We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Personal Firewall?

By Troy Holmes
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Firewalls are special software programs designed to keep intruders out of a network. These programs run on computer hardware and can be designed to keep out probing computer hackers. A personal firewall is one that is managed and controlled at the computer desktop level. It is typically included in most anti-virus software packages.

It is easy to configure a personal firewall. This software enables the filtering of inbound and outbound messages on a computer network. The firewall can disable specific ports on the computer system, which are often used by computer hackers as a method of infiltrating a network.

The Windows® operating system is generally sold with personal firewall software included. If other firewall software is desired, the Windows® software should be disabled. It is not recommended to run two firewall software programs simultaneously because the protection may become unreliable.

There are many types of personal firewall software available. These include commercial products and free-for-download, open source products. When selecting firewall software, it is important to choose a product from a reliable security vendor. This will help to ensure the computer network does not become compromised.

Personal firewall software should be easy to configure, install, and manage. Once the software is configured, it should remain in a monitoring mode at all times. The software should be set to default startup status to ensure the security is enabled each time the computer system is turned on. This will enable 24-hour protection on the computer network of the home or business.

Most firewall software packages will track any inbound or outbound data transfers. This data will be stored in log files and can be reviewed by system administrators on a periodic basis. Enabled logging ensures that all data transfers are monitored, which should limit users from downloading suspicious files.

Popular instant messaging software uses specific ports on the computer network. This enables instant message traffic to flow correctly. Because the firewall software monitors all port activity, it may be necessary to enable specific ports when configuring the software for instant messaging traffic.

One of the key benefits of having a personal firewall is the protection of private data. A computer hacker can easily penetrate an open network and read files and folders contained on the system. The firewall blocks system requests from unknown IP addresses, which is similar to a phone blocker that blocks phone calls.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.