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A firewall is a network security system that controls the network traffic using a set of rules. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a mix of the two. For example, a firewall might disallow traffic originating from a range of IP addresses or only allow traffic on specific ports. Firewalls are often used between internal networks, where data is trusted, and on external networks such as the Internet.

Many firewalls incorporate Network Address Translation (NAT). Network address translation masks the IP addresses of the devices on the internal network, so that external devices see only the single public IP address of the device hosting the firewall.

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