By default, your operating system puts basic security tools at your disposal, such as a firewall. Alternatives like Lavasoft Personal Firewall aim to provide advanced protection against hackers, Trojan horses and other malicious attempts that may put your computer at risk.
The program tries to tackle the needs of both beginners and more experienced users with a user-friendly and straightforward interface, but also with a detailed help menu that comprises tons of information concerning its features.
Lavasoft Personal Firewall may be incompatible with some other security applications, such as antivirus products, so the installer first scans the computer for such programs and tells you about potential problems from the get go.
Once installation comes to an end, the user is prompted to choose whether he wants to use the program in 'Normal' or in 'Advanced' mode, providing different levels of security and rules addressed to novice and more experienced users, respectively.
The main window of the app is nothing special, but it gives instant access to its main features, be they firewall, host protection, web control or event viewer.
Setting the application up might be a bit difficult for beginners, as the dedicated options menu comprises tons of entries, each of the aforementioned features coming with its very own set of configurable options.
While Lavasoft Personal Firewall boasts all the features usually implemented in a powerful firewall, what we liked the most was the so-called auto-learning mode which keeps an eye on the way to you control the apps and thus reduces the number of alerts it launches.
Additionally, it features a dedicated 'Entertainment Mode' that will automatically detect when you are watching movies or playing games so that it doesn't show any alerts.
Other than that, it features a web control tool to make sure no malicious software attempts to disable the firewall, host protection to defend the computer against dangerous files, network activity monitor to block certain connections and custom firewall rules to help you set your very own rules.
All in all, Lavasoft Personal Firewall is a pretty good security solution that comes with a decent set of features. You don't need a supercomputer to run the application, and it even comes with 64-bit support. So if already installed security applications leave a little something to be desired, don't hesitate to give this one a try.