Good news for existing users of the firewall enhancing software Windows Firewall Control; the most recent update of the application released today unlocked the donation-only functionality for all users of the application.
Windows Firewall Control is a security software for Windows that gives users more control over the built-in firewall of the operating system. We reviewed Windows Firewall Control 5.0 and Windows Firewall Control 5.1 recently.
Among the many features that the program supports are better options to manage firewall rules, better protection against rule tampering, or a learning mode that keeps user interaction to a minimum.
Windows Firewall Control was available as a free version that was feature limited. The core functionality that was missing from the free version was notifications support. Notifications are an essential feature of the application for many users. The application displays a prompt each time a software program or process attempts to make an outbound connection.
It is up to the user to allow or block the connection temporarily or permanently, or use built-in options to find out more about the process, port and other information before making a decision.
Malwarebytes, makers of the popular anti-malware software of the same name, acquired Windows Firewall Control in June of 2018. It was not the first acquisition of the company in the past three years; it acquired the popular adware remover AdwCleaner in 2016 and Junkware Removal Tool, another program to clean up potentially unwanted applications in 2015.
Malwarebytes revealed in the official press release back in June that it had plans to integrate the solution in its core products. The company reassured users of the product that the program would be kept as a standalone program but that it would fly under the Malwarebytes branding in the future.
It appears that one outcome of the acquisition is that Malwarebytes dropped the donation-only requirement to use Windows Firewall Control to the fullest.
The official release notes of version 188.8.131.52 confirm that:
New: The notifications system is now available for free and the program does not
require activation anymore.
Nothing will change for users who donated in the past. Users who did not donate get access to the same functionality as supporters, however. You may need to select Notifications > Display notifications to enable the feature. It should not be locked anymore so that the functionality can be enabled right after installation of the new version.
Windows Firewall Control comes with signed installer and files in the new release, another welcome change that should improve the program's standing with other security tools and Windows' own anti-malware protections.
Check out our tips for Windows Firewall Control to get the most out of the security software.
Windows Firewall Control is an excellent program to improve the management of the built-in Windows Firewall. The release of a version of the program that is not feature restricted is a welcome change that should improve the program's popularity.
Whether the change is the first sign of the end of the standalone version of Windows Firewall Control remains to be seen.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.