Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
BlackICE PC Protection by Internet Security Systems prevents intruders from accessing your computer, and that's the main job for a firewall. BlackICE PC Protection lacks the extra features that our top-ranked products offer; these give you added protection from Trojans, adware and intrusive cookies (data stored on your computer by websites you visit).
BlackICE PC Protection has some unique features, including the ability to block or trust a visitor. This tool allows you to block for an hour, a day, a month or forever—we liked the flexibility this offered.
BlackICE has some powerful filtering features. You can specify the exact type and duration for each rule you create and you can make these rules specific to a given port on your computer. Without getting into much networking terminology, you can block a certain kind of message from entering or exiting a given location on your computer. This tool helps you fine tune your filtering. You can also turn application control and communication control on or off.
With BlackICE PC Protection, you can customize your firewall to record all of your computer's interactions. But to use these records (logs) to track data to its origin you'll need to buy trace file decoding software.
The BlackICE screen is not as simple to use as screens in other firewalls. BlackICE PC Protection has a good control panel and a useful history screen that lists past events and network traffic, but improvements would help push this firewall higher in the rankings.
BlackICE PC Protection is a good firewall software program that needs control panel improvements to help novices take advantage of customization. With these improvements, BlackICE PC Protection has the potential to become a top contender.
BlackICE PC Protection provides many customizable features, enough to allow you to set up a small network if you want. But this would take an experienced computer user time to get right.
Want extra protection? Check out our best antivirus guide to find the right antivirus for you