The definition of a firewall is a security gate for your computer. When it is installed, it analyzes incoming data and allows certain information to pass through if that information is safe and trusted. If information is not trusted or if something tries to pass through that does not belong, then the firewall stops it in its tracks.
Function of a Firewall
- A firewall is an installed feature on a computer network that has access to the Internet. Firewalls are basically named after their function, as they work as a digital blocker for harmful material trying to enter a network from the Internet. Firewalls monitor information in and out of your computer to make sure that only safe information reaches your computer.
- Every website on the Internet carries with it a signature, and sends out information in what are known as packets. These packets contain data that is coded in a manner that is either trusted or distrusted by the firewall settings, depending on the parameters set by the user.
- If the packets contain data profiles that aren’t programmed to be trusted by the firewall, the trusted information is allowed to access the network but all of the distrusted content is blocked and discarded.
How a Firewall Works
- The firewall filter siphons all of the coded information as it gets to the firewall, deciphering the coded information and identifying any codes or programming anomalies that may represent a threat to the system.
- The firewall seeks these distrusted codes out of the packet information and then checks them against the system parameters to determine whether or not to allow the information through the firewall.
- The firewall works in order to keep websites that pose a threat to the network from accessing the network or any information contained within it.
- Firewalls often are the first line of defense in many Internet-based systems, acting as a filter for flagged items. If the information entering the network has any flagged coding in its signature, the firewall prevents the information from entering the network.
Getting a Firewall
- Most operating systems contain a firewall within them, especially those that include a web browser program, or those that are designed to work in business formats.
- Home networks, whether they have broadband or wired Internet connections, are also vulnerable to harmful websites and the damage they can inflict, so home users also need protection from a firewall.
- Firewalls can be purchased in the form of either computer software programs or physical hardware devices which are installed or incorporated into Internet-based systems.
An example of a firewall is blocking particular domain names from sending data into your home network - such as, if you and your family are diehard Boston Red Sox fans, you could technically block all traffic from nyyankees.com from entering your home.