Firewall Software

Find the best firewall software for your needs

Both personal and business firewall software is available to protect individual users and networks from hacker threats. Firewall software acts like a sort of security guard for your Internet connection, permitting only specified traffic to interact with your system. With business and personal firewall software, you will be alerted immediately if a user attempts to breach your system security and you will be given your choice of a number of protective actions.

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Features of Firewall Software

The best firewall software not only safeguards your Internet connection and limits the traffic that can flow across your network, but it also offers a wide range of protection features. Firewall security software can protect your email inbox, files, personal information and registries from viruses; quality programs run antivirus software protections in addition to the firewall, to keep your data and messages safe.

Firewall software also shares some features of network monitoring software, in that it keeps an eye on external activity and acts immediately if any threats are detected. It alerts you if any intruders try to get into your network, tracks intruder activity and logs the intruder's IP address. You can also take advantage of a wide range of Internet and management tools, including pop-up and cookie blocking, spyware blocking, password protection, individual settings for different users and time restrictions on network activity.

Finally, quality firewall software allows you to maintain a list of trusted and blocked websites. Higher-end programs also offer parental control features to ensure your children can't go anywhere on the Internet they shouldn't be.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Firewall Software

The most prominent advantage of firewall software is greatly enhanced security. It is relatively easy even for a new hacker to break into personal computers to steal information. Firewall software makes this so difficult that the hacker is far more likely to move on and try to breach an unsecured computer than they are to try to break through your firewall.

However, a firewall that is "always on" can slow down system performance, and also creates problems if you're using a DSL or cable Internet connection. Firewall software is also not very adept at detecting and blocking viruses, and its intruder detection systems tend not to be as strong as those seen in network monitoring software. It is highly recommended that you supplement it with both antivirus and network monitoring protections.

Lastly, firewall software can be a little on the expensive side. It is possible to download and use free firewall software, but these programs won't offer you as much protection or ease of use as a paid, licensed product.