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Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.4 Print
Hacker attacks. Internal threats. External attacks. Malicious intruders.

Web site: http://www.kerio.com/

System Specs:

  • Pentium based PC or better
  • 16 MB RAM
  • 1 MB disk space
  • Windows 98/NT4/ME/2000/XP

Alternatively try

  • Zone Labs, Inc. ZoneAlarm
  • Symantec Norton Personal Firewall
  • Sygate Personal Firewall
  • Internet Security Systems BlackICE PC Protection
  • McAfee Firewall
  • Privacyware PrivateFirewall
  • DeerField Personal Firewall
  • Tiny Software Tiny Personal Firewall

PCs are under attack more now than ever before. Gone are the days when we could simply do our jobs, manage our projects, and even have fun on our PCs. Now, we worry about Trojan horses, worms and attacks from unknown and even known intruders.

Especially important is all our critical project-related information. What would happen if access was gained to your company's confidential material? What if you were subjected to a malicious attack?

Kerio Technologies Inc. has given security a great deal of consideration and offers an affordable firewall solution for those of us concerned with Internet threats. This Santa Clara, California company is a major provider of Internet security solutions for small to medium-sized networks. On the menu is their Kerio Personal Firewall.

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) is designed to protect PCs from Internet security and local network threats by building a barrier between your PC and the Internet.

KPF operates by controlling all data flow in both directions - from the Internet to your PC and back again, blocking all attempted communications and allowing only what you choose to permit.

KPF offers a variety of key features for PC protection, providing three security levels that can each be manually configured. It will block all externally originated IP traffic and drop the packets, rendering your desktop invisible to potential intruders.

The firewall can be set to run automatically at Windows startup, or alternatively, you can manually activate it. At its lowest security level, KPF will permit all network activity. If you wish to set it to medium security, the software will ask your permission before it allows any activities not covered by filter rules. It operates in learning mode with a dialog that questions the user. Depending on the answers, any communications will be entirely permitted, temporarily permitted, or completely forbidden. When you should want to move to the highest security level, KPF will only allow activity that matches specific defined rules.

KPF allows you to define secure zones; that is, establishing the range of IP addresses that will be allowed or disallowed. You can set your list of trusted IP addresses or only one address from which access is allowed. The IP groups can also be defined for each application or protocol.

Another feature of Kerio Personal Firewall is its ability to identify authorised applications. A unique, encrypted signature (MD5) is issued to every application. Each application then uses this signature while trying to attempt communication. Since the signature is unique, it will help prevent Trojan horse applications' ability to mask itself as a trusted application.

Perhaps the best feature of this firewall is its stateful inspection ability. Based on the analysis of previous communication, KPF decides if activities of authorised applications correspond with assumptions and security rules. This is extremely useful when confronted with hackers who are attempting to use authorised channels.

Naturally, firewalls are only as effective as the configurations they're given. Kerio provides good technical support via a manual and online documentation to help you get started.

Kerio Personal Firewall is free for home and personal use. Because business and institutional customers have different security requirements, KPF is available as in single user and multiple-user licenses after the 30-day evaluation period. The single user license is priced at US$39, while 10-user and 25-user licenses are priced at US$350 and US$800 respectively. 50-user licenses will cost US$1450, while 100-user licensing will cost US$2600. For those organisations that require licenses in excess of 100 users, you should contact Kerio directly for further details. The software can be purchased from the Kerio online store, by fax or telephone, or through any of their authorised partners in 48 countries worldwide.

Kerio Technologies states that KPF is easy to use and they weren't fooling around with that claim. Not only was installation fast, but with the overall operation of the software was simple to get to grips with. We also felt that its use for the mobile laptop would be ideal, especially since our notebook often travels away from the office and out into the wider (and sometimes malicious!) world. As a matter of fact, Kerio recommends KPF as an ideal solution for those of you who do work remotely, even if it's only occasionally. You never can tell what you'll pick up when you're away from the safety of your own corporate network! With that in mind, Kerio also provides users with frequent updates and fixes to help protect you against the latest security threats.

Kerio Personal Firewall is a powerful solution that can cope with any security threats that come your PC's way. If you operate a small business, this is a package that is well worth adding to your security arsenal.

Kerio Personal Firewall
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of

5 bananas

2002 © Lee and James Appleyard

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