A firewall is a software product that acts as a virtual protection for networked devices and applications. It acts as a means of filtering the traffic that is being received into a network and tends to have a list of access rules which prevent information from getting into the network unless it has passed the standards that are set for incoming traffic into the network. Any information that is coming from suspicious sources will not get allowed to get past a network and the system will be notified when the traffic heading its way has been flagged as unsafe or potentially harmful. Any operating system that works on a network will tend to have a form of protection that is in the form of a firewall and the firewall keeps the operating system safe by not allowing and even blocking requests from external systems that are not related to the said operating system.
Hacking attempts on a system will involve blind pings on the system in order to determine what kind of system it is for the hackers to build up a profile about the computer and what vulnerabilities might be inherent in the system. This is information that is known if the firewall allows for the incoming pings to pass through as the information can be traced and when a device has exposed itself, the hackers will research all they can about the network and then use this information to develop weaknesses and even malware for the system. With a firewall to protect the identity and information specific to the system, any hacking attempt will only be received by the firewall and no response will be given. A smart firewall will accomplish this by keeping and maintaining an access rules list which separates legal incoming traffic from illegal traffic. Having put this in place, the firewall will have been able to keep off all unwarranted traffic and the access rules will only allow invited guests to the party.
Firewalls are designed to be adaptive to incoming traffic and even when there is a huge load of incoming traffic on a system, the firewall will always be able to differentiate between the traffic that is legal to the system and that which is not legal for the system. As such, the traffic will be separated and differentiated based on where it is coming from and which programs it intends to interact with inside the operating system. System level applications, however, do not have many restrictions as they only have to interface with specified servers on the web and the firewall will only block out unwanted traffic if it feels that the address of the sender is suspicious.
With a firewall to keep your information systems and networked devices safe from outside traffic, then you are assured of having a computer and network setup that is not easy to attack over the internet and hackers will be put off whenever they try to ping the network with the firewall deterring their entry to the system.