After I reinstall Windows on any one of my computers, the first thing I do is disable the OS’s firewall. I have had a number of bad experiences with the native Windows firewall and I believe the feature has a lot of room for improvement. From accessibility to clearly controlling which apps and / or processes get access to the internet, a lot about Windows Firewall could be improved.
But recently I stumbled upon a gem of a freeware that builds upon the existing Windows firewall in such a way that you can get the most out of it without making it inconvenient for yourself. I am referring to the utility called TinyWall.
TinyWall is an excellent piece of freeware that acts as add-on to the Windows firewall. The application provides you with an intuitive interface that helps provide granular control over the firewall’s functions.
The first step in getting TinyWall up and running is to download its setup file; this file is sized at nearly 1 MB. Once you have installed the app and opened it, you will find its icon placed in the System Tray. To view what firewall control options are offered, you should right click this System Tray icon. This action will open up a menu of the app’s options.
There are a few predefined ‘modes’ which let you quickly enable or disable network connections. You can shift between these modes from the ‘Change mode’ option in the abovementioned System Tray icon menu.
The ‘Normal protection’ adhered to your specifications i.e. only applications you allow can access the internet; ‘Block All’ stops all internet activity; ‘Allow outgoing’ will enable uploads but disable incoming data; ‘Disable firewall’ is self explanatory; ‘Autolearn’ will let the app automatically learn your preferences.
You can allow applications to access the internet by either pointing to their EXE file, whitelisting them by their particular process, or simply by pointing to them when their application window is active. You can open TinyWall’s options to further control the whitelist of applications.
A ‘Connections’ section lists all port connections along with their states, address, protocol, and destination address. This information can be very helpful for computer networking troubleshooters.
By simply adding a new icon to the System Tray and providing you with a cleaner and more intuitive interface, TinyWall ensures that you do not have to install a third party firewall to manage connections within Windows.
You can get TinyWall from here.