Router, VPN & Firewall Configuration
You’ve probably heard that firewalls are an important security protection for computers, but most people don’t really understand why. A firewall sits between a computer and another network (like the Internet), controlling the incoming and outgoing network traffic. Without a firewall, anyone would be able to access anything that is open your network, which is very bad! If you have private data that needs to stay private, then obviously, you do not want this to happen. With a firewall, the rules you set determine which network traffic is allowed through and which isn’t.
A firewall’s main purpose for home and business users is blocking unwanted incoming network traffic, but firewalls can do much more than that.
Firewalls can be either a piece of software running on your computers, a piece of hardware used in an enterprise network, or even a router. In an Enterprise environment, they could be used to analyze outgoing traffic to ensure no malware or viruses are communicating through the network, monitor employee’s network use, and filter traffic — a firewall could be configured to only allow web browsing traffic through the firewall, blocking access to other types of applications (Like games, or messenger services). Now all firewalls are made differently, so it’s very important that you are actively aware of what firewall you are using and choose! If you are unsure of which you should use, then you should give us a call to try to help you further.
Another useful tool that some Firewalls and routers have is called a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. A VPN allows you to make a secure and safe connection to another network. VPNs can be utilized to access restricted websites within your country, or even protecting your internet activity from your internet service provider or government.
VPNs are easy to use tools and can be used to do an array of tasks:
- Access your Business Network While Away: VPNs are frequently used by businesses to access their company’s network, including all its local network resources, while on the road or even while at home. This makes your network more secure since your resources don’t have to be exposed directly to the Internet.
- Access Your Home Network While Away: You can also set up your own VPN to access your own network while traveling. This will allow you to your computers and devices, use local file shares or drivers, and even use the applications at your home/business as if you were in the same building.
- Hide Your Internet Activity from Your ISP: If you’re using public Wi-Fi, your browsing activity on non-HTTPS websites is visible to everyone using that same internet connection, if they know what they’re looking for. If you want to secure your browsing activity for a bit more privacy, you can connect to a VPN.
- Access Region-Blocked Websites: Whether you’re trying to access your Netflix account while out of the country or you wish you could use even use American media sites like Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu, then now you’ll be able to!
- Bypass Internet Censorship: Many citizens of China, for example, use VPNs to get around the Great Firewall of China and gain access to the entire Internet.
If this sounds like something your company would benefit from, then do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation!