There should be an image here!At a fundamental level, there are three things that should be demanded from a firewall. The first is that it should be easy to use. That is essential. The user should welcome having the security and not be reluctant to use the program.

The second essential is that the firewall does not slow down the computer. It is counterproductive to spend good dollars on a fast machine and then slow it down with a firewall. And it is worse if there is a need to sometimes disable the firewall to do what is necessary online. That is essentially being vulnerable to hackers’ attacks.

The third element is that the firewall needs to protect traffic in both directions. You want to stop unwanted traffic from reaching your computer. In addition, you want to stop some traffic leaving your computer, if your security has been breached. And a security breach may happen — even with meticulous attention to security. All it takes is an errant click — one mistake when your attention is diverted. Further, there is absolutely no security program on the market that gives you a hundred percent protection. None. No legitimate security company will claim to be a hundred percent effective. Cybercriminals are putting new dangers on the Internet daily. It probably is happening as you read this. Most times, the hackers are a step of the security people.

If you stumble upon a malicious Web site, a self installing malware program might escape detection and install itself. That program could be broadcasting information from your machine. You could be a victim of identity theft that may not be discovered for weeks or months. A good software firewall increases your chances of detecting unusual activity on your machine and lets you know about unusual outgoing traffic.

We have been recommending the Sunbelt Personal Firewall, which was formerly known as the Kerio Personal Firewall (and has been discussed previously). The Sunbelt Personal Firewall blocks unwanted traffic that is incoming but it also monitors what leaves from your machine. That cannot be stressed enough.

Outgoing information may be your confidential data or your machine could be spewing out spam. It could be that your computer has been compromised and is now a part of a bot operation. A good firewall, which monitors outgoing traffic, will give you an additional chance at catching some infection that already has occurred on your machine.

This offers expires on April 30, 2010. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall is really a generous gift at ten dollars. Yes, it really is only ten dollars when you use this link and the coupon code SPFLOCKERGNOME when you place your order.

At this price, the Sunbelt Personal Firewall is affordable and a bargain. This firewall supports Windows XP and Vista. It is being modified for Windows 7.

Many of us have used this firewall for years. It works well. Sunbelt is offering this security program for about the price of a couple of fancy coffee drinks. It is a great investment and, when you have this firewall, make sure it is running all the time when you are online. Please don’t be one of those people who have the product and don’t use it.