When your computer is connected to the internet or a Wi-Fi network, it is vulnerable to assault. A firewall, on the other hand, may be used to limit outside access to your computer and the information on it.
What exactly do firewalls do?
Firewalls safeguard your computer or network from outside cyber attackers by filtering out harmful or unneeded network traffic. Firewalls can also prevent dangerous malware from gaining access to a computer or network over the internet. Firewalls can be set to restrict data from specific places (for example, computer network addresses), programs, or ports while allowing relevant and essential data to get through.
What is the best form of firewall?
Firewalls are classified as either hardware or software. While both have benefits and drawbacks, the choice to utilize a firewall is more critical than the type you employ.
Also known as network firewalls, these physical devices lie between your computer and the internet (or other network connection). Many vendors and certain internet service providers (ISPs) provide integrated small office/home office routers with firewall capabilities. Hardware-based firewalls are very beneficial for safeguarding numerous PCs and managing network traffic that passes through them.
The benefit of hardware-based firewalls is that they offer another line of defense against assaults on desktop computing systems. The drawback is that they are independent devices that must be configured and maintained by experienced experts.
Even if you have an external firewall, most operating systems (OSs) contain a built-in firewall function that you should enable for extra security. Firewall software can also be purchased individually from your local computer store, software vendor, or Internet service provider. If you download firewall software from the internet, be sure it comes from a trustworthy source (i.e., a well-known software vendor or service provider) and is available through a secure site. The capacity of software firewalls to regulate the precise network behavior of individual programs on a system is a major advantage of software-based firewalls.
The fact that a software firewall is generally installed on the same machine that is being secured is a major drawback. Because they are on the same system, they can impede the firewall’s ability to identify and block harmful activity. Another downside of software firewalls is that if you have one for each computer on a network, you must update and manage each machine’s firewall separately.
Firewall Configuration Settings
Most commercially available firewall devices, including hardware and software, are preconfigured and ready to use. Because each firewall is unique, you must read and comprehend the documentation that comes with it to decide whether the default firewall configuration settings are enough for your firewall’s intended purpose; this is especially troubling because the “default” setting is generally less restrictive, making your firewall more vulnerable to hacking. Alerts concerning current harmful behavior may include information about firewall limitations.