Antivirus Privacy Firewall

Sponsored App Review: Snoopwall Privacy Firewall

January 15, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Snoopwall aims to be the most secure privacy app out there for Android smartphones and tablets. Utilizing a similar firewall model you might be familiar with on your PC, Snoopwall is both an extremely powerful application but, easy to use. Snoopwall is all about privacy and while you might think that tablets and smartphones are exempt from the same flaws as your PC, they aren’t and Snoopwall hopes to simplify the task of keeping your online life private and to keep apps that access your data under control. Snoopwall works with your other existing antivirus apps as well and catches things that they might miss but, for the most part this is all about your privacy and controlling what apps can get to what. Although, the app does offer some features to control battery life and free up memory as well.

How it Works: To start protecting your privacy, you have to download the app from the Play Store. The free version will always audit your device and let you know when threats are trying to do something they shouldn’t. You can also sign up for additional features for $1.99 a month or $9.95 a year. Firs things first though, you’ll need to give Snoopwall access as an Administrator on your device.

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Once you’ve done that, you’ll be asked to either sign-in or create an account, which is relatively easy and free to do.

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Once you’ve done all of that, there is an introductory video that you should watch all the way through, it’s a detailed video that can quickly teach you how to effectively use Snoopwall to its best.

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Snoopwall will then perform a general audit on your device and more than likely, the outcome will be that you’re not secure but, Snoopwall will soon fix that.

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After the audit, you can choose a type of mode that suits you, be sure to read the descriptions and decide from there.

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From there, you can select “ports”, much like you would on your PC. These “ports” are essentially what features of your device apps can have access to, in order to protect your privacy. So, let’s say I chose to block NFC. These ports can increase the battery life you get out of your smartphone or tablet. Turning off GPS, Bluetooth and NFC for instance, will allow you to get the most our of your device. It’s best to get into the habit of using these ports in Snoopwall as oppose to the Android settings.

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When an app then asks for control of NFC, I will be given a warning about it and I can decide what it is I want to do with it.

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More than that though, you can control just what each app has access to from the main list. Unlike a traditional port firewall you might find on your PC, Snoopwall’s ports all relate to your hardware ports. Controlling port access is important as these will prevent hackers and such from gaining access to your device and obviously save you a headache later on. To ensure that these ports are being blocked off properly, simply use the settings in Snoopwall, as it features a unique method for monitoring access.

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You can take a close look at what an app has access to and then control that in the settings, for instance Chrome Beta has access to a lot of things.

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Should you want to remove Snoopwall from your device, you will have to do so in a specific order. First of all, you will have to remove Snoopwall as a device administrator in the Security part of your device’s settings menu. Then, you can uninstall the app as you would any other.

Opinion: Snoopwall is one of the most featured firewall apps that I’ve come across and the fact that it’s all packaged together in a relatively simply and easy to use app is quite surprising. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes for sure but, users need not have to worry about that and everything is pretty straightforward. While Snoopwall is perhaps not best suited for the average user, those that need to make sure their privacy is under control or have sensitive data on their device should definitely consider such an app.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Snoopwall is a quick app that doesn’t take long to perform audits and scans.
  • Features (5/5) – For an app that is as easy to use as this, Snoopwall offers some very sophisticated privacy features and is an altogether professional product.
  • Theme (4/5) – The persistent notification might not match most devices but, overall the app looks good on tablets and smartphones.
  • Overall (4.5/5) – For those in need of an app to help them keep their privacy under control, Snoopwall is one of the best out there for Android.

Pros

  • You don’t need to be a genius to set Snoopwall up.
  • Audits and app warnings are clear and not all that intrusive, either.
  • Powerful protection works in the background but doesn’t creep into the easy-to-use UI.
  • A must-have for those with sensitive data on their device or those that do a lot of banking on the go.

Cons

  • Theme might not fit in with stock Android devices.
  • Even with the introductory video, some average users that don’t know too much about Android might struggle with the app.

Conclusion: It’s definitely not an app for the average user but then again, the average user doesn’t have that much to keep under wraps now do they? For those that need to be a little careful about what they’re doing, Snoopwall is great and it’s pretty simple to use as well, which is great for an app that offers as much protection as this does. In general, Snoopwall is a great way to keep on top of certain apps that you like to have installed but, also like to keep an eye on. It’s a type of set and forget app that doesn’t compromise on features and doesn’t eat up your battery life, either. It might need a small subscription fee to get additional features but, the free version will still work indefinitely.

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