Vista Firewall Control Review: Firewalling for the Masses

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Vista and Firewalls

Any tech geek worth his salt knows that the Vista Firewall is the biggest excuse for a firewall that Microsoft has ever come out with. Thankfully, the firewall in Windows 7 is MUCH more reliable – but what are you to do if you have Vista? The good news is that there are a ton of options available out there, and among them is Vista Firewall Control from Sphinx Software.


The best way I can describe the VFC interface is extremely ugly. It looks like something that the XP era computers would even not recognize as a good interface. From an aesthetic standpoint, if ugly programs bother you, you definitely wouldn’t want to get this firewall.

However, when it comes to operation, it’s most assuredly function over form. Taking the basic concept of the Vista and Windows 7 firewall and expanding upon it, the VFC control panel allows for the sorts of operations you’d find in a normal firewall, rather than the oddly silent way that Vista tends to control its firewall.

For veterans of the old ZoneAlarm builds, you’ll find familiar industry standards here – trusted programs, non-trusted programs, and even the old trusty ZONES system that Zonealarm pioneered.

For this reason, the interface behind VFC is extremely compact and easy to use – even though you’ll cringe at its future-defying looks.

Safety and Security

The kernel of the system is much the same on that’s available on Vista, only customized to provide extra security and control. This is good because the Vista kernel was always a good firewall software, but it never provided the same kinds of protection that even the most basic versions of Zonealarm did.

Furthermore, the zones feature is great for the same reason it was in every version of every firewall that came out after Zonealarm – it allows for complete control of the situation.


While VFC has good security features, newer firewalls have come out that are better. VFC was quintessentially one of those first firewalls that was available for Windows Vista, and as such it was extremely praised. These days however, even Zonealarm and Comodo run inside a Windows 7 environment. Do yourself a favor and download one of those two instead, simply because they offer more versatility than this program.