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Understanding Security in NetBarrier

Note:  This article is for NetBarrier 10.7.1 or higher

NetBarrier blends multiple levels of network and computer security into a single application.  These levels of security work in very different ways and this might be a little unclear, especially if you’re not a technical networking expert.   However, it’s actually quite simple if you think about the direction in which the protection is enabled; there is Incoming protection and Outgoing protection.

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As you may readily imagine, Incoming protection is referred to as a network firewall and protects you from threats that originate external to your Mac. NetBarrier provides a network firewall to protect you against this type of threat.  Simply stated, a network firewall blocks network traffic at a very low level before it makes it very far into your computer.  When you select the “Public Hotspot” profile in NetBarrier for instance, all connection requests from the local network will be blocked.  This will simply prevent other computers from being able to communicate with your computer in any meaningful way.   Regardless of what permissions you might have configured for file sharing, network requests from other computers will be blocked before they ever reach the file system that allows access to file shares.

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NetBarrier allows you to create various exceptions to allow a specific device or type of request identified by a “port” where these exceptions will be allowed through the firewall.

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Outgoing protection is provided by NetBarrier’s application firewall that monitors network requests originating from your computer.  Most forms of malware attempt to use the network at some point and that’s really how they do their damage.   That key-logger that eventually identifies your credit card number doesn’t actually do any damage until it shares that information through the network. The application firewall in NetBarrier watches for applications sending or receiving information from the network and allows you to exercise a high level of control over what applications are allowed to do on the network.   You may block applications from communicating entirely.

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You can also block communications with specific locations on the Internet.

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Real-time popups notify you immediately as applications attempt to interact with the network freeing you from the need to go through tedious setup procedures.

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