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 v2.0.115 (see changelog for more)?
- Have you ever seen unusual activity with an executable, but found it difficult to open up the location of that executable? Now you can click the three dot menu next to the file path to open the location of the executable within Windows.
- Do you sometimes Google host names or file names to try to find more information about them? We do. Now you can choose "search online" after clicking the three dot menu that's listed after a host name (or file name) to search for more information.