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The Best Firewall Apps for Android

Posted by Will on August 11, 2018

If Internet security is not your cup of tea, then the word “firewall” might sound like something very bad, and certainly not something you’d want to install on your Android smartphone or tablet! Fear not – a firewall is actually a good thing, a protective tool that keeps your device safe from viruses and some kinds of malicious attacks. In civil engineering and architecture, a firewall is a wall that’s designed specifically to be highly resistant to combustion, and it keeps a building from burning down entirely if one part happens to catch on fire, Similarly, most modern computing devices have some form of firewall built in, as a security protection that keeps your device safe and secure as it performs its typical duties around the web and within its own processing. Your device’s firewall acts as a network security system, monitoring incoming and outgoing data and traffic between your phone and the web based on predetermined (either by the user or by the device itself) security protocols. While a firewall is far more necessary on a personal computer, desktop, or laptop than on a tablet or phone running Android, some Android users might find a firewall handy when browsing outside of their own WiFi connection in order to protect their devices from viruses and other nasty software floating on the web.

Whether you’re concerned about security on your mobile device, or you’re just looking to lock down your phone or tablet for additional comfort, a firewall downloaded from the Play Store can be a great solution to an unfortunate problem. Between iOS and Android, we’ve found Android to be the more open of the two platforms, allowing for a bit more freedom and customizability overall when using the device. Unfortunately, this also means some added security concerns, since no device is ever perfectly safe from malware or security vulnerabilities.

Android’s gotten a lot more secure lately, with monthly security patches typically rolling out on time as expected for the majority of flagship phones. If you’re still concerned about your data and phone being unprotected, a firewall might be able to give you some peace of mind. Let’s take a look at our favorite firewall apps on the Play Store right now.

Everyone else

When it comes to design, Netguard is probably our favorite firewall application out there right now. The green-and-orange theme gives it a much more fun vibe than any of the other applications on the list, and the design feels far more modern than what we've grown used to expect from security applications. The app is also routinely updated—in fact, it was last updated just a month before we updated this articled (August of 2018). The app comes with a huge number of recommendations, including from popular mobile carrier Ting, for protecting and stopping your apps from accessing your cellular data. Netguard allows you to ban every app from using your mobile data, making it ideal for prepaid or smaller carriers where you're encouraged to use low amounts of data. The app doesn't require root, is open-source, and is really easy to use for even the newest smartphone adopters. Each app has an icon next to it referencing mobile data and WiFi access. You can control each app independently, and Netguard ensures that you can view offline data while on 3G or 4G while simultaneously saving you battery and data. Netguard does have some pro features, in-app purchases, and ads, but it's nothing too extreme. It's a great app if you're looking for a design-focused network controller or firewall.

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