What is a firewall and what does it do?
Nowadays, the levels of information a standard user deals with,
have caused the unavoidable concern for having greater security,
which would allow us to be protected from all the potential
risks that are available in the world of the global
Been offline means to be deprived from the access to huge
amounts of information, and there are several mechanisms made to
ensure that surfing online is not a threat for you or for your
One of these mechanisms is the
Firewall, and this is precisely what it does in a
matter of protecting your equipment, is establishes an
intermediate stage (a wall) between the external net (Internet)
and your PC.
In the market, a firewall might be a hardware (a device plugged
between the PC and the connection to the
Internet) or a program, which has to be installed and configured according to the needs
of each user.
Even if it is a hardware or a software, firewalls were designed
to establish restrictions in the Internet access, so
infiltrations that could
damage your PC’s output or some applications that might provide personal data without been
authorized, are banned from it. In few words, the firewall is a
filter for all the communications a PC could sustain with the
outside, allowing or denying them through the Internet.
By having a firewall installed in your PC, you are giving it the
task of deciding whether an Internet web site is acceptable or
not, this will happen after the configuration that each one of
us must perform according to our preferences. But it must be
clear that by just having a firewall not all our security
problems are solved, the firewall only works through the
Internet connection (protection against
this is why it is obsolete against
informatics viruses, files
and software, hold in removable media, such as a CD or a
In a firewall’s configuration, you must choose between two types
of decision behaviors or the so-called security policies:
Restrictive Policy or Behavior: Anything that has not been
properly accepted or allowed will be denied. Explicit
habilitation from every site will be required in order to be
able of accessing it.
Permissive Policy or Behavior: Anything that has not been
properly denied will be banned from access. It is necessary an
isolation of each case for potential damages.
Usually, firewalls from a regular user follow the permissive
behavior, but in the case of companies or enterprises, the use
of the restrictive policy is suggested, to avoid greater losses
of time in the continuous process of denying access to potential
Do firewalls offer other advantages? Well yes, they do, and to
sum up I must say that among the main ones you can find the
• Protection from intrusions and identifications: the entrance
will be restricted to all the users and it is only allowed after
the identified user has accepted the entrance (this happens more
often in the firewall systems used in organizations)
• Protection for private information: For PCs with several users,
it restricts the level of access to the net to each type of user.
• Audit and using record: Allows the collection of data about
the usage of the net. Data that allows knowing the hours in
which the work is heavier, the wide of the broadband consumed,
etc. It is an important option for companies.
To summarize, having a firewall in your PC is strongly
recommended to save a few headaches; but the most important part
is to read about the software you are about to install, so then
you would not have to experience any dissatisfactions
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