Dowse provides a central point of soft control for all local traffic: from ARP traffic (layer 2) to TCP/IP (layers 3 and 4) as well as application space, by chaining a firewall setup to a trasparent proxy setup.

Dowse can implement this with a complex of open-source, well established technical tools, simplifying their integrated setup: specific directives read by daemon applications are generated from a central configuration point. The configuration options visible to users are reduced to the minimum, while adopting automatic guessing mechanisms in most cases. Both the implementation and the user interface for Dowse are extremely minimal.

Dowse is also a highly extensible platform: interoperability between modules is available using Socks4/5, UNIX pipes, local TCP/IP sockets and port redirection, conforming to specific daemon implementations.