Types Of Firewalls


One of the most basic computer premises, and one of the most important, is the firewall. Essentially, a firewall is the link in a network that only enables information to get through that is intended to reach the computer and/or the computer user. A firewall is what keeps your computer safe from viruses, hackers and other potentially harmful things that can disable your computer.



A firewall is named as such because it acts as an actual buffer from harmful entities in the same way that a wall helps to stop a fire from spreading further. A firewall can be either a program or a piece of hardware within your computer specifically to stop anything that is not authorized from getting access to your system.  You can also find firewalls to download from the Internet.


No matter which firewall you choose, you should just make absolutely sure that you have one. The firewall is important because it stops your computer from being accessed by anyone or anything on the Internet. Often, people without firewalls, or ones with minimal security features, find themselves victims because hackers have accessed personal information from their computers.


There are different types of firewalls - four to be exact. The types of firewalls are: network layer firewalls, circuit gateways, application proxies and hybrid.


Network Firewalls

These firewalls are very low maintenance, can be purchased at a low cost, and should only be used in a low risk environment. This type of firewall is usually fast and flexible, uses source routing to determine the flow of information and is transparent. Network firewalls, however, do not protect against IP or DNS address spoofing, provide little to no alarms or logging, donít support some traffic products and do not always configure to network scales. However, because of their inexpensive cost, they are sometimes purchased as an alternative to no firewall at all.



Application Firewalls

Application-layer firewalls are another type of firewall. This firewall creates a circuit between local networks and remote ones. This type of firewall also relays packets without necessarily forcing them to pass any sort of internal inspection. They are the best firewalls to use for outbound traffic and like packet filtering firewalls, are transparent to the user. These circuit gateway firewalls, however, make inbound traffic more risky.



One of the more complex firewalls is an application gateway. This type of firewall allows packets by verifying that the protocol specs are correct. Application gateways use Proxy Services to run on a firewall and configure the computers system so that the firewall is the only host address visible to anyone outside of the computers internal network. Proxies also only support strong user authentication and have application level user security.



When you combine more than one type of firewall program, you can get what is referred to as a hybrid. A hybrid actually connects two (or more) firewall types together. These dual connections give users a heightened security. This is the type of firewall used by governmental agencies and large corporations because it is the most effective firewall of the four types.


Choose the correct firewall based on your computer needs and be sure to remember that no matter how minimal you think your security needs might be, a firewall is always the best way to keep others from accessing information on your personal computer.

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