[Review] jFirewall Personal Pro

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for March 19, 2009 is:

jFirewall Personal Pro

Version reviewed:

Software description as per GOTD:

jFirewall Personal Pro is a simple, easy to use and convenient firewall. No additional knowledge is needed to use it.

With jFirewall Personal Pro you can configure individual rules for all the applications only once and then all the network activity of your system’s processes will conform to these rules. Several modes of work will allow to choose the optimal one. You can also watch the applications’ network activity in real time.

Moreover, the firewall is integrated with proactive protection component that will prevent suspicious software from being installed on your system.

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  • Small file size.

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  • Is not detected by Windows as a firewall.
  • Fails as a firewall.

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{for=”Features as Described” value=”10″}Everything claimed by the developer was there
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”7″}I give this a 7 because, well, because it is straightforward, easy to use and understand. However being a firewall, the tendency to have annoying popups just comes with the territory which is why this is not a 10.
{for=”Performance” value=”1″}This program fails as a firewall.
{for=”Usefulness” value=”1″}Not very useful because it sucks.
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”1″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
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{/rw_verdict} –>

Registration and installation went fine. You have to manually enter the registration name/code. You can do this by right clicking on the system tray icon and clicking on “Register”.

Usually I make my reviews elaborate explaining most features of a program and incorporating my comments in between. However, I am going to make this review short and sweet:

I tested jFirewall using the “Security Software Testing Suite” provided by Matousec.com. For those that don’t know, Matousec.com is the adhoc authority on firewalls.”Security Software Testing Suite” is a set of tools that help you test the strength of your security software, mainly firewalls. There are ten levels of “threats” as per the design of the tests by Matousec.com with ten being the “most strongest threat” and one being the “least strongest threat”.

My testing revealed that jFirewall Personal Pro is a horrible firewall. It is weak and pathetic. This firewall sucks. Simple level one and level two threats were able to breach this firewall. For example “kill1”, marked as a level one threat by Matousec.com, was able to flood jFirewall and turn it off. Is that not sad? Oh and just so people know, I left jFirewall at its default settings during all my tests (i.e. it was in interactive mode).

Needless to say I give this firewall a thumbs down.

***Please do not download the “Security Software Testing Suite” unless you know what you are doing!

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

Here is an excerpt from my list of top 6 security applications:


What: PC Tools Firewall Plus

Why: Simply put, PC Tools Firewall Plus provides great protection and a simple interface at a great price (i.e. free). Yes it is true that in the traditional sense of protection, PC Tools Firewall Plus is not *the* best free firewall out there; however PC Tools Firewall Plus is *one* of the best. The crown for *the* best in the traditional sense would definitely have to go to Comodo Personal Firewall Pro. There is also Online Armor which is considered stiff competition to Comodo and PC Tools. However the following are the reasons why I chose PC Tools over Comodo and Online Armor:

  • Compatibility issues. I have tried both Comodo and Online Armor. The last time I tried to install Comodo it screwed up my computer pretty badly. When I installed Online Armor, my windows would not even boot. Doing a little search, I found out that there is a significant minority of people who have similar issues as I had with these two programs.
  • The latest version of Comodo will not even install, literally, as long as you have K9 Web Protection installed. K9 Web Protection is one of the recommended software in this list as you will read later on.
  • PC Tools, the developer of Firewall Plus, is also the developer of Threatfire. This ensures that there will be little to none conflict between the anti-malware protection and the firewall. Update: With the new Avira 9 out, you may decide not to get Threatfire anymore. In that case this bullet point does not apply to you.
  • The difference, in terms of protection, between PC Tools, Comodo and Online Armor is not significant enough to be felt by the average home user.

All things considered, PC Tools Firewall Plus comes out on top.

Alternatives: Comodo Personal Firewall Pro or Online Armor Personal Firewall Free Edition or Windows Firewall.

Extra Note: Unfortunately, Firewall Plus is only for 32-bit systems at the moment. 64-bit users can refer to the ‘List for 64-bit Users’ at the very bottom of this page for alternatives.


List for 64-bit Users

The bane of 64-bit is that a good significant number of developers focus only on application for 32-bit users. PC Tools is one of these developers unfortunately. If you are a 64-bit user, the suggestion list is for you:

  • Firewall Plus replacement: Comodo Personal Firewall Pro is the next choice (hopefully you won’t run into compatibility issues). If you do run into issues, keep in mind that Windows Firewall is not nearly as bad as people might want you to believe (for Vista at least – XP Windows only covers you for inbound traffic).

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{rw_verdict2}If someone did not get the point by now, I give jFirewall Personal Pro a big thumbs down: my testing revealed it is a very bad firewall. My recommendation for today is PC Tools Firewall Plus. PC Tools is simple, elegant and provides excellent protection – I use it. However since PC Tools is 32-bit only, 64-bit users should check out Comodo and hope for the best in terms of possible compatibility issues.
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