There are two basic components of Windows security — anti-virus (aka anti-malware) and firewall. Here on dotTech we have reviews for both; a review on best free anti-virus for Windows and a review on best free firewall for Windows. If, however, you don’t like the programs we listed in our review on firewalls, Bot Revolt is another firewall you can try. Let’s see if it is worth your time.
What Is It and What Does It Do
Although the developer avoids labeling it as such, Bot Revolt is — more or less — a firewall that specializes in blocking malicious websites.
- Stays always-on in the background, continually scanning all your open connections and blocking malicious websites and IP addresses
- According the developer, Bot Revolt has a database of over 1 billion known malicious websites and IP addresses. There is no way for us to verify this claim but, for comparison sake, the total number of known (indexed) websites on the internet sits at roughly 3.44 billion known (indexed).
- Allows you to add your own list of websites/IP addresses to block if desired
- Allows you to manually whitelist specific websites or IP addresses, if desired
- Monitors both inbound and outbound connections
- Works alongside your anti-virus or anti-malware program with little to no conflict (but it is not recommended to run it alongside another firewall)
- Displays a history of allowed and blocked connections
- Aside from blocking connections, Bot Revolt “monitors program installation, registry & file changes, keyboard & mouse control”
- Does not block malicious websites as claimed, or at least its database of known malicious websites is not as large claimed. I tested visiting multiple known malicious websites and Bot Revolt did not block any of them.
- Does not set itself to automatically start at Windows boot. Typically, I hate it when programs set themselves to start at Windows boot but this is a type of program that needs to start at boot. You can manually enable start at Windows option from Preferences.
- Is a bit high on RAM usage compared to the competition
- User interface could do with a makeover
Despite the fancy descriptions and claims made by the developer of Bot Revolt, Bot Revolt is essentially a firewall that monitors and blocks inbound/outbound connections to known malicious websites and IP addresses. It stays always-on in the background and continually scans the connections your computer makes and automatically blocks what it feels are malicious. Bot Revolt’s developer claims to have a database of over 1 billion known malicious websites and IP addresses. Impressive, right? Wrong.
As per my tests, Bot Revolt is only good on paper. In actual usage, it doesn’t perform very well. You see, I did a simple test with Bot Revolt. It claims to know and block over 1 billion malicious websites and IP addresses so I pulled up a list of known malicious websites and simply visited the websites while I had Bot Revolt enabled. My plan was to test a reasonable amount of malicious websites/IP addresses and see how many Bot Revolt blocked. I stopped after five, well short of my goal. Why? Because Bot Revolt did not block any of the malicious websites I tested and after the fifth one my computer was infected, forcing me to delete the Windows XP virtual machine I was testing the program on.
As I said, I did a simple test. However, based on that simple test, Bot Revolt is more talk than walk. It claims to know and block over 1 billion malicious websites and IP addresses, yet it did not block any of the websites I tested. The kicker is, the websites I tested are known to be malicious; I got the list of malicious websites from a popular source (malwaredomains.com) and most of the websites were via Google Safe Browsing, so the excuse of “maybe Bot Revolt just didn’t know about those particular five websites” is invalid.
On top of that, I noticed Bot Revolt is heavier on RAM usage than rival firewalls. It isn’t heavy on RAM usage in and of itself, using roughly 37 MB of RAM as per my tests, but is heavy on RAM usage when compared to other firewalls. For example, Online Armor — the firewall I use — is currently using just 6 MB RAM on my computer.
Conclusion and Download Link
The main purpose of Bot Revolt is to block malicious websites/IP addresses before you connect to them and are infected with malware (viruses, trojans, etc.). Unfortunately, as per my tests, Bot Revolt either does not work as claimed or its database is not as large as claimed because I was able to connect to multiple known malicious websites (and was eventually infected) with Bot Revolt running. In either case, this isn’t a program I would want to use. You are welcome to give this a try yourself, but I don’t recommend it.
Instead of Bot Revolt, to protect yourself from malicious websites, ensure you have an update-to-date anti-virus (free or paid) and make sure to install a modern firewall. Learn about excellent free firewalls at dotTech’s review of best free firewall for Windows.
Price: $47 per year
Version reviewed: 1.4.3
Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8
Download size: 13.4 MB
VirusTotal malware scan results:
Is it portable? No