Personal firewalls vs Leak Tests
Since most users do not know which firewall to choose it is becoming important to learn more about advantages and flaws of each product. We have already tested how effective most popular firewalls are in making users' computers stealth (invisible) on the Internet. Now our goal is to test outbound filtering features provided by today's firewalls. Firewalls use outbound filtering features to monitor all outcoming connections
Top security tools for your pc
In today’s complex era of computers and the internet, people have figured out loopholes and weaknesses in these systems and exploits them for their good. Anyone can get hacked and they can have access to a lot of information including bank account details, personal information etc. So how do you protect yourself from such attacks? One way is to use security software that is specially made to detect and remove malicious programs and software before they can cause serious harm to your computer and keep your information safe. But what is the best security software out there?
- Avast Home Edition: Avast is a big name in security solution at the present time and their software have the capability of removing and guarding against several kinds of malware. Companies like this, charge money to give the user suites of big and bloated software that contain different kinds of shields or protection against specific kinds of viruses and malware. These shields can include protection from dangers of browsing on the internet or to protect the user from peer to peer attacks and another to stop instant messaging threats. Fortunately, this software does not take up a significant amount of RAM or system resources. It quietly scans and protects your computer from the background.
- a-Squared HiJack Free: Spyware is notorious for its ability to evade even the best security software. So it is recommended to have more than one spyware utility for the added protection. This software, rather than having a live shield, it checks your computer for spyware and then eradicates it. This is the simplified version. In actuality, it does a lot more to keep your computer safe like viewing the programs that are using the TCP ports and looking at applications that run on
- Attack Trace: So your computer might be safe from home with all of the great security software you installed but websites are also vulnerable to attacks. Attack Trace is a great free service that checks to see if your website is being attacked or not.
- Comodo EasyVPN Home: VPN’s are one of the best ways to keep your privacy and stay protected on the internet. VPN’s create a secure peer-to-peer network over the internet and lets you share information. The protection comes from the fact that everything is encrypted so snooping on your data is out of the question.
- EULAlyzer: One sneaky way that spyware manages to sneak into your system is through software installations. Commonly, they might even say that the software is spyware in the end-user licence agreements. This tool examines EULA’s and then promptly warns you about danger when needed.
- Online Armor Personal Firewall: Firewall is like your primary defence against malicious threats. But this specific firewall is great in the sense that it does not constantly ask you what to let in and what to keep out. It is smart enough to recognise safe software and only asks you when it is unsure about something. Further, it has a safer mode that allows certain applications to run but the catch being with stripped down permissions.
This test will detect how vulnerable your computer is to exploits attacks. This test can be also used to test firewalls and routers for stability and reactions to unexpected packets. Most of the exploits are in fact denial-of-service attacks and if your system is unable to pass this examination following actions can take place:
- Some attacks may cause you computer to crash (so-called “blue screen of death”) or reboot. So all unsaved data in open applications at the time of the attack may be lost.
- The attacks can also consume large amounts of network bandwidth.
- You computer may start operating very slowly as the attacks may consume most or all of the operating system’s CPU resources.
- Some attacks can break your Internet connection.
To learn more about exploits used in the test click here.
The test is started by clicking on “Exploits Test”
Personal Firewalls vs. Leak Tests: Part II: “Leak Tests Win Again!”
All 24 firewalls were tested with these leak tests. The detailed results can be seen on the next page. Here are our comments on the winners, the firewalls having the best results using their default configurations.
Outpost Firewall Pro 2.0.226
Version 1.0 of Outpost Pro was not a great contender in our previous tests last year. However, version 2.0 is rock-solid, not only in comparison to Outpost Pro 1.0 but to the other firewalls as well!
Its new Component Control feature enables Outpost Pro to pass most of the leak tests without extra configuring. All you need to do is block suspicious DLLs when Outpost 2.0 reports them.
Developers of Outpost Pro told us the next build of the program (Agnitum is testing it right now) blocks all these leak tests. However they refused to disclose exact time frames for the release of this update.
The winner of our previous tests proved its high rating again this year. However, it failed at the “Atelier Web Firewall Tester” (with a score of 2 points out of 10) and it failed against Thermit and Copycat. We contacted the developers (Soft4Ever) and they confirmed those results, but reported their beta version (2.04p2) should pass both Thermit and Atelier Web Firewall Tester. That’s good news for users of L’n’S firewall!
The other firewalls, such as Sygate and ZoneAlarm Pro, can do much better if properly configured. So users of ZoneAlarm Pro/Plus should enable the “High” level of control to pass more tests.
Personal firewalls vs Leak Tests
Since most users do not know which firewall to choose it is becoming important to learn more about advantages and flaws of each product. We have already tested how effective most popular firewalls are in making users’ computers stealth (invisible) on the Internet. Now our goal is to test outbound filtering features provided by today’s firewalls.
Firewalls use outbound filtering features to monitor all outcoming connections and block malicious programs such as trojans, spyware, adware when they try to connect to remote address (that is actually a cracker). Most firewall users are confident of their firewall and do not even suppose that outbound filtering feature of their firewall can be bypassed. As outbound filtering is the major part of firewall protection we can claim most users do not suppose their firewalls are not really protecting them.
Meanwhile several security experts have created so-called Leak tests which question the efficiency of outbound filtering feature used by some personal firewalls. Such tools act like trojans (backdoors) and demonstrate that it is possible to bypass firewall’s protection.
To test outbound filtering features of the leading firewalls we have selected five Leak Test tools. These tools are: LeakTest (by Steve Gibson), YALTA (by Soft4Ever), TooLeaky (by Zensoft), FireHole (by Robin Keir) and OutBound (by HackBusters).
Then we have downloaded eight leading personal firewalls to compare how these products do against the Leak tests. Each firewall was tested with default settings. In other words we have not re-configured the firewalls after they had been installed on the system. The reason to test firewalls with default settings is most users are having difficulties in configuring firewalls so they do not change certain settings after they install the program and instead use default configuration.