A “Fire Wall” or firewall is used to protect the internal network from unauthorized access that can be attempted from the Internet or a local area network (LAN) and can exploit vulnerabilities in the internal network of systems. Firewalls can disguise the identity of your computer for intrusion attempts or scan of your computer by hackers and does not return the type of information they need to facilitate the invasion of your computer.
There are 2 types of Firewalls: Software and Hardware
1. Software firewalls . Protect a personal computer from malicious and undesirable packets (small bits of information) from entering into Network Interface Card (NIC, for its acronym in English), where computers are connected to the Internet and local networks ( LAN, for its acronym in English).
Some operating systems (OS, for its acronym in English) have Firewall software pre-installed on the computer to protect against these attacks and to control unauthorized access. Also you can buy another Firewall separately. Although this could create conflicts with existing Firewall. You should make sure that your firewall is active in your OS like Window XP, Vista etc. Usually this Firewall is enabled by manufacturer, but sometimes may be disabled because of various reasons.
2. Hardware firewalls. They are more expensive and complex to manage and configure than software firewalls. Hardware firewalls are better suited for businesses and residences that have multiple computers connected to the same network.
Benefits of Firewalls
- Prevent attacks on your private network by the other networks outside the world.
- It allows you to define a funnel, keeping aside the non-authorized users.
- Allow monitoring the security of your network and computer when suspicious activity occurs, it will generate an alarm.
- Monitor and record services using WWW (World Wide Web), FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and other protocols.
- Control the use of Internet. It helps to block or un-block inappropriate or appropriate material.
How to tell if your firewall is enabled and how to activate
- Press Start
- Click Control Panel
- Click Security or Security Center
- Click Windows Firewall or Firewall
If that says Firewall is on, all is well otherwise press Windows Firewall or Windows Firewall On or Turn Off to the left of the window and activate it.
Note: Periodically check if your firewall is turned off as this could get disabled without their consent.