• Features: 5/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Pricing: 4/5
  • OS Compatibility: 3/5
  • Reporting: 5/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4/5

2022's GlassWire Review: Features, Pricing & More

Fact-checked
  • Features: 5/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Pricing: 4/5
  • OS Compatibility: 3/5
  • Reporting: 5/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4/5

Best For

Intuitive dashboard combined with easy-to-understand monitoring tools

STRENGTHS

  • Excellent user interface
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Easy to use
  • Fast

WEAKNESSES

  • Security issues aren’t detected by network scanners
  • Constant pop-ups asking for upgrades

Want to make sure your computer is protected when connected to various networks, but you’re intimidated by overly technical security tools? In this GlassWire review, we’ll introduce one of the most beginner-friendly and feature-rich firewall utilities on the market.

Below, you’ll find an in-depth breakdown of the following:

  • What GlassWire is and how it works
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Pricing, plans, and contracts
  • Customer support
  • Alternatives
  • FAQs

What Is GlassWire and How Does It Work?

GlassWire is a third-party firewall utility tool for Windows and Android. As most operating systems today already ship with a decent firewall, tools like GlassWire are no longer as popular. However, GlassWire is still a popular choice because it improves greatly the traditional experience of using a firewall.

GlassWire features a sleek design and beginner-friendly tools, settings, and visual graphs and reports that are lightyears beyond the Windows Firewall. So, learning how to use GlassWire is a breeze, even if you’ve never used another firewall tool before. You can use the monitoring tools to see every detail about who, what, why, and when connections were made to your device over any network.

Like any other firewall, you can use this information to block or allow certain apps or host to connect using your PC. However, GlassWire also extends the typical capabilities of a firewall by adding some internet and security features, and it can even be used to troubleshoot some issues such as a slow connection.

Main Features

First of all, in our GlassWire firewall review, we’ll take a look at the tools, features, and capabilities it has to offer to help you decide whether it’s the right firewall, network monitoring, and internet security tool for you.

Overall, we were fairly impressed with what GlassWire has to offer. Although its main purpose it does an excellent job at is to be a firewall and network monitoring tool, it also enables you to customize the user experience according to your preferences, as well as use some additional security tools to stay safe while connected.

Also, keep in mind GlassWire is currently only available as a firewall for Windows and Android, as no iOS, macOS, or Linux versions are available. So, while this is mostly a GlassWire for Windows review, the GlassWire Android app is also excellent, with a 4.7-star Google Play store rating.

Also, while GlassWire can help find and stop malware, it’s not an antivirus—you’ll want to pair it with some of the best antivirus software for Windows or Android for the best protection.

Firewall Control

GlassWire comes with a built-in firewall you can use to monitor outgoing and ongoing internet connections and block specific connections based on the port or app using it, as well as any suspicious activity.

The firewall monitor shows you exactly how many and what hosts are communicating with your computer, allowing you to individually select them for the firewall to block. It also shows you when and how many resources are consumed through these connections.

What we found particularly handy was the ability to create various firewall profiles, something most users also really appreciated across various GlassWire reviews.

So, you can use different profiles for different situations, such as when you’re connected to your private home Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi, or work Wi-Fi. This is especially good for public Wi-Fi networks that aren’t as safe so you need to carefully control which apps or hosts can communicate over the network.

When you click on a host in the graph, it will resolve all kinds of information on it, including the country of origin.

Wi-Fi Monitoring

GlassWire offers a bunch of ways to monitor your Wi-Fi for various security threats or unwanted connections. You’ll be glad to know that during our GlassWire free firewall review, we discovered the free version comes with virtually all the same monitoring tools as the paid one.

First of all, GlassWire will provide you with a list of all devices connected to your Wi-Fi network with their names and addresses (if possible). You’ll also be notified when a new device joins or leaves the Wi-Fi network.

This is useful for seeing whether someone who shouldn’t have access to it is potentially leaching off your Wi-F, or if one of your own devices is connected when it shouldn’t be.

GlassWire can even detect an “Evil Twin” Wi-Fi. This is when someone sets up identical-looking Wi-Fi to your own to trick you to connect to it, potentially infecting your device with malware, stealing your information, or to hack you. When comparing GlassWire vs Comodo, ZoneAlarm, etc., this is one area where it outshines the rest.

Monitoring Notifications

We already touched on GlassWire’s various monitoring capabilities. However, no one has the time to monitor all their computer’s network usage 24/7, so the good news is that GlassWire will notify of important events picked up by the firewall you via desktop or Android alerts.

This includes a suspicious connection being established, a connection being blocked, or one of the security features being triggered.

There are a lot of settings you can use to control how and when notifications are displayed. For example, you might still want to show some notifications when using “Block All” mode while disabling them for less stringent modes. We particularly liked the mobile notifications in our Android GlassWire review that work like normal smartphone notifications.

You can even entirely switch off notifications or snooze them for a specific period of time. Also, you can decide whether you want notifications on startup.

Finally, you can schedule notifications for a certain period for GlassWire to give you a breakdown of all important events during that time frame.

So, all in all, GlassWire makes it pretty easy to stay on top of all network activity without having to constantly monitor the app.

Timeline and Sliders

One of GlassWire’s best and most user-friendly features is its excellent collection of interactive graphs and timelines great for real-time monitoring and understanding what’s happening on your network.

However, GlassWire also saves past activity on the timeline so you can go back and trace certain events. While all other monitoring functions work, during our GlassWire free firewall review we found out you won’t be able to see any of your network history.

Moving backward and forward in time is easy using the simple timeline sliders. You can also adjust the visible timeframe by narrowing it down to the last month, week, 24 hours, 3 hours, or 5 minutes periods.

The data can be broken down in a number of ways—for example, when an app began or stopped a connection, how much data was transferred, and the resolved hosts.

Incognito Mode

Understandably, some users that are hypersensitive to apps collecting their data, browsing activity, etc. won’t be too thrilled about GlassWire’s thorough monitoring and logging capabilities.

When comparing GlassWire free vs paid, this is one of the valuable security features you’ll miss out on using the free plan.

If you’re one of those people, the good news is GlassWire has an incognito mode that will stop it from recording any activity during that time. When you switch incognito mode on, you should see all activity on the graph stop, and you won’t be able to see what happened on the network later either.

Mini Graph

This is another handy little feature from GlassWire we really liked. The mini graph is a bitesize window you can resize or move around your desktop when the full GlassWire dashboard window is minimized or hidden.

If you really want to know how to use GlassWire to your full advantage, you have to get to grips with this handy tool.

The Mini Viewer contains a graph and timeline showng the same information as your full-size graph or timeline. So, whatever settings you apply to the latter will also apply to the former.

The Mini Viewer’s appearance can also be customized according to your preferences, which is good news considering it will always be visible on your display. You can change the visual theme (day/night/neon), the graph theme, font size, and language.

This is a really handy widget to give you a quick overview of what’s happening on your network without taking up too much screen real estate.

“Ask to Connect” Option

You may think you already know the answer to the question “what is GlassWire?” However, GlassWire also offers a number of tools to give you more control over how outside hosts or apps get access to your network.

For example, if you switch on the “Ask to connect” option, a connection won’t be able to be established without your approval first. In this case, you’ll get a pop-up asking you to “Approve” or “Deny” the request before letting it past the firewall.

The “Block All” mode can also be used to block any new connections for a set period, which is handy if you won’t be at your computer for a while to personally oversee any new activity.

Internet & Network Security

During our GlassWire review, we were really impressed with how it helps keep your internet activity secure and private. For example, GlassWire will automatically look for and detect suspicious actions, such as malicious websites communicating with your device, system file change detection, device list change detection, app info change detection, ARP spoofing monitoring, etc. while you’re using the internet.

It will also look for RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) connections and warn you about them, as this is a common way for attackers to hack and gain access and control of your computer.

GlassWire even allows you to monitor various remote servers at the same time, such as those used for business, gaming, VOIP applications, or web applications. So, you’ll be able to see not only what’s going on with your personal, local computer’s network, but with all devices or network assets you have access to. From here, you can use all the same monitoring, security, and notification tools for the remote server available for your local computer.

Feature Rating
Firewall Control 5/5
Wi-Fi Monitoring 5/5
Monitoring Notifications 4/5
Incognito Mode 4/5
Mini Graph 5/5
Internet & Network Security 4/5
Timeline and Sliders 5/5

Ease of Use

Now, you’re probably asking yourself how to use GlassWire. Below, we’ll detail our first impressions of getting started with the software for Windows:

  1. First of all, go to the GlassWire website and click the “Free Download” button. There’s no need to pay anything or create an account first:

GlassWire Homepage

2. The download will start immediately, and once it’s finished, run the installation file. Click “Next,” accept the terms of use, and continue clicking “Next” to install the GlassWire software with default settings:

GlassWire Setup

3. Give it a few moments to finish:

GlassWire Finish Setup

Once the installation has completed, leave the checkbox checked and click “Finish” to launch the software:

GlassWire - Run the App

That will take you through to the dashboard, where we can finally start our GlassWire for Windows review. You’ll immediately be introduced to the network monitoring tool that shows the bandwidth usage of your connection, when new apps establish a connection, etc.:

GlassWire - App Overview

The dashboard is extremely sleek and easy to use. The graph continually moves as time progresses, so you always see real-time info on screen.

The navigation is also very simple and intuitive. In the top left corner, you can switch between specific views for apps, traffic, and publishers, while in the top right, you can change the time frame used by the graph.

The “Usage” tab will give you a complete breakdown of your device’s network usage with fantastic visual graphs:

a complete breakdown of your device’s network usage

Under “Things,” you’ll see all the outside hosts connected to your network:

GlassWire - Outside Hosts Overview

That brings us to our GlassWire firewall review.

The Firewall tab is where you’re able to select apps for the firewall to block, force them to ask to connect, or set your firewall to “Block All” mode. In the top center of the dashboard, you can also switch between your firewall profiles:

GlassWire Firewall Tab

Finally, you have the “Alerts” tab, which will notify you of all notable changes or events that affected your network.

If you ever want to upgrade, just click the small green “Upgrade” button at the top right of the dashboard, which will take you through to the web page where you can choose your plan and buy a GlassWire license:

GlassWire - choose your plan

We also did a quick Android GlassWire review. To our surprise, it was even better than the desktop software, with an extremely clean, fun, and modern interface. It’s no wonder it has such high ratings and was voted one of the top 10 Android apps for 2017!

As you can see, GlassWire provides a really streamlined and user-friendly experience, with helpful, colorful graphics and a simple navigational structure. It’s really exceptionally easy to use, even for someone with no experience using firewall or network monitoring tools.

Plans, Pricing, and Contracts

Next up, let’s take a look at GlassWire’s pricing so you can see is GlassWire worth it for you:

Plan Price+Subscription PCs/Devices Features
Basic $39 1 -6-month history

-3 remote connections

-All security features

Pro $69 3 -1-year history

-10 remote connections

-All security features

Elite $99 10 -Unlimited history

-Unlimited connections

-All security features

As you can see, GlassWire follows a pretty simple and transparent pricing model, the only differences between the plans being how far back the monitoring history goes and how many remote connections you can use. Luckily, GlassWire also offers a 7-day free trial as well as a free version of the software.

The 7-day trial includes all of GlassWire’s premium security features for free, whereas the free version only provides all the monitoring capabilities and alerts, with no firewall or security features. However, you can continue to use the free version for as long as you want.

So, when it comes to GlassWire free vs paid, there’s effectively no difference between the vast monitoring capabilities. However, if you want to actually use GlassWire to control your PC’s network activity through the firewall or other security features, you’ll need to subscribe to a premium plan.

GlassWire used to be pretty expensive compared to its alternatives on the market, but it has since brought down its prices to a much more reasonable level.

Customer Support

GlassWire offers plenty of support in the form of documentation & guides, a community forum, and one-on-one support via email. Overall, customer feedback for GlassWire is quite good, with excellent reviews from experts with a decent rating of 3.1 on Trustpilot. On the other hand, the cost of using the software as well as misunderstandings regarding the subscription models are the main reasons for negative GlassWire reviews.

Alternatives

Before we finish up this review to see is GlassWire worth it, let’s see how it fares against the competition:

Win Lose Best for
GlassWire vs ZoneAlarm GlassWire offers better monitoring tools with more in-depth breakdowns and better logging. ZoneAlarm offers better security features for free users. Basic security without having to pay for a premium plan.
GlassWire vs pfSense GlassWire’s firewall software is easier to use and has more features. pfSense offers free and open-source firewall software. As a firewall for small businesses that want a physical firewall router as well as software.
GlassWire vs Comodo GlassWire offers more advanced monitoring and security features. Comodo actually offers a $500 malware guarantee. Those who want a longstanding and well-trusted security solutions provider.

In many ways, there’s not much that separates these firewall tools. However, what does make GlassWire stand out are the amazing graphs and visual monitoring tools it has to offer. These are simply some of the best and most intuitive tools for monitoring all network activity.

GlassWire’s new affordable pricing also means it’s no longer one of the more expensive options—it actually offers great value in terms of other security, anti-malware, and internet protection features, making it one of the top firewalls for home use in our book.

GlassWire Review: Conclusion

GlassWire is an easy-to-use firewall, network monitoring, and security tool for Windows and Android. Throughout this review, we were seriously impressed with the high-quality visual graphs and charts that make it easy to oversee every aspect of your device’s network activities. Plus, you can set up logging, alerts, and blocking behavior to suit your preferences.

FAQ

How good is GlassWire?

In short, GlassWire is excellent—its network monitoring capabilities and visual graphs, timelines, and charts are some of the best of any firewall software tools we’ve looked at. However, while it also offers some security, privacy, and anti-malware tools, it’s obviously not as effective as specialized software.

Is GlassWire safe?

Yes, for the most part, GlassWire is completely safe to use, and can even improve your network or online security. However, some users are concerned about privacy, as GlassWire logs a significant amount of data. That being said, you can disable monitoring and logging for specific periods if you want some of your activity to remain hidden.

What is GlassWire used for?

First and foremost, GlassWire is used as a firewall utility that’s more powerful and easy to use than the standard firewall that comes with your operating system. The most common purpose of a firewall is to monitor and block remote connections to your computer, but GlassWire can also be used as an extra layer of internet security.

Is GlassWire firewall free?

In our GlassWire review, we looked at both its free and paid versions. While GlassWire can be used at no cost for an unlimited time, you’ll only have access to its network monitoring features this way, and no added security, history logging, or remote connections features. To actually control your network and outside connections, you’ll need a paid package.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."