Glasswire Firewall is unlike most other software firewalls for the PC. It’s network monitoring capabilities and user interface sets Glaswire apart from the others. Glasswire uses the built in Windows firewall and gives the user more easily accessible control over the network rules and the firewalling options. Of course this can be done with the stock windows firewall advanced settings, but Glasswire makes these tasks so much easier and more user friendly. There is no third party network packet filter drivers for Glasswire to maintain or add to your system. It is already hard coded into Windows. The power was just waiting to be tapped and Glasswire has taken the Windows firewall to a whole new level.
Currently Glasswire is available only for the PC, but there is the possibility of starting a crowd funding campaign for Mac support and eventually Linux.
Glasswire gives a visual perspective in real time of what traffic is going in and out of your PC. You will not only be able to see events happening on your network in real time, but have the unique ability to visually see when a specific program had accessed the network in the past. This can give you an indication of what programs are accessing the WAN or LAN while you were away and what IP address and host they connected to. You can shut down leaky applications and investigate suspicious network activity with ease.
Below is the first tab you see when opening Glasswire. This is a realtime graph showing network traffic in and out of your PC. Clicking anywhere on the waves, shows you exactly what was using bandwidth at that very moment and what host the process was connecting to. This can help you determine what processes and software are accessing the internet, how much bandwidth is being used and for what duration even while you were away.
If you purchased a multi license of Glasswire, you can monitor the Glasswire firewall of other devices in remote locations.
Tab 2 is the firewall tab. This shows you in a list format which programs have accessed the LAN or WAN giving you the opportunity to block them. If any of these are connecting to a host at the moment, it will also be displayed here.
Tab 3 is the usage tab. Here it is broken down by usage. You can see which apps are using the most bandwidth in descending order, which hosts have been sent or received the most data to or from, and what type of traffic it is. You can even look at past connectivity history. Clicking on a specific app or host will also give you a pinpoint on the graph at the bottom, showing you its usage in comparison to LAN & WAN traffic at that moment.
Expanding on the usage tab, you can see the apps which have used bandwidth and what host specifically they have connected to. Every connection from your PC will be narrowed down to the exact host it communicated with. If there is no host name, you will be given the IP address of the connection. Even Windows processes and their hosts can be viewed.
Tab 4 is the network tab. This is for the premium version of Glasswire and does not come with the free version. Here you will see all the networked devices on your LAN and their corresponding IP addresses. You can label these yourself if you want.
Tab 5 is the Alert tab. This shows the order of connectivity of alerts you received of app connectivity. This is also the expanded layout view of the abbreviated system tray alert which pops up when a new program tries to connect to the WAN or LAN. You can see all those alerts here.
Some future features to watch out for: Custom IP blocking and IP blocklist support.
The free version of Glasswire is probably adequate for a casual user. The more advanced features in the paid version include:
- Real time warning of microphone and webcam usage.
- Network device monitor (Tab 4 above).
- Multiple server monitoring (Tab 2 above).
- Popup Allow/Deny app from connecting to the WAN/LAN in real time (Image right. Free version allows all, you must manually go back and block it only after it has already connected).
- Lock down mode – You can right click on the Glasswire icon and stop all traffic from your PC in and out.