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Just as you lock your car and home, you need to protect your computers and networks.
Although home users have traditionally used only host-based firewalls, recent trends in security exploits highlight the importance of using both types of firewalls together.
Beyond prevention, law enforcement generally only responds to the most serious network intrusions.
The average Internet-connected home or business is attacked dozens of times per day, and no police force is equipped to handle that volume of complaints.
The famous Jargon Dictionary has a great definition for “a dedicated gateway machine with special security precautions on it, used to service outside network connections and dial-in lines.” Firewalls serve two useful purposes: they filter what traffic comes into your network from the outside world, and they control what computers on your network may send there. No firewall—whether a small, free host-based firewall or a multiple-thousand-dollar enterprise firewall array—will make your computers impervious to attack.
Firewalls, like locks and walls and moats and dragons, create barriers to attack—they get in the way of someone trying to take control.
Who are these “hackers” who are trying to break into your computer?