Protect your Mac with OS X’s built-in firewall

“What’s a firewall? In the simplest terms it’s hardware on your network or a piece of software on your computer that limits the way other computers can send data to or receive data from your Mac,” Jeffery Battersby explains for Macworld.

“While you can certainly spend money on firewall applications for your Mac,” Battersby writes, “your Mac, no surprise, already includes an excellent, built-in, free Application Level Firewall that, with minimal configuration, will do everything you need. So, why spend anything at all, when you can have great for free?”

“The beauty of Apple’s built-in Application Level Firewall is that you don’t need to do anything other than turn it on,” Battersby writes, “Your Mac will take care of determining whether or not an application should be allowed to send and receive network traffic.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is your Mac’s firewall on or off?


  1. I like Little Snitch. It is an on going active report of what is going on, on your system. As new attempts to communicate with your computer happen, it asks your permission. Depending on your response, it creates a Firewall entry.

    It can be annoying during initial set up as it is constantly alerting you to who is talking to whom. It is very eye opening when you realize just how much communication is going on.

    You will discover new processes that you never knew were running in the background on your Mac quite often.

    Your first line of defense is the firewall between your router and the Internet.

  2. What are the two stupidest default settings on any new Mac or installation of OS X?

    1) The built-in firewall is OFF. Why????
    2) The Safari General preferences have “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” ON. Why???? That feature should not even exist.

    And yes, I’ve bitched at Apple about it with every beta of OS X I’ve ever tested and they’ve never responded.

    It’s one of those situations where I’d love to go over to Apple and get all totalitarian on them, making them make better choices and sticking with them. But then my mania drugs kick in and I’m just fine ~ ~ ~ ~

  3. Cuz Apple philosophy on security is apathetic at best. That will change though. The fog of war “may” be starting. It is really up to the organized crime gangs if they want to start the “peppering” of OS X. OS X has the holes and is full of vuls, it just needs a group to put effort into writing code and keeping the pressure up to start the fog of war.

    And yes the firewall disabled default is a joke. At least block unsigned as default. It is because they would get too many AppleCare calls about this or that not working. Maybe have training video hard loaded that is obviously placed to show the unskilled users how to hit the “+” in the firewall to add the service. Seems Windows firewall works ok being enabled for the 85% of the world.

  4. Years ago Macs defaulted to having the Firewall on. Somewhere the decision was made to turn it off by default.

    I installed a new SSD in my Mac mini server last night and this is the order of my operation:

    1- Install OS
    2- Turned off screen sharing, remote login and turned on the OS X Firewall.
    3- Install Intego Firewall and AV software
    4- Ran pre downloaded combined update.
    5- Ran a full system AV scan.
    6- Installed Click to Plugin, Disconnect Extension and Desktop.
    7- Backed up install.
    8- rebooted than installed other software.

    Security comes FIRST and Firewalls are your friends.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.