Rating: 4.5/5Puffer protects you from the harmful trackers and malware layered throughout the Android ecosystem with just one click.
Puffer acts as a local VPN service for your device, but it does not route your traffic to a third party. Instead, the other end of the VPN connection is on your device. From there, Puffer monitors outbound connections against known lists of bad guys and prevent connections to services trying to track you.
Technical Description: Puffer is a packet-level filter for Android that uses the VPN interface to read raw packets. By registering as a VPN, Puffer can get Android to forward raw IP packets to the application instead of the network. Puffer then emulates a network card and performs complementary Linux socket operations but keeps track of TLS packets. Puffer reads the initial ClientHello packet of each TLS connection and extracts the SNI (Server Name Indication) headers, which it uses to classify and selectively block streams. By this mechanism, Puffer can block streams without needing to decrypt the stream contents.
- Unlike a standard VPN service, your data does not leave your device, so you don't need to place your trust in a compromisable third-party server!
- Puffer is more effective than PiHole, NextDNS and other DNS based solutions because Puffer will still work if the application uses a non-standard DNS resolver.
- We keep track of how many trackers we block, so you can see just how invasive your favourite websites are.
- You can use the provided "Live View" UI to see the connections that your device is making to the world, including the hostname and IP address, in real-time.
- None of the data Puffer handles will ever be stored or sent to Puffer servers, this is an entirely client-side solution.
- Puffer does not decrypt encrypted traffic, such as HTTPS, it only looks at traffic meta-data and patterns to spot bad requests.
- If you would like Puffer to be always-on and restart with your phone you can enable this setting in your device's settings. Travel to the "VPN" area of the phone settings (On Samsung devices this is under "More connection settings") then click the settings option next to "Puffer" and toggle on "Always-on VPN". It is best to leave "Block connections without VPN" disabled.
- If you are having trouble with any application of the website, please reach out to me at the listed developer contact. As long as I can view the website or application from my own device, I will try and solve the issue for you.
- Custom blocklists.
- Bandwidth Meter (See which of your device connections is consuming the most bandwidth).
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