Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro is a software based firewall I respect a lot, and used to actually use…It used to be fairly light weight, secure and had some good features the other firewalls at the time didn’t have (system file integrity checking and so on).
But nowadays with NAT routers, the need for desktop firewalls is minimal in my opinion as very few desktops are actually exposed to the Internet with public IP addresses.
To be safe though you should use a desktop or software firewall to police outgoing connections, but then again as a savvy user, I don’t feel the need to have this ‘protection’ as I’m not about to surf some dodgy site with Internet
Exploder Explorer or download and run any random executables that I see on the web or receive via E-mail.
I did use Outpost until they started using Microsoft Access database files to store the logs, within the first day of using Outpost with this new system…the database had become corrupt 3 times.
I think most of the things a software or desktop firewall protects against can be mitigated with a little education and good Anti-Virus software such as Avast! or BitDefender (both free for home users).
Outpost does have a vast array of features which I wont list here, you can read them yourself on the Outpost Features page.
It covers all of the important stuff.
The download is a reasonable 13mb and it’s simple enough to install, it does require a reboot however like most firewalls as they hook in deep with some system level DLLs.
After playing around with it, I’d have to say Outpost is still one of the most powerful and configurable software firewalls out there. It’s still a bit bloaty however, but I no longer have any problems with corrupted MDB files.
It also has some pretty cool anti-spyware software built in which gave my system a full sweep on first run.
It has a bunch of default rules for most common applications which allow secure operation without limiting the main functionality (MSN Messenger, Firefox, Thunderbird and so on).
All in it’s a good product and if you are in the market for a desktop/software firewall or need to recommend one I think it’s about the best you can get.
You can view flash demos of the various firewall functions here.
You can download Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro here.
The trial is available for a 30 day period, after that it will cost $39.95 for a single computer and a year worth of updates. Full pricing information including a family package is available here.