What is a Firewall?
A firewall works as a security device for networks that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to determine what is or is not safe for the network based on predefined rules, established at the time the firewall is set up.
Firewalls can either be software or hardware that will work to screen out hackers, viruses, or worms that may try to reach a computer on your network through the Internet. Firewalls are commonly used at businesses where there are many users searching the Internet or accessing websites that may or may not be a threat to network security. As our home networks have grown to include multiple devices and computers, firewalls have become a necessary security method at home as well.
In schools and businesses, firewalls often protect the network by blocking sites that are known to spread viruses, worms, or contain inappropriate content. A network admin will usually establish what type of sites to block based on the type of content hosted there. For example, if management believes that viruses or inappropriate material can be found on Facebook or Twitter, your admin may set sites that are flagged as social media to automatically be blocked.
A firewall can be found on hardware, such as a router, or on software, within each of the machines on a network. Firewalls are easy to set up and worth the time spent setting them up properly considering they can save your network from potential damage that could cost a lot of money or time to repair.