Is there a firewall for OSX Lion, that allows controlling of outgoing connections? The built in firewall handles only incoming connections, apparently.


What you are referring to as "the built-in" firewall is actually the built-in Application Firewall.

There two other built-in firewalls in OS X Lion, pf and ipfw (the latter is being replaced by pf, but still exist in Mountain Lion). These can handle both incoming and outgoing connections and are typically controlled through command line scripts and settings. However, there are third party GUIs for these firewalls, e.g. IceFloor (for pf); WaterRoof and NoobProof (for ipfw). All these GUIs are free.

There is also third party software that can work as firewall, but doesn't use the built-in OS X firewalls. Examples are Litte Snitch and Hands Off (both paid). These can handle both incoming and outgoing connections.

You should be aware that there is some learning curve for these pieces of software, as their settings are not as simplified as the built-in Application Firewall. Little Snitch or Hands Off could be easier to use compared to pf or ipfw or their GUIs.

  • Ok, so I might be looking for an Application Firewall that would inform me about outgoing connections. The pf and ipfw are probably not meant for this? – WirelessFanout Mar 24 '13 at 0:23
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    Yes, pf and ipfw are not application firewalls. But Little Snitch and Hands Off filter traffic based on application, so they can be used as applications firewalls and they allow fine tuning (filtering by ports etc.) – lupincho Mar 24 '13 at 6:45

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