Should I install a hardware or software firewall?

In case you do not know what a firewall is, then you should know that it is a protective system that lies between the Internet and your computer network. If you use the firewall properly, it will deny unauthorized access and use, to your computer and network. You may ask yourself how the firewall works. Well, it analyzes the data that exits and enters your network based on your configuration. You are the one who states what information should be ignored. But, on the market there are available two types of firewalls, hardware and software ones and you may have no idea which one of them is the best for you. The provider will state if a product as SonicWALL SuperMassive is hardware of software firewall, and you have to know from the beginning if you need it, or you should check other category or security devices.

A hardware firewall can be bought as a standalone product, and you should make sure you buy one, especially if you have a broadband connection. Lately, these systems are included in the broadband routers, but you have to check and in case it is not, you should consider investing in a device as SonicWALL SuperMassive. This type of software is very effective with little and even no configuration. They are able to protect your local network or PC. In case you have a large network, you should check the solutions available on the market, because a standard hardware firewall has no more than four ports. This type of security system will use a packet filtering to check the header of the packet to find its destination and source. By using predefined rules, it will determine if the packet should be dropped or forwarded. If you have some general computer knowledge, you will be able to plug it and adjust its settings. For being sure that the firewall is configured and you are protected you will have to learn how to use its specific features and to enable them. Also, make sure you test the firewall, because you have to check if it is effective in protecting your network.

If you are looking for a security system for your individual PC, then you should consider investing in a software firewall. If you buy a software firewall, you will have to install it on your PC as any other software, and to customize it. You are the one who has control on its protection features. Depending on the type of firewall you choose, it can protect your PC from outside attacks, but it can also offer protection from e-mail worms and Trojan programs. Check with the provider if the one you intend to invest in has defined controls for printer sharing and files. If you want to take the security measures to the next level, then it is advisable to invest in both hardware and software firewalls. Also, you should not try to manage the firewalls by yourself, in case you do not have experience in this case, because they are useless if they are not managed and monitored by the right people.

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