A firewall review: Tinywall vs AVS Comparison

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TinyWall vs AVS Firewall - A firewall comparison

Having a powerful, reliable firewall set up on your system is crucial for your Internet security. For Windows users, Windows’ default firewall does a fairly good job, but there may be still reasons for you to consider using other firewalls. In some cases, you may need a firewall designed for a specific task, for example, a firewall specialized for remote desktop protection. Other times, you may find a free firewall with some interesting features that tempt you to give it a go. AVS firewall and TinyWall are two of the most famous free personal firewalls, out there. In this article, we compare TinyWall vs AVS Firewall to help you decide if any of them is what you need.

TinyWall history

TinyWall is a personal firewall that was created by Károly Pados, a computer engineer from Budapest, Hungary, in 2011. The latest version of the free firewall, TinyWall 3.07, was released in 2020, and it was a major step forward for the software.

AVS Firewall history

AVS Firewall used to be a part of the AVS4You software package, distributed by a UK based company called Online Media Technologies Ltd. Founded in 2004, Online Media Technologies has developed various pieces of software. The company mostly focuses on creating video and audio software for end-users, such as video player, audio editor, image converter, etc. So, it is no surprise that they are apparently not that invested in their firewall.

 

avs firewall ui

 

The last time, Online Media Technologies released a new version of AVS Firewall was 2010, when AVS Firewall 2.1.2.241 was released. Afterward, the AVS firewall was removed from the AVS4You program suite. It is no longer available for download at the official website. Of course, you can still download the software from software download websites for free, but it seems like AVS Firewall is discontinued.

AVS and TinyWall, free firewalls

TinyWall is 100% free and does not have any paid version. The latest version can always be downloaded from its creator’s official website. AVS Firewall used to be a part of a paid software package, but since it is not distributed by its developer anymore, it is now free to download on various download websites.

 

TinyWall

AVS Firewall

License

Freeware

Freeware

Price range

It is completely free

It is completely free

Multi-devices

?

No

Free trial

 It is completely free

It is completely free

Money-back guarantee

 It is completely free

It is completely free

 

Supported platforms

TinyWall does not support earlier versions of Windows. TinyWall could run on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

AVS Firewall works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

 

 

TinyWall

AVS Firewall

Pc

·         64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

·         64-bit  version of Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019

·         32/64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, 2000, 7, 8, 8.1, 10

·         does not support any server

 

Mobile

-

-

 

 

What is TinyWall?

TinyWall was initially created as an indeed tiny and simple utility to provide users with better and more advanced options to control the Windows’ default firewall. So TinyWall was not a standalone firewall at first. But the new version of TinyWall which was released in 2020, successfully improved its firewall engine. As a result, ever since TinyWall 3.0, TinyWall does not need to piggyback on the Windows’ built-firewall anymore. Instead, it acts as an independent firewall that can directly talk to the network layers in the Windows kernel. However, TinyWall can still be used side-by-side by Windows Firewall, without any performance issues.

But even as a standalone firewall, TinyWall is still a pure firewall and does not offer additional non-firewall modules such as HIPS, anti-malware or anti-virus.

tinywall

Is TinyWall secure?

Immediately after installation, TinyWall blocks all Internet connections for all programs, except a handful of browsers and other very well-known programs. But other than that, it blocks almost everything else. Then, the user should go ahead and unblock anything he/she considers necessary and safe, one by one. Of course, you need to unblock every program only once, but it still can be irritating that you need to manually unblock some quite trusted applications. Although, in some cases, TinyWall may detect that a trusted program depends on some other processes and offers to unblock them, too.

A noteworthy behavior that makes it easier for you to trust TinyWall is that it does not send out any information from your computer to the outside world or its servers. For example, TinyWall does not send out or otherwise collect telemetry, crash reports, information about your computer, operating system or other software, user habits, or IP address. The only exception is checking the current version of TinyWall running on your computer, when it tries to check for updates. But you can opt-out of automatic updates, so this little exception goes away, too.

What is AVS Firewall?

AVS Firewall is a personal firewall that offers some handy features and has a user-friendly interface.

For example, AVS  has a Monitoring feature that allows you to watch all incoming and outgoing connections in real-time, a Journal feature that records the history of initiated outbound connections and whether they were allowed or not, and a Statistics feature that estimates incoming traffic on different protocols and informs you about your network traffic statistics. For example, if you have limited Internet traffic, you can use this feature to manage your traffic usage.

avs network rules

The Registry Defender is a component that prevents malware from modifying the most critical registry key values. AVS Firewall stops any attempt to change the registry contents and notifies you about it.

You can turn on the anti_banner feature to block unwanted flash advertisings, pop-ups, and banners.

AVS also offers a parental control feature, and lets you whitelist and blacklist URLs and use content filter to limit access to undesired sites.

Is AVS Firewall secure?

AVS Firewall’s most important feature that lets you define your trust policy is called Security Mode.  You can be on one of the three available modes: Off, Custom, or High.  So, how secure you are while using AVS Firewall depends on the mode you choose.

When you choose the Off mode, you basically turn off your firewall’s protection power and leave your system unprotected and insecure, but you can still monitor your network traffic and connections, through Statistics and Journal features.

Selecting the High security mode blocks all outbound and inbound connections. The only thing that is registered in the Journal in this mode is the history of all the denied connections.

And last but not least, you can select the Custom mode to be able to define your custom rules for your firewall. This is the mode that allows you to completely enjoy your firewall’s power.

There are two main types of rules that you can create in the custom mode: Application rules - to control outbound connections initiated by your system’s applications, and External Connections rules - to take care of the inbound connection requests coming from the outer environment.

The permission types you can define in your application rules include:

  1. Allow all
  2. Allow one connection (to a certain IP-address and port associated with it only)
  3. Deny all
  4. Deny one connection (to a certain IP-address and port associated with it only)
  5. Delayed decision

As for the External Connections rules, permissions include:

  1. Trusted IP – (which allows a certain IP-address and all ports associated with it)
  2. Opened port – (which allows a certain port of all IP-addresses)
  3. Trusted IP and port (which allows a specific IP-address and certain port associated with it)
  4. Untrusted IP – (which blocks a certain IP-address and all ports associated with it)
  5. Closed port – (which blocks a certain port regardless of the IP-address)
  6. Blocked IP and port – (which blocks a certain IP-address and specific port associated with it)
  7. Delayed decision

Also, you can opt to keep and apply your defined rules either permanently or just until logging off.

 avs Statistics

Comparing features and options

Here’s a quick comparison of features and options in TinyWall vs AVS Firewall:

  • Neither TinyWall nor AVS includes antivirus. So, you need to have a separate antivirus set up on your system, along with any of these two firewalls.
  • Both AVS and TinyWall offer two-way firewall protection. They monitor all the requests coming in and out of your system and control every inbound and outbound connection that is being established. This helps to lock out online hackers from accessing your system and blocks malicious applications that you might have on your system from connecting to the Internet, as well.
  • TinyWall is very lightweight (less than 2 MB). AVS Firewall’s file is not that small, but no too big either (less than 23 MB).
  • An interesting policy used by TinyWall is its "no pop-up" rule. TinyWall is a very silent tool and it never shows any pop-up when blocking or allowing any applications. Therefore, even if an important application is blocked, you will only find out when you find it unable to access the Internet. AVS does not follow a similar policy and shows you a normal amount of pop-ups.
  • Both TinyWall and AVS Firewall let you create lists of Internet domains and/or ports to always block.
  • Both firewalls enable you to whitelist trusted programs.
  • TinyWall’s interface is available in 14 languages, including English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. AVS Firewall supports English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.

 

 

TinyWall

AVS Firewall

Supported Languages

14 languages

5 languages

Firewall

Yes

Yes

Including Antivirus

No

No

Identity Protection

Yes

Yes

Lock down mode

Yes

No

Internet Security

Yes

Yes

Early Boot Protection

Yes

No

 

Conclusion

We compared TinyWall vs AVS Firewall, two personal firewalls that often show up on top free firewalls lists. AVS does have a good user interface and some additional helpful features, but the fact that it has not been updated since a decade ago, and is no longer available to purchase or download from the official website, does not inspire confidence. Generally, security tools need constant updates and upgrades, and we do not recommend using discontinues firewalls, like AVS.

In contrast, TinyWall has just kicked out a new version in 2020 and is constantly getting updated. TinyWall also has some notable policies and strategies which make it kind of unique in some ways. For example, it insists on not sending out any data from your computer to the outside world. This may not sound like a remarkable quality for most people, and it certainly deprives the firewall of some important benefits of communicating with the servers, such as enabling zero-day protection. Still, it may appeal to some people.

Also remember, you have many more options to consider. To help you make an informed decision, we have reviewed some other software firewalls such as Comodo firewall, ZoneAlarm PeerBlock , GlassWire , and NetDefender in our previous posts. Make sure to check them out.

Published by Blogger at 2020 June 09