Lavasoft Personal Firewall 3.0 is a revamped-interface version of
Lavasoft’s firewall suite. Better known for its antivirus software,
Lavasoft offers many other security programs, and this is one of
During installation, Lavasoft Personal Firewall successfully
detected that I had antivirus software installed, and modified
Personal Firewall’s own installation to coexist with it.
The program offers two simple buttons, Advanced protection and
Normal protection, during configuration. The former is recommended
for advanced users, as it provides additional levels of protection
against malicious programs. Normal is good for the majority of
I chose Advanced. On the next screen, it asked me whether rules, or
exceptions, for well-known applications should be automatically
created. In order to not have to allow every little program through
the firewall, I left this setting where it was. After rebooting,
Lavasoft Personal Firewall managed to configure its own connections
for both Skype and Yahoo Messenger. The TiVo Beacon Service, the
utility provided by TiVo that allows it to download shows to a PC,
has no preset and popped up a window on startup.
The three choices are to allow all activities, block all
activities, or create a new custom rule. A Smart Advisor hypertext
link provides more information about the utility. At the bottom
were two additional buttons for Allow Once and Block Once, and OK.
This layout is somewhat non-intuitive, and could do with a bit more
Creating a new custom rule seemed to have little effect, as the
TiVo Beacon popped up numerous other times for its other uses.
Eventually, I just selected Allow All.The program then popped up
for the TiVo application itself and for Google Desktop. That latter
choice seems odd–it would behoove Lavasoft to have presets for the
entire Google suite.
When logging in to Yahoo! Messenger, an optional popup with a short
duration stated that, yes, Lavasoft Firewall had a preset for this,
so it was going to go ahead and let YIM! through.
Opening the firewall shows a convenient list of all programs
involved in network activity. Right-clicking any file allows you to
block or accept on the fly. Blocking the TiVo utility worked
instantly, preventing me from using it on the network. New to
version 3.0 is Web control, which restricts access to sites known
The clean interface and the lack of technical jargon really drive
home how friendly this firewall program is for newbies.
Lavasoft Personal Firewall is unobtrusive, as it already knows
about most of the programs you use, it’s got a (mostly) intuitive
interface, and it plays well with any antivirus or other real-time
scanning software you might be using. Though Windows provides its
own free Window Firewall, Lavasoft’s more advanced features and
easy-to-understand interface makes it worth the money.
Note: This version of Lavasoft Personal Firewall 3.0 is
designed for 64-bit systems running Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003,
or 2000 SP3 and above. If you are running one of these OSes on a
32-bit system, the vendor recommends the
64-bit version. If you are running Windows 98 or an older
version of 2000, the vendor recommends Version
2.0 instead. Licenses for this software are sold in one-, two-,
and three-year licenses. The price given here is for a one-year
license. The download link takes you to the vendor’s site, where
you can download the software.