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Chapter 24. Network Security > Making a Secure Internet Connection

Making a Secure Internet Connection

The safest way to completely secure your system from outside influences is to disconnect it from any and all networks on which you are not the only client. This includes corporate networks as well as the Internet. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult to get your email, surf the Web, and download virus updates. So your next best option is to make your system appear as if it were disconnected from the network by hiding behind a firewall. A firewall acts as a protective boundary against unexpected traffic or unauthorized connections between a trusted network, such as your computer or your LAN, and a distrusted network, such as the Internet.

Large corporate networks often use sophisticated, expensive hardware/software combinations to provide firewall services for the corporate LAN. For a single Windows XP computer or for a home or small office LAN, though, the three best options are these:


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