What Is the Function of Computer Firewall?

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The function of a computer firewall is to analyze any incoming files from the Internet or other computers before accepting the files to download. Learn the difference between an anti-virus program and a firewall with information from a freelance computer specialist in this free video on the Internet.

Part of the Video Series: Internet & Computer Viruses
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Noah, and I'm going to explain what the function of a firewall is. Basically, a firewall is different from anti-virus program in that anti-virus program tries to remove viruses once they have made their way to your computer. A firewall, in contradiction to that, tries to block viruses or other malicious files before they reach your computer in the first place. Basically, your firewall will monitor any information or files that are transmitted to your computer from the Internet or from other networks or computers and analyze them before your computer accepts those incoming files. You can also have a two-way firewall, meaning it will also check files which you are sending to make sure that you don't send any confidential information by accident, for example. Some anti-virus programs also include a firewall. If, for example, you have Norton Internet Security, then you also have a two-way firewall, which automatically makes blocking decisions for you, which is included in the program. This is also the case with McAfee's VirusScan Plus, for example, where there's also a firewall already included. If you don't have a program like this with a firewall and would like to get one, however, you can get an absolutely free firewall program from ZoneAlarm at www.zonealarm.com.

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