A firewall is one of the most important pieces to a computer network, no matter how big or small. Everyone should have a firewall.
In this post we will be talking about software firewalls, later in the future we will talk about hardware firewalls.
A software firewall is a program, which runs in the background on a client’s computer. Some are very basic and easy to use. Some are complex and more powerful. For home users we absolutely recommend a yearly subscription based Internet security suite. Some names to look out for are Kaspersky, ESET and Avira.
Most software firewall companies also make enterprise editions of their software, which allow IT personnel to manage firewall rules and configurations from one computer, taking the configuration and management responsibility away from the user.
The software firewall operates by inspecting the network data that is incoming to the computer, as well as outgoing from the computer. If the firewall detects the data has been altered or if appears malicious, the software blocks it, effectively preventing any form of an attack.
Firewalls operate from a set of rules. The administrator can make a specific rule in the firewall to block a specific website, a specific application or to prevent two computers on the same network from communicating with each other, for whatever reason. Just as one can block certain actions, one can specifically allow a certain action. Sometimes when connecting to a printer with advanced features, the administrator may need to alter the firewall rules to allow certain data through, to access the printer’s features.
Home user based software firewalls have become very easy to use and to configure over the past few years. Not only can they prevent malicious items and websites from infecting your computer, but they now come bundled with more tools to prevent phishing scam websites from opening, as well as some encryption tools to safe guard your sensitive data.
Should you want more information on software-based firewalls, feel free to contact Group 4 Networks.
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