A firewall is a device or barrier which keeps destructive software (virus, spyware, threats, Trojan horse program, data theft, unauthorized change, and vulnerability) from your network, servers or computers.
The job of a network firewall is just like that of a physical firewall, in that it helps keep a fire from spreading from one area of a building to another.
There are hardware and software firewalls. Hardware firewalls are something you can see and is a hard physical element like your monitor or computer that you can touch, and it has software associated with it to make up a total unit.
A software firewall is a computer program that tells the hardware exactly what to do. Software firewalls protect your computer from unwanted hackers or intrusions. Also, it is far easier to customize. The features are suited for smaller home networks.
Hardware firewalls are best for businesses and large networks. IT Professionals often have hardware firewalls in their homes. Hardware firewalls work differently than software, but when the two are used together, they can create a powerful level of security. An advantage of such hardware is that it uses no system resources, because it works independently of your servers and computers. It can also protect multiple networks and computers on those networks. Hardware firewalls can be difficult to customize, but they have more functionality. Because your hardware firewall has its own IP address, potential hackers can’t see your network drives, they can only see the firewall.
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