A firewall is a tool that monitors traffic going into and out of a computer or network, and either allows the traffic to pass through or blocks it. The firewall is typically required if you have a network that requires multiple computers to have access to the same internet services, such as web browsing and the ability to communicate.
How Does a Firewall Work?
Firewalls are commonly used by organizations to identify users, establish networks, and block or allow only traffic that is required for the company’s business. Common firewalls available today include those developed by Microsoft and Cisco, respectively but you can also visit websites like https://www.fortinet.com/solutions/enterprise-midsize-business/network-access/application-access to see other options.
Essentially, a firewall is a network protocol that helps firewall traffic by identifying and routing it to certain destinations. Firewalls do not block all possible methods of data transmission (such as over TCP/IP), but they can detect certain types of packets and flag them for examination or blocking.
A firewall is a server component, which means it runs on a server that will act as a server and relay traffic to other servers to be blocked or allowed. Common firewalls typically include services such as HTTP or FTP and, depending on the type, can also include anti-virus and antispyware services. In the case of Windows Firewall, it also includes services such as firewall and WINS, and LAN Manager. Firewall types and services are also offered by Fireware.
If you aren’t sure how a firewall works, Google searches will return numerous resources on the topic, which may also help explain some of the things that are important to know about firewall architecture.
Many Internet Service Providers will offer free or low-cost services. However, paying for a firewall requires documentation of both the methods used for block/allow communication and the types of computers that use that communication. You also need to provide those services as well as the software that can be used for maintenance.
Because Windows Firewall often runs as a server component, an ISP has to provide its own server components, including the server software that can monitor a network and determine which ports should be blocked.
What Can a Firewall Monitor?
Firewalls usually monitor the traffic in a very specific way, but not everyone can understand this, so it’s important to consult the documentation provided by the firewall vendor. Some firewalls may require administrators to determine certain criteria before a network can be allowed or blocked. The documentation will detail the exact methodology for measuring the performance of your firewall.
Firewall Requirements – Types of Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall is the most popular method used to manage and administer a network. It includes two components, as well as other functionality such as port filtering. These two components are the Windows Firewall and Network Inspection Service, and one of the ways to achieve security in Windows Firewall is by using Security Policy.
Windows Firewall and Network Inspection Service
Windows Firewall is the initial program run by an incoming connection, when the client computer attempts to connect to an internet service. It’s typically what is used to monitor the activity of a network and determine the needs for an admin to enter the settings and account information that are used to permit or block network traffic.
Other features include the ability to perform firewall scanning and maintain a list of the types of network services running on the computer. If a network connection is allowed, Windows Firewall will inform the computer to allow traffic based on the rules defined by the administrators of the server.