One thing you should know about this program is that it is the PeerGuardian successor whose first version dates from 2003. I comment on it, in case you have used it since its operation is very similar. In that sense, PeerBlock was born in 2009 and can be considered the natural heir to this program.
What is PeerBlock for Windows and what does it offer
PeerBlock we can define it as a free and open source personal firewall, which blocks packets that come from a host list. Therefore, we could say that it acts largely as a blocker to keep our privacy safe. This function is carried out by means of one or more black lists that contain the information of the organizations that the firewall will block when they make a request for information.
The first time we start the program it will update all the lists. However, if we want to have an update more often, it will require a subscription payment.
That is not to say that they are occasionally ever updated. We will also explain later how you can put other lists to be more updated. However, if used very often, the annual subscription to I-Blocklist costs $ 9.99. In summary, you can pay a fairly cheap subscription, use the ones that come by default even if they take longer to update, or put a list from a place that we will indicate later.
How to install PeerBlock step by step
The first thing we have to do is go to its official website by clicking on the following link. Then we will get a screen like this:
Here we are going to click on the button Download to download the installer. Once this is done we will execute the file PeerBlock-Setup_v1.2_r693 to start the installation and click on Next.
Then we accept the license agreement and click on Next.
Here it informs us that PeerBlock for Windows is compatible with versions of 2000, XP, 2002, Vista and 7 both 32-bit and 64-bit. It is also fully compatible with Windows 10 with which this tutorial has been made.
The next step we are going to take is to choose the directory where we want the program to be installed. The normal thing would be to leave it in the folder that comes by default, and press Next.
Then we will accept that we create a section in the Windows start menu, unless we are not interested in it appearing.
At this point in the installation we will decide if we want a shortcut to the program to be created, and if we want PeerBlock for Windows to run at the start of the operating system.
Once all the installation options have been selected, it will offer us a brief summary of what we are going to install. The only thing left is to press the button. Install to start the process.
When this screen appears, the installation is complete.
Simply by clicking on Finish we will have finished. If we keep the box checked Launch Peerblock PeerBlock for Windows will run with a wizard.
Get started with the PeerBlock firewall
The first time we start the program, a configuration wizard will run and to start we will click on Next.
This is undoubtedly one of the most important sections of the firewall. Here we are going to choose the lists of the elements that we want to block.
In this sense, it allows us to choose between this series of lists:
- P2P– Blocks anti-P2P organizations that collect information about downloads of these types of programs. It is ideal for those who use Emule or a Torrent client.
- ADs: is a list related to advertising.
- Spyware– Prevent us from visiting and downloading things from servers that contain malicious software.
- Educational: does not allow universities or educational centers to collect information from us. If we have this list, we will not be able to navigate the university websites either.
Personally, we recommend selecting all four. The reason is what we discussed earlier: these lists are subscription-based and updates are occasionally downloaded. Then if we want, they can be deactivated later.
Another interesting option that we have under the filters is Always Allow HTTP. With it, it allows us to block P2P connections from P2P downloads, but allow traffic through the HTTP protocol, so browsing will not be affected at any time. I recommend not activating it unless the use is going to be exclusively for P2P downloads, and we are not interested in it blocking the aforementioned lists while browsing the Internet.
When we have finished configuring to our liking we will click on Next and we can configure the updates of the lists.
In this case, it is best to leave it as it comes by default and click on Next. Then a screen will appear with which the PeerBlock wizard for Windows is concluded and we will click on Finalize.
At that moment we will see how it automatically downloads the selected lists and the program starts.
PeerBlock main menu and configuration options
This is the main PeerBlock screen for Windows:
In the red box you have the number of IPs that will be blocked. It will do so based on the listings you have selected. On the other hand, we have a series of buttons that we are going to indicate what they are used for:
- Disable– The firewall stops working until we re-enable it.
- List Manager: here we can manage our lists, add new ones or even create our own list.
- Check Updates: to check for updates.
- Allow HTTP: if we press it, it will not affect our Internet browser, but it will not block websites that affect our privacy or are harmful. To block them again, we will click on the same button in Block HTTP.
- View History: we can see the history of the blocked and allowed connections.
- Clear LOG: will blank the screen where the connections appear.
Above all if we click on «Settings 1»We can configure more things.
Here we can choose how we want the Log Window from the main screen, it will give us information about the blocked and admitted connections. We can also say if we want a history and configure it to our liking. On the other hand, it is the screen where we will enter our data if we have a subscription with I-Block.
Next to it, we have the tab «Settings 2»To configure other options. For example, if we want it to start when Windows starts and the frequency of updates.
List management with PeerBlock
As our lists are not going to be updated, often, unless we have a subscription, we can add others. On the official page, in the IP List section, it offers us some free ones that we can use.
Be careful when visiting this section because if you come very often, you will get a message that says “You have reached the download limit”. Therefore, you should only enter when you are going to use it. The process is very simple:
- We copy the URL of Level1 or another that is available.
- We open a new tab and write it.
- We unzip the file.
- We recommend copying this file to the program’s List folder, although it could be left where it is.
Next, on the main screen of PeerBlock for Windows, click on List Manager and click on the button Add, Add File where we put the path of the file that we have unzipped.
In the red box above you can see how a new list has been added. Also on this screen you can enable or disable other lists. Finally, with the PeerBlock firewall for Windows that acts by blocking IPs, we can gain privacy and security.