Get the best firewall, then scan your PC — free

Ian richards By Ian “Gizmo” Richards

Firewalls play a vital role in defending your computer from attack and form an essential part of your computer’s security setup.

But is your firewall actually doing its job? Are you sure it’s effective?

Monitor the information leaving your machine

These are not idle questions. More than half of the firewall setups I’ve checked over the last few months have been inadequate for one reason or another.

In this article, I’ll look at the most common firewall problems and give some suggestions for overcoming them. But first, let’s look at what your firewall should be doing.

Firewalls have two main functions: inbound and outbound protection.

Inbound protection means safeguarding your PC from hackers who are trying to break into it via open ports. Ports are the doorways through which information enters or leaves your system. There can be up to 65,536 of these ports on your machine, every one of which is a potential gateway that hackers can use to enter it.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-07-31: