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What you need to know about Computer Firewalls

What is a firewall?

Firewall is a specially designed software or hardware utility for network security. It monitors all traffic in and out on the private network and ensures that no unauthorized external connection takes place.

This software is usually seen as an additional protective layer that helps to prevent hacker attacks and other internet threats. A lot of computer experts recommend that firewalls should be used in combination with safety programs such as anti-virus software, anti-spyware and other specialized tools for malware removal.

What you need to know about Computer Firewalls

Firewalls protect your computer from various online threats.

What is a firewall used for?

Firewalls serve as a block against unauthorized connections and ensure a secure private network.

The firewalls basically filter all information that enters and flows from the private computer. In addition to that, these security tools provide users with more options to control and administer the security settings of their machine. Some firewalls can give feedback on the type of traffic and its extent and allow users to manually manage it. To do so, users simply have to give some guidelines that the firewall will follow. Essentially, inbound and outbound traffic may be denied or accepted according to your requirements. However, default firewall settings are generally intended to detect and automatically terminate potentially dangerous traffic, so that you do not need to worry about the settings.

What types of firewalls exist?

Two kinds of firewalls are available to protect user devices. They can be firewall mechanisms based on software or hardware. Let us discuss in more detail each of these mechanisms:

  • Firewall software needs no external or additional equipment to operate. Users simply need to download and install it like any other application that they set up on their computer. Many devices come with built-in firewall software but adding an extra layer of protection is always a good idea.  Firewall software can be manually customized to shield the machine from a possible malware intrusion.
  • Hardware firewalls are often built into the broadband routers or can be purchased by users separately. These firewalls separate the private and the global networks. Normally, firewalls created for private use can protect up to four devices whereas larger business computer networks may use more efficient, commercially-developed hardware firewalls.

When it comes to ensuring the best system protection, a variety of firewalls from different manufacturers may be used. In terms of their effectiveness, both the software and the hardware firewalls can be equally effective. However, the most recommended security solution is to combine them with a reputable anti-virus program.

What’s important to be aware of is that firewalls, basically, keep your device safe from external threats but still let you to access the web without interrupting you or messing with your favorite applications. When you choose a firewall for yourself, it is best to carefully evaluate your needs, your computing skills, web surfing habits and finances in order to get the best deal and optimal protection. It is also beneficial to do a little research before purchasing or downloading a firewall product and to examine the feedback of other users.

Why do you need a firewall on your computer?

Specialized security programs such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware tools are constantly trying to keep up with the latest security threats. Unfortunately, new viruses that may crack their protection barrier and attack computers constantly get released, as well. That’s why firewalls are considered an additional security layer to your system’s protection which is much needed when it comes to avoiding advanced infections. Firewalls are designed to safeguard your computer from various malicious programs including Trojans, worms, viruses and other malware. That’s why it is a good idea to combine them with other virus-fighting tools when you are investing in your system’s safety. Of course, the regular firewall updates are also important as they ensure that the built-in protection features are in line with the latest security standards and that all system vulnerabilities are fixed and eliminated on time.

 

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About the author

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Lidia Howler

Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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