TinyWall

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CNET Editors' Rating 4.5 stars

Outstanding

Average User Rating stars

out of 11 user reviews

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  • 3.0 stars

    "seems easy to use, quick access to important settings"

    January 22, 2013  |   By swupdt

    Pros

    the w7 firewall is quite unintuitive to configure for anyone not in depth familiar with it and/or coming from a separate firewall with a user-friendlier interface. tiny wall takes care of that quite well and while there is certainly room for improvement it does make handling w7's on-board firewall significantly easier

    Cons

    some quirks I've encountered took me to the brink of uninstalling the app for good. I've finally decided to give it one last try, though. problems being: re-setting your settings for no obvious reason, forcing you to reconfigure everything allowed. blocking all internet traffic arbitrarily, as it seems, (forcing you to reset your settings yourself - at least that helped). finally, after installing avg free 2013 not only the internet could not be accessed anymore but the tiny wall service kept starting and stopping itself over and over (leading to massive cpu consumption) while presenting itself as "unavailable", thus preventing you from restarting and/or configuring it manually. uninstalling it was the only solution. as said above, now running the third and last test.

    Summary

    nice if you can live with bugs and your requirements are not too high. however, if problems arise, they usually will prevent you from accessing the net and thus the many solutions you could find there. with a bit of work and more thorough bug-testing it would be recommendable outright

    Updated on Jan 22, 2013

    [1/2] Just installed the lastest version and usability-wise imho it has deteriorated. The handy auto-learn feature has been removed (yes, I know that it can lead to problems, esp. if you forget switching back to normal) and thus much more has to be configured manually. For configuration you have to use so-called profiles or individual port configuraton. Either way, you should know at least a bit about how the program you want to unblock works: if not the specific ports then at least if it works as a http(s) client or server, with pptp or l2tp etc. Or you use the profile "blind trust" which, according to its name (other information is not given), should unblock all. It didn't with "Bid-O-Matic", though.

    Updated on Jan 22, 2013

    [2/2] The program detection service does not recognize many of my programs (e.g. Waterfox or Cisco VPN Client; from Thunderbird it only detects the plugin-container etc.; otoh, Opera is detected twice).

    As soon as you hit "apply", the gui closes. You cannot edit several apps in a row but always have to open the ui again. Irritating.

    Finally, the program now can no longer be uninstalled from the control panel but only from its own tray-icon/gui. It seems to me that this would effectively have prevented my uninstallation last time (still the old version) when the TinyWall service had blocked net access completely, constantly started and stopped again and the icon itself had been greyed out - "not available".

    After these experiences, I'd judge it as both too risky and too complicated (or rather lacking in ease-of-use) to use this over the original W7 firewall controls.

    Uninstalling now - too bad, the concept was/is really promising

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1 reply to this review

  • Reply by ylorak on July 8, 2013

    When you mention what has deteriorated in the new version, you have got mistaken. All those changes you didn't like, like the profiles, the "blind trust" option, or the absence of auto-learn were to be found in version 1.0 of TinyWall. My point is, you thought you have upgraded, but in reality you have downgraded. Some download sites host outdated versions of TinyWall, if you want to be sure you to get the most recent version, TinyWall's website is your best option. Alternatively, you can check for updates from within the program. Btw, version 2.1 is supposed to fix the "volatile settings bug". - the Author

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