Take an outgoing firewall on the go with this amazing jailbreak package!
Firewall IP is a tweak made by Yllier that let's you carry around what acts like a mobile version of LittleSnitch on your iOS device. It's not new; but it has been updated to work with iOS 5! It can be used for numerous things. One idea that I thought about is that since it blocks outgoing access at your leisure, you can actually save yourself 3G data by only allowing the processes that you want to call out, call out. This tweak brings up numerous features that are as powerful as a full-blown desktop firewall, at the same time, it's lightweight and has just about no impact on battery life whatsoever.
When an app you are using attempts to call out to the internet, you will get a popup prompt with countless options to configure the connection. The first app I opened after installing Firewall IP was Mail; a popup for Mail appeared asking me what to do:
In this prompt are so many options that you might feel overwhelmed from the start; when you get used to seeing this prompt, though, you will certainly feel right at home with it. Mail uses a push notifications style of getting your email. So this means while you are sitting wherever you are tied to a 3G connection, Mail is always pulling and pushing data (unless you have push turned totally off for Mail; but that's no fun). Firewall IP will allow you to completely block Mail, completely allow Mail, allow it once, or for a duration. The duration method is very handy if your excuse is data usage. Blocking mail outright wouldn't be my recommendation, however blocking it for a duration or only allowing it to pass once would be recommended by me if you want to save data use. For now, I will allow Mail forever.
You can see from the main Window that the Firewall IP app has a blacklist and whitelist. As you would expect, the blacklist houses all of the apps that you have blocked and the whitelist houses all of the apps that you have allowed. You can manage these lists by removing certain apps from each list or moving them from one to the other. So no app that you ever block is permanently blocked since you can go back and edit it later; so don't be alarmed if you accidentally block Facebook; it's not the end of the world.
Applications can be blocked completely, globally, or internally. What does this mean? Globally: The app and all of its features will be blocked system-wide; this means if you block Facebook, for example, any other app that requires Facebook will be unable to do so. Completely: The app will not be able to connect using any outgoing or incoming connections. Internally: You can pick or choose whether it gets access to outgoing or incoming and select durations of how long it is blocked.
Firewall IP also comes with a nice list of settings within the app:
Would you look at that, "Block if not on Wi-Fi." So this firewall can ultimately save your 3G bill, but let's look beyond that for a moment. Jailbreakers hackers are able to hack iOS; they get inside and plant in their seed which installs Cydia and gives you everything that you know and love. If a jailbreak hacker can do that; so can a malicious hacker. That being said, this firewall will give you all the power to need to make sure that only the processes that you want are connecting to the internet. If there's something that you don't recognize, Firewall IP give you the option to query a 'whois' to find out what is producing the process so that you can easily decide to let it carry on or not. You can disable or enable the firewall at your leisure with that simple little switch at the top. You can delete all of your rules if you decide that you want to start over and you can log all of your firewall choices so that if you delete them by mistake you can look back and see your old settings to revert to.
What else can it do? Here's the full Cydia description:
- Block outgoing TCP & UDP connections selectively port specific blocking.
- Shows you the hostname for the connection & can provide you with WhoIs information.
- Can block connections of apps when you are on a cellular network (save data!).
- Block analytic providers / data collectors which PrivaCy can’t.
- Block unneeded content (ads).
- Easy to use interface & control app and many more…. FiP is very powerful.
You can pick up Firewall IP in Cydia from the BigBoss repo today!
iOS 5 Compatibility: Full
Editor's Rating 5/5
Talking to Yllier via email, I was able to learn a little about him.
Anthony: Explain in about a paragraph or two a little about yourself. You can include how you became a developer, some aspects of your life goals, and what you are perusing in education.
Yllier: I've been developing for the iOS platform for about two and a half years now. I've been hooked to the iPhone and jailbreaking since the iPhone 3G and shortly after that I wanted to see some of my ideas come to digital life. Thanks to some helpful devs, crashX in particular, I picked up developing for this platform very quickly and was able to release my first tweak after just a few months.
I prefer developing tweaks because it involves a bit of hacking. Finding out how a system works and how you can modify it to make it do exactly what you want is, in my opinion, often more interesting than writing an app from scratch. It needs a few additional skills which aren't needed for 'standard' development.
I'm currently studying chemistry in Munich and still don't know what to do after that. Maybe I'll end up in IT, maybe in chemistry or maybe I'll start studying a second subject.
Anthony: What gave you the idea to build this tweak? Are you planning any updates for the future? Is it compatible with iOS 5?
Yllier: I always wanted to see what connections apps establish and where data is being send and because PrivaCy (by Saurik) isn't able to block some data aggregators I wanted to create a tweak which is able to block outgoing data connections in an easy and fast way. Oh, and being able to block ads (like admob) is a nice side effect.
As for compatibility; fully compatible with iOS 5.
Major future updates; no plans here, but if I get good suggestions for new features I'll be happy to include them.
Anthony: What else have you developed; or are planning to release in the future?
Yllier: Paid applications mainly: AdBlocker, FullScreen for Safari, FullScreen for iPad (not ready for iOS5 yet because I only own an iPad2), Firewall iP, ScreenDimmer.
Free apps: FolderCloser, the data toggle for iOS4+ which is included in SBSettings, ShakeToUndoKiller, EnhancedTabs.
I'm currently working on a project for the Electrical Engineering Department at Princeton University which takes up a lot of my free time. But, I'm planing to release a tweak (probably shortly after the iOS5 jailbreak) which will add a few interesting features to how the device handles incoming calls and text messages.
Yllier was generous enough to offer FIVE copies of Firewall IP. Here's how to win:
Follow me @Geop0x
Follow ModMyi @modmyi
Retweet this article with your Cydia number in the tweet – if you do not have the Cydia number in your tweet, you will be disqualified from the drawing. Within the tweet you must also mention @Geop0x so that I can easily see who has entered the drawing. If you don't mention me, you will also be disqualified. The tweet must include the following text, "Win a copy of Firewall IP for iPhone!"
Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10.
Good luck to all of you! If you like Firewall IP, leave a comment telling us how it could be improved with your Twitter handle included in the comments to improve your chances of winning!