Windows built-in Firewall is a powerful security piece that when configured properly is good and strong enough to block the bad guy from coming in easily. It’s not so intuitive to configure and manage though, which most of the time will just leave us scared enough to touch and hope the default settings would stand up and do their job. But the truth is, we need to control and be aware what’s coming in and going out from our computer.
Windows Firewall Control is a powerful tool that enhances the functionality of the built-in Windows Firewall and makes a lot easier to manage them. It runs in the system tray allowing user to control the native firewall settings easily without wasting time going through many setups in the firewall.
It offers 4 pre-defined filtering modes which can be easily switched back and forth with just a mouse click, either right-clicking the icon from the system tray or through the Profiles section in Main Panel.
- High Filtering – blocks all attempts to connect to and from your computer
- Medium Filtering – Outbound connections that do not match a rule are blocked. Only the programs that you allow can initiate outbound connections.
- Low Filtering – Outbound connections that do not match a rule are allowed.
- No Filtering – no Firewall, which is not recommended.
There is also an option at the bottom of the section that lets you automatically revert the profile back in certain minutes in case it’s switched to a lower filtering profile for installing/updating purposes.
Windows Firewall Control also offers a few options that are worth knowing. Let’s go to the Options section and take look.
The Shell Integration integrate the program into the Windows Explorer context menu of the executable files and their shortcuts. Turning it on will automatically set it up right away. This is going to be so much easier allowing a program to go through outbound.
The other option we suggest to turn on is the one called Secure rules which automatically delete rules created by the programs other than Windows Firewall Control. Considering there are so many malwares that can sneakily mess things around in Windows Firewall without you knowing it, this setting can be your safeguard that keeps your Firewall settings intact.
Windows Firewwall Control runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows platform, from Vista all the way to Windows 10. It does require Microsoft .Net Framework version 4.5, and of course, needs Windows Firewall service enabled. The tool is completely free with no string attached. The registered user, which is also free, gets the Notification feature in return that provides notifications for outbound blocked connections.