Today we introduced Firewall - the smart call screening app that goes “nuclear” on robocalls and other unwanted calls. (Read the launch post here).
What makes Firewall the ultimate robocall killer
There are many other robocall blockers out there — you’ve probably heard of some of them, like Nomorobo (our partners in both Burner and Firewall), Robokiller, AT&T Call Protect, to name a few.
Some of these apps function pretty well, but they generally work by trying to identify bad callers in advance and creating a “blacklist” to filter them. Today’s crafty robocallers and scammers have devised a variety of techniques to evade these apps and their blacklists, resulting in a large percentage of bad calls getting through. Most users of these apps report that they help, but don’t solve the problem.
Firewall gets the job done by taking a fundamentally different approach to it. Instead of trying to figure out which numbers are “bad,” Firewall forwards all your calls to the cloud, where we screen everyone except a “whitelist” — your family, friends, and other important people and phone numbers – that you have designated as good callers. You can start with your whole address book, or add people to the whitelist one at a time, manually or from your feed of missed calls, any time. No one else will get through — which is why we think of it as an extreme robocall blocker.
Setting up Firewall
When you first set up Firewall, you will forward all calls to us by dialing a special sequence of numbers that tells your carrier to route your calls to us. Once forwarding is enabled, you will be prompted to set up your whitelist.
After that, when you get a call from a whitelisted contact, it will pass through, and your phone will ring. If the caller is not on the whitelist, we screen the call to voicemail (sending you a notification that you have a message waiting). If we know it’s a robocall, we silently delete it.
Behind the scenes, we’ll also run incoming numbers against our algorithms to detect bad actors and enhance the caller ID of the unknown callers. Our algorithms are powered by a variety of tools including Nomorobo’s robocaller database and our own proprietary machine learning. We also transcribe any voicemails using best-in-class natural language processing and we’ll send you a notification.
You can then pop open the app, see who or what business was calling, and decide whether to return or ignore the call, or add the caller to your permanent whitelist. You can even return the call via a temporary, anonymous phone number.
No more disruptive unknown calls, period.
Beyond Call Screening
Sometimes you need to keep your phone line open because you’re expecting a call--a meeting, a Lyft driver, or some other person that you haven’t explicitly whitelisted. It’s easy to pause Firewall any time, so all calls come through and you can be sure not to miss anything.
If you don’t recognize something from your call log, you can also call that person back using a temporary and anonymous number that won’t reveal your main number to them.
Firewall is a completely free to download and evaluate for 14 days, then costs $3.99/month after that. You can download the app here.