Is a firewall important to have with a Mac?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    A friend recently bought a new G5 Mac and got broadband internet service for the first time. At the recommendation of the retailers, she leaves the Mac on and online 24/7. But she has no firewall (hardware nor software).

    Now, as a PC user, having an always-on internet connection without a firewall is, alas, just waiting for trouble. But what about with a Mac? Is a firewall necessary with an Mac?

    If so, what about just a software firewall? Any recommendations for cheap or free programs?

    Thanks!
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    MacOS X is built on Unix. It is programmed to, unlike Windows, have ALL ports closed by default. In other words, MacOS X, by default, is essentially the same as enabling the Windows XP firewall. Your friend's computer will be fine for all "normal" stuff, but if she wants to do advanced stuff like VPN/remote access or restrict access FROM her computer to other computers/web sites, then she'd need a commercial firewall product.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Seth, thanks for the info. There's no interest in the more advanced uses, so I guess she's safe without a firewall.
     
  4. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter

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    OS X has a firewall built-in. Open System Preferences, click on Sharing, then click on the Firewall button, then hit start. There are also options to enable some ports for common apps like iChat or iTunes music sharing. But as SethH mentioned, it is much more secure than Windows by default.

    -Keith
     
  5. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the additional details and suggestions. I'll pass these along and see if she can use them.
     

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