What is a firewall?

A firewall is a device which monitors and filters all the incoming and outgoing network traffic and prevents unauthorized access to/within the network. The firewall is the most important line of defense in maintaining the security of the network and the application. Every firewall has a set of rules predefined to allow type of data within the network; accordingly, it allows or denies the incoming traffic within the network.

Types of firewall

A firewall can either be hardware or software.

A hardware firewall can function at the network, transport and application layer of OSI model depending on the way traffic is being filtered. If a firewall filters traffic based on IP address, it operates at the network layer. If a firewall filters traffic based on port number, it operates at the transport layer, and if a firewall inspects protocol states or data, then it operates at the application layer.

Software firewalls usually are the ones built into the operating system by default. They come installed as a package when any operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) is installed on the machine but they aren’t as effective and do not provide the all-around protection of the hardware firewall. It is always recommended to use both types of firewalls in a corporate environment, and software firewalls on personal systems/laptops.

Configuring firewalls on Windows 10

Since Windows is widely used at personal level, this article has been written specifically for configuring firewalls on Windows.

These are the steps for opening any specific port on the Windows 10 firewall:

1) Search “firewall” and click on Windows Defender Firewall, as shown below:

 

2) Click on Inbound Rules, as shown.

3) Click on New Rule, select port and click Next as shown:

4) Enter a specific port number. In this case, it’s 443. Click Next.

5) Allow or block the connection as needed. 

6) Name the rule and description as needed.

7) The same steps need to be followed for allowing outbound connection. In step 1, instead of selecting Inbound Rules, select Outbound Rules and follow the same steps as above.

That’s easy it is to configure to allow or deny any connection for a particular port on Windows 10.

Conclusion

An inbuilt firewall does not provide the full-fledged functionalities as a hardware firewall. However, if configured properly along with a few OS tweaks, it can keep illegitimate traffic at bay, thus providing good all-around protection.

 

Sources

What Is a Firewall?, Cisco

Turn Microsoft Defender Firewall on or off, Microsoft Support

Firewall, TechTarget

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Nitesh
Malviya

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Nitesh
Malviya

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