What keeps the bad guys out of your Mac? macOS. Apple is so confident your Mac remains secure that it does not bother to turn on the built-in macOS firewall. What about iOS? Nope. No firewall there, either.
So, how do you keep the bad guys out of your iPhone, and, from the opposite perspective, how do you keep apps that are already on your iPhone from phoning home and delivering your personal information to who knows where?
Apple locks down iOS rather tightly, and imposes a rather strict set of rules on developers. When those rules against data usage of app development are broken, Apple kicks the offenders out of the App Store.
Yet, iPhone apps still manage to collect all sorts of data from users, some to help them build a better app, but increasingly often data is gathered and sent it off to data collectors who pay money to the developers. Apple doesn’t like that method but cannot always find the culprits before they do their dastardly deeds.
Enter Guardian Firewall for iOS. Wait. What? A firewall for iOS? Even Apple doesn’t turn on the Mac’s firewall. Is not iOS already about as secure as it can get?
Not. So. Fast.
Guardian Firewall takes a different approach to setting up and managing a firewall (something you can do on the Mac with ease, but not on iPhone or iPad). Instead of putting the firewall on the iPhone, Guardian Firewall uses a VPN to do the guarding.
Guardian Firewall primarily does one thing, and it does it well: Block those trying to track you, and tell you who they are as well as what types of data they likely tried to collect.
The app does that by monitoring your iPhone’s traffic on the built-in VPN. Guardian Firewall then matches that traffic to a huge and growing database of apps that tend to offend and alert you accordingly.
Here’s the techno-geek:
The Guardian Firewall app has been designed to simply act as a client for remotely hosted VPN servers running custom fully-featured firewall software with a configurable JSON API which the device can use to generate pseudonymous EAP access credentials, pull in alerts for recently blocked traffic, and automatically check for physically proximate servers to connect to (in order to reduce latency and improve speeds)
So, you get a solid firewall and a VPN and notification of offending apps (to accept or delete; your choice).
Of course. There is no free lunch.
This process involves sending your internet data through our secure firewall servers.
As would be the case with any VPN service or Starbucks’ Wi-Fi or your internet service provider or cellphone provider.
How easy is it to use the app and service?
Guardian Firewall is designed with no sign-up process, and no information entry about yourself whatsoever. A simple tap on the G-Shield button is enough to start protecting your digital privacy.
Free lunch, right? Not quite. $10 a month and Guardian Firewall says they gather no personal information about you whatsoever. They don’t even know who you are.
I like that.
It seems to be an elegant solution to a complex problem of malware disguised as an application that also sucks information from your device and usage and makes money by selling or using it. Apple does not like that but it can be difficult to track.
Guardian Firewall does the tracking before you use the firewall and VPN.
Very few because Guardian Firewall won’t be on the iOS App Store until July, but this is a very clever VPN firewall.