In the wide world of interwebs, there’s a lot of dangerous exploits, vulnerabilities and attacks that can happen regularly. With this also comes a vast number of trackers both online and built into Windows 10 itself. I’ve been looking for a new firewall program for sometime and did a free trial of Glasswire for 14 days a couple months ago. I enjoyed the application but couldn’t justify the cost (30/year at the time) for this app and decided to shop around for something potentially cheaper/better.
I ran into an application called NetLimiter. It was hailed as a cheaper replacement to Glasswire (specifically: a one time charge for the lifetime of the product with free updates for the current release). I tested this and was a bit disappointed with the interface and options. It’s a gorgeous GUI and tool, but didn’t quite have what I wanted. Back to Glasswire I went!
Glasswire is a full firewall solution at a cost of ~30 bucks/year. This unlocks the premium features (prior logging and some other features that I’m not using currently), and also unlocks normal usage after the first 14 days. The application has a built in dark mode (bonus points for this!) and looks gorgeous when using. But, my favorite feature is actually something a lot of people don’t like: The notifications.
I’m one of those people who are extremely OCD about reading all notifications and keeping all emails in my inbox read in general. I love Glasswire’s approach to how they notify on new app connections and app changes; Any brand new connection or any app updates (Firefox changing versions for example) immediately pop up in a small window and tell me. It’s discreet but informative. You can then take actions depending on if you want to block something or not. You can also fine tune what will notify and adjust to your preferences.
Now, some of the surprises from using this: Glasswire has pointed me out to a LOT of Windows 10 processes using internet access which makes one feel a little….uncomfortable. Windows Photos, Settings app, and several other background processes routinely connect to Microsoft. I’ve disabled most of these and have no experienced any issues but it’s still odd to consider what is being transmitted.
All in all, I’d say I’m a solid customer for this product. I’m using it on both my desktop and travel laptop and love the software. I’d give an 9/10 for the cost, usage and ability to adjust everything within the software. I will knock one point for the notifications sometimes being clunky. For the cost, however: This is a no brainer for extra protection. Happy web surfing!