Although Android is generally a safe operating system thanks to the walled garden of the Play Store, you may come across a malicious website while surfing the web or installing a modified version of an app.
Such malicious websites put your personal information and data at risk and make you an active target for hackers. This is where a firewall comes into play. A firewall app lets you control connections to and from your phone, which in turn prevents viruses and hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your smartphone.
What is a firewall and why should you use one?
In layman’s terms, a firewall is an invisible shield between your device and the Internet. You can use it to create a virtual barrier that filters traffic and blocks malicious activities like cyber attacks on your device.
In addition, you can block certain apps from connecting to the internet. This is why a firewall app helps a lot in preventing third-party apps from accessing private and confidential data.
The Google Play Store is full of apps claiming to be the best firewall app for your phone. After testing many apps, we have found some great firewall apps for your Android phone that offer the best protection and filtering options.
NetGuard is one of the best firewall apps that offers advanced features like network statistics, custom notifications, and rule backup. NetGuard uses a local VPN connection to filter your internet traffic and allows you to block any app from accessing the internet over WiFi or data.
Best of all, you can manage and create your own firewall rules for system apps. This means you can easily control which system apps can connect to the internet. Plus, you can quickly reduce your mobile data usage and use it for the whole month with NetGuard.
Most importantly, this app works perfectly on non-rooted devices. While the app is free to use, you can make an in-app purchase to unlock more features like IP traffic logs, custom blocking rules, and different app themes.
Download: NetGuard (Free in-app purchases available)
2. Firewall without root
Firewall No Root is a feature-rich firewall app with an organized interface and zero ads. Unlike other firewall apps, this app uses artificial intelligence so it will automatically block spy servers upon detection. To get started with this app, you need to choose a default startup option: Silent or Alert mode.
Silent mode allows all connections and you can block individual connections as needed. If you are a beginner, we recommend you to select silent mode. Warning mode is designed to check which apps silently connect to an unsecured server. After you select warning mode, the firewall will block all apps and services from connecting to the internet. Then you can manually allow apps from the quick settings panel or in the app.
In addition, you can also apply DNS servers provided by AdGuard, Cloudflare, Comodo Secure DNS and others and set a private DNS that suits you best.
To set up a private DNS server, go to ideas and select network. Now tap select provider. Each DNS server serves a different purpose; For example, if you want to block ads across the web, select AdGuard DNS from the list and restart the app once.
As the name suggests, this app does not require root to work properly. Conveniently, it also offers a log screen to show you the activity of apps on your phone.
Download: Firewall No Root (Free, subscription available)
3. AFWall+ (requires root)
AFWall+ requires root access as it is an iptables-based firewall. As such, it doesn’t create a VPN like other firewall apps. In general, iptables-based firewalls are more effective than VPN-based firewalls like NetGuard and NetProtector. However, as Android smartphones become more and more difficult to root, it is often easier to use a VPN-based firewall app.
AFWall+ offers advanced control over your network connection and makes it easier for you to edit iptables. Iptable is a powerful firewall utility in Android that allows users to create custom rules to control inbound and outbound traffic.
With this app you can also control firewall rules over different connections like roaming, VPN and even LAN. If you are a rooted user, you should definitely go for this app over other firewall solutions.
After using the app for many hours, we found that AFWall+ doesn’t put a heavy load on your CPU unlike other free firewall apps on the Play Store. This means that this app works efficiently with low memory consumption and doesn’t waste much battery.
Download: AFWall+ (Free) | AFWall+ Unlocker ($9.99)
NetProtector is another firewall app for managing the inbound and outbound connections of applications on your phone. This app is a modified version of NetGuard (open source firewall app) and has an interface similar to NetGuard.
It has a simple user interface and offers standard Wi-Fi or data blocking options. You can easily prevent unauthorized sending of personal data with one tap.
NetProtector is completely free to use, but sometimes displays ads.
Download: NetProtector (free)
If you are looking for a simple ad-free firewall app, then Xproguard is for you. It offers few features compared to other apps on our list, but the firewall rules work perfectly.
Xproguard creates a VPN connection and then redirects internet traffic according to the defined rules. Since you cannot connect to more than one VPN due to Android restrictions, you should never use this app with any other VPN app.
Since Xproguard is a VPN-based firewall app, you don’t need a rooted smartphone to use it. If you need a simple yet effective firewall app, look no further.
Download: Xproguard (free)
Firewall apps for Android help control your security
For Android power users, a firewall app lets you monitor and control all the internet connections your device makes, so you can protect yourself from cyberattacks or potential malware.
Installing a firewall app on your device can also improve network traffic management, increase browsing speed, and improve security. It works great alongside many other security apps available on Android.
Android security apps that can block malware and phishing attempts are required if you want to run a secure smartphone. Let’s look at some of the best Android security apps currently available.
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