What is a Firewall Monitor?

C.B. Fox

A firewall monitor is a program used to gather information about the firewall on a computer or network. A relatively simple program, the firewall monitor allows the owner of a computer to track the location of computers attempting to access his or her computer. Additionally, these programs track information about malware and update the firewall automatically.

A firewall monitor keeps track of attacks by malicious programs.
A firewall monitor keeps track of attacks by malicious programs.

Computers frequently access one another over the Internet. A firewall monitor tracks the computers that communicate with the owner’s computer. Internet protocol (IP) addresses are stored and the country of origin for these IP addresses can be determined. Some firewall monitors display this information as it is collected, while others may generate a report at the end of a designated period of time.

A number of companies produce firewall monitor programs.
A number of companies produce firewall monitor programs.

Another feature of a firewall monitor is that it keeps track of attacks by malicious programs. When possible, the IP address from which the attack was generated is given along with information about the type of attack and the risk it poses to the computer or network. Knowing the origin of the attack can be useful because attacks may originate from a website that could be avoided in the future.

Searching for updates and installing them automatically is another common feature of a firewall monitor. New types of threats, such as viruses or malware, are programmed each day, so keeping a firewall up-to-date is essential. One of the main reasons that computers become infected with malware is that their firewalls or anti-virus programs are out of date. A firewall monitor decreases the risk of this by performing updates on its own.

A number of different companies offer firewall monitor programs. Some charge for these programs while others offer them as freeware or shareware. The computer’s operating system may restrict the types of programs that can be installed.

The firewall is designed to prevent harmful programs from accessing and damaging the computer. There are a few different types of firewalls available. The most basic version determines whether to allow information to be transmitted based on a couple of simple criteria. The IP address of the computer sending or requesting information is checked to determine if the information is coming from a potentially hazardous location. The firewall also examines where that computer is trying to deposit information within the owner’s computer or network. More advanced firewalls may use more complicated parameters when determining whether information packets are safe or not.

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