Level 19
Windows Firewall Control 5.1 with Security improvements

Windows Firewall Control 5.1 is the latest version of the security program for Windows that extends the functionality of the built-in firewall called Windows Firewall.

We reviewed Windows Firewall Control back in 2009 for the first time and concluded that it was an excellent application for Windows systems that were configured to use Windows Firewall for protection.

The developer released Windows Firewall Control 5.0 in late 2017 and two smaller updates afterward.

Windows Firewall Control 5.1 is the first major release after the release of version 5.0, and the first major release of the program in 2018.

Windows Firewall Control 5.1

If you used the program's automatic update check to find and download new versions, you will notice that you cannot use it for the version 5.1 release of Windows Firewall Control.

The program asks you to uninstall the current version, download the new version manually, and install it then. You may want to keep your firewall rules and changes by selecting that option during removal.

Registered users need to generate a new activation code on the project website and enter it under about in the program's interface.

The new version comes with new and improved features. The application's Secure Rules feature was "rewritten from scratch". It blocks any modification to Windows firewall rules to protect against unwanted tampering with the ruleset. Rules can only be modified through Windows Firewall Control if the feature is enabled under Security > Secure Rules. Users may set a new hotkey to toggle the state of Secure Rules.

Secure Profile is a new feature that falls into the same category of protecting firewall rules against unwanted modifications. The feature blocks the importing of firewall rules and changing the filtering mode of Windows Firewall Control using external means. Import and filtering changes are only available from within the program. You enable Secure Profile under Security > Secure Profile.

Another new protective feature displays a dialog to the user if Windows Firewall Control is password protected and if uninstall is invoked.

Existing users with eagle eyes may spot new recommended inbound rules "required for accessing the computers from the local network".

Closing Words
Windows Firewall Control 5.1 improves the application's protection against unwanted tampering. Users of the software need to enable the security features as they are not enabled by default.

The necessity to uninstall the previous version to install the latest, and the requirement to generate a new activation code is unfortunate, but it is hopefully just a one-time process.

Source: Windows Firewall Control 5.1 with Security improvements - gHacks Tech News