My wife just got an new notebook with Windows 8.1. Because I never used windows actively (I'm Unix & Mac user), looking for program what will have the same functionality (as close as possible) as the LittleSnitch program on OS X.

On Super User, there was a 3 year old question with some recommendations, but I'm looking for an up-to-date answer - (I added a bounty to the question - but the question is now off topic on SO - so re-asking it here)

The program should do the following:

  • monitor all outgoing connection attempts for any application
  • if here isn't an saved rule for the given application and destination
  • show an informative popup and ask the user what should do, with the connection attempt, like in the following images:

little snitch popup enter image description here

  • and will allow/block (and remember the rule) the connection based on the answer.
  • contain a ruleset editor
  • the rules are protected, so no trojan can alter (add a fake rule) to the ruleset
  • preferably free, but if it is an commercial product will allows me use it for an limited time (like LittleSnitch - for evaluation it should be restarted every 2 hours).
  • and nothing more. Really nothing more.

I don't want any other bloated functionality (it could contain some other features, but if I don't need them, will not force me for using (and setup) them), e.g. don't want/need:

  • universal packet firewall (where i must setup all incoming connection rules and such. I already have one PF-based nat-firewall on my home-LAN)
  • bandwidth shaping
  • and like. The program should be small, unbloated and easy to use, e.g. if here is already a valid rule for the given connection attempt, use the rule, if here isn't ask and remember it. That's all. ;)

Honestly, I didn't tried any of the answers from the SO's question, mainly because they're outdated and some got bad comments, (like this) - so looking for the fresh and as much as possible precise recommendations.

Please don't waste time recommending a product what doesn't fulfill all of the above conditions.


4 Answers 4


Windows 8 Firewall Control

The free version can monitor all outgoing connection attempts for any application, save and edit rules for the given application(s) and destination, and show an informative popup and ask the user what should be done with the connection attempt. It will allow/block (and remember the rule) based on the answer. I'm not sure if the rulesets are protected like you described, but I've been using this for years and no third-party software or malware has been able to mess with its ruleset.

No universal packet firewall, bandwith shaping and other unnecessary features.

Here's a screenshot of an example window that will appear when a new application tries to connect to the Internet:

You can also opt to apply the permission just for the current application launch. Useful for those software that phone home and only need to be run once (like installers), as there will be no need to create a permanent rule just for them.

Screenshot of ruleset window:

Note that despite the software's name, it not just works for Windows 8 and 8.1, it also works for Windows Vista and 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2012 (R2). It also has versions for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

  • Is there a free tool only for visualization of the traffic (Which Application did what when, etc...)?
    – Royi
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 16:22
  • @Royi Not sure. You might want to ask a separate question for that. Commented May 6, 2020 at 4:25

Zonealarm Firewall

I used to use this, but now I use Norton, but it has the features you want (and I once wanted):

  • free
  • monitors outgoing access
  • if it isn't already saved, it asks you
  • shows you an informative popup (application name, action, etc..)
  • allow/block (multiple options, meaning different things
  • contains ruleset editor

I have no idea if the rules themselves are 'protected' - but I don't remember having a bad experience with Zonealarm.

enter image description here

(image from here)

enter image description here

(image from here)


GlassWire for Windows https://www.glasswire.com has the "Ask to connect" feature you're looking for if you go under its "Firewall" tab to switch it on/off.

enter image description here

Unfortunately there is nothing identical to Little Snitch, but I find GlassWire more useful because it allows you to see more network activity details than Little Snitch has. The "new" connections are new applications you can allow/deny if you turn on its "Ask to connect" mode.

  • Thought I'd stop by and update this. Since I'm migrating from windows to mac. GlassWire has been my choice since windows 7. It's a feature enhanced overlay that brings many different is functions (firewall, GPA, system store, ECC), to a single interface. It's visual which makes most mac users feel at home, has request to connect, and extensive logging. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 15:40

There is Windows Firewall Notifier (WFN):

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Another option is SimpleWall:

enter image description here

Both are Open Source and Free.

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