What is a firewall and why is it needed?

Over the decades, the Internet has become a place of endless opportunity. However, it comes with a lot of risk and a huge amount of malicious code. To avoid problems, we have several security tools, and one of them is firewall.

The average user has a program on his computer that prevents unwanted connections. Firewalls are usually already configured, but their functionality can be changed according to our needs and knowledge.

In addition to the software, there are also firewalls inside our routers that perform the same function. Antivirus should not be confused with a firewall, although both complement each other. The first one looks like a policeman who patrols cars in search of criminals (viruses). The second may resemble a border guard or customs officer who detects a suspicious entry or exit (connection) and prevents it.

What is a firewall?

Originally, the first computer network, the ARPANET, served an academic function, connecting various universities and research institutes. There is also a military version of MILNET with highly restricted access. Very few people were connected and the options were very limited.

Everything changed in the late 1980s, when one of its most dangerous elements – viruses – began to appear on the Internet. The logical answer was to find a way to filter the data, and the solution came up very quickly. In 1988, a group of engineers from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) created the first method for verifying information packets. Soon after, other companies and engineers developed new types of firewalls to prevent intrusion of unwanted code.

Today, a typical operating system has a firewall, as do almost all antivirus programs on the market. They are relatively easy to configure, although some networking and computer security knowledge is often required to fully utilize their capabilities.

Firewalls are hardware and software systems that protect users from malicious code on the Internet. When data is sent over the Internet, it comes in a package with information about where it comes from and where it should go, as well as an indication of which application the data is for. Firewalls analyze the data and then throw it away if it looks malicious, or forward it to the network if it looks safe.

Why do you need a Firewall?

While surfing the web shouldn’t be a problem, it does come with certain risks, even if we visit seemingly harmless web pages and download a simple PDF.

Firewalls usually do not allow connections inside the network that appear from outside unless you give them permission. This is why they are so important for safe web surfing. Without firewalls, any applications running on your computer that accept network connections can be connected by anyone on the Internet. If an attacker can connect to any of your applications, they could potentially compromise your computer if a security vulnerability exists in the application. Firewalls are absolutely essential protection for your computer on the Internet.

Thus, firewalls are used to protect your computer when you are connected to the Internet. They are necessary to prevent intrusions into your private network and connected PCs. If you are connected to the Internet, it is highly recommended to install a Firewall on your computer to avoid hacking.

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