Very much like a watchdog, a firewall is a security system for your computer that stops the entry of harmful programs. The basic principle of a firewall is to check and regulate the data traffic in your system.
The Importance of a FirewallThe most vital function of your computer’s firewall is to face the attacks of different online malware. This would prevent any hacker from invading your computer and stealing important personal data. Such attacks are also destructive for your system and hence you need a firewall to alert you in advance about any oncoming attack from the Internet.
However, you must install an Antivirus and Anti-Spyware security software to aid the functioning of your firewall, as it is not powerful enough to tackle all kinds of problematic situations.
The Functioning of a FirewallQuite like a sieve, a firewall filters the incoming and outgoing information from the web to your computer. Besides this, it equips your system to fight off undesirable invasions and protect itself. To make your computer self-reliant, a firewall alerts you in advance of a possible attack. You get an option of either letting the firewall eliminate the threat by itself or take the task in your own hands.
The other solution followed by a firewall for guarding your system from attacks is to make it virtually invisible to hackers. And the great relief is that even if hackers can penetrate this ‘curtain’ effect, your firewall will block any illegitimate access request to your system.
The existing data files in your system are constantly under the scrutiny of your firewall so that no corruptive changes occur in them. In case any such alterations take place, the firewall will immediately isolate that defective file.
Variations of FirewallYou can install a hardware firewall or a software firewall. A hardware firewall involves a group of external gadgets, which you need to fit between your PC and the Internet connection. These instruments have their own resources and function independently of the unit.
A software firewall is incorporated within the basic programs of your computer. The efficiency of a software firewall is less than the hardware ones.
Some operating systems like Windows XP and Vista come with a firewall within their package. However, you can also choose a third-party firewall for dedicated software programs.