I have tested many AV/Firewall programs in my years but found the following to be the most versatile and compatible with my current OS (Windows 8.1):
- BitDefender 2015 (Available as x64)
- Comodo Firewall (Includes options to treat programs as Installers, Updates or Allowed applications)
- Windows 8 Firewall Control from Sphinx Software (manages filtering of SVCHOST requests from the Internet)
Using these programs does not affect Windows Firewall settings and as such does not interfere with the Base Filtering engine of Windows.
Once you allow the programs you need, all other incoming connections are blocked and your DAW is now secure.
Comodo is 64bit compatible and includes an AutoRuns manager, which can find registry entries for drivers that have been removed but care must be taken with older OS’s such as Windows XP; that you do not damage the WinSock layer.
BitDefender is also 64bit compatible and you will find it to be more efficient than other 32 bit solutions running on x64.
The Windows 8 Firewall is an interesting offering from the Germans, as it is essentially a user-controlled network filter that allows system requests to and from the internet to be managed, which for DAW operators is essential when working online.