Make your PC hacker-proof

Personal firewall

Security settings (default in bold)


Aladdin Knowledge Systems ESafe Desktop 2.2, Normal, LowPoor performance and confusing configuration. Comes with built-in antivirus utility and filter to block obscenities in Web content. Personal Firewall

Block Everything, Filter Traffic, Allow EverythingEasy configuration and good interface, but event log is difficult to access. User must configure firewall to run automatically at system startup.

Network ICE BlackICE Defender 1.9

Paranoid, Nervous, Cautious, Trusting

Easy installation and configuration. Clear, easily accessible event log. Best documentation of the products we tested. Identifies type of attack and attacker.

Sybergen Networks Secure Desktop 2.1


Ultra, High, Medium, Low

Poor performance. Provides little feedback and no indication that it is running, but it does have a good, readily accessible event log.

Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2000 version 2, Medium, MinimalProvides good protection, but interface is overly complex and controls are clumsy. Also includes filter to block obscenities or objectionable Web content.

Zone Labs ZoneAlarm 2.1

High, Medium, Low

Easy to install and set up. Provides solid protection and plenty of feedback - sometimes too much. Scans e-mail attachments for potential viruses or Trojan horses.

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Jeff Sengstack

PC World
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