A firewall is a piece of software which screens network traffic. This software allows/blocks network connections based on a set of rules. When you think of a firewall, most likely your personal computer will come to mind. However, this type of software is available and necessary for your Android devices as well.
In the context of an Android device we will be focusing on the control of network connections to/from the internet on your Android device.
Firewalls are important not only for security — they prevent unwanted and potentially dangerous connections — but they are also effective at saving data. With our mobile devices, many of us have an accompanying data plan.
Many apps run in the background consuming valuable data if your device is not connected to WiFi. Firewall apps on Android allow for persons to block apps from consuming data in the background. Saving data ultimately means saving money which is awesome.
With the importance of firewall apps in our minds let us now look at some of the best Android Firewall apps available. You will be pleased to know that these apps do not require your devices to be rooted in order to work.
LostNet NoRoot Firewall
LostNet NoRoot Firewall gives users several options for customizing the flow of their network traffic. LostNet routes your internet connections through its firewall and the app makes sure that your data is kept safe.
The app is divided up into three tabs which are Dashboard, Apps and Geo.
Dashboard gives users access to the most basic options. From here you can turn off protection completely. The options are also provided to limit traffic from Dropbox as well as the Russian Federation.
Apps allows users to monitor the consumption of data by various apps.
Users can then choose to limit an app’s connectivity solely to Wi-Fi only or block it completely. Selecting an app individually will give users a more detailed description of an app’s usage. The amount of data consumed over a period of time is displayed as well as where data related to the app was transmitted to and received from.
Geo allows for the monitoring of data by region. Users can choose to allow/block data based on the region.
LostNet NoRoot Firewall provides an effective means of controlling and monitoring your device’s data usage. Even more features are available if you choose to upgrade to the pro version.
If you have ever wanted to take control of your device’s network connections then you may want to consider NoRoot Firewall.
Please note that before you start using NoRoot Firewall, you will need to allow it permission to set up a VPN connection that allows it to monitor network traffic.
By default NoRoot Firewall will require that you vet each app individually, allowing only those apps which you trust. This can be done under the Apps tab.
NoRoot is divided into 5 different tabs. The Home tab allows users to start and stop the app’s VPN connection.
Pending Access displays the apps that have tried to use or receive data on your device since installing the app and starting it’s VPN connection. Only after you grant an app access will it be able to gain network accessUnder the Apps tab, you will be able to view a list of all of the apps and services on your device which could possibly request network access.
You can limit their access to Wi-Fi/cellular or allow both. You can also set rules based on domains that you specify under Global Filters.
Finally there is the Access Log which is quite self explanatory. It shows when a particular app used/received data.
You can take control with NoRoot Firewall and it even allows you to single out domains that you wish to control.
Mobiwol: NoRoot Firewall
After granting Mobiwol access to set up a VPN network, you will be able to begin setting up how it operates.
The app is divided into 5 main sections. The first section allows for the simple toggling on/off of the app’s functionality.
Firewall Rules as its name suggest allows for the setting up of the firewall rules. Under this section a list of all of the apps on your devices will be displayed. You will be able to limit their operation to Wi-Fi/data or both. You can also set the limitation of foreground only operation.
You can also view apps’ collection logs under Connection Logs.
You will be able to fine tune Mobiwol’s settings under Firewall Settings.
Finally under Data Usage you can monitor apps’ data usage both over the mobile network and Wi-Fi.
Mobiwol is very well put together and has an attractive user interface. It doesn’t have as many options as LostNet NoRoot Firewall but it is easier to operate.
Netguard is a relatively simple app to begin using. As usual you will need to allow this no root required app to set up a VPN connection before you can begin taking advantage of its features.
The app is laid out quite simply which aids in its ease of use. On the main screen in the top left hand corner there is a toggle that allows you to turn Netguard on or off.
From this screen you can also limit apps’ connectivity to Wi-Fi or mobile network only or both. You can also choose options such as allow Wi-Fi/mobile network when screen is on. Netguard allows to block apps’ functionality when roaming as well with the Block when roaming option.
More advanced options such as enabling the logging of internet access are found under Netguard’s settings.
Netguard offers users several options for configuring it to their preferences. The way it is set up, the basic and most important features are immediately visible. The more advanced features are found in Settings. This was a smart move on the part of the developers because it makes the app usable by everyone.
If you really want to secure your device and/or take control of how you utilize data, then you should consider installing one of these four apps.
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave an questions or comments below.