What Is Software Firewall in Computer?

Patrick Burnett

A software firewall is a security program that helps protect your computer from unauthorized access or attacks over the internet. It acts as a barrier between your computer and the internet, monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic.

How Does A Software Firewall Work?

When you connect to the internet, your computer is assigned an IP address, which acts as its unique identifier. The software firewall uses this IP address to filter incoming network traffic. It examines each packet of data that enters or leaves your computer and compares it to a set of predefined rules.

If the data packet matches one of the rules, it is allowed to pass through the firewall. Otherwise, it is blocked, preventing any unauthorized access or attack on your computer.

Types of Software Firewalls

There are two types of software firewalls: host-based and network-based firewalls.

Host-Based Firewalls

Host-based firewalls are installed on individual computers and protect them from attacks by monitoring all incoming and outgoing traffic. They are particularly useful for laptops and home computers that are connected to public Wi-Fi networks.

Some popular host-based firewalls include Windows Firewall (built into Windows operating systems), Norton Internet Security, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus, and ZoneAlarm.

Network-Based Firewalls

Network-based firewalls are installed on routers or other network devices. They monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic on a network, providing an additional layer of protection for multiple computers.

Some popular network-based firewalls include Cisco ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance), Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways, Fortinet FortiGate Unified Threat Management (UTM), and Check Point Software Technologies Firewall-1.

Benefits of Using A Software Firewall

Using a software firewall provides several benefits for protecting your computer from online threats:

  • Protects Against Unauthorized Access: A software firewall blocks any unauthorized access attempts to your computer or network by filtering incoming network traffic.
  • Prevents Malware Infections: A software firewall can prevent malware infections by blocking malicious traffic and preventing it from entering your computer.
  • Increases Privacy: A software firewall can block outgoing traffic from your computer, preventing unauthorized applications from sending data to the internet without your knowledge.
  • Customizable: Most software firewalls allow you to customize the rules and settings to fit your specific needs and preferences.


In summary, a software firewall is an essential security program that helps protect your computer from online threats. It acts as a barrier between your computer and the internet, monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and blocking any unauthorized access attempts. With so many options available, it’s important to choose a software firewall that fits your specific needs and provides maximum protection for your computer or network.