Sometimes it beats me why everybody is not using droidwall on their mobile smartphones. Droidwall is simply one of my favorite apps, and since I discovered it about three years ago, I’ve had no reason to try another. OK, this is the point where the I tell you what droidwall is. But first a little digression.
One of the drawbacks of using an android smartphone is data management. In Nigeria where data is comparatively expensive, it is common to hear people crying about how the data allowance from ISPs is too small to do any meaningful online work. For most people, the situation is this: you switch on your data when you want to go online using your phone, and switch it of when you are through. With my droidwall, I can manage 15 MB bandwidth allowance for five days doing light browsing without switching-of my data connection.
Basically droidwall is an android smartphone application that allows you to block certain apps from accessing the Internet without your say so. So it is a Net firewall. To use droidwall, your phone needs to grant the app root access. In other words, you must root your android smartphone before you can use it. So for those who for one reason or the other don’t want to root their android smartphone, here is a good reason to do that.
There are alternative android firewalls out there that do not require the rooting of phones though. One fine example is the NoRoot firewall app. I tried it a couple of times when I was too lazy to root some friends’ phones. I did not like it as much as droidwall.
There are so many things going for droidwall that makes it one of the best firewalls, if not the best, out there. Firstly it has a pleasing and beautiful UI. Secondly it is very flexible and dynamic. Thirdly it is very easy to use and tweak as you wish. And most importantly for me, droidwall does not try to be anything else apart from being a firewall. Some apps attempt to pack several functions in them making the whole app very cluttered, chunky and sometimes confusing. But with droidwall all you get is a very effective, very lightweight firewall-only app.
To get droidwall, just search and download it free from Google Play store or from any other sources on the Internet. But the best place to get it is Play Store. After installation, open the app and tap the options button of your smartphone. Then tap ‘log disabled’ tab to change it to a green ‘log enabled’ tab. Also tap the ‘firewall disabled’ tab to change it to a green ‘firewall enabled’ tab. Next just tick the boxes on the left of only the applications you want to have access to the internet. Finally, hit the phone’s option button again, and then tap ‘apply rules’ to complete the process. You are now good to go.
Only the ticked apps can now surf the net. If you want to include another app, just go back to droidwall and tick the box beside the app. Make sure to ‘apply rules’ again to save the new setting.
How I manage data is quite simple. Apps like Google play that always drain data in the background are never ticked unless I want to download something. Then I untick them and ‘apply rules’ when I finish. All those apps that annoy one with adverts are summarily dealt with. No more annoying adverts or auto updates until I specifically need them.
The Net firewall that is part of the Android OS from the kitkat version is not as flexible or as easy to use as droidwall. I have tried it, so I should know. The only drawback to droidwall as far as I know is that anytime you switch on your phone, you must open droidwall, tap the options button on the app and ‘apply rules’ always. Maybe a recent upgrade has solved that little glitch. I don’t know since I haven’t checked. That little problem is no problem to me at all.