TulaByte — User customisable, system-wide spyware and tracker blocker

Hi! My name is Arjun and I’m an 18 year old maker from Australia.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve repeatedly seen news of large scale scandals surrounding the business of digital data harvesting. Despite the wide-ranging impacts of these practices, there was still a lack of tools that allowed users to take some meaningful steps to bolster their own privacy, specifically on iOS. This spurred me to build TulaByte, largely to fulfil my own needs and as a means to reduce my own paranoia.

Put simply, TulaByte is a firewall for your device which blocks malicious trackers out of the box.

I built the app with a couple of things in mind –
• It must be easy to use – I wanted it to be something that I could set up in a couple of minutes without any overtly technical steps, and that I wouldn’t have to constantly monitor. Basically something I could give my grandma to use.

• It must be fully customisable – I realised early on that whoever I gave the tool to use would have considerably different needs, and as such a standardised block and allow list wouldn’t tick all the boxes. As such, both lists can be wholly customised by any user of the app.

• It must be on-device – To practice what I preach, it was clear that I could not collect any data from the user’s devices whatsoever. The simplest solution was to make the app work completely on a user’s device.

Having completed the app, I also found an unexpected benefit in the fact that it noticeably reduces the amount of bandwidth and battery your device uses (30-35% for both metrics in my testing).

The app is paid with a subscription, however the pricing has been kept quite cheap and there is a free trial. The decision to make the app subscription based centred on my ongoing commitment to its development. I didn’t want this to be something I released once, and then never worked on again. Charging users a subscription, thus keeps me accountable to keep providing more value to any users of the app.

If you have any feedback or queries you can email me at hello@tulabyte.com. I’ll also be active in the comments here 🙂

Thank you in advance!

– Arj Singh




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