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A firewall is a software or hardware device that examines network traffic and detects malicious data packets. It is typically the first line of defense against viruses and malware.

Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. They examine packets at the transport protocol layer and make decisions based on predefined rules. Some firewalls can restrict websites and social media sites.

The main function of a firewall is to guard a company’s internal network against unauthorized access. However, firewalls can also be used to protect against insider risks.

Firewalls can be implemented as hardware, software or in conjunction with antivirus applications. In addition, firewalls can be set to prevent unwanted communication.

Various countries use firewalls to censor the Internet. For example, China uses the Great Firewall of China all the time. Also, any nation can impose nationwide internet censorship.

Firewalls protect the digital components of a network, such as the operating system, by examining incoming and outgoing network traffic. The firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to ensure that only trusted IP addresses are allowed.

Firewalls also analyze every attempt to gain access to an operating system. If a security risk is detected, a firewall may block the data packet. Typically, a firewall will allow only trusted IP addresses to connect to a server or PC.

While the firewall can’t stop a legitimate request, it can stop an ill-intentioned one. To keep the firewall functioning efficiently, it is important to update its rules regularly. These changes should be recorded in firewall logs.