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TinyWall

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  • Submitted: Dec 28 2011 08:33 AM
  • Last Updated: Jun 13 2012 04:39 AM
  • File Size: 1008KB
  • Views: 2884
  • Downloads: 268
  • Will Run On: Vista/7 (32/64-Bit)
  • Author's Site: Developers Homepage
  • License: Info Not Available

TinyWall 2.0

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Screenshots
Description
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TinyWall is software to harden and control the advanced firewall built into Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Features

Non-intrusive operation
TinyWall lets you work while protecting you. No annoying popups and simple configuration.

Lightweight
Using the advanced Windows Firewall built into newer Windows versions, TinyWall´s performance impact is neglible.

More than just a controller
Password lock, firewall tinkering protection and built-in tight firewall rules make TinyWall secure.

Safe operation
No drivers or kernel-components are installed, which keeps your system stable.

Convenient
Firewall modes and lots of other convenience features make TinyWall extremely easy to use for anybody.

At any time TinyWall can be in one of four operation modes. The default mode is "Normal", which gives you an optimal security/usability tradeoff. The firewall mode is not saved and will always reset itself to "Normal" when you start Windows.
  • Posted ImageNormal mode
    In the normal mode of operation, all protection features are turned on, and by default applicaitons cannot access any networks. As a special exception, applications that you have explicitly whitelisted can access the network.
  • Posted ImageAllow outgoing
    This mode is the one closest to the operation of Windows Firewall. It blocks all incoming connections, except for programs explicitly unblock by you. However, it does not block outgoing connections, except for applications that you have explicitly asked to be blocked. Even though this mode is close to the original operation of Windows Firewall, it still provides additional advantages. Compared to pure Windows Firewall, TinyWall in this mode still has some protection features enabled, like malware blocking and firewall tampering protection, no to mention the friendlier user interface.
  • Posted ImageBlock all
    In this mode TinyWall blocks all connections, inbound and outbound, unconditionally. This is similar to unplugging your computer from the internet.
  • Posted ImageDisabled
    In this mode all applications are allow to connect to and to recieve connections from the internet.

What's New in Version 2.0 (See full changelog)

  • Easier first-time setup. The search for most recognized applications has become blazing-fast and TinyWall will automatically whitelist known and trusted applications when starting for the first time.
  • Added new learning mode. In this mode TinyWall will observe what applications use the internet and how, and remember them in normal mode. Setting up complex applications or a freshly installed system becomes a piece of cake. Just start learning mode, use the applications, then switch back to normal mode.
  • A greatly rewritten firewall exception dialog. No more confusing profiles, only a streamlined and simpler interface and a direct possibility to manually specify ports.
  • The ability to restrict applications, one by one separately, to the local network.
  • TinyWall 2.0 installs and uninstalls like any other application. By common request it can now be removed from the Control Panel.
  • Better support for built-in Windows features. TinyWall 2.0 can now be expected to work well and be compatible with Windows Networking, Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance and other network-related Windows features.
  • Easier whitelisting of complex applications by recognizing related files. If an executable needs additional files whitelisted to work correctly, TinyWall will automatically notify and offer you to whitelist those files when you try to unblock it.
  • Domain blocklist support. Implemented by installing a custom hosts file, this feature will keep you safe from many malicious websites and increase your browsing speed by blocking trackers and ads. This feature is disabled by default and needs to be turned on explicitly. TinyWall will keep the hosts file updated to ensure you always get the latest protection. (Currently the MVPS hosts file is used.)
  • Hosts file protection. A common web-related attack by malicious code is redirecting the user to fake sites to phish data or install further bad code. TinyWall will lock the hosts file to ensure its protection and prevent malicious redirection using the hosts file.
  • Mouse picking of windows with higher privileges. In v1 when TinyWall's controller was not running elevated, it was impossible to whitelist another application that is running with admin rights by mouse picking (by window). You either needed to use a different method or you needed to elevate TinyWall too. TinyWall 2.0 allows you to whitelist most admin applications by window without having to elevate TinyWall itself.
  • Saving of settings without breaking existing connections. TinyWall will no longer break existing TCP connections when applying firewall settings.
  • New updater system. The updater now supports updating not only the application, but also the data components separately. It will naglessly keep your hosts file (if enabled) and the recognition database up-to-date without you having to install new versions of TinyWall.
  • Traffic rate monitor. This is a feature in the form of a tray menu entry that will always tell you the current total download and upload rate of your computer.
  • Connections window shows blocked applications. The Connections window will now optionally show you what the firewall has blocked recently, and a right-click menu allows you to either unblock or close processes. Even multiple at once.
  • Increased performance. Reorganized code and a parallelized load process make TinyWall 2.0 start much faster than earlier versions and firewall settings take less time to apply.
  • Remember the last used firewall mode. TinyWall 2.0 saves the firewall mode between reboots (with the exception of the Disabled and Learning modes, which will not be remembered).
  • Digitally signed applications executables. All binaries shipped by TinyWall are signed using a recognized digital certificate. A digital certificate assures users that the author is no fictional person and it will identify all software releases coming from me. It means that as long as Windows is telling you that TinyWall has been published by "Károly Pados" and that it is valid certificate, you can be sure that the TinyWall you have downloaded really is from me and that it has not been compromised by others since its release.
  • Localizability. The interface in 2.0 can be translated to other languages, as of 2.0 a French translation is included in the distribution.
  • Improved support for accessability, keyboard navigation and screen readers.
  • Support for running in a virtualized environment.
  • Support for quickly filtering the list of application exceptions. Makes it a breeze to search for something in a long list.
  • From the Connections window, you can easily initiate searches for processes on VirusTotal, ProcessLibrary and Google.
  • Support for Windows 8 (tested on CTP) and .Net Framework 4.


Screenshots

Screenshots




Scanned & Checked: Jun 13 2012 04:39 AM

When we last scanned TinyWall using VirusTotal we found no problems with the download and their website was not listed negatively with any of the reputable site advisory sites such as WOT or SiteAdvisor. We pride ourselves on safe downloads from honest and trustworthy developers and this free software download passed our tests.

Please be aware of the last scan date above and use caution if this date was some time ago.



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James (Jim) Hillier
Jan 01 2012 09:54 PM
I have been in touch with the developer of this one. Apparently this early version of TinyWall was never meant to be available for wide distribution at this stage. I quote from one of his email replies:

It wasn't my intention to distribute the 1.0-series to such wide audiences as it is happening right now all over the internet, but someone uploaded it to two major download sites, and from there on it was unstoppable. My point is, only the next major version will have the function set and maturity that I originally conceived. I do realize where TinyWall lacks and what it misses, but 1.0 was never intended to be used by so many people in the first place.


This came about because I actually installed TinyWall version 1.0.2 but could not get it to work properly. When enabled in 'Normal' mode TinyWall is blocking all outgoing connections and preventing me from connecting to the net at all. So I contacted the developer looking for advice - to date, we still haven't identified the problem.

Of course, this could be an issue specific to my particular setup and TinyWall may work perfectly on other machines. TinyWall looks very good to me but I would suggest waiting until the next major version is released.
James (Jim) Hillier
Jun 12 2012 11:14 AM
Marko - Just received an email from the developer (Karoly Pados) today that the new version 2.0 has just been released. He has spent months refining and improving the software from its raw beginning - I installed and tested it this morning and it is simply brilliant.

If you go to the site you will see the announcement "TinyWall 2.0 is here!", click on the "what's new in 2.0" link to view a long list of changes and enhancements.

Will be posting a full review very shortly but, in the meantime, I highly recommend this software for anyone who is looking to strengthen their overall protection.
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FutureShock
Jun 12 2012 11:41 AM
Jim, thanks alot for this update. Too bad I can't take advantage of this one on XP.

A question...does TinyWall report attempts by unapproved applications to access a network? This looks really impressive, and I would really love to get my hands on an XP version, especially if I could see in a report which apps try to connect. With the reports, the first few weeks of using the program would be very interesting for those who have doubts about the current security state of their PC...

I really believe something like this will lead to a centralized global incident bureau set up to process reports of inappropriate activity on PCs, the reports being generated by a program like TinyWall. A global PC security network...
James (Jim) Hillier
Jun 12 2012 01:39 PM
No, TinyWall does not report attempted connections, that's the simple beauty of the software. Unlike traditional third party software where the user ends up making all the decisions, this one simply denies access to all but the most obvious applications. It then provides a number of very easy methods for whitelisting trusted applications. It's a simple yet brilliant concept.

There's a little more to it than that, you'll have to wait for the full review. :)
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FutureShock
Jun 12 2012 04:23 PM
Looking forward to the review, thanks for the information, Jim...
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FutureShock
Jun 14 2012 07:58 PM
Received a reply today from the developer of TW ,Karoly Pados. I liked what he had to say about creating a version for XP:

"I'm sorry, but there will not be a TinyWall for Windows XP. XP's
firewall is much more limited than that of Vista. Meaning even I made a
TW for XP, it would need to be very different from TW for Vista/7 (much
less usefull). It is simply not worth the work that would need to be done."

Much as I a jealous of Vista and 7 users over this, I see where Károly is coming from. If he added enough just enough code to the program for it to be configured for XP and still be "tiny", it wouldn't do anything very important.

This looks like one of those rare ones to me. Look forward to hearing more from you guys who get the opportunity to use it...

BTW, cheers to Karoly. Responded to my inquiry in less than 12 hours!



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