Agnitum Outpost Pro 2.5 review
Improved control, flexibility and attack detection make Outpost Pro 2.5 the only serious software firewall choice for the home and small-business user.
Review Date: 20 Jan 2005
Reviewed By: Davey Winder
Price when reviewed: (£40 inc VAT); Upgrade £17 (£20 inc VAT)
At PC Pro, we've long-been fans of Agnitum's firewall. Not only does it have a small system footprint (under 10MB), but it also outperforms the biggest competitors when it comes to sheer system security. This new version adds a much-improved Attack Detection plug-in, which now features selective port-blocking settings, as well as allowing you to create your own ports and protocols filtering list. Controlling network activity on the protocol level is great for the experienced user, selecting what each port will accept and what it will block. However, that's not what most 'normal' users want. So we were relieved to see that the preset port and security configurations work straight out of the box.
The only additional work required is to create lists, on the fly, of trusted remote hosts. By having a trusted list of hosts that are known to be non-malicious, Outpost can process traffic faster. There are also better guards against hidden processes and protection against your process memory being hijacked by malware. The hidden process control will monitor all application network activity, on all levels. Our testing showed this to be very effective in blocking trojans, spyware and malware activity. Outpost won't even allow a 'trusted' application to launch a dangerous program that pretends to be useful; the process control spots this behaviour and stops it dead.
Since our review of version 2.1, there had been several forums reporting blue screen of death crashes when used on some systems running Pentium 4s with Hyper-Threading enabled. It isn't something we've encountered when testing here though, and Agnitum also seems to have tracked down the issue, as the reports have now gone quiet. One thing we've noticed, however, is an increase in the amount of system resources eaten up by Outpost when compared to earlier versions. But it isn't huge at about 10 per cent more, and thanks to this being a resource-friendly firewall in the first place, only users upgrading from an existing Outpost install are likely to notice.
Despite an improved content-filtering plug-in, which adds custom message displays for blocked sites, Outpost can't compete with full security suites in terms of value. However, what you do get is the best-of-breed personal firewall software, bar none. If the question is how can you best secure your data, your system resources and your identity without resorting to expensive and relatively complicated hardware solutions, the answer is simple: Outpost 2.5.
Author: Davey Winder
- Will right to be forgotten extend to Google.com?
- Samsung Gear VR uses smartphone for virtual reality
- Google X gathering medical data to build picture of health
- Amazon posts another loss - its biggest since 2012
- Google ditches OpenSSL in Chrome
- Apple and Swatch to buddy up for iWatch release
- StubHub fraud: how hackers stole $1m using tickets
- Mobile success boosts Facebook's profit by 138%
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Unlock your Moto X with a "tattoo"
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- 13 computers that changed the world
- How to download YouTube videos to a PC or laptop: is it legal to download YouTube videos?
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 12 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?