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About Firewalls - Do
you still need them?
What is a firewall? Why do you need
one? A firewall is like your immigration or customs. Allow the flow of
foreign traffic onto your home turf, generally deciding based on a set
of criteria what to allow in and what not to. Read an find out why
firewalls are important.
protects your network from unwanted Internet
traffic. The primary functions of a firewall are
to let good traffic pass through while ‘bad’
traffic gets blocked. The most important part of
a firewall is its access control features that
distinguish between good and bad traffic. When
installed, a firewall exists between your
computer(s) and the Internet. The firewall lets
you request web pages, download files, chat,
etc. while making sure other people on the
internet can not access services on your
computer like file or print sharing. Some
firewalls are pieces of software that run on
your computer. Other firewalls are built into
hardware and protect your whole network from
connected to the Internet should be running some
sort of firewall. Programs can be downloaded on
the Internet that can scan huge ranges of IP
address for vulnerabilities like file sharing
services. These programs are easy to download
and run. Almost no network knowledge is needed
to use these programs to exploit or harm your
computer. Any kind of firewall will keep you
safe from these types of attacks.
Firewall Software firewalls are
programs that run on your computer and nestle
themselves between your network card software
drivers and your operating system. They
intercept attacks before your operating system
can even acknowledge them. Many firewalls of
this type exist on the Internet. Here are some
NAT firewall The firewalls that are
built into broadband routers and software like
Microsoft ICS are very simple firewalls.
hey protect your LAN by not letting anyone
figure out how to ‘directly’ talk to any of the
computers on your LAN. This level of protection
will keep out almost all kinds of hackers.
Advanced hackers may be able to take advantage
of certain inadequacies of NAT based firewalls,
but they are few and far between.
Firewalls with stateful packet inspection
The new trend in home networking firewalls is
called stateful packet inspection. This is an
advanced form of firewall that examines each and
every packet of data as it travels through the
firewall. The firewall scans for problems in the
packet that might be a symptom of a ‘denial of
service’ (dos) attack or advanced attacks. Most
people are never subject to these types of
attacks, but there are some areas of the
Internet that invite these kinds of attacks.
Most often, these attacks come from being
involved in certain kinds of competitive on-line
gaming or participating in questionable mIrc
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