Friday, 9 December 2011

DroidWall back up to speed

Plenty of apps ask for internet permission to phone home, download ads, or for no apparent reason at all. Android won't let you keep apps offline through its settings (it should have a built-in permissions manager!), but if your phone is rooted you can tell your apps who's boss.

DroidWall is an outgoing firewall that lets you deny internet permissions. You can tell apps not to use WiFi, to stay away from cellular data, or both. It comes with a blacklist, a whitelist, and a widget to quickly toggle the firewall on and off

The previous update added app icons to the application list (which slowed down loading a lot), but stopped displaying the UIDs.

The latest update (to version 1.5.6) shows the UIDs again. It keeps showing app icons, but now it loads them in a background process so you can start editing online permissions before DroidWall is done grabbing the icons. This speeds things up to the pre-icon levels.

Keep in mind that DroidWall is not totally waterproof. When you boot your phone there's a brief period in which other apps may start before DroidWall does. If you don't want DroidWall to leak in the seconds after booting your phone, switch off WiFi and mobile data before you shut your phone down.

DroidWall (Google code)
DroidWall (Android Market)

Update: DroidWall out, AFWall+ in. It's better than DroidWall, and AFWall+ doesn't leak when you boot your phone.

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  1. This has to be one of the best "undiscovered by the mainstream" android blogs !!!

  2. what scripting could be used to keep mobile/wifi disabled until AFTER droidwall is running?

    for test case Droid X, OTA 605, cron4phone

    for test case Droid X, miui 1.10.21

  3. There's no way to be sure that any script will run before everything else. So the only way would be to make a script that switches wifi off and renames your APNs on shutdown, so you'll always boot into offline mode. Scripting into airplane mode on shutdown would do the job too.

    This won't help if your phone shuts down without running the script, e.g. when it crashes or when you have to unfreeze it by pulling the battery.

  4. DroidWall-based Android firewall AFWall+ doesn't leak. It blocks all unwanted traffic right from the first second.