What is a Firewall?

A firewall is a network security system designed to prevent unauthorized and potentially dangerous access to you network. Basically, firewalls keep the bad guys off your computer. Firewalls come in two forms, hardware and software. Hardware is something that you can actually touch such as a router or drive of some sort. Software is a type of program that you download onto your computer or other device.

Why Do I Need a Firewall?

Firewalls are absolutely essential to keeping your computer and your private information secure. Think about all of your valuable possessions. You want to keep them safe don’t you? So what do you do? You lock them up. In the same way you lock your house at night to keep burglars out, you have to lock your computer to keep other dangerous threats out as well. This is where the firewall comes in. A firewall acts your personal security system for your computer. Not having a firewall is like going to bed with your front door wide open.

Which Firewall Do I Choose?

With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult and stressful choosing a firewall. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help! If it’s a question between hardware and software, the best option is a combination of both. You can purchase a hardware firewall from just about anywhere that sells computers. If you don’t know how to set it up, you can simply ask whoever is selling it to you or do some research and try to figure it out on your own. Usually all you have to do is plug it in to your computer and follow the instructions. When it comes to software firewalls, they are sometimes available online. However, you can also purchase a hard version where you download it from a disk rather than from the internet. I personally recommend using a disk rather than downloading form the internet as this is always more secure. To help make your decision easier I have listed some options for you below. While a firewall can never be 100% sure to protect your computer, it is the best defense against a cyber attack.



To learn more about the tools and resources that can help you protect your home or business network, visit StaySafeOnline.org for Free Security Check-ups and Tools.

Ryan Ehlers

I’m a student at Saint Charles Community College pursuing a Degree in Multimedia and Web Design. I enjoy designing websites and am proficient in Adobe software, including Photoshop and Illustrator. I enjoy this field and hope to grow in it.