There is no doubt that Firewall protection is extremely vital and absolutely necessary to anybody with a computer that surfs the World Wide Web. Without this kind of protection you are open and vulnerable. It is like leaving your door wide open in a rough neighborhood, it is inevitable that somebody will sooner or later walk through into your house and steal something or cause damage.
But what exactly is Firewall? As the name suggests it is a protective wall that prevents unauthorized entry or access. It can either be a piece of hardware or software and usually it is a little more sophisticated than just blocking harmful stuff. What it does is analyze everything coming in from the Internet and decide what to block and what to let in.
Firewall protection can be a piece of hardware or software although both work more or less in the same way. Hardware is usually already physically present in a computer. This applies to large networks with many computers. Firewall hardware is capable of keeping track of numerous machines and even the communication between them. On the other hand Firewall software needs to installed before it can work to protect your computer. This usually applies to single computers in the home and even when it is installed within large systems and networks the software version will tend to protect only the computer that it is resident in.
Your Firewall software will work around the clock without a break analyzing and allowing in good data into your computer. This could be exchange of information with a website as you access the web. The same Firewall will quickly block bad data or data that looks suspicious. In this case it could be a harmful worm, spyware or even a virus.
In large networks Firewalls are even more vital and are an integral part of any network security ideal for guarding and protecting systems that would otherwise be open to all kinds of attacks and unauthorized access by hackers.