How to use a firewall correctly, and what is it?

Many of us sometimes download free programs from the Internet. In the description, some authors write: “Be sure to disable the firewall.” 

The Windows Firewall is a unique program designed to protect you from all the bad stuff you can pick up on these internet things of ours. In this post, we’ll look at what the firewall is for, what the firewall does, and answer the question of what the primary function of the firewall is. 

If you like to play 3 patti game online, Tin Patti, or other casino games, you will find it helpful to use a firewall. It will protect you from clicking on ads from an untrustworthy source. 

Firewall illustration

What is a firewall?

What does a firewall have to do with a PC? Does it protect against fire? To a certain extent, yes. From the fire of your nerve cells and money because the Windows firewall protects your computer from all sorts of nasties from the Internet by filtering out malicious traffic.

Data comes to your PC through the ports directly involved in establishing a connection to the Internet. The firewall controls what goes through these ports. You could put it this way: your PC is an elite nightclub, and the firewall is an evil bouncer that stands at the entrance and keeps out all sorts of obscure personalities.

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What will a firewall protect your PC from?

In short – a firewall protects against network threats, various fraudulent programs, and hacks. For example, backdoor access, in which a fraudster finds the “open security doors” in the operating system and gains complete control over your PC. What else?

  • Remote desktop hacking: a famous trick for remote workers. Often an employee connects to another desktop, such as their PC in the office or that of a colleague, who needs to be shown what to click “to make it work.” A fraudster can enter this remote access and get the login password and personal information.
  • DDoS attacks: relevant to companies. Sometimes competitors can “put down” a site or slow down a corporation’s network by sending thousands, tens of thousands of requests that systems will process, which will affect performance—a firewall blocks such network attacks.
  • A firewall, by the way, is essential for firms and companies. You have probably had this happen: you are sitting at work, and you want to check how your Facebook page is doing, but the browser of your work PC does not allow you to load the page, as well as a dozen other “harmful” sites. These bans are associated with a firewall, which system administrators set up so that the employee is not distracted from his work. Firewalls are also used in cafes and hotels to distribute traffic evenly among customers, preventing one smart guy from downloading some movies at full speed. It is called traffic filtering, another feature of the firewall.
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What a firewall can’t help you with

A PC firewall can’t handle everything. You’ve received emails like “You’ve won five hundred million; click to claim your prize.” Fraudsters can hack your PC and personal data through these attacks. If you click, it’s already on your conscience.

In addition, the firewall will also not notice anything you bring on a flash drive or other drives. That’s already the job of the antivirus. 

Where do I find the firewall on computers with different operating systems?

It is understood what the firewall does and what it is. But where can you find it if you want to configure the firewall or check to see if it’s turned on? Let’s look at different operating systems and see if we can find the “wall of fire.”

  1. Windows

The firewall in Windows is called Microsoft Defender. To find it, you must know what kind of OS you have.

  • Windows 7: “Control Panel” → “Windows Firewall.” From the menu on the left, select “Enable and Disable Windows Firewall” and then check to see if the firewall is enabled. To configure the firewall, go to “Advanced Settings.” There you can open or close network access and do some other fine-tuning.
  • Windows 10: “Settings” → “Update and Security” → “Windows Security” → “Firewall and Network Protection.” Click “On” to turn on the firewall, and select the domain type. For example, working from home should be a “Private network”; if you are in a cafe or another public place via Wi-Fi, it should be a “Public network.”
  • Windows 11: “Settings” → “Privacy and Security” → “Windows Security” → “Firewall and Network Protection.” Open the “Windows Security” service settings. Click “On” to enable the firewall, and select the domain type. For example, if you work from home, it should be a “Private network”; if you are in a cafe or other public place by Wi-Fi, then “Public network.”
  1. macOS
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MacOS computers are less likely to be attacked by crooks and villains. However, those who bought an Apple computer also need protection. macOS has its firewall. Here’s how to find it.

  • Open System Preferences, click “Network Device” on the side menu, then click “Firewall.” You may need to scroll down slightly to find this item.
  • What can you do? You can turn the firewall on or off and set the “Block all incoming connections” option – this is relevant for public networks, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. You can also make additional settings, such as adding an application or service, to allow or deny connections to your macOS PC.
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Should you disable the firewall on your PC?

Should you disable the firewall on your PC?

Contrary to popular belief, the firewall keeps down the system so much that it is manageable to work in. However, staying without extra protection is certainly not an option either. So even if you are a neat web user and do not visit the dark corners of the Internet, it is still worth watching the security of your PC and not disabling the firewall.

We know you sometimes download some programs from torrents, especially in challenging times. Sometimes the “good people” who hack these programs will ask you to disable the firewall during installation. Do so at your own risk. Be sure to read comments from sensible people who will write something like, “the PC was swearing at the program installation, but I checked it with ten different antiviruses – all clear,” or something like that. Of course, there will always be intelligent people who will confirm the program’s safety. But still, don’t disable the firewall unnecessarily.

Founder of this enthusiastic tech blog and a lover of nature, space, future technology, and maybe, a nerd.

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