Both Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows come with a built-in firewall as a security feature. Considered as software firewalls, mac’s application firewall and Windows Firewall (known as Windows Defender Firewall on Windows 10) monitor and regulate both inbound and outbound traffic. While hardware firewalls work at the network level, OS firewalls function at the device level. For example: macOS firewall on iMac desktops and MacBook laptops, and Windows Firewall on Windows PCs.

Apps or programs operating on your computer connect to the Internet. These apps download plugins and updates from the Internet automatically. However, these actions happening in the background can become a vulnerability exploited by cybercriminals to run malware on your computer. Windows Firewall, Mac firewall, and even third-party software firewalls can stop this scenario by preventing apps from receiving an incoming connection.

Apple’s application firewall on Mac, Windows Firewall, and third-party firewalls can control Internet connection based on the app instead of port. With this approach, only the malicious or suspicious apps have no access online. They cannot take control of the network ports which legitimate apps are also using.


How To Block A Program Using Windows Firewall?

window system preference
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click System and Security
  • For a faster result, you may also type ‘Windows Defender Firewall’ on the search box after clicking the Start button, then press enter.
  • On the Windows Firewall window, choose ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.
  • Select ‘Change Settings’.
  • On the list, locate the app or program you wish to disallow by unchecking the Public and Private network boxes next to it.


How To Block A Program Using Mac Firewall?

mac system preference

  • Open System Preferences
  • Click the Security & Privacy icon
  • Select the Firewall tab
  • Unlock the preference panel by entering your administrator name and password
  • Click the Add button (+) under the list of services, the choose the apps or program that you want to include.
  • Once it is added, click the down arrow if your prefer preventing that app from receiving an incoming connection.


Are Mac and Windows Firewalls Good Enough?

Compared with Microsoft Windows operating system, macOS rarely encounter malware and viruses. However, while Mac firewall effectively works as a software firewall, it carries the same limits as a separate firewall solution. It can monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic, but it might also encounter difficulties in stopping and removing various types of malware like viruses, trojan horses, worms, spyware, and adware.

Installing an Internet security suite with a built-in antimalware feature remains crucial in spite of the effectiveness of Mac application firewall and Windows Firewall as preventive solutions. If you are looking for the best Internet security suite with a built-in firewall, antimalware, and other relevant features, check out our best internet security suites review & buyers guide. For Mac users, check out our comprehensive review and buyers guide on select security software solutions for macOS.