When comparing Windows Firewall vs TinyWall, the Slant community recommends TinyWall for most people. In the question“What is the best free firewall for a Windows PC?” TinyWall is ranked 1st while Windows Firewall is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose TinyWall is:
100% free, no ads whatsoever, no annoying pop-ups.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Most other firewalls use the Windows Firewall API anyway.
Most experienced (amateur) users use just a frontend application beside Windows Firewall like TinyWall, Glasswire, Windows Firewall Control. If you don't want to bother and spend a lot of time tweaking: use solely the integrated Windows Firewall. Wilders Security Forums can be used to learn and know about the lastest trends.
Pro Automatic updates for newly installed/ removed programs
Pro 100% free
100% free, no ads whatsoever, no annoying pop-ups.
Pro Manually allowing a program to "go out"
... which hardens security, altough this can be viewed as a con by some. If the user doesn't take an action to allow a program (TinyWall asks before allowing that) to "go out", it won't automatically allow it, as some other firewall programs do. However, this feature is probably the best of it because it will never allow any malicious software to start, even if it was downloaded on the user's computer.
Pro Works on all Windows OS that exist
Pro Extremely lightweight on RAM
Uses surprisingly low memory, making it the best choice for systems with little RAM.
Pro Stores its settings in the Roaming directory
... allowing the user to store all of their settings and restore them easily the next time they have to reinstall Windows.
Pro The user has full control of what it does
Con The notifications aren't very helpful
The notifications just pop up once. If you press the wrong button it's hard to go back and change your choice. And not all programs that connect to internet will trigger a notification.
Con Not very intuitive
The already included Windows Firewall is not very easy to set up. Although new rules might be set up very fast, it's hard to understand what's going on for normal users.
Con Breaks Windows Network discovery and File and Printer Sharing
The only thing preventing Tinywall from being a perfect software among the few and far, is its incompatibility with the Windows network discovery and file sharing services. According to the FAQ on the Tinywall website it is claimed that "It is a design deficiency in Windows File and Printer Sharing" and not of the Tinywall software. Sadly, the bottom line is it does not work, and it is not possible to browse the local network without some frustrating workarounds. A solution offered to this problem states to "map your remote folder/drive to a local drive letter (enable it to reconnect every time you log on)" This is an absolutely disappointing solution and something that is not as simple to do as it sounds. There seems to be a lack of interest to fix this issue since it seems the software is not actively maintained and new releases are spanned very far apart. Regardless of this major issue, Tinywall is in a class of its own and the best at what it does. I am sincerely hoping that the author of the software may address this issue in a future release.
Con The easiest way to train Tiny Wall is insecure
If, for example, you have to use a script that might download some tools (e.g. installs Rust), the easiest way is to enable the Learning mode. In that mode any application without rule can connect but it is logged as new rule (for later verification). An option is missing to allow all applications/processes which were launched as the current one, including all child processes.
Con Easy to forget that TinyWall is blocking a certain application
When wondering why some application behaves wrong, it's not easy to remember that the TinyWall might be the reason - because there was no rule yet for the specified application. For firewalls that show a notification, this could be connected more easily.
Con The GUI needs improvement
Examples: The configuration window can't be resized; doing any change in the rules table resets the list's scroll position to top, it does not show new, learnt applications after having used the autolearn-mode.
Con Not available for Linux
Con Can be easily "shot down" by a hacker
Provides absolutely no defense against DDoS attacks and any hacker with a connection above 1 Mbit can easily shoot it down with an excessive traffic to the user's computer.
Con Fights with the router's firewall
When the computer is connected to a router, TW fights with the router's firewall for control which almost always causes the complete loss of connection.
Con Manually adding each program to "go out"
If one's using 3-4 programs for accessing the internet, it would be OK for them to whitelist them manually. But if one has many programs that use internet like Steam, any audio player to listen to an online radio, an internet browser and many others, it would be a little annyoing to do all that manually. On top of that the user will have to whitelist manually every single executable of the program that uses internet, which includes executables named "updater.exe", like the one Skype has. If not whitelisted manually - no updates.