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Do you need a Firewall for Android Device?

Firewall for Android Device




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By default, there is no firewall built inside Android devices. The truth is there is no need of firewall for Android device as long as you use reputable Android apps from Google store. You are unlikely to encounter any issues as long as you are not using any suspicious Apps which leaks information.

What makes Android safe?

In Windows, the executable files are in a .exe format which can be run without warning. So there is a high probability of exe files getting inside the computer without your knowledge and run in the background transferring information. Firewall is a must have in Windows OS.

In Android, the executable file comes in .apk format. The files need to be installed first and cannot be run without your knowledge. This basic feature itself provides the first layer of safety. If there is any malicious code which attempts to run, you will be given an installation prompt which allows you to decide whether or not to install it to run it.

Android Firewall – Droidwall Firewall

There are still a few reasons why you might need to think about having a firewall. Curiosity to try new Apps released in market and discovery of loopholes are still a possibility. You can opt for an excellent firewall App called Droidwall. But it has a drawback. It can only be run on rooted devices, so it will not work devices which come in the original state.

android droidwall firewall android droidwall firewall

Once installed, Droidwall prompts users whenever an App tries to go online. You can allow access permanently or block it permanently.

You may also want to see checklist to secure your Android device.


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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Frank March 31, 2015, 9:48 am

    This article completely misses the fundamental point that a firewall’s primary task is to stop unsolicited INCOMING connections from hackers or other unwanted sources! This article is also confusing outgoing firewall features with that of sandboxing, not quite the same thing.

    Question: does native Android 4.4.2 by default block incoming connections or let them all in? Thanks in anticipation of a clear answer.

    • Anup Raman March 31, 2015, 12:20 pm

      These are the basic requirements to hack into an Android device.

      1) First the hacker needs to penetrate your Wi-Fi network. He can do it easily if the device is used on a public Wi-Fi. If the device is on a Private password protected network, then he needs to use his skills and special network sniffing tools to crack the Wi-Fi password.
      2) Then he need to find a loophole or bug inside the device that can be exploited to get inside. This loophole or bug is carried by the software installed in the device, i.e. Android OS and the apps installed in it.

      One of the reasons why Android and App manufacturers periodically release update is to secure their codes and prevent loopholes from being exploited. That is also the reason to suggest Apps should be installed from trusted sources.

      To reiterate my point, I suggest reading an article on hacking android device. One of the requirements for hacking is to make the intended victim download a vulnerable apk file (app), so it can be used to penetrate (incoming) and steal information (outgoing).

      Basically, if you want to prevent your device from being hacked.
      1) Always use the device on a secure network
      2) Keep your Android updated
      3) Only use trusted Apps and download from trusted sources
      4) Make sure the Apps are not communicating without your knowledge. (To do it manually is complicated. Instead use a firewall App which monitor the App.)

      Answer to your question: There is nothing which tells an Android 4.4.2 to block incoming or outgoing communication as long as the installed Apps needs to do so. Following the 4 recommendations above should keep your device safe. The first 3 should take care of the problem. 4th gives a platform to monitor, adding an additional layer of protection.

      Hope its clear.

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