Packet-Filtering Basics

Packet filtering is comparing packets to a list of rules and accepting, rejecting, or altering them as those rules dictate. As a network administrator, you get to decide which packets are naughty and which are nice. When you filter packets for a single host, you can legitimately call that host hardened. (The word hardened means almost exactly what firewall means: nothing.) When you send all packets on your network through a single host that filters packets, you have a basic firewall.

A basic packet filter might allow you to filter based on only the TCP or UDP protocol number. Some don’t even allow you to filter by ICMP type or cannot cope with protocols other than those enumerated in the GUI. PF, however, can cope with ...

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