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Agnitum Outpost Firewall

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Outpost Firewall is a software-based personal firewall package developed by the Agnitum (founded in 1999 in St. Petersburg, Russia). It is available in both paid and freeware versions. Paid version by default has 5 language packs - English, German, French, Spanish and Russian. Free version has only English interface.

General description Edit

Outpost Firewall Pro (personal firewall) is designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic on Windows machines. Like most advanced PC firewalls (ZoneAlarm, Comodo, etc.), Outpost goes beyond monitoring internet traffic and also monitors application behavior in an attempt to stop malicious software covertly infecting Windows systems. Agnitum calls this technology "Component Control" and "Anti-Leak Control" (included into HIPS-based "Host Protection" module). The product includes also a spyware scanner and monitor, together with pop-up blocker/spyware filter for browsers (Outpost's web surfing security tools include also black-lists for IPs and URLs, unwanted web pages elements filter and ads blocking. They are called "Web control" altogether).

Product's Use cases Edit

Outpost Firewall Pro allows the user to specifically define how a PC application connects to the Internet. This is known as the "Rules Wizard" mode, or policy, and is the default behavior for the program. When in this mode, Outpost Firewall Pro displays a prompt each time a new process attempts network access or when a process requests a connection that is not covered by its rules. The idea being that this then lets the user decide whether an application should be allowed a network connection to a specific address, port or protocol.

In practice prompting user can make the product seem over complicated to less experienced users. Agnitum engineers includes pre-set rules for many popular applications. Users can optionally submit rules they have created through the Agnitum ImproveNet - cloud computing system for validation and sharing new rules by Agnitum engineers via product update.

Popularity Edit

Outpost Firewall users developed their unofficial web phorum feeded by Agnitum since 2002 to discuss online product features and support free users. Some notable computer security forums include discussions of Outpost performance and solving compatibility issues with third-party anti-virus and anti-spyware software products.

Achievements Edit

Outpost Firewall Pro's self-protection aims at detecting attempts to modify/disable its services or hinder program protection and is accoladed by Comparison Testers as being capable and sophisticated at detecting all known methods of disabling it. The testing site Matousec.com (performing a test-set of leak-tests to all known software PC firewalls), gives Outpost Firewall Pro high ratings in PC firewalls independent comparisons. Product has more than 20 awards in 15 countries computer media and test labs since 2002.

The product was also licensed by several national security software publishers in 2003-2008: Sophos (UK, USA), Lavasoft (Sweden), Canon (Japan), Bullguard (UK), CAT-QuickHeal (India), Novell (USA) and others.

Versions Edit

  • Outpost Firewall Pro: A shareware personal firewall with inbound-outbound PC program actions control and port stealthing plus anti-spyware and web surfing security plus HIPS engine.
  • Outpost Firewall Free: A freeware version which includes a web and local PC firewall (networking) with indound-outbound program actions control and port stealthing plus HIPS engine.
  • Outpost Security Suite Pro: includes all the Internet Security Suite features (personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, web surfing security tools and host intrusion prevention system HIPS).

Criticisms Edit

Outpost Firewall has been criticized by some end users for being confusing to use, possibly because of its features targeted on advanced PC users. Outpost can generate a large number of security alerts, which some experts believe will lead to an inexperienced end user habitually dismissing all alerts, even important ones. This firewall is preferred by experienced users as Agnitum's direction is to give the end user complete control to all aspects of their system to avoid unwanted changes by malicious software, disclosure of personal information and viruses/malware/spyware. In advanced security mode, Outpost's Component Control will notify the user every time a network enabled application has a changed component and Anti-Leak Control will notify the user whenever an application performs a potentially dangerous operation such as overwriting another application's memory space. In practice this can result in such a high number of alerts that they can quickly become intrusive. To mediate this, Outpost includes the option to apply validated pre-sets automatically, to allow for a secure configuration, and yet provide ease of use.

Nowadays Outpost Firewall is compatible with Windows 7 RC, but some users experience performance issues using P2P software. When corrected, all compatibility issues are published at Outpost Firewall Pro history of changes page .

References Edit

  1. ^ ImproveNet's description can be found at [1]
  2. ^ unofficial Outpost users forum - see [2]
  3. ^ see Wilders Security Forums [3] - Eset Nod32 and other security software forums
  4. ^ Matousec Transparent Security - PC firewalls testing [4]
  5. ^ See [5]
  6. ^ Agnitum licensing partners
  7. ^ Outpost Firewall Pro history of changes page [6]

Footnotes Edit

External links Edit

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