Macworld Mac firewall review
 
Macworld magazine has published reviews of the currently available Macintosh firewalls and firewall-like products, including (of course) our DoorStop X Firewall and related DoorStop X Security Suite. Here’s a quick overview of their results (in alphabetical order), plus a few comments (of course):
 
DoorStop X Security Suite: “DoorStop X Security Suite is an easy-to-configure front end to Apple’s built-in firewall application. When used in tandem with the Who’s There? log viewer and the excellent supporting documentation, it can help keep your Mac safe, as well as teach you more about Internet security.” Just like this blog :)
 
Flying Buttress: “Flying Buttress is a very nice addition to Apple’s built-in firewall, providing easy access to features that would otherwise be unavailable unless you are capable of configuring OS X’s built-in firewall via the Terminal interface. While the developer admits that he can’t provide daily support, the program is solid and easy to use.” Shareware. Used to be called Brickhouse.
 
IPNetSentryX: “IPNetSentryX is not for novices, nor will it protect your Macintosh single-handedly. But, if you understand how to analyze network traffic and want to keep using OS X’s built-in firewall, IPNetSentryX can be a powerful weapon in your security arsenal.” A very powerful product if you’re very techy.
 
Little Snitch: “Little Snitch 1.2.2 strikes a good balance between automatically blocking potential problems and letting users decide what connections to allow. This is a great tool for anyone who uses a wide variety of software, especially if you tend to download programs from a lot of new sources.” Blocks outgoing access only, as opposed to the incoming access blocked by most firewalls. Use in addition to another firewall if you want this feature.
 
Mac OS X Firewall: “While Apple’s built-in firewall application lacks the flash and reporting capabilities of some firewall programs, it will still get the job done. For most users, who are simply looking for a way to protect personal data and avoid exposing their Mac to hackers with nefarious intentions, OS X’s firewall is enough.”  If you’re reading this blog, we don’t think you fall in this category. See our Web site for why.
 
NetBarrier X4: “NetBarrier X 10.4.1 is a versatile, highly configurable firewall application that allows for superior protection of your Mac. While the program’s default configurations are probably either too permissive or too secure for most users, customization will allow for all the Internet and network access you need, while protecting you from the bad guys.” Lots and lots of bells and whistles.
 
Norton Personal Firewall: “Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall 3.0.3 is a simple and effective firewall application that’s easy enough for novices to use, yet powerful enough to protect your system and offer a wealth of configuration options.” Based on Open Door’s original DoorStop firewall for Mac OS 8/9.
Thursday, May 25, 2006