Firewall is an important part of your broadband connection that ensures your basic internet security.As a broadband internet user, you are open to many security threats like hacking, phishing and unauthorized access of your internet connection and resources like the hard disk on your personal computer etc. You need to make sure that your data and resources are safe and nobody can access them.
There are many ways that can help you to protect your privacy and security in a wired or wireless network or when you are online.
Windows firewall is often pre-installed in your pc. Just make sure that it is always on so that you can be entirely safe in a networking environment.
What is a firewall?
In simpler terms, a firewall blocks all suspicious programs, visitors, intruders and prevents them from accessing your PC, its hard drive with all personal information you have stored. When you are connected to internet using your broadband connection, it sends and receives information via your firewall. If there is no firewall or it is not configured with optimized security settings, your PC or network is open to all threats as we have mentioned above.Whether software or hardware, a firewall basically checks and filters all kinds of information that pass through it. If you have connected two or more PCs and share a broadband connection, the firewall sub-divides the network and helps you to prevent the security threats more efficiently.
Types of firewalls
All of us know, Windows comes with a firewall which is software based and is useful for your single PC. You can also find other firewalls and download and use them depending on the advanced features you prefer. These firewalls are efficient and can be installed in your PC or the host PC in a network.Another option is buying router which usually comes with firewall. It is a good idea to check security features that you get with your router when you go for a router. Most high-end routers (wired and wireless) come with advanced features like WPA2 which ensure better security for your network.
Some of the best routers that come with firewall include Belkin, Netgear, Dlink, Hayes, BTVoyager etc. There is a wide range of models and prices depending on the features. However, you need to make sure that you switch on the security features and configure them for proper settings while install them.
How to use firewalls?
Installing firewall software is already done when you install OS like Windows XP or Vistas. All you have to do is to enable its features. However, if you download other firewall software or buy an advanced one, you will install them as per instructions provided by the software vendor. While installing, make sure that ports for accessing programs you prefer are open. So, your firewall should allow the ports for accessing these programs while it should help the PC to be secure from threats of unwanted sites and intruders.You may also prefer a router with firewall, however, it should be configured and the security features should be on. While you can go for standard settings, there is also an option which allows you customize the settings to your preferences.
If you are using wireless connection, you need to make extra precaution that you have enabled WPA or WPA2 which guarantees better security. It is also important you change passwords periodically.