firewall : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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firewall
A computer that examines traffic coming and going to the Internet, and dynamically filters out messages from certain IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. It can prevent people inside from hooking up to various outside computers and vice versa. The firewall rules allow you to specify which applications and services can send or receive packets via TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) protocols. Usually all UDP protocols such as NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) are blocked, since you tend to burst security wide open if you open it up a little for UDP. Often a firewall is implemented with Linux. Using two separate operating systems tends to make life more difficult for the vandals. The most secure sort of firewall is a dedicted router box that is incapable of running any programs other than the firewall firmware. These are now under $150.00 USD . They are simple to install, but lack the flexibility of a Linux-based firewall. Hardware firewalls are good at keeping the outside world out. Software firewalls are good at preventing trojans running on your machine from accessing the net and divulging data.

There are four schemes for tunneling through firewalls NAT (Network Address Translation), SPI (Service Provider Interface), SOCKS (Sockets) and explicit proxy servers.

I am not too clear on this, but there appear to be several configuring protocols UPnP-NAT(PC (Personal Computer)), NAT-PMP(Mac) and SOHO. And many routers are not configurable.

If you have a server on your LAN (Local Area Network) that provides some protocol, you must configure your firewall to let traffic on the socket ports it use in and out. Further, you must arrange that incoming requests to open a socket are redirected to the appropriate computer on the LAN.

Typically you configure your firewall router using a browser to talk to the fixed IP of the router e.g. http://192.168.0.1/:80, and talk to GUI (Graphic User Interface) in the router’s firmware. You most commonly would specially configure your firewall if you were:


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