Getting DSL soon. Which firewall program?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vlad D, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Vladimir Derenoncourt
    I'm getting DSL in a few weeks. I've been told that I will need a firewall program. Can you guys recommend some good ones?
     
  2. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    oooh oooh! me first!

    ZoneAlarm. ^_^
     
  3. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Norton Personal Firewall is good, and easy to configure. Integrates with their other software such as systemworks or antivirus.
    It was considered the easisest to configure in a recent review in one of the PC magazines over here.
    Darren.
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I would put serious consideration into a hardware solution, maybe a combined DSL modem/router. I have a Netgear DG814. As well as providing a router for upto four PCs (obviously each can use the DSL connection as well as talk to each other), I also get NAT protection.

    I do run ZoneAlarm, but since the using the router, I haven't had one alert.
     
  5. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    Zone Alarm Follow the "download and buy link" then scroll to the bottom of the page for the free version. It's a solid, simple firewall, that consistently gets top ratings when compared with anything else out there, including standard retail software. I've been using it for ~ 3 years, and have had no problems with it or infections.
     
  6. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the input guys. A few more questions.

    I'm currently running Norton Antivirus. Any compatibility problems with running Norton and Zone Alarm. Or should I consider Norton Personal Firewall instead?

    Also, is it worth considering Zone Alarm Plus or Pro? Or is the free version just as good?

    Lastly, if I go the hardware route, do I still need firewall software? Rob, you mentioned you are using both, any problems?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Rob, are you using the Netgear DG814 on a BT ADSL line? One of my good friends is wanting to get something like this to replace his USB Fujitsu ADSL modem which he's using at the moment (with Windows ICS as the NAT software).

    He's also been told by someone where he works (supposedly a computer tech) that to get true network security you need a third PC which serves as the gateway/firewall - total BS in my opinion!

    Thanks.

    Darren.
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  9. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Julio De Luis

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  11. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    We used Sygate's firewall because we have a network in the house and the free version of Zonealarm wouldn't allow any advanced features while Sygate's did.We have a Linux box doing the job now .
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I was just about to suggest Sygate too. It is very easy to get started with (basically install and when some software wants network access it gives you a requester asking whether or not to pass that traffic).
    What it does better than Zonealarm is its configurability - you can set up advanced rules (for instance, if you want the computer its installed on to trust all traffic from a certain other IP address etc) and you can set up a list of trusted IP addresses that can have access to some form of server software you might be running, etc.
    The free version of Sygate is quite good; the pro version gives some further bells and whistles.
    Forgot the URL, here is: http://www.sygate.com/products/
     
  13. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    So if people use a dedicated PC as a firewall, eg Steve said he was using a Linux box for this, how does this work, and why is it better than one of the software/router options? Would it be better to have a dedicated PC if you were running a web server over your DSL/Cable connection, and have that PC as the web server?

    Norton's Personal Firewall gives you a lot of advanced configuration options.

    Thanks.

    Darren.
     
  14. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    A dedicated linux firewall gives greater protection and is more secure - if you know what you are doing. It can be a lot tougher to get running right than a software firewall. Still, it does give a physical separation between your computer and the firewall.

    A really tightly configured Linux machine has far fewer flaws that can be abused by a hacker than almost any Windows machine, and if you were to run the firewall off a write-protected media (I seem to recall that a version of firewall software running off a plain floppy disk exists) it would be hack-proof.

    A router works quite well also as a firewall, again the same separation from the working computer on the inside.

    I used to be a fan of the core program in Norton Personal Firewall (it started out as a program called @Guard or Atguard) but I got annoyed with it when Norton bought it and tried to cobble on their own layers of stuff on it. It went from a sleek and highly configurable firewall to a multimegabyte monstrosity with built-in security holes, so I dumped it (obviously they have worked on it a lot since then and there is nothing wrong with the security of the product anymore, I just don't personally care for it).

    It really isn't worth paying for compared to the free solutions out there (Sygate and Zonealarm to mention just a couple of them again).
     
  15. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all your help guys. It looks like I'm going to go with a router though. Now if I can only decide on which one. (I have another thread on that topic) I'm looking into wireless because I'd like to give net access to my laptop.
     

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