What is a firewall?

Can some explain in simple terms excactly what a firewall is. I have Norton Systemworks 2003 but it doesn't seem to have a firewall, has it?, do I need one?

Thanks

  johnnyrocker 19:40 24 Mar 04

it is advisable as norton is an antivirus whereas firewalls are intrusion/hacker/spyware protection.

johnny.

  powerless 19:40 24 Mar 04

click here

"do I need one?"

Well I don't use one; others do.

  bremner 19:40 24 Mar 04

Take a look at this click here

  ricpat 21:47 24 Mar 04

if you do not have a firewall your computer is open to the internet hackers trogans spy ware if you download p2p ect best to have one norton internet covers most needs

  GaT7 22:01 24 Mar 04

You may be interested in these recent Firewall Group tests:

Freeware -click here

Paid for (you can try before you buy with some) - click here=

You can get Norton Internet Security for £10+ from - click here= . Go for 2003 or LATER editions only.

  GaT7 22:04 24 Mar 04

Norton Internet security contains a FIREWALL as well as some other features, incl. antivirus.

  spuds 23:27 24 Mar 04

Some info click here

  Forum Editor 23:41 24 Mar 04

a firewall is a virtual barrier - barring anyone or anything from access to your computer, and barring any access from your computer to the Internet without your prior knowledge and consent.

Problems can come from without or from within as far as computers are concerned - programs that you've installed may want to access the internet without your knowledge. Almost always this will be for benign reasons - to check for updates etc. On rare occasions however a program might not be all that it seems, or you might not even know it's there, and it may try to 'phone home' with some information about you that it's gleaned from your files without your knowledge.

A decent firewall will put a stop to such goings on,and will ask you if you want to allow the activity. It will spot any attempt at access from the internet, and will again ask you if you want to allow the contact. Port probes - those things that go bump in the Internet night - will be detected and blocked.

All this is done with a minimum of fuss and bother (usually), leaving you to get on with what you're doing.

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