Do I Really Need a Firewall?

January 31, 2018 7:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One question we hear all the time at Devine’s Electronics is, “Do I really need a firewall?” The super short answer to this question is that, yes, you do! Firewalls do the heavy lifting up front to keep your computer safe from threats on the internet. You might be surprised to hear that it’s entirely possible (and in fact probable) that you are already behind a firewall! Of course, it pays to be certain. Read on to learn more.

What is a firewall?

Many people don’t know exactly what a firewall is, and that’s okay! So, in case you’re one of those many people, here’s an easy way to remember: a firewall keeps your computer from getting burned. In this case, it’s not under threat from real fire, of course, but it is under constant threat from a host of malware and other network-based dangers. From real human hackers to bots and viruses, your computer is constantly being probed for weaknesses every time it’s connected to a network, like your Wi-Fi. Your firewall is the front line of defense that prevents this harmful network-based traffic from reaching your computer.

Firewalls are smart

Firewalls are pretty amazing computer accessories in Woodward, OK. They can discern what’s good and what’s bad. They will allow you to watch a YouTube video on the one hand, but prevent a hacker a thousand miles away from accessing your personal data on the other. To put it simply: your firewall will understand the difference between places you ask to be taken to—websites you click on, videos you play, etc.—versus places that ask to have access to your machine. As mentioned earlier, you probably already have a firewall. Let’s look at the two types.

Router/hardware firewalls

If you’ve got internet, chances are, you’ve got a router firewall. Your router is the box that plugs into the cords that plug into your wall. It monitors all the traffic and data being shared while your computer is connected, and it literally “routes” this data to the correct sources—your computer and the sites with which it is initiating contact. As part of this monitoring, it discerns which computer to send the information to, taking into account which computer asked for the information. So, when an unknown computer asks to start a connection, your router firewall will block it automatically, thus saving you from potential hacking, malware, bots and more.

Software firewalls

This type of router will help make sure that all of the traffic and data hitting your machine is okay, since you don’t have a physical router determining this. It will then block malicious information from penetrating your computer. Many computers also come with this type of firewall, so there’s a chance you are doubly protected. There is some debate about whether this or router hardware is the right choice, and also whether it’s important to have both. Ask a computer technician if you have questions about what’s best in your situation.

You can find router firewalls and many other computer accessories in Woodward, OK, at Devine’s Electronics Authorized Radio Shack Dealer. Stop in to see us today!

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