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Am very sure you must have heard of Firewalls, but what are they really for or their uses? Can your device or computer be secured without one?

Essentially, there’s a possibility that you are using a firewall right no i.e. if your computer is running on a modern operating system, there will always be a built-in firewall or maybe your security suite or anti-virus have a firewall.

However what is the main use for it?

What is a Firewall?

To begin with, let’s discuss what a firewall actually is. So you have to understand that there are no flames, no spark and no walls involved as it name implies.

Firewall is simply a barrier or shield that is deliberately created to protect your PC, tablet, or phone from the data-based malware threats or virus attacks that is on the Internet. Generally, when data is exchanged between your computer, servers and routers on internet, firewalls monitor and examine this data (sent in packets) to ensure or verify whether they’re safe or not.

This verification is carried out by checking whether the packets meet the rules that have been set up. The packets of data sent are accepted, or rejected based on these rules.

Like I mentioned earlier operating systems (desktop and mobile) always have a basic built-in firewall, and the optimal results can usually be achieved by using a dedicated firewall application, except you know how to set up the built-in firewall appropriately and have a lot of time to do so.

Firewall applications in most security suites have a mass of automated tools that use the whitelisting method to check which of your applications should accept and reject data from the Internet. Most users might find this far too time consuming to do manually.

So since you already grasped and know what a firewall is and some it uses, you might as well want to know some reasons you should use firewalls. 

1. Firewall Helps to Protects Your Computer from Unauthorized Remote Access

Someone attempting to control your computer remotely is one of the most worst and annoying things that could happen to your computer. Just noticing that the mouse is moving around on your monitor due to the control of the intruder who hijacked your computer remotely is just as assuming the control of your data and crucial information which is terrifying.

With the use of a properly configured firewall and a modern OS, the remote desktop access should already be disabled, therefore preventing hackers from hijacking your computer.

However, this does not block the remote control apps used by the Windows tech support scammers. Actually these are browser-based, and becaue your browser already has permission to transmit data through the firewall, you’ll always be susceptible to this particular risk.

So always put this in mind and always be vigilant!
Some Illegal copies of Windows OS found on the Bittorrent networks usually comes with malware (Trojans, keyloggers, backdoors) preinstalled in the disk image. So in case you’re running one of these disk images Windows, you’re likely to have security issues even with a firewall installed.
Firewalls also block access by apps, probably some software you trusted which is from an unauthorized Internet access.

2. Firewalls Can Block Messages Connected to Unwanted Content

Well there are still people out there running on Windows XP despite it is obsolete. And the worst thing is that some of them are using XP without a firewall, and most built-in firewalls are not enabled by default.

The Internet has numerous bad codes moving around in the cyberspace, waiting to pounce on unprotected PCs. Although your ISP can still help you to prevent this, but it’s doubtful that it’ll be able to withstand this in long-term duration.
So, you Windows XP or old computer users out there, do yourselves a favor and ensure that the firewall is active, or better still install a third-party firewall just to make sure everything will okay.

3. Firewalls Make Online Gaming Secure and Safer

One of the most major developments in the history of games is online gaming and it is also a likely security risk. A variety of malware has been intended and created to targets online gamers on unsecured or recently exposed game servers.

Well most online game publishers usually use top security measurement on their servers; nevertheless, it’s always a nice idea to enable firewall before playing online games. So any attempts by hackers to use their malware to get access to your system will be blocked, making your computer to be secured.

Generally, firewall configures itself on the basis of the requirements of the game, which makes use of a profile for the title/software type that is added in the game or available through an update.

Most security suites are usually shipped in with “Gaming Mode” or some other similar option pre-installed feature, which can be started before playing your favorite game. 
Console gamers can also use hardware firewalls or routers in case there is a need to edit settings.

4. Firewall Can Block Unwanted or Immoral Content

Do you know that Firewall is also capable of protect private directories for ransomware? A lot of people think that Firewall is mainly for blocking hackers and various types of remote access malware so far, but firewalls are more capable than that. Some firewall applications also have the option to block particular online locations.

This type of blocking options is usually found in parental control applications which consist of content filtering with some domestic security suites (reflecting the actions of the corporate-focused firewalls), often in close proximity to the firewall.
Content blocking can also be managed by a third party, mostly the ISP.

5. Firewalls Can Either Be a Hardware or Software

As explained earlier, firewalls don’t necessarily need to be software. Hardware firewalls are mostly used in most homes, which are built into the router. You can access these firewalls by using the administrator credentials for the router, so after you must have signed in, you should be able to assess the settings and modify them if needed.

You’ll have to make some tweaks, particularly for online gaming with a game console. For example, switching the NAT type on the PlayStation 3 and of course PlayStation 4 is a general fix to online gaming connectivity issues.

Always ensure you check the documentation for your router in order to know settings before changing any settings.

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