GlassWire is an attractive, easy-to-use network monitor.
The program opens with a scrolling graph detailing the peaks and troughs of your internet traffic. No complex details, no TCP/ UDP splits, no tables of figures: just a simple chart which shows you at a glance if something heavy-duty has just gone online.
It's a basic start, but more information is never far away. For example, when a program accesses the web for the first time, a "New" icon is displayed above that part of the graph. Clicking it displays the date and time of that connection, the program which initiated it, and whatever site or resource it was trying to reach.
Clicking the Apps button displays details on the programs that have accessed your connection recently, including the amount of data they're uploaded and downloaded.
The Traffic button details your internet activity by traffic type: http, https, ssdp, pop3 and more.
Initially all this data only relates to the last five minutes, but that's easily changed. There are buttons to display the last 3 hours, 24 hours or week of activity. Even if you stay at five minutes, it's straightforward to drag that window back in time to look at whatever peak or period you like.
Alternatively, clicking the Usage tab moves away from the graph and displays a more analytical view of the data. We saw our most network-hungry apps, the most common hosts and traffic types, the total amount of incoming and outgoing traffic, and more.
The Alerts tab has yet another view of your data, highlighting any new programs which have connected to the web recently.
A simple firewall displays network activity in real time, and allows you to break particular connections with a click. This isn't capable enough to act as your only firewall, and is probably the weakest part of the product, but it's not otherwise a problem. The firewall was disabled by default on our test PC, and didn't conflict with our security software.
What's new in 1.2.88 (see changelog for more)?
- You can now scan manually for devices under GlassWire's "Network" tab. Basic, Pro, and Elite users will have an automatic scan every 30 minutes, while free users can scan manually by pressing the "scan" button. We made this change because GlassWire was scanning so often in our previous update that some types of network hardware were giving false positives about GlassWire causing a network problem.
- To disable Network auto-scanning completely create a text file called glasswire.conf and place it in the c:\programdata\glasswire\service folder. Add this string to the text file: enable_network_scan = false then restart the GlassWire service. We plan to add a setting for this in the future.
- Fixed a bug that was causing some users to crash.