A lightweight firewall solution that works with the built-in Windows Firewall.
Pros & Cons:
TinyWall is a lightweight firewall solution that works with the built-in Windows Firewall. With no pop-ups to annoy the user, it can be an ideal set-and-forget solution. The installation package is very small, weighing in at just over 1 MB. Installation is a breeze, though there is no option for the user to select where to install the program. After installation, it starts running quietly in the background, as indicated by the tray icon. All the program features can be accessed by clicking once on the tray icon; there is no 'main window' interface. From the pop-up menu, the user can also view and select, among others, the operating mode, total network activity, adding application/process exceptions, and accessing the Firewall Settings dialog.
The Firewall Settings dialog is where the user can manage General settings, such as password protecting the application. An application exceptions section also allows the user to specify applications that are allowed to communicate with the network. There is also a 'Detect' feature where the program will try to detect known applications, or the user can elect to manually add applications. Furthermore, TinyWall is able to recognize associated processes with the same application. For example, if you have a program that has more than one process, adding the first process will result in the program also offering to whitelist the second related process as well. Needless to say this is very useful for those applications that have more than one process.
It should be noted that when adding an exception to the list, the default settings are 'Unrestricted UDP and TCP traffic'. Depending on the nature of the program it may be necessary to restrict it to 'Outgoing only' to offer maximum security.
The special exceptions tab allows the user to specify more advanced settings; specifically, allowing the user to select which system services to allow/block. It is recommended to leave it as is unless there's something you really want to change.
The maintenance tab rounds out the Settings dialog, allowing the user to import/export settings, check for updates manually, and a link to visit the vendor's webpage.
A small, lightweight firewall, TinyWall is a solid choice for those looking for a reliable, low-resource firewall program that does not interfere with the user's computer usage.
TinyWall was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on