One of the best stand alone Windows firewall software solutions would have to go to Agnitum Outpost firewall. Outpost firewall is feature rich, allowing users full control over their traffic entering and exiting their system.
Agnitum Ltd was founded in 1999 in St. Petersburg, Russia and has been providing and improving its firewall product ever since. We will be taking a closer look at Agnitum’s flagship firewall: Outpost Security Suite Pro.
There are three versions of Outpost Firewall: Firewall Pro, Security Suite, and the free version of the Security Suite. Below is a comparison of Security Suite Pro and its free version.
Further you can compare Outpost Security Suite with its slimmed down firewall version below. Note that Outpost Pro firewall does come with an antispyware scanner, but not the full award winning antivirus engine.
A fully installed Outpost Security Suite maintains a relatively small foorprint on your computer only using 19mb of memory at idle:
During installation of Outpost you will be given the opportunity to place the firewall in learning mode. Outpost will silently create access rules for all the known software on your computer with minimal interruption. Outpost Pro scans each executed application using its antivirus engine and checks whether an application is already covered in ImproveNet. ImproveNet is the cloud‐based system of known legitimate applications submitted by the Outpost user community and verified by Agnitum engineers. If the antivirus engine does not recognize this application as “Bad” and ImproveNet does not recognize it as “Good”, SmartDecision steps in to conduct an on‐the‐fly analysis of the file. According to the results of the analysis, the user will receive advice on how to proceed – allow or block this application’s actions. This seldom happens if placed in the initial learning mode stage. The image to the right is the Chrome browser requesting an outbound connection. Notice Outpost has given Chrome trusted status because it a recognized program by Outpost’s Smart Decision technology.
Opening the Outpost Security Suite control panel you are greeted with a clean intuitive user interface. On the surface the average user can simply navigate through the main items on the left and will comfortably be able to select adequate security settings. The average user will not be overwhelmed with advanced functions.
Outpost Security Suite’s Antivirus on demand scanner and automated settings can be set here. Regardless of your scheduled scan settings, Outpost intelligently scans your computer while at idle, at a very slow rate. This assures a constant vigilance against threats which may have found residence on your computer at some point.
Entering the Advanced Settings display:
In the Advanced Settings we have chosen Application Rules which we are able to view each and every application on your computer and their rule sets. These rules dictate the permission the software has for WAN or LAN connectivity. Each application can be granted, revoked or modified access. Granular control of permissions, ports, and protocols can also be modified or killed: Another great feature to Outpost Firewall is its Ip Blocklist capability. Here you can individually add IP addresses to block or import massive IP blocklists which are available. For those of you who have Windows 10 and actively block Microsoft’s data collection networks through the hosts file, this is an optional alternative to using Hosts blocking. The benefits of blocking the IP’s with Outpost,you can elect to have Outpost alert you the moment an IP is blocked:
This makes for troubleshooting blocked IP’s or easily removing them from your blocklist if needed. You can also completely shut off IP blocking if needed for an amount of time. Using the Hosts file to block IPs you get no indication of which IP is being blocked at a given time, or have the ability to turn on or off IP blocking with ease if needed.
Note to Agnitum: We would like to have further options for the IP Blocklist such as automatic downloading of blocklists from URLs. We would also like to have the ability to have several of our custom blocklists available active or inactive at one time. If you have ever used PeerBlock, you know what we are talking about.
Agnitum maintains a user based support forum. The community is very active in helping others. Agnitum does listen to its user base, so if you have suggestions for a new feature you would like included, you can ask. For instance, here is a great suggestion to include VirusTotal scanning as a feature.
In conclusion, Agnitum Outpost Security Suite is a fully capable firewall and antivirus solution for the average or advanced user alike. Agnitum has packed in plenty of options to give its users the level of security they are comfortable dealing with. Outpost has more to offer than other leading brand firewall & antivirus solutions, therefore we recommend Outpost Security Suite is our #1 choice as an all in one Security Suite.
Read Agnitum Outposts Smart Decision whitepaper: