A firewall is a network security system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both.
Basically, a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property. In fact, that's why it is called a firewall. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next. As you read through this article, you will learn more about firewalls, how they work and what kinds of threats they can protect you from.
Network firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.
Hardware firewalls can be purchased as a stand-alone product but are also typically found in broadband routers, and should be considered an important part of your system and network set-up. While Software firewalls are installed on your computer (like any software) and you can customize it; allowing you some control over its function and protection features. A software firewall will protect your computer from outside attempts to control or gain access your computer.
There are several types of firewall techniques that will prevent potentially harmful information from getting through:
· Packet Filter: Looks at each packet entering or leaving the network and accepts or rejects it based on user-defined rules. Packet filtering is fairly effective and transparent to users, but it is difficult to configure. In addition, it is susceptible to IP spoofing.
· Application Gateway: Applies security mechanisms to specific applications, such as FTP and Telnet servers. This is very effective, but can impose a performance degradation.
· Circuit-level Gateway: Applies security mechanisms when a TCP or UDP connection is established. Once the connection has been made, packets can flow between the hosts without further checking.
· Proxy Server: Intercepts all messages entering and leaving the network. The proxy server effectively hides the true network addresses
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