capsule review

NetBarrier 2.0

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As if network crackers weren't hassle enough, now we must contend with miscreants who want to pry into our Web-surfing habits and inundate us with viruses and ads. Intego's NetBarrier personal firewall protects you. New in version 2.0.2 are handy tools that block annoying advertising and protect privacy. And the program's price, $50 ($100 less than the cost of version 1.0), makes it an incredible bargain.

NetBarrier keeps out intruders, blocks network attacks, and filters the sludge from your daily Internet stream. An array of preset configurations lets you set up the program with a single click, and in-depth settings give power users control over details.

NetBarrier can alert you when a site you're visiting attempts to retrieve personal information, such as your credit card number. The program logs these and other security events, though its log messages can be cryptic. Other features let you keep an eye on traffic levels and protocols. A new spam filter deletes annoying messages from your mail server, and an extensive cookie-monitoring feature lets you control who can send you cookies. The program can also selectively block banner ads and pop-up ad windows.

Macworld's Buying Advice

Less expensive and more capable than Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (2.0 mice; Reviews , May 2001), and with an easily navigable interface, Intego's NetBarrier is the best personal firewall on the market today.

Cookie Monster: NetBarrier keeps cookies under tight control, preventing companies from tracking your surfing habits.
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