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
- Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet sales halted over faulty charger
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Amazon Phone: does anyone want a 3D handset?
- Virgin email fiasco hits thousands of users
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available on Android
- Google posts "average quarter" with slow growth
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- BBC iPlayer lets Android devices download shows
- Google's Project Ara modular phone arrives in January
- Hackers harvest LaCie card data for a full year
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- Cut out the broadband jargon? What jargon?
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Make the most of your mobile data
- 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?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs