TinyWall refers to a firewall that is intended to improve the functioning of the default Windows firewall. These two firewalls work together to provide users with a simple two-way firewall against worms, Trojans, and viruses. This firewall controller utility created by Karoly Pados supports Windows Vista and others that came after. Since Windows XP, Windows had its own firewall that was actually quite good. The only downside was that it was hard to find and configure. This means that some malicious programs had already figured out a way of turning it off.
Is TinyWall Free?
yYou’re most probably wondering if the firewall is free and the simple answer to that is yes. However, the developers happily accept donations to take care of hosting, software costs, digital certificates fees, and facilitate future updates.
If you are looking for a firewall without bonus bells and whistles, then you should opt for TinyWall. It takes the standard Windows firewall and makes it better and more effective. Let us have a look at how TinyWall works and some of its key features:
- TinyWall mainly operates by allowing the users to whitelist or block an application using one of two ways:
- Initiating the process using a hotkey, and then clicking on a window that you want to allow
- Selecting a program from the list of running processes
- The firewall blocks all applications and only makes exceptions to those programs that you have allowed.
- The firewall has a system tray menu where you find the most common tasks, like changing the overall mode of the firewall to default Normal mode.
Generally speaking, if chatty firewall applications irritate you, you’re definitely going to appreciate the approach by TinyWall. This utility program doesn’t bother its users; instead, it automatically blocks all malicious activities without sending a single alert.
TinyWall Pros and Cons
TinyWall is an amazingly superb firewall that does its job without constantly annoying you. The program runs in the background and does its job quietly. Listed below are some of its pros and cons:
TinyWall can block most programs. The firewall doesn’t install its kernels but finds a way to add some reliable protection features to your current Windows firewall.
The firewall lets you work in peace while protecting you “behind the scenes.”
- No pop-up messages
The firewall doesn’t show any pop-up messages that can be extremely annoying, especially if they show repeatedly. The utility program does away with those annoying diversions.
After the installation process, you get a notification that TinyWall won’t be sending alerts and queries as other firewalls do. For example, the only way you’ll find out that a particular application has been blocked from accessing the internet is when you realize that the app cannot access the internet.
It’s quite surprising that for a controller utility created by a single person, TinyWall has updates.
- Simple and easy to use
The configuration is very simple, and users don’t necessarily need to understand anything about DLL files, ports, or any other technical details to use TinyWall effectively.
All the modes and features are extremely easy to use. One feature you’re going to love is the ability to use hotkeys whenever you would like to approve an application. Simply press the hotkey combination, and then click on the specific app window.
- No effects on your system’s performance
The firewall does not have any drivers or kernel components, so it does not influence the system’s stability. Again, this tiny app is packed into about a megabyte and comes already installed into the newer versions of Windows. The small size means that the impact on the performance of your computer is negligible.
- Automatic learning
TinyWall has in-built firewall rules that strengthen your computer’s security by protecting your passwords and regularly updating the block-lists.
- Manual unblocking
Users have to manually whitelist all the applications that they would like to allow access to the internet. Even though one needs to do this for each app, most users feel that popular apps like Firefox should be whitelisted by default.
- The learning mode is foolproof
When getting into the Autolearn mode, you have to be 100% sure that your system doesn’t have any malware. Otherwise, any malicious software will not be detected because the programs are automatically whitelisted. This beats the purpose of having protection to begin with.
You may experience some file sharing and printer sharing issues.
TinyWall is designed to address any shortcomings that the default Windows firewall may have. What makes this firewall unique as compared to other firewalls is that it doesn’t display any pop-up messages. The firewall is extremely easy to use and allows users to whitelist or block a program through a simple process. The simple interface makes it very easy for users to define what network has access and what network doesn’t. At the same time, TinyWall prevents other applications from altering the settings on your firewall.