What is a Firewall?

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What is a firewall? You can think of a firewall like the front door to your house. You give a  key to only those you want in the house to protect what is inside. Being on the internet without a firewall is asking for trouble and you WILL get some kind of hack on your computer if you do not protect it. There are many firewalls you can pay for but there are also many good ones that offer excellent protection and are free. You pay for extra features but still get very good protection for free. The best one is ZoneAlarm. There is a link to it below. ZoneAlarm has been around for many years and we use it regularly. It has an easy to use interface and lets you know when something strange is going on with your system.
If you are using MS Windows they also give you a free firewall. If you have no other use it. It also will protect you but it may also block programs you want to use the internet. Sometimes with the MS firewall a program will not function properly and it may take you a while before you figure out it was the firewall preventing your software from running. The firewall blocking is not as obvious as ZoneAlarm for example. ZoneAlarm will show a popup every time it needs to block something and you can tell it to just allow access once or forever. It is very intuitive and our choice.

Here is a list of free firewalls.

ZoneAlarm
Comodo
Ashampoo

Here is Zone Alarms Full featured firewall (pay)

ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 - $29.95 (Save $30)