Sphinx Software’s Vista Firewall Control
Microsoft touts Windows Vista as its latest and most secure operating system. Starting with Windows XP SP2, Microsoft has included a firewall which, by default, is enabled. While Windows XP’s firewall only monitors inbound Internet traffic, Windows Vista’s firewall monitors both incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. Windows Vista’s firewall is enabled by default. Windows Vista’s firewall isn’t the most user friendly application. In fact, it is downright impossible to customize. It does not allow users to set rules for traffic. Thankfully, there is a handy utility that can help, namely, Vista Firewall Control (VFC).
There is both a free and paid version of VFC. With the free VFC program, users can choose what type(s) of connections applications can make. For example, users can allow applications to make both types of connections, only one type of connections or block both. In addition, users can choose to apply it only once or apply it all the time. VFC doesn’t have all the bells and whistles found in other paid firewall programs; however, if you want to keep Windows Vista’s firewall then VFC can give you more control over the it. For those who want the bells and whistles, there are several free firewalls which support Windows Vista, such as: Comodo Firewall Pro, PC Tools Firewall Plus and ZoneAlarm.