A firewall is a system that filters information between two networks. In a business, a firewall typically sits between the internal network and the internet and acts both to protect business information from being viewed from the internet and also to restrict certain internet sites from being viewed on the internal network.
A personal firewall does a similar job running on your computer: it prevents access from the network to your files and can also prevent programs running on your computer from accessing the network. In either case, it is important to realise that a firewall is only effective if it is configured properly and can be useless, at worse a liability, if it is not.
Emmanuel does not run a firewall between the college network and the University so you may wish to consider installing a personal firewall on your machine. There are many (over 30) products available but the following are popular choices:
- Windows Firewall (comes with Windows XP SP2)
- Sunbelt/Kerio Personal Firewall (freeware & retail versions)
- Comodo Personal Firewall (freeware)
- ZoneAlarm Pro (freeware & retail versions)
There is an extensive guide to personal firewalls, including reviews, configuration tips and general advice, at The Firewall Guide.
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