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What Is A Firewall and Why Do You Need One?


It’s quite likely that you have, or have used or have been recommended to use a firewall as part of your IT Network Security. But often times they are simply tacked on to your overall package without you truly knowing why you require one and what it actually does to protect your computer.

To put it in simple terms, a firewall is a software program or a piece of a hardware that helps to screen out any malicious activity against your computer or network, such as hackers, viruses and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet or via malicious software, files and programs.

A firewall can come in different forms, and the most common you have probably encountered before, and that is a software Firewall. This is typically a program that is installed directly onto a computer or laptop and actively scans your files and connection or any malicious activity. Some of the big brand names you may have heard of before include Watchguard, McAfee and Symantec. These are most common on personal devices for use at home and on the move, and with the right configuration and management they can be very powerful and accurate. Windows XP service pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 all have an inbuilt software firewall.

A hardware firewall is a device that is placed in between your network and the untrusted internet. If more than one computer is connected to a network, then it is necessary to protect your network from the untrusted internet via a hardware firewall. This is most typically found in a business environment, where many computers connect to a physical server for network management. A hardware firewall is a powerful piece of kit for an extra layer of security, but it is also necessary to protect each computer with a software firewall so that if one computer gets infected with viruses the other computer will remain largely protected from the same malicious attach.

The basic purpose of firewalls is to regulate the flow of traffic in between computer networks of different trust levels. For example, the internet (which is considered as a zone of no trust) and your home network (which is a zone of high trust). All incoming messages are passed through the firewall. The firewall then checks whether these messages satisfy the security criteria. If they satisfy, they are passed through the firewall, otherwise they are blocked. A similar thing happens with the outgoing messages. If you turn your firewall off, then all the messages will pass through firewall freely .As a result, your computer is vulnerable and hackers with the right knowledge can potentially hack your computer and obtain your sensitive data or infect it with malicious software and files.

With Spectrum Networks Solutions you can be rest assured that we use the very best hardware and software firewalls to ensure the utmost level of security for your personal and business network and computers at all times.

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