With so many apps installed on your phone, it’s difficult to monitor everything that communicated on the internet to and from your device. Sometimes it can be a big privacy issue if no tab is kept on it. However, previously rooting your Android was necessary to install a firewall and monitor apps which access the internet.
Feels quite dumb when rooting was mandatory to secure privacy. But now that Android has evolved, things have changed. Today we are going to talk about two firewall apps you can install and use on your Android without root access. But before that, let me explain you as to why it’s important to use a firewall.
Moreover, you can also limit the background data on the apps even when they are on Wi-Fi network. Minimizing these background activities gives you a few extra hours on the battery standby time.
Additionally, if you don’t want a game or an app to connect to the internet and show you ads, you can even use it to block ads sometimes. You only need to make sure that the apps don’t need internet connectivity to function.
So now that I have convinced you enough as to why a firewall app is necessary on an Android device, let’s check out the two that you can download and install from the Play Store.
NetGuard is compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop and up and gives a minimalistic and easy approach to configuring a firewall on an Android device. When you start the application for the first time and enable it, it will ask you to create a VPN connection. Don’t worry, it will be an internal VPN connection and is mandatory to block the internet access when required.
By default, internet access to all the apps will be disabled on Wi-Fi and cellular data. Tap on the three dot icon to and remove the check from the Wi-Fi, cellular and roaming tab to enable the connection.
Now to block any traffic on cellular, Wi-Fi or just when you are on roaming, tap on the respective icon to change it to red. Voila, that’s all, you now have complete control over the internet on your device. The app also lists system apps when the option is enabled, but it’s better to leave those settings unchanged if you are not entirely sure.
Mobiwol: NoRoot Firewall
The next app you can try out is the Mobiwol: NoRoot Firewall and here too you will have to enable the VPN connection. In this app, you get greater control on not only the apps’ foreground activity but also the background activities. Most of the settings are similar to NetGuard.
You are also reminded when a new app you installed is accessing the internet just in case you might wish to configure the rules. When compared to NetGuard, Mobiwol looks pretty organized and it’s easy to navigate within the app. Makes it easy to block internet access along with background access.
So these were the top two firewall apps you can install on your Android and control your privacy. While NetGuard is only compatible with Lollipop, Mobiwol works on Android 4.0 devices and up thus covering most of the Android phones out there.