A Firewall is Your Computer’s First Line of Defense

article by Arya A. author
Firewalls are designed to protect your computer against malicious code, including worms, Trojans, adware, malware, and hackers. These threats attempt to infiltrate the security of your computer through the internet.

For home-based browsing, the most effective protection against any online threat is a firewall. A firewall works by granting permission or preventing access to traffic flow. The untrusted zone is the Internet. It is home to all manner of benevolent and malevolent code. It is the firewall’s job to weed out the good from the bad. One can think of an internet firewall as a traffic officer in the network. It directs the flow of traffic back and forth. There is a binary mechanism built into firewall policy: all Internet traffic that is defined by the firewall is permitted, while all other traffic is denied by default.

What about Proxy Firewalls? Are They Effective?

Proxy firewalls can be thought of as middlemen. They masquerade as the actual recipient of the internet traffic in the network, and accept requests accordingly. After the traffic has been inspected, a proxy firewall will then transfer the relevant information to the destination PC. Through a rather complex process of information transfer, the proxy firewall will terminate the network connection between two computers so that it becomes the only machine on the actual network that communicates with the internet. Poor traffic performance and various other limitations have resulted in low overall usage of proxy firewalls. Their scalability is limited and they are largely outdated nowadays. Users will do well to utilize top antivirus programs with built-in firewalls. Panda antivirus software includes firewall protection as standard. However, outbound traffic is not controlled by the firewall, but it dovetails with Windows firewall to create extra levels of security for your Internet traffic.

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Next Generation Firewalls – NGFWs

As malware, viruses and other harmful programs evolved, NGFWs came into being. Cybercriminals have upped their game in recent years, by creating port-evading techniques in their malware programs. Traditionally, port-based traffic classification was the norm – not anymore. Nowadays, malware programs evade traditional firewalls by piggybacking off other applications. The net result of this is widespread infection across computer networks. Next generation firewalls combat these threats by offering a treasure trove of security features including full adaptability to modern threats, in-line support features, and extra firewall intelligence with blacklists and whitelists.

NGFWs also offer first-generation firewall capabilities and intrusion prevention technology. A good example of an antivirus software program that offers advanced firewall protection is ZoneAlarm. This antivirus program guards against real-time phishing, and additional features include wireless network protection. Developed by Kaspersky, this advanced firewall protects against most threats. It also resists direct attacks from outside users. Fortunately, tech support is on hand to assist with the advanced features of its firewall protection.