They say good fences make good neighbors, and what goes for backyards may be even truer online. For most of us, using a Mac means that we don’t have to worry about intrusive computer viruses. But the internet is a big place, full of all sorts of evils looking for vulnerable computers, and a firewall can help keep your Mac secure. Here’s the lowdown on what a firewall is, how it works, and how to set up the one that’s already on your computer (trust us, it’s way easier than you think). We’ve also looked at some third-party firewall applications that offer features, flexibility, and protection that OS X alone can’t match. With the right software in place, you’ll be browsing, sharing, and surfing more safely in no time.
When a network problem strikes, it isn’t always immediately obvious. It’s rare to get a clear message on the screen, and it’s easy to imagine that Facebook has simply crashed or a website is temporarily offline. A good first check is to open a new window in Safari and try pointing at google.com. The web requires the least complicated protocols of any of the services that run over the internet, and Google has a nice fast webpage that is always up. The front page itself could be loading from Safari’s internal cache, of course, so test your live connection to the internet by typing something random into the search box to force it to query the server.
Hey, there. There's no need to worry. That firewall won't keep you from FaceTiming with the love of your life. Apple has posted information on its support website with detailed instructions on how to get past this little roadblock. After all, nothing should keep lovers apart--isn't it already a battlefield?