What Is A Firewall And How Does A Firewall Work? Read On For Our Answer And An Overview Of The Best Firewalls Available.
The importance of network security is easy to grasp, but does not always lead to an understanding of what that security is and how it works. Firewalls are a common safeguard for both business and personal networks, which is why it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of these valuable security tools.
What Is A Firewall?
A firewall is a security system or group of systems, which can be hardware or software, designed to stop any type of unauthorized access to or from a private network. Think of it like the alarm system on your house - it will keep out any intruders.
On a computer system or network, it usually separates an internal network from the outside world, or Internet, allowing only the internal proxy server access to the Internet. Usually, a firewall is installed on a designated computer that is separate from other networked computers to ensure no incoming requests go directly to private network resources.
A firewall uses an access control policy which examines every message passing through the intranet and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria. Firewalls will provide the administrator with log files that will show what IP addresses have tried to access the network, as well as those messages trying to be sent outward from the network (also known as “outbound traffic”).
Is A Firewall Needed?
A firewall is almost a necessity these days, with the increased use of the Internet. Note that it should not be the only protection you or your organization has. Firewalls are mostly designed to protect network traffic and connections and do not authenticate users. This means that a firewall cannot determine who is and who isn't allowed to use the computer the firewall is protecting, which is why it is important to use a range of security software.
How Do You Implement A Firewall?
Implementing a firewall will vary depending on the specific software, computers and networks. Firewalls are only good if there is an administrator who configures the firewall to allow the specified access rights to the individuals or organizations. Although they will protect against vandals accessing your network and corrupting the data, a firewall is only good if it is configured correctly.
Can Firewalls Be Used For Personal Computers Or Laptops?
Firewalls are not just for organizations. They can be put on personal computers and be the first line of defense in protecting private information so that intruders cannot access personal information stored on your computer, such as bank statements, credit card numbers or other financial information. Firewalls for personal use help prevent against identity theft.
The type of firewall can also depend on the purpose. For example, ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall is rated highly for organizations, but the security and network features may not serve as well for personal network security. A program designed specifically for personal use, like Sunbelt Firewall, would be a more appropriate choice, as would the competitve counterparts Lavasoft Personal and ZoneAlarm Personal which both offer excellent firewall features. Having a better understanding of firewalls, and doing research into the types of software available, will make managing firewalls and network security much easier.
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