Is there such thing as a firewall with packet inspection? Most outbound firewalls simply prompt the user with "program.exe is trying to connect to the internet - allow or deny?". I find it impossible to make an informed decision without seeing the actual content being transmitted.

Ideally what I'd like is an outbound firewall that gives me a third option: "inspect packets" which kicks in a wireshark style monitor that lets me see what the application is trying to send and receive. This would allow me to pass packets one-by-one until I'm reasonably confident that the application is legitimate.

It would be great if such a firewall existed for Windows but I'd also be curious to hear if there's anything available on other OSes or in server environments too.

1 Answer 1


You probably won't find it for desktop firewalls. That feature requires a much higher level of network knowledge than most users have/are willing to study.

Therefore, firewall companies won't put much effort developing something like this.

On the other hand, professional network appliances tend to be more inclined in that direction. I know that the Palo Alto Firewalls have some tools for capturing and analyzing traffic "wireshark style".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .