For up-to-date information on available technology resources during the Coronavirus pandemic, see our Computing Availability During COVID-19 article.

Firewalls: What They Are & Why Use Them

This article will give you an overview of what a firewall is, how it works, and will provide instructions on how to ensure your firewall(s) are enabled.

Faculty & StaffFor Wharton-imaged or Wharton-provided devices, you may not be able to change Firewall settings. For additional questions or requests, please reach our to your IT support representative.

What is a firewall?

  1. A firewall is a network security system that establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another network that may not be secure.
  2. Additionally, a firewall can help prevent hackers or malicious software from gaining access to your computer through a network or the Internet. A firewall can also help stop your computer from sending malicious software to other computers.


Diagram of a Firewall

Enable/Disable Firewall

Warning: Only turn off your Firewall if you are installing a separate antivirus software that includes a firewall and active defender.


Follow Microsoft's directions on how to turn your Firewall on or off.


Follow Apple's directions on how to turn your Firewall on or off

Allow Trusted Applications

You can allow applications you trust. Only choose this option for applications you  know are safe.


Students - Wharton Computing Student Support

Faculty - Academic Distributed Representatives

Staff - Administrative Support