Featured Product: Antivirus & Security
Our staff favorite software firewall brings a lot more to the table than just protecting your network from unauthorized access: Antivirus & Security offers a full package of security software at one low price. Regular software firewalls control traffic into your network to prevent hacker attacks, but it can stop short of keeping your system safe from threats like viruses and spam. More Information.
Antivirus & Security offers:
- >> Anti-Virus
- >> Anti-Spyware
- >> Anti-Spam
- >> Firewall
- >> Safer Downloads
- >> Instant Messaging
- >> Safe Searches
- >> Pop-up blocker
- >> Spam blocker
- >> Hacker Protection
- >> Registry Repair
Do you need a software firewall?
There are some who question the necessity of a software firewall. Most routers come with built-in firewalls, so do you really need to install firewall software on your computer as well? Well, let’s find out and do a comparison shall we?
Let’s look at hardware firewalls, first. These provide the first line of defense against common forms of computer attacks coming in from the internet. They can usually be quite effective with little or no configuration, and they protect every computer that is hooked up to a local network.
Breaking this down as simply as possible, what a hardware firewall does is filter information. It will look at the header of a packet of information and determine its source and destination addresses. This header information is compared to a set of predefined (or user-created) rules that determines whether the information is legitimate or not. Then decide if it is should be discarded or allowed in.
A problem with the hardware firewall is that it typically treats any kind of information going away from the local network and out to the internet as safe. This is not always the case. You may be inadvertently be sending problems out to others.
Now let’s look at what software firewalls do. Since a software firewall is running directly on a computer so, it knows a lot more about the network traffic coming in and going out. It will also know what program is trying to come into your computer or exit your computer (via a malicious email attachment you are unaware of) to the internet and whether it’s good or bad.
Basically, a software firewall is able to identify malicious information and stop it before it leaves your computer. The software firewall only protects the computer it’s installed on. So, to protect multiple computers with a software firewall you need to buy multiple copies (or licenses). This can get expensive and be difficult to manage, though many business-oriented firewall programs do offer centralized installation and administration.
Here’s an analogy that will give you a visual real world idea of the difference between a hardware and software firewall. Think of a hardware firewall as the hostess at an exclusive Beverly Hills lounge. It’s the place to see and be seen. The famous, the wealthy and the infamous gather to eat, drink, and be merry. However, you must either be a member or have a special invitation to get in. The hostess checks the list to see if you are on it. If not, you can’t enter.
The software firewall, on the other hand, is like a burly body guard at the same Beverly Hills lounge. If you are not on the list and have managed to get in anyway you may go unnoticed for a period of time. However, as soon as you start causing a ruckus, or steal something, or break something, or refuse to pay your bill, the body guard hauls your encrypted, malicious, virus-tainted, bug butt, right out of there and throws you back into the overcrowded streets of the internet.