Protect Your Computer
Firewalls are systems that help prevent unauthorized access to and from computers.
Firewalls help protect against attacks across any network - the internet, your home network, and even wireless networks, like at the airport, library or work.
There are two types of firewalls:
Software Firewalls are popular for individual home use. In fact, operating systems, like Microsoft Windows and Mac, often come with built-in software firewalls. If not already "built in" to a computer, software firewalls can be loaded onto any user's computer.
Hardware Firewalls provide a strong degree of protection and are often used by businesses or users with networked computers. These physical devices require a power source and connect directly to a network.
Where do I get a firewall?
Microsoft Windows and Mac operating systems and even Antivirus software programs often include firewalls. Firewalls can also be purchased at most electronics stores. You can obtain free firewalls online although they offer minimal or non-existent technical support and documentation.
How do I know if I already have a firewall?
Operating systems often come with built-in software firewalls:
Microsoft Windows users can verify if the firewall is turned on by accessing the Control Panel > Windows Firewall.
Mac users can verify if the firewall is turned on by accessing System Preferences > Sharing > Firewall.
Do I need to maintain or update my firewall once it's installed?
Check your system to ensure that the firewall is not ony installed but also turned on.
What will happen if I don't have a firewall?
Without a firewall, your system may be vulnerable to unauthorized access and attack.
Do I need a software firewall or a hardware firewall?
Most individual home users are suited to use a software firewall, typically the one that is included with their operating system. Hardware firewalls are typically suited for businesses and networked computers.