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A personal firewall is a software resource that controls network traffic to and from a single computer. This is a common part of consumer computing security software, and something that may be sold along with individual anti-virus applications and other security programs for a single personal computer.
In terms of its scope, the personal firewall is different from a more traditional firewall application that protects areas of a network. Experts point out that mobile computers such as laptop computers can benefit from having an individual personal firewall as opposed to a network-level resource.
In looking at personal firewalls, computer owners often assess cost and the availability of various features. Some of these features include e-mail notifications or protections for an inbox, as well as IP address shielding or other controls that make a single computer less of a target for hackers. Users may also look at a personal firewall’s graphical user interface to evaluate it in terms of how user-friendly the application is. Some of the top personal firewall applications are available free, or on a trial basis.