What is a Firewall?
A firewall is a protector from unauthorized access that is between a computer and the internet. Based on one’s configuration, the firewall controls access to data through packet analysis. The firewall vehemently ignores information from unauthorized, unsecured, and unknown sources. A firewall can become encapsulated as hardware or software, the latter being a program installed on the computer or placed behind a router in the former.
These are mostly used in large companies and corporations where they get placed between the company’s internet connection and the router. They are designed to be optimal in their functionality and also not to consume too many computer resources.
Quiz: What is a packet in IT?
They are stand-alone but are mostly found in routers supporting broadband. They determine the destination and source of a packet using its header as part of packet filtering. If the configuration settings allow the packet to filter through, it is approved or otherwise dropped. They are capable with minimum to no configuration.
These are more common, easier, and cheaper to acquire and install. Software firewalls mostly get purchased by individual users and are customizable like most software and could also include extra protection against worms and trojans.
The Strongpoints of Software Firewalls
They are more user-defined and could even block malicious apps and set up the safe sharing of resources. Additionally, they can filter the web and allow privacy tweaking. They are, however, marred with several disadvantages, including the following.
The Drawbacks of Software Firewalls
- They consume a lot of computer resources.
- They can cause compatibility issues with other software on the computer.
- They are also significantly erroneous in the process of running.
Software firewalls mostly come packaged in several operating systems like Linux and Ms. Windows. Some can also be provided as part of a cloud computing service.