Firewall App Blocker 1.5: easier Windows application blocking - gHacks Tech News

Firewall App Blocker 1.5: easier Windows application blocking

Firewall App Blocker 1.5 is the latest version of the popular third-party program for Windows to block applications from accessing the Internet.

While you can block any process from connecting to the Internet using the built-in firewall on Windows machines, the process is not overly comfortable as it involves several steps to complete.

That's one of the main reasons why programs such as Windows Firewall Control and Firewall App Blocker are popular.

Firewall App Blocker 1.5

firewall app blocker 1.5

Firewall App Blocker was designed to improve the process of allowing or blocking applications in Windows Firewall. The portable program extends Windows Firewall in this regard.

To use it, download the latest version of the firewall program from the developer website (linked in the summary box below this article), and extract the archive that it is provided in.

The program is provided as a 32-bit and 64-bit application in the program folder after extraction. The 64-bit version of the application is a new feature of this release.

If you have used the last version of the program, released in 2014, you may notice differences immediately.

The outbound and inbound rules are now separated, so that it is easier to keep an overview.

All existing rules are listed in the interface. Each entry is listed with its name (usually program name and filename), the location on the disk, whether the rule is enabled, and the action (allow, block).

You can sort the data with a click on a column header, for instance to display all active rules, or all rules that block connections.

Add process is another new feature of Firewall App Blocker 1.5. You had to select programs on the disk in previous versions to add rules for them. With the new add process option, it is now possible to pick running processes as well which makes it easier as you don't have to browse the system for the file location anymore.

Another feature that adds to the comfort level of the program is the add a folder option. It blocks all executable files in the selected folder automatically. This is useful if there are multiple executable files in a folder that you want to block.

Instead of selecting each executable file individually, you'd simply block the whole folder using the program. How that is done? Simple: click on File > Add Folder Contents, and select the folder using the file browser that opens.

firewall app blocker folder contents

This adds all executable files of that folder to the block list. Please note that this is a one-time process. The folder is not monitored for new executable files. So, any executable file placed in the folder after you run the operation is still allowed to run. You need to re-run the add folder option in this case or add the new executable file manually.

Firewall App Blocker supports a new and handy "block all Internet" feature which you can toggle with a click on Firewall > Block Internet. You may use the same Firewall menu to disable the firewall as well.

What else? The program window is resizable now, and you may change the font used by the application to display the firewall rules in the list.

Last but not least, there is a new whitelist mode feature which blocks all processes from connecting to the Internet except for those on the whitelist. You switch between default mode and whitelist mode in the firewall menu.

Closing Words

The Firewall App Blocker 1.5 update improves the program in several significant ways: 64-bit program support, the new whitelist and folder blocking features, and the new handy process blocking options.

Now You: Which firewall, and program, do you use on your machines?

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
4.5 based on 27 votes
Software Name
Firewall App Blocker 1.5
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Security
Landing Page
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Comments

  1. Fridolin said on February 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,
    I have a novice question. Can I use this app blocker on top of my free Sphinx firewall control or any other firewall ? Zänck Ju :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm
      Reply

      It works with Windows Firewall.

    2. Flyer said on February 9, 2017 at 12:27 am
      Reply

      Never use two firewalls together. It doesn’t improve the security but it creates conflicts.
      If you are using Sphinx firewall, then switch off native firewall.

  2. JohnCock said on February 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    Reply

    Nice to see one of these tools again!
    I used Windows firewall control a few years back.
    http://www.binisoft.org/wfc.php
    But it became more unstable in newer versions of Windows.
    I do agree that the firewall is overly engineered and Microsoft somehow forgot the concept ease of use. Even though many Windows components are targeted towards Enterprise/Administrator use it doesn’t mean the gui has to be this complex.

    1. Jenderson said on February 8, 2017 at 5:53 pm
      Reply

      I still use WFC today, full-time on three separate computers. It has never– NEVER– crashed on me. No evidence of instability whatsoever. My guess is something is weird with your computer.

      1. X said on February 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm
        Reply

        Don’t blame it on the computer, but rather on PEBKAC, ID-10T error, PICNIC or some other Biological Interface issue.

        JohnCock is probably too cocky and certainly outdated and confused: Both links above not only date back to 2011 and 2013 respectively, but are also mixing up different software makers.

        Windows Firewall Control by *Binisoft* (NOT Sphinx) rocks.

    2. dwarf_t0ssn said on February 9, 2017 at 2:50 am
      Reply

      WFC is fantastic software. Making the firewall behave more like ZoneAlarm (with the notifications and ease of use) is just brilliant. That said, the last few versions or so have been running, yet invisible in taskbar and other weirdness (Windows 7 Pro x64). Fairly rare occurrence, though, but you have a point and I’ve noticed it slip just a bit.

      As long as the dev doesn’t include a registry cleaner or other feature creep nonsense I’ll be happy to stick by it.

  3. David said on February 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm
    Reply

    I use “TinyWall” which also sets up rules for the Windows firewall. Marin wrote about it awhile back.

    1. mich said on February 9, 2017 at 11:46 am
      Reply

      This.

      Haven’t booted into Win for over 4 months, but Tiny is an excellent solution for app level traffic blocking.

  4. anohana said on February 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm
    Reply

    I use ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. I like it, because it will let me know every app that wants to connect to the internet and I can allow/deny it. However there are some little things what I don’t like.
    Do you have some alternatives? It must to be free and has such an option what I mentioned above (let me know what wants to connect to the internet and let me decide it will connect to the internet or not).

    1. dwarf_t0ssn said on February 9, 2017 at 2:53 am
      Reply

      Windows Firewall Control is pretty much perfect for those used to ZoneAlarm (made the switch some years back). Real easy to jump right in and use. Tinywall looks a little different, but functional and free while being another front-end for Windows Firewall.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 9, 2017 at 6:18 am
        Reply

        Windows Firewall Control is excellent. One of the program’s that I bought a license for. Highly recommended if you use Windows Firewall.

  5. didihu said on February 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm
    Reply

    i use tinywall

  6. Anonymous said on February 8, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    Reply

    WIN7x64 – I still use this one with no problem, no crash, no blue screen etc, entirely free : http://www.privacyware.com/PF_support.html (development suspended unfortunately).

  7. Aren said on February 8, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin
    Requesting for comparison / review of following Apps (if possible).
    Cloudevo
    http://www.evorim.com/en/cloudevo

    Cryptomator
    https://cryptomator.org/

    Librevault
    https://librevault.com/

    Viivo
    https://www.viivo.com/

    1. nero said on February 8, 2017 at 7:43 pm
      Reply

      Probably not the right place to leave this but Martin, definitely a worthwhile writeup!

  8. ams said on February 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm
    Reply

    thanks for the news, Martin.

    Without ability to resize the app window, I found it extremely difficult to use.
    I’ll go test drive the new version

  9. Tom Hawack said on February 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been using FAP 1.4 since September 2014. Glad to see an enhanced update is available. I’ll download it right now.

  10. Aidan said on February 8, 2017 at 9:54 pm
    Reply

    Thank you so much Martin , new version is really impressive , such a useful software has no Update function !!!!!

  11. HopTzop said on February 8, 2017 at 10:06 pm
    Reply

    Exactly what I was looking for, an app to link to the Windows Firewall and show what is blocked and what’s not. Also it’s nice that you can add to the right click menu the possibility to add apps that should be allowed or blocked in the firewall.

    Thank you!

  12. Yann Papouin said on February 9, 2017 at 7:24 am
    Reply

    Tinywall [1] does the same thing, dynamically updating buil-in Windows Firewall rules. The only thing I miss is a way to create a rule for a process path defined by a regex, that way some software likes Chrome Remote Desktop would not be blocked after each updates since the path is defined like C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome Remote Desktop\56.0.2924.51\remoting_host.exe.

    [1] https://tinywall.pados.hu/

    1. Roger said on February 9, 2017 at 9:03 am
      Reply

      I tried Firewall App Blocker. I love that it’s portable, but the lack of popup notification really kills it for me. It also crashed when I tried to close it (sigh)
      I also tried have every app mentioned in the comments.

      Let me tell you, WFC (Windows Firewall Control) by Binisoft is unquestionably THE BEST one. I pirated it for 2 months just to make sure the full version works out for my needs and I am about 1 month away (3 month is my personal rule) from purchasing a license. It’s THAT good. It’s design, dev support, and features are just freakin’ amazing. For the comments above, it’s never crashed once. Contact the dev about it and he will look into it.

      For anyone reading this, if you’re looking for simple effective software that controls the native Windows Firewall, WFC (Binisoft) is it.

      I am 1 month away from purchasing it and I am cheap. It’s THAT good!!!

  13. Aidan said on February 9, 2017 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    @ Roger : Advertising with Lie is a dirty trick (crashed when I tried to close it ) , there is a huge difference between FAB and other softwares first of all FAB is NOT a Firewall ,
    if you can catch this point you can understand that it is not comparable with Other firewall Imitators , FAB try to simplify the usage of the Windows Firewall and non of the listed software give us such a simply opportunity.

    Note: I have no relation with the developer

  14. jmjsquared said on February 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    Windows Firewall Control (WFC) is my very highly-recommended choice for about three years now. Being only a frontend for the in-built Windows Firewall, WFC doesn’t muck up my system with lots of added code and is tightly integrated with the native OS. It is in *constant* development by its very responsive developer who actually listens-to and quickly replies-to questions/comments.

    Although not necessary, I like it so much that I make annual and *safe* PayPal “donations” just to thank Alexandru Dicu at BiniSoft for his easy-to-use-, robust, extremely stable and feature-rich, indispensable bit of security software.

    The fixed, $10.00 donation recommended to *activate* an UNLIMITED number of LIFETIME licenses for ALL your computers is so modest that anyone who “pirates” or, more accurately, STEALS this man’s work should be dumped in catshit and shot for stinking!

  15. Paul said on December 5, 2017 at 1:37 am
    Reply

    WFC is excellent, never had a problem with it ever, its a steal for $10.

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