Updated: 05/09/2017 by Computer Hope

A filter may refer to any of the following:

1. The most common filter is a software filter or a filter in a program that reads data in and manipulates the data to fit another output pattern or removes data that may not be needed. For example, spam filters help filter unwanted e-mail from reaching your Inbox.

Picture of 3Com SuperStack 3 Firewall2. Hardware devices can also be filters. For example, a firewall can filter network traffic to help protect a network.

3. Alternatively referred to as censorware, a swear filter, or a content filter, a filter can be used to describe software or hardware which selectively blocks certain data. For example, a parental control Internet filter can be used to help block obscene websites from children on the Internet.

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