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Firewalls protect your network from hackers and malicious software by controlling what data gets into and out of it. The firewall does this by analyzing the traffic that gets sent in and out of your network, using pre-established rules to control what’s allowed.

The firewall is one of the most important elements in a security system. It monitors network traffic and uses rules to block data packets that don’t meet pre-established criteria, such as IP addresses or ports.

A firewall can be installed on a computer, server, or switch to block traffic and regulate access based on the rules it sets. It can also be installed as a software program that controls all traffic coming into and out of the device, as well as controlling which devices are allowed to connect to each other.

Different types of firewalls exist to suit varying needs and budgets. The most common form of protection is a packet filtering firewall, which blocks incoming data from untrusted sources.

Another type is a stateful inspection firewall that monitors all traffic as it enters and leaves your network. This type of firewall is a step above a packet filtering firewall in its ability to distinguish good traffic from bad.

Lastly, an application gateway is a newer type of firewall that monitors all web-based traffic. It acts as a go-between for your browser and web servers, creating a mirror of your device in front of the web server that detects if there’s a malicious actor trying to get in.