The idea behind Peer Guardian was to block known bad or insecure IP connections automatically on computer systems. It shipped with various lists, a P2P list for example, that you could use to block company IP addresses associated with copyrights holders, media companies and companies that were known to record P2P traffic.
Developer stopped and Peer Block took over for the time being, but this too stopped eventually and back in 2009 no alternative was available that offered continuous development and new features.
Enter Bot Revolt, a new program for the Windows operating system that is available as a free and paid version. Before I look at the free version, I'd like to outline the differences between the free and paid version so that you know what you do not get in the free version of Bot Revolt.
Bot Revolt Free vs. Paid
The only information we have about the differences are on the pricing page. The paid version of Bot Revolt offers the following features for $47 per year or $4.95 per month on top of what the free version offers:
- No Ads. The free version displays a skyscraper ad in the program interface.
- Incognito Mode. This seems to work just like a web browser's incognito mode, only for all network connections. It appears to block tracking scripts and servers that are known to track user connections.
- Auto Updates. The paid version updates automatically and in real-time.
- Additional Threat protection. It is not really clear what this means. From the looks of it, it appears that the paid version will block additional threats that the free version does not block.
Bot Revolt Free Review
The main program window displays all connections your computer makes. Black text connections are all safe, while red connections indicate unsafe blocked connections. The application uses five default lists that are all activated by default and updated on start of the application:
- Malware - Blocks hackers, botnets and viruses.
- Spyware - Blocks malicious spyware programs and adware servers.
- Scams and Spam - Blocks unsolicited email and hoax servers.
- Bitcoin Bandits - Blocks currency thieves and crooks.
- Your Privacy - Maintains privacy online.
You can check out any list with a click on view. This displays the starting and end IP range as well as the name of the company or individual who is the owner of it.
A search is provided at the top that you can use to scan for a specific IP address or name. It is furthermore possible to right-click on any name here to whitelist connections for 15 minutes, 1 hour or permanently.
Another interesting feature is the ability to create custom lists and to import lists from iblocklist and other list providers.
To add existing lists click on the add button in the list manager and either add one locally, or by url. Several iBlocklist lists are already linked here so that you can select them with the click of the button.
You can disable the protection for a period of time from the main interface. Just click on the disable button to do so, but do not forget to enable the protection again.
The real-time log may be useful but it is too limited for deeper analysis. There is for instance no option to search it, or sort it by column header. That's what the history window is for. Click on View History to open it.
Here you see all, blocked and allowed connections listed in tabs. To display all blocked connections simply click on the blocked tab to do so.
Other options provided here are to browse the data for a specific day, and to use the search to find information about particular IP addresses you are interested in.
You can change what is logged by the application in the Appearance section. Both allowed and blocked connections are logged by default, which you can change to either one or no logging at all.
Here you can also define the automatic pruning of log files (default every 7 days), whether you want to receive notifications on HTTP blocks or All blocks, and change colors for allowed and blocked connections.
The preferences window is rather limited in the free version. The only options you have are to disable the start with Windows, the splash screen, and whether you want the program minimized to tray on close or displayed always on top.
If you are looking for a program that blocks IP addresses associated with malware, spyware, spam or tracking, then you may want to give Bot Revolt a try. It is a great alternative for the retired Peer Guardian and Peer Block applications.
Especially the ability to add your own lists and import lists from other sources needs to be mentioned here, as it improves the program significantly.
Whether it is worth the $47 per year is up to you. The system-wide incognito mode sounds like a real keeper though.