The Simplewall tool builds on the firewall functions already available in Windows, but gives users more control over the setting options. This makes it easier for you to secure your system and specifically stop programs, Windows 10 tracking or intrusive system services.
Thanks to the mostly annoying pop-ups when opening new programs, all Windows users actually know that the operating system is equipped with a firewall. This is actually quite useful. The only drawback: The settings are rather difficult to access. With the additional tool Simplewall you can change this.
With a file size of less than 1 Mbyte, the following applies: small but powerful. So you can choose between the portable mode or a classic installation. In addition, updates and German language packs are drawn automatically so that you can get started right away.
Note: Do not be confused, because Windows will spit out a warning during the installation, which you can ignore. The developer does not sign Simplewall, which causes Windows to issue a warning. But you don’t have to worry, on the contrary, you can completely contribute to the development GitHub follow.
Be careful, everything is forbidden
The Windows firewall does its job quite inconspicuously, which suits most users. However, if you want more control, you should think about an alternative. Simplewall relies on the Windows Filtering Platform, but implements its own set of rules. Since the Windows firewall is preferred in parallel operation, it is advisable to switch off the Windows firewall.
There are basically two approaches for a firewall: Either all traffic is blocked and only the programs that are explicitly allowed (whitelist) or everything is allowed and users are specifically forbidden (blacklist). Simplewall used to offer both ways, but used the whitelist as the standard. But that has changed because many users were confused.
Whitelist is still the route Simplewall is taking, but it is no longer mentioned. In the past, you could switch between whitelist and blacklist in the settings, but today this is at least no longer feasible using explicit modes. Under “Rules” in the “Settings” area, you can allow outgoing or incoming connections. That’s the old blacklist mode.
Turn on rules
A click on “Activate filtering” does several things: The rule set is activated and the Windows firewall is deactivated at the same time. For all those who want to test the settings first, there are “preliminary rules” that will be discarded after the next restart.
Now the first pop-ups appear asking whether Internet access should be permitted for certain services and programs or not. Important: Simplewall does not make any compromises here and also blocks well-known programs such as Firefox. Then simply click on “Allow” or “Block” in the instructions. At this point it can happen that users lose interest in a firewall, because some message windows will appear and at first glance they often do not reveal what it is about.
Unfortunately, Simplewall has no built-in automation for Windows processes, so you should invest some time here to find out which programs want to be online. But once you have overcome the initial phase, the number of inquiries also decreases.
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Block Windows spying and updates
The Windows services show Simplewall so not particularly easy and leaves the decisions to the user. But the mini firewall can also be different: There are special rules in the settings that prevent Windows 10 from tracking. They are already activated under “Blacklist”.
Under “System rules” you can allow or forbid services, such as disconnecting the “Windows search”. This can be useful, but if used carelessly it can also paralyze one or the other practical function. Tip: Don’t just block everything at this point, but make targeted decisions.
If you get to a point where you can no longer manage the configuration, click on “Deactivate filtering”. You should do this before you uninstall Simplewall, otherwise the firewall rules will be retained and the configuration tool will be gone.