Книга: Iptables Tutorial 1.2.2
The filter table is mainly used for filtering packets. We can match packets and filter them in whatever way we want. This is the place that we actually take action against packets and look at what they contain and DROP or /ACCEPT them, depending on their content. Of course we may also do prior filtering; however, this particular table is the place for which filtering was designed. Almost all targets are usable in this table. We will be more prolific about the filter table here; however you now know that this table is the right place to do your main filtering.