Danware Data NetOp Desktop Firewall
- Simple, easy to use, stable.
- Popups initially annoying
If you’re after a simple, stable and reliable desktop firewall application to suit either a corporate or home environment, look no further.
Price$ 74.00 (AUD)
It's no secret that software firewalls are less secure than hardware versions as they're prone to viruses, and can be disabled by malicious software. Danish software developer, Danware, has taken an interesting and unique approach to circumvent the problem by creating a firewall that runs as a software driver, and not a conventional application or service. This "driver-centric" model allows the firewall to be active as soon as Windows loads, without waiting for a firewall application to be executed separately. It is resident in memory from before Microsoft Windows establishes a network connection, making it virtually impervious to software attacks. Clever stuff.
Upon first loading the software, the user is guided through a wizard to help setup and configure the protection. The user is prompted to allow or deny access whenever an application or service attempts to connect to the external network. These responses are saved and remembered for the next time. When running, the software appears to work like most other firewalls. Training the application takes a few days of using the computer, but after a while, the popup requests fade away as NetOp has mapped which apps will be in common use.
The application has an interface that looks like a regular Windows Explorer Window, with tasks listed in columns on the left hand side of the screen. It's clearly laid-out and easy to follow, and there's a large stop button to block all communication in the top panel.
The right hand column is broken up into three main categories: Firewall rules, Information, and Profiles. The Firewall rules section provides access to program settings, including which applications have access to which ports, which should be blocked, and which should be shutdown completely. It's also possible to work through the ports or protocols to fine-tune access to the outside world.
The Information section adds detailed logs and statistics that can be viewed based on either events or individual packets. The event log will suffice for most users, but the added packet log allows advanced technicians to drill down into the software and find out exactly what's going where.
Profiles allow you to modify the firewall and security settings on the fly and switch between a few presets when you're at home or out on the road. It's a useful feature for notebooks and mobile devices, but it's rarely needed in a desktop environment.
During testing, the firewall application remained stable and responsive, and did a stellar job of weeding out attacks from across a small business network. In fact, we were unable to sneak data past the application in several weeks of testing.
Though it's primarily pitched at corporate environments, the NetOp Desktop Firewall suite is equally appropriate for a home user. It's easy to use and effective thanks to the "driver-centric" approach, and is a top-notch product for any net-connected PC.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Google turns on HTTPS for all blogspot blogs
- Facebook Messenger testing Snapchat-style disappearing messages for iOS
- Why your iPhone-unlocking fingerprint is susceptible to law enforcement search warrants
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
- Microsoft to begin SHA-1 crypto shutoff with Windows 10's summer upgrade
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- CCMicrosoft Server EngineerWA
- FTTechnology Risk ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork DesignerVIC
- CCJava Developer / DevOps | FINEOS Application | Long Term ContractNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Field Systems Engineer/Administrator - Multiple opportunitiesNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect (Security)NSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- CCAccount Manager - Software Solutions - Global IT CompanyNSW
- CCMS Biz Talk ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Application SpecialistACT
- FTTechnical Writer - Sydney BasedNSW
- CCAWS ArchitectNSW
- CCAzure Consultant/EngineerQLD
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- CCSystem AnalystNSW
- CCHi-Portfolio ConsultantNSW
- FTMs Dynamics Nav Support Analyst- Level 1/2WA
- FTTechnical Lead (Guidewire Policy Center)NSW
- CCEnvironment AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Oracle DBA- Part time 20 hoursWA
- CCProject Coordinator- PRINCE2 & Portal/Website/Digital bckgNSW