Software Firewall for Windows?

@Average_Joe
why would you use a proprietary firewall app?

see instead maybe NetGuard or RethinkDNS

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A simple way: VPN kill switch mode and apply it to all apps that you dont want to connect to internet. Works also in android

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I appreciate your reply!

However, my number 1 concern by far and away is a software firewall for a Windows PC. The links you gave are for Android OS.

I posted that Android link from Glasswire because it was free and included premium features so I thought it’d be useful for this community.

I desperately need to choose a software firewall for my Windows PC so any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

Portmaster is looking like a great choice.

They’re open source but they also have a premium product with more features:

I just came across some great guides here where it directly compares itself to the most popular software firewalls available:

It still seems like I’ve got a lot of research to do!

I’ll keep posting to this thread whenever I find valuable information because I think a Software Firewall is the cornerstone of maintaining user privacy on a Windows PC.

I appreciate your reply!

I’m not really sure why you brought up a VPN? I don’t see how a VPN would prevent an app like a PDF reader from sending data back to someone on the Internet?

It’s not it main purpose nor it is designed to do specifically that. However, at least on Android, if you active Always On VPN and Block Connections with VPN, and if you have an option to select which apps to route through VPN and which don’t, you can exclude apps from the VPN as if you would wanting them to don’t connect through the VPN. However, because you have Block All Connections without VPN activated, apps of which the traffic is supposedly being not send through the VPN, can’t in fact connect to internet (because they are excluded from VPN and you prohibited non-VON connections).

I used Portmaster a few years ago and I found it powerful, but also buggy and dogged with a very confusing UI/UX. I see that they’ve done lots of updates since then, so hopefully those issues no longer apply.

If you try it please report back on what your experience is.

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I had the same experience a few years ago and recently tried it. But sadly no… I don’t know how but it’s still buggy and the interface is still the same. Maybe even worse because some of the time the interface takes like 20s to load.

If the devs see this, they should take a look at the Glasswire Interface. Especially the “Traffic Monitor” Tab. If they could somehow replicate that and clean up the UI so it doesn’t feel so unorganised and straight up bad, I might at least consider switching to it in the future. After installing and removing portmaster at least 5 times I’m starting to give up but maybe they’ll listen to people somehow idk i’m trying not to lose hope here.

Here is how the Glasswire “Traffic Monitor” Tab looks for comparison:

  1. Very clean and nice looking UI without any unnecessary information or bad looking UI elements
  2. no information overload
  3. very responsive
  4. you can select a custom time stamp and look at how many MB a specific application uploaded/downloaded
  5. you can select a custom time stamp, and look at which hosts/domains the application connected to and how many MB they exchanged between each other (upload and download)
  6. I could go on and on why I prefer this 100x to portmaster

What I’m trying to say is that portmaster’s interface just feels so much worse in comparison to competitors. I know glasswire doesn’t do all the privacy stuff with filtering and so on. You can still setup a custom dns server though and will at least get 70% of portmasters filtering without having to deal with a buggy software, even worse UI/interface and sometimes the internet just not working on your pc.

I like portmasters idea and I really appreciate that some people are at least working on this. But the product is honestly so bad I don’t even feel at ease recommending it to anyone or installing it on a pc of my friends or family. Maybe this will be a wake up call to them or at least understand why people don’t like it. Hopefully… Or they just read this and say “ohh right. This is just the personal opinion of this one person so who cares”. Not knowing that 90% of users are thinking the same thing. idk what more to say honestly. This text got much bigger than i expected and I put more time to it then I wanted. But maybe it will help portmaster to identify their problems and fix them. Maybe and hopefully!

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