I think everyone knows the Outpost firewall. So today we are going to take a look at what the latest release of a comprehensive package is capable of. To tell the truth, I am not particularly attracted to complex packages. I give more preference to individual products. However, if the package is of good quality, then why not? Therefore, now we are going to test a whole set of modules. Let’s try to describe all the features in more detail and see what quality of protection this product provides to users.
As usual, let’s start with small clippings of information from the official website of the company. /* When reading, make allowances for the fact that this information was intended for a wide range of users, including those with shallow knowledge of IT – the language of presentation is as accessible as possible. – ed. */ Safe work on the Internet. The basis of Outpost Security Suite Pro is a powerful, time—tested firewall that protects you from threats on the World Wide Web. It monitors every connection of your computer, preventing unauthorized attempts of local and remote network access. By controlling incoming and outgoing application traffic, the firewall stops malware attempts to transfer data from or to your computer.
Proactive protection against threats. The first line of defense against most malware attacks is a unique feature of the software interaction protection product, which proactively monitors and blocks all kinds of sophisticated hacking methods used to steal data. Your data will be protected from unauthorized access, and potential new attacks will be stopped by analyzing the behavior of Outpost applications. These advanced technologies provide proactive protection against most threats.
Circular defense against malware. A simple but nevertheless effective malware scanner automatically detects and isolates or removes viruses, spyware and other malware. Constant protection continuously monitors passive and active programs, while having the slightest impact on system performance.
Uninterrupted protection. Outpost Security Suite Pro uses specialized techniques for its own protection, which cannot be disabled even with the help of specially created malware.
Personalized spam filter. The anti-spam module will keep your mailbox clean of junk mail. You can train it to recognize spam using your own ideas about junk mail, which makes it all the more effective and saves you more time the longer you use it.
Powerful, easy-to-use protection. For beginners, Outpost Security Suite Pro offers comprehensive assistance in using the extensive features of the program in the best way for the correct configuration of protection — from immediate support through the program interface to the ImproveNet automatic configuration system and clearly written documentation. The product is simple even for novice users. Advanced users will appreciate the wealth of control capabilities and configurable parameters that they can set according to their requirements, and a rational interface will provide more productive and less intrusive protection to all users, regardless of their experience.
program installation, configuration
Installation is simple (to be honest, I haven’t seen it complicated yet :)). There is no registration during installation: the program is installed by default as a trial, well, and after that you can enter the registration key — there is a separate item in the help menu for these purposes. The setup starts immediately after the installation is completed, which makes it possible to run all modules and settings after one reboot in full-featured mode. Immediately after the reboot, a window popped up, indicating that the program creates rules for accessing the network of its modules. Application access settings are not very complicated.
There are three main groups: prohibited applications, user level, and trusted applications. It is clear from the names that trusted applications are given full access to the network, and user applications are given according to the rules. And, just about the rules: for the most common programs — such as a browser or mailer — there are ready-made presets. This is very convenient, especially when the user does not know how to configure access rights for a particular application.
The program determined the network parameters itself, however, in case of non-standard network parameters (this is usually typical for home networks), it is possible to configure the parameters manually. But I do not advise using this option if you do not know how to handle it. Configuration settings are saved to a file, which allows you to use them, say, after reinstalling the OS. Low—level access is a great privilege. Naturally, it is given strictly to those applications that really need to have it. If you grant access to the network at a low level to an unfamiliar application, everything can end badly. There is a setting for editing access, but, again, it is better not to climb those who do not understand.
Now about the modules. The package has enough modules. You can do almost anything. But in principle, there can be an unlimited number of them, since I discovered an option to integrate additional modules. Therefore, the capabilities of the package can be significantly increased.
Now let’s take a closer look at the standard set:
DNS. This module is engaged in remembering the most frequently used DNS addresses.
Antivirus + antispyware. A mandatory attribute of any complex package. Updates are made hourly. The base of spy applications is quite impressive.
Antispam. The ability to protect your mailbox from all garbage and advertising. This module is learning, which makes working with it easier. Attack detector. Fixing warnings about attacks carried out on the machine. Naturally, fixed attacks are not always attacks, since it is not controlled by artificial intelligence, but by a system based on a list of rules. Therefore, a completely harmless appeal to the computer can be recorded as an attempt to scan ports.
Here is a description of the main modules. There are three more modules: interactive elements, content, advertising. I think their purpose is clear from the names. They functioned very well through my Opera 9.2 and blocked everything perfectly.
To surprise you with the fact that the package keeps a log, most likely, it will not work. Logging is now available in any program, but I have not met such a complete one: a complete report on all connected modules. Convenient, you can’t say anything. Well, the set of log options is standard. It is possible to export, apply a filter, etc. The “game mode” function. Do you know what it is? I explain: the ability to disable pop-up messages. In this mode, the program makes its own decisions without distracting the user from, say, watching a movie. Not a bad idea, otherwise the viewing is often interrupted precisely because of this. Any confidential information — such as bank account numbers and passwords — that you specify in the ID Block module is protected from leakage from your computer via instant messaging, web or email channels. This will protect you from identity theft, phishing attacks targeting critical information such as account settings or credit card information. In addition, it ensures that no one except you — including your children — will also be able to accidentally or intentionally disclose this information online.
Now learn more about the presets for allowing applications to the network. The rules for most applications that need Internet access are applied automatically, which saves you from having to manually specify the rule every time a new application requests access to the network or tries to interact with another program. This approach means that most of the time users do not need to respond to network access requests, which minimizes distraction and makes the configuration more secure. A wide set of preset access rules are assigned to specific applications; the ability to set a list of network applications during installation or later also indicates the ease of using Outpost. ImproveNet is a voluntary system for collecting and distributing program configurations. Being tested and approved by Agnitum engineers, the rule sets provided by Outpost users are distributed to all users, providing you with the most secure and up-to-date rules. If the ImproveNet system does not have an answer, then Smart Advisor is always at your disposal and ready to help you make the right decision when setting up access for the application. Detailed information about each of the active elements includes incoming/outgoing traffic, port numbers, etc.
Three modules were tested: antivirus + antispyware, antispam and attack detector. Let’s start with the first one. The virus protection module was offered the same collection of 108 pieces. 97 of these animals were found, which is a very good result. This means at least two things: the quality of the scanning engine and the quality of the databases. There were exactly 89618 Spy signatures at the time of testing. The second in line was antispam, fortunately I have no problems with spam. That’s just had to create an account in Outlook (I use the Bat!). So, the module coped with all the letters with a bang. Finally, I sighed calmly and did not delete a dozen emails :). The attack detector was checked by scanning the system from the outside and DoS attacks from two hosts. The firewall coped with the first one and recorded port scanning from the outside. A directed packet stream has been identified as a possible DoS. Everything is as it should be. Well, I had no doubt about the quality of the firewall (the tested product), however, in the new area, the product proved to be quite worthy.