A firewall is software, firmware, or a service that prevents unauthorized access to a network or computer. It inspects incoming and outgoing traffic using a set of rules to identify and block threats.
Firewalls are used in both personal and enterprise settings, and many devices come with one built-in, including Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. They are widely considered an essential component of network security.
There are three primary types of firewalls – software, hardware, or a combination of the two.
One of the most visible benefits of firewalls is the ability to control your system’s entry points and stop virus attacks. The cost of damage from a virus attack on your systems could be immeasurably high, depending on the type of virus.
Firewalls provide protection against outside cyber attackers by shielding your computer or network from malicious or unnecessary network traffic. It’s common practice to use a firewall to prevent brute-force attacks. They also prevent malicious software from accessing your website, computer, or network.
What a Firewall can't do #
Firewalls can’t protect very well against things like viruses or malicious software (malware).
There are too many ways of encoding binary files for transfer over networks, and too many different architectures and viruses to try to search for them all.