Firewalls Help Protect Against Viruses
Firewalls are used to protect your computer from offensive websites and potential hackers. They are a barrier that helps to protect your computer from destruction. In other words, it deciphers through everything that is coming into your computer from the internet and if something happens to get flagged then the firewall will not let it in. Firewalls are extremely helpful in large corporations where there are hundreds of networked computers. An additional benefit of corporate firewalls is that it gives the company a great deal of control over how their employees use the internet while they are at work.
Some systems come with a built in firewall, if not then you can easily install one yourself. There are software and hardware firewalls. The difference is that a software firewall can be installed on a computer that has internet access and acts as a gateway by providing the only source of access between your computer and the internet.
However a hardware firewall normally has a built in Ethernet card and a hub. The computer connects to the router which is connected to a DSL or cable modem. Hardware firewalls offer the best security and are very affordable. They can be installed at home for less than $100 which includes a router, firewall, and Ethernet hub for broadband connections.
Firewalls can protect your computer from many threats and makes it much more difficult for people with ill intent to access it. Firewalls can protect your computer from remote logins, backdoor access, SMTP system hijacking, operating system bugs, and denial of service, E-mail bombs, macros, viruses, spam, redirect bombs, and source routing. Of course you will gain the highest level of security by just blocking everything but then the internet would simply be of no use to you whatsoever. It is a good idea though to block everything and then allow access to only the things that you find necessary to use. Most people just rely on the default methods that are automatically set on their computer from the manufacturer.
From a security standpoint, the best feature about installing a firewall is that no one else can tap into your private network from the outside which is extremely helpful for businesses. Many times people combine a firewall with a proxy server. A proxy server is used to gain access to web pages by other computers. In other words, one computer requests a web page which is retrieved by the proxy server and then sent to the computer that requested it. Proxy servers make most computers runs more efficiently because when you get access to a web page it is automatically cached on the proxy server and then the next time that you want to access that particular site, it does not have to reload first.
While there is no doubt that a firewall can be very helpful as a safeguard against viruses as well as many other unwanted items, it is also obvious that when a firewall is used in combination with a proxy server, the protection level increases significantly.
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