An Overview of Firewalls and How it Works

Internet is one of the greatest blessings these days. A lot of information and entertainment is at your disposal while you are online. But like everything has its pros and cons, same is the case with this wonderful gift of science and technology. Internet may become a curse especially when you are not protected against the vulnerabilities of this huge world of web. But when there is a problem, there is its solution. All you need is to get to know about it and use preventive measures to avoid big losses which may come your way if you are not protected by one of such components; firewall.

A firewall is a part of your system that controls all the traffic to and from the secure (Virtual Private Network) and insecure network (Internet). The reason behind is simple and easy to understand; to allow certain communication and data transfer while restricting the other that can harm your system and network on the whole.

A firewall can be hardware or software and sometimes a combination of both. It acts like the gatekeepers of your house who sits at the door and whom you have instructed not to let your possessions go out of house and at the same time not to allow the unknown and dangerous people to come inside the house. A firewall works exactly in the same manner while allowing you to communicate and share data with some computers while restraining those from accessing your system that you find suspicious in behavior. Like you have to instruct the guard of your house in order to ensure safety similarly you have to configure the firewall. Without configuring the firewall you can not be sure you are completely safe even when you have installed a good firewall program to your system.

Configuring the firewall requires certain technical knowledge. It may be understood by understanding how data travels to and from one system to other and to and from one network to the other. Data travels in the form of data packets and configuring the firewall means managing this traffic of data across the systems and networks. When you install a firewall and configure it all the data first passes through the firewall and checked whether it is following the set of rules and regulations set by the administrator; if not, firewall blocks the traffic thus ensuring the safety of your system. However, a detail understanding of the network and file sharing protocols is a prerequisite to configure the firewall for optimum use. There are various types of firewalls that have their own ways to check the data passing through them however; all use one of the following techniques to protect your system: packet filters, stateful filters or circuit-level technique, application layer filters and proxy servers.

Installing a firewall and configuring it assures that you won’t be disturbed by pop-ups, adware and spyware; it assures you are protected!