a process, there are really advanced settings like defining whether to allow, ask, or block the ability of the process to set hooks, open threads, copy screen content, monitor clipboard content, initiate a shutdown/logoff, debug processes, and many others.

When you right-click the icon for Privatefirewall in the notification area of the taskbar, you can quickly block or filter traffic without any prompts or extra buttons. This is a very simple way to quickly stop all network activity at once.

You can also use Privatefirewall to restrict outbound email, block specific IP addresses, deny access to a network, and disable access to custom websites.

It's said to work on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

of 10


NetDefender Firewall
What We Like
  • Straight-forward installation process.

  • Block or allow all incoming traffic with the click of a button.

What We Don't Like
  • Some features can be buggy.

  • Free version no longer supported by its developers.

NetDefender is a pretty basic firewall program for Windows.

You're able to define a source and destination IP address and port number as well as the protocol to block or allow any address. This means you can block FTP or any other port from being used on the network.

Blocking applications is a bit limited because the program must be currently running to add it to the block list. This works by simply listing all the running programs and having the option to add it to the list of blocked programs.

NetDefender also includes a port scanner so you can quickly see which ports are open on your machine to help realize which of them you may want to close.

It works officially only in Windows XP and Windows 2000, but it didn't cause any trouble for us in Windows 7 or Windows 8. It did, however, fail to start in Windows 11.

of 10

AVS Firewall

AVS Firewall
What We Like
  • Intuitive interface, lots of customization options.

  • Monitor all traffic coming to and from your network.

What We Don't Like
  • No major updates in a long time.

  • Bloated installation.

  • Their registry cleaner installs during setup unless you deselect it manually.

AVS Firewall has a very friendly interface and should be easy enough for anyone to use.

It protects your computer from malicious registry changes, pop-up windows, flash banners, and most advertisements. You can even customize the URLs that should be blocked for ads and banners if one isn't already listed.

Allowing and denying specific IP addresses, ports, and programs couldn't be easier. You can add these manually or browse through a list of running processes to choose one from there.

AVS Firewall includes what's called Parent Control, which is a section to only allow access to an explicit list of websites. You can password protect this section of AVS Firewall to prevent unauthorized changes.

A history of network connections is available through the Journal section, so you can easily browse through and see what connections have been established in the past.

This program works in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

AVS Firewall appears to no longer be part of AVS's collection of programs that it continually updates, but it's still a great free firewall, especially if you're still running an older version of Windows.

of 10


What We Like
  • Create different configurations and easily switch between them.

  • Quick automatic configuration.

What We Don't Like
  • No longer being developed.

  • Sometimes blocks legitimate programs.

R-Firewall has all the features you'd expect to find in a firewall program but the interface isn't very easy to use. Also, there aren't any inline instructions that help explain what a change in settings will do when applied.

There's a content blocker that terminates browsing by keyword, a mail filter to block cookies/javascript/pop-ups/ActiveX, an image blocker to remove advertisements that are a fixed size, and a general ad blocker to block ads by URL.

A wizard helps apply rules to several programs at once by detecting the software that's currently installed. R-Firewall was unable to find all the programs we had installed, but it did work correctly for those it could find.

It worked for us in Windows XP, but not in Windows 11. It's possible it'll work in other Windows operating systems, but we can't confirm that.

of 10

Ashampoo FireWall

Ashampoo FireWall
What We Like
  • Comes packaged with other security tools.

  • Hides all its main processes.

What We Don't Like
  • It's been discontinued.

  • Consistently fails leak tests.

  • Only works reliably with Windows XP and 2000.

When Ashampoo FireWall is first launched, you're given an option to walk through a wizard in Easy Mode or Expert Mode to setup program which programs should be allowed or blocked from using the network.

The Learning Mode feature is wonderful because it assumes everything should be blocked. This means as programs start requesting access to the Internet, you must manually give them permission and then set Ashampoo FireWall to remember your choice. This is helpful because you're able to know the exact programs that are accessing the Internet to block those that shouldn't be.

We like the Block All feature in Ashampoo FireWall because clicking it immediately halts all incoming and outgoing connections. This is perfect if you suspect a virus has infected your computer and is communicating with a server or transferring files out of your network.

You must request a free license code to use this program.

Ashampoo FireWall only works with Windows XP and Windows 2000. This is yet another reason this free firewall sits at the bottom of our list!

Was this page helpful?