You will find other security vendors to be just as confusing. I think they are counting on people getting so confused that they just click on the ‘Total’ packages just to be sure they are protected to the fullest. Well you may not need the extra bells and whistles that make the ‘Total’ package total. You may even find the free version to offer everything you do need. I’ll discuss the free options in more detail below as I think you can get everything you need without spending a dime.
As for whether you should use a separate firewall or use a security suite, those in the know will say to keep them separate. I don’t think it matters much anymore as the security suites available today do a pretty good job at both. In fact, you can get a top-notch security suite such as Comodo Internet Security (CIS) for free, w
It is a simple set it and forget it application. You can run it on up to 10 devices, which can be monitored and controlled remotely via a cloud based dashboard and it uses the same antivirus engine they use to protect fortune 500 companies. It has absolutely no nag screens to upgrade or buy additional features. It’s free, give it a shot. You can find it here. You’ll have to sign up for a free account with them so you can download the software and manage it remotely. Another nice feature of Sophos is their web filter by category as seen below. These filters are per user so you can have separate profiles for each end user device and they are only accessible via the on-line admin account. I have also never recieved an email from them so no worries about spam.
I personally now use a little known free firewall called Tinywall. It works hand in hand with Windows firewall and does an excellent job, (sorry but this one by its nature is not available for Mac). It works off a whitelist principle blocking everything until you ‘allow’ it access. And it’s a simple matter to