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Firewalls protect networks and computers by blocking or allowing specific data packets based on predetermined security rules. These rules can be as broad or as narrow as you like.

The best firewalls provide a high level of protection against unauthorized access, malicious files and malware. They can be hardware, software or a combination of both.

The firewall’s most obvious role is to block and allow traffic on a network. These systems do this by looking at the content of incoming and outgoing data packets. A firewall may be used to segment networks, ensuring that only trusted users are able to enter certain rooms, and only guests are allowed to enter the castle.

While the most effective firewalls are still being developed, there are some common types of firewalls. First, there is the physical firewall. This type of firewall is used to monitor data packets and block any that may be dangerous to the system.

Next, there is the proxy firewall. A proxy firewall acts as an extra host between internal systems and external networks. By filtering out packets based on application-specific data, it enables better security against insider threats.

Another good reason to have a firewall is to prevent inadvertently exposing a computer or network to hackers. A firewall can be software or hardware, and can be installed on a local or remote computer.

Another type of firewall is a circuit-level gateway. These are similar to packet filtering firewalls, but work at the higher level of the OSI model.