OS X comes with its own built-in firewall. And while it's a pretty good option, there are plenty of third-party firewall offerings as well. Which one is right for you? We put half-a-dozen to the test to find out.
Are you leaving your Mac vulnerable to viruses, intruders, and other dangers? OS X may be more secure than other operating systems, but it's not invulnerable. Here are 18 things you can do right now to protect your Mac -- and your data -- from potential disaster.
While Apple’s built-in firewall application lacks the flash and reporting capabilities of some firewall programs, it will still get the job done.
DoorStop X Security Suite is an easy-to-configure front end to Apple’s built-in firewall application. When used in tandem with the Who’s There? log viewer and the excellent supporting documentation, it can help keep your Mac safe.
While NetBarrier X 10.4.1’s default configurations are probably either too permissive or too secure for most users, customization will allow for all the Internet and network access you need, while protecting you from the bad guys.
Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall 3.0.3 is a simple and effective firewall application that’s easy enough for novices to use, yet powerful enough to protect your system and offer a wealth of configuration options.
IPNetSentryX is not for novices, nor will it protect your Macintosh single-handedly. But, if you understand how to analyze network traffic and want to keep using OS X’s built-in firewall, IPNetSentryX can be a powerful weapon in your security arsenal.
Flying Buttress is a very nice addition to Apple’s built-in firewall, providing easy access to features that would otherwise be unavailable unless you are capable of configuring OS X’s built-in firewall via the Terminal interface.
If you can adjust to a more-complicated interface, MYOB’s FirstEdge 2.0 and AccountEdge 2006 far outclass QuickBooks in terms of features.
TurboTax Deluxe may be the only tax-prep application available for the Mac, but there’s no reason to feel cheated. TurboTax is a great program thanks to its ease of use, excellent educational features, navigational freedom, and superior error checking.
If you have to create and edit Word and Excel documents—but you don’t need all of the high-end features available in those programs—ThinkFree Office offers a viable and inexpensive alternative.
Pages 2 provides excellent word processing features in a package that can also act as a top-notch desktop publishing application.
Painter Essentials 3 is an extremely powerful program that gives beginning artists the ability to create beautiful artwork, as well as the freedom to experiment in ways they may never have dreamed possible.
In a pre-iLife-and-iMovie world, VideoImpression 2 would be a huge leap forward for home-video editing, but today, great home-video editing software for your Mac is old news. VideoImpression 2 doesn’t even rise to the level of the original iMovie.
Now Up-to-Date & Contact 5.0.4 is overkill for users whose needs don’t extend beyond basic contact management and calendaring. But for small businesses, Now Up-to-Date & Contact is an excellent choice.