What Does a Firewall Do & How It Keep the Computer Safe?

What does a firewall do in the operating system?

A computer packs in a lot of features, the user will have access to some of these features as entertainment, and some will be there to keep your computer safe. So, what does a firewall do?

A firewall is a thing that keeps your computer safe by blocking harmful sites to access your files in the system. What we have now on our computer is a different level of firewall system than what it used to be back when the internet was at its first stage.

The firewall has become a lot stronger and has a better track record of blocking harmful viruses from affecting your computer.

If you dig a little deeper into the firewall, you will soon find a lot of things that make this one of the best services to have on a computer.

While at the front, it gives a small look into what it can do for a computer, once go a little deeper, you will see the internal workings of the firewall.

What’s a firewall?

A firewall sits between your computer and another computer or another network. It controls everything that happens between two computers or networks. It determines the legitimacy of the stuff that gets into your network. If that stuff doesn’t match all the rules of firewall or check enough boxes, then the stuff will get blocked from entering your network. This his how your computer stays safe every time you connect to the internet or another computer via LAN.

This also helps to boost your internet speed because the user will never know the legitimacy of a website by just looking at it. It is the job of the firewall to check it. If you turn off the firewall, then those websites would have various applications, these applications will get downloaded without your knowledge. This is where a firewall comes handy by stopping these sites from accessing your internet.

Also, click here to get to know the how to get past the firewall, as well as how to Access Control Security & Management.

What does a firewall do

What does a firewall do in the system that you need to have it turned on the entire time? Nowadays, almost all people are connected to the internet for various use. People now use routers at their workplace or home to access internet services. These routers would have building Wi-Fi services, so not only you but all your friends & family members can enjoy the internet too. The firewall in the computer system lets you decide how you want to use your internet service. This is very crucial because, back in the day, a computer would get directly connect to the internet with a public addressable IP. This may not sound harmful, but it is in a big way that can open the doors to thousands of different possibilities.

What makes it more dangerous a lot of things inside the system would be connected to the internet services. Things like remote desktop, Print sharing, and other features. Basically, all the things that you want to keep to yourself. There was a version of Windows that didn’t have a firewall built inside of them. Using the internet on those machines was a huge gamble because the chances of having all the files infected were larger. There were even cases where it would take only a few minutes to have your computer infected after just a few minutes of internet connection.

The first-time firewall was launched in the windows operating system. The feature was very ahead of its time. It managed to make the network more prohibitive than before, by making this, it made it rather hard for the computer to accept all types of the file without going through the firewall for a check-up. The unique technology of firewalls didn’t accept all the incoming connections unless these connections were from legitimate sources. This not only saves the computer from getting harmful viruses from online but also protects the computer from other computers sharing the same network services. That is why, whenever you connect to the internet, you get asked what kind of network you would prefer. You can connect to either Home network, Work network, and Public network.

By the way, here is everything about Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter for your reference.

How does a firewall work?

Here you are going to get a much stronger answer to the question what does a firewall do in the system? Nothing in this world moves without a set of rules. Rules bind anything for going too far. The firewall system acts just the same; the rules are what makes the firewall efficient and strong. Inside the firewall, you will find thousands of default rules carrying something important in them. The outcome of the rules will make your whole experience more with the internet more smoother and faster.

If you ever feel like making a new rule inside of the firewall system, you will be allowed to do that. Firewalls can filter the group based on the category of service they provide to their users. It could be from social media to gambling, so you can disable the services that can have a negative effect on your life or the family members around you. Once you make a new rule on the firewall, all you have to do is just wait and watch.

Upon accessing any blocked website, they will receive the same message about their content, not reaching the server. This is one of the cases where a software firewall is better than a hardware firewall. In a hardware firewall, if you block a website, it will block that specific website without analyzing it. But this is not how it happens in the software firewall; the firewall service will perform an in-depth evaluation, then reaching the conclusion of blocking the website from entering the network.

By providing much more to the table makes the software firewall a little bit slower to push restrictions than a hardware firewall. We are going to discuss the software and hardware firewall later in the article.

Firewall functions

This is where we go deeper into the mechanics of the firewall and understand the whole concept behind it. What does a firewall do to keep the software and hardware line up in check? First, we have to know all of the functions the firewall provides to our system and the user. Then you will have good knowledge of what does a firewall does?

Device Level Access Control

  • Stops the smart equipment to spy on you.
  • Prevents the devices to receive any updates
  • Stops the accessories from connecting to the internet.

User Level Access Control

  • Limited time on the internet. Passing the time would stop the user from connecting to the intended.
  • Blocks internet access from all computers or certain computers.
  • Block certain websites from access by the user.
  • Limitation on the time and data, reaching a certain threshold would mean the complete shutdown of the internet for the user.

Internal Network Control

  • If you don’t want any stranger from connecting to your internet service. Internal network control enables the user to do exactly that.
  • If you have printers on sharing, this would band unauthorized users from accessing your printer service.
  • If you are into data saving, this service also allows the user to control the flow of data.

Content Filtering

  • Restriction on certain sites based on what they offer. Not all the websites on the internet would be about watching videos and buying books.
  • Time limitation on social media uses. Very helpful for the people who are addicted to those sorts of things in their life.
  • You can also block streaming services. This could mean all the video websites.

Logging and Alerting

  • Keep records of all the activity of blocked activity.
  • notify the user if any changes are being made to the rules in the firewall system.

Time of Day Restrictions

  • Restriction for certain hours of times in a day.
  • Limit users or devices from connecting to the internet.

Not all these rules share s the same basic environment. Most of them belong to the software firewall, and the rest belong to the hardware firewall. You are not going to get everything on one type of firewall system. That is why there are two levels to this system.

Software Firewall

What does a firewall do in the software department to keep it safe? May operating system nowadays packs in their own version of the firewall in their system. If you ever used Windows or Macintosh, you probably have seen the firewall system within them. These firewalls would fall into the category of software firewalls. A software firewall is not weak as it provides a good barrier around your network and has a bunch of other features that some will find useful in their daily lives. But most of the important features that people expect from a computer are not inside of software firewall. While it is good to have a firewall in the system, and it does the job that a firewall is supposed to do.

But if you want more features from a firewall, then you must learn more towards the other side of this coin.

Hardware Firewall

Normally, a hardware firewall can be found inside your router. If you can not find inside of your router, then you will find it inside of a network device. Hardware firewall does a lot of things to keep your network safe and fast. Here are some of the services that you will get with a hardware firewall.

1. Traffic Control

Controlling the legitimacy of the traffic that gets sent into your network. Which is the most important job of firewall service?

2. Default Rules

You don’t have to set up rules to get the firewall started. As almost all the important rules will be off the second, you turn on the router.

3. Port Access

If you are familiar with SSH ports or RDP. Hardware firewalls will control the accessing of these services from getting into your network.

4. Managed Equals Control

If you don’t like the way how the firewall handles things in your network, you will always have the option to change it in the air.

5. Additional Server Resources

The freedom it gives the user. If you don’t like the idea of running a software firewall alongside a hardware firewall. You will have the option of completely shutting down the software side of the network to go for the hardware firewall service.

These are the reason why people prefer to have a hardware firewall over software ones inside their system. There is another important reason why people tend to go with the hardware firewall because it enables VPN services. For the people who want to keep everything a secret from anyone from being seen, they can use the VPN services to hide their history of browsing, downloading a lot from ever seeing the public eye.


All of these steps provide a solid answer to the question What does a firewall do? As the internet getting bigger and larger every single day with more users using the internet for their daily lives. It has become a great marketplace for everything people need.

By catching more eyes also made the internet a dangerous place to be. That’s why equipping your computer with the best firewall services is the only way to counter them. Things can happen any minute; on the internet, the probability of these things happening runs in seconds.

If your computer is not prepared to deflect these infected viruses, then you will have a huge mess in your hand. That’s why firewalls are so important, especially now more than ever.



Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.