Windows come with an inbuilt software firewall and although this has been the case since the days of Windows XP, today’s Windows 10 built-in firewall is more advanced and hence effective. This advancement has left many third-party firewalls either matching the inbuilt firewall or below the latter’s effectiveness. Additionally, if you are you are using a router to connect to the internet via a router, you have added protection since the router also functions as a hardware router.
These facts raise the question whether you need a firewall. As the firewalls are advancing so are the network-based threats, which include hackers, malware, and botnets all of which are persistent in looking for vulnerabilities when you are connected to the internet. When all these factors are considered, the answer is yes; you do need a firewall for your computer.
What is the Effectiveness of Firewalls?
Port Protection- When you are connected to the internet via PC ports, you gain access to a limitless collection of information ranging from educative to entertainment sites. This connection also opens your computer to be accessed by others who are on the network. You have the option of either having open ports, closed or stealthed. When they are stealthed, your computer becomes invisible to any attacker even when you are online. You can only achieve stealthing by using windows firewall.
A router may limit the possibilities of damage, but you are not completely secure. In this case, a firewall permits all valid traffic such as downloaded software, visited websites, and watched videos or the music you have listened to. On the other hand, it blocks all malicious traffic that is trying to connect with you such as a neighbor’s computer that is infected with botnets that are trying to spread.
Program Control- an earlier version of third-party firewall had a tendency of bombarding users with a series of questions whenever an installed program tried to access a certain IP. When faced with a decision to make on whether to allow or not, you would either choose always allow or block and in the process you would end up blocking an important feature. Things are different these days since advanced third party firewalls can internally allow good programs and block the malicious ones.
Protection against network-based attacks, cyber threat assessment, ransomware protection – sometimes attacks may be directed on exploiting weaknesses in your operating system or the installed programs. As an added advantage, firewalls have a Host Intrusion Prevention System that prevents against such attacks. Firewalls can also have security suite components that help eliminate malicious payloads that are dropped by exploit attacks even before they cause any harm. As a company getting a cyber threat assessment will be key, you need to know where you’re penetrable and where your weaknesses are so you can prevent any incoming attacks before they happen.
Are There Times When I Might Not Require A Firewall?
When you have enabled your inbuilt Windows firewall and you have a router, you can depend on the two without incurring much cost. However, if you want extra protection and added features, then you should consider buying a third party internet protection. Whichever choice you make, you must make sure you have at least one type of firewall working, either the hardware or software protection.