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Firewall for personal PC's?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frederick, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

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    Guys,

    The wife and I went ahead and got DSL from SBC/Ameritech while they had a deal going ($29.99 for 12 months). So we have two PC's connected to a Linksys 4-port router, and we're loving it. The router has a built-in NAT firewall, but I was wondering if we needed more protection than that. I have a Windows XP Pro machine, and my wife has a Windows 98 machine. Are any of you using a firewall in conjunction with your router? There are people at my job that suggest Tiny Personal Firewall, while others suggest that I just use the firewall that comes with XP. But will either protect both machines? Is the NAT firewall in the router enough?


    Freddy C.
     
  2. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I use Zone Alarm Pro on all my machines and they all go through a Sonicwall hardware firewall. I don't know which software firewall is best now, I kind of think there's not a great deal of differences. What a software firewall on individual machine will do for you (assuming they have outgoing traffic check, which should be real basic now) is catching stuff that may come in through mail attachment or download files. I also recommend a Trojan catcher, such as The Cleaner (www.moosoft.com).
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I hope the router's firewall is sufficient, since that's what I'm using!

    I've got cablemodem and it's piped through a Linksys Router/Swith with built-in firewall. I trust that I don't need a second, computer-based firewall to supplement it.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  5. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

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    Great. We were worried about being attacked from hackers. Not that they'd find anything useful, but better safe than sorry. We're getting virus scanning software from my job, so we're ok on that end. Thanx, guys ...



    Freddy C.
     
  6. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I do not agree that external firewall is sufficient. What external firewall does, and do well, is stop intrusion. It does a good job with people that do port scans, but it does nothing for malicious HTML mail, website links, accidental openning of email containing trojans, or downloading worm file.
    What Zone Alarm (and others similar) does is if for whatever reason, your system is infected, when the worm/trojan access the net, it will display a warning that some program is trying to acces the net or act as a server, is this OK with you. To go one step further, programs such as regrun (www.greatis.com), checksums your registry and all the important systems files and cross check them in interval you define (say every 10 minutes), if any of the files changed, it will warn you right away, it will also check before boot, before shutdown, and set trojan and worm "baits".
    Almost all security software company, such as Symantec (Norton), Mcafee, or Steve Gibon's site (www.grc.com), provide a free check of your system security, you should go do one of those and see how robust is your security and see if you want to do anything about it.
    I ran a test over at Gibon site last year, and on the trojan test, it turned out that only The Cleaner was successful in catching the Trojan while it was still downloading, Norton certainly did not do it, and I check Norton update every single day.
     

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