hardware fire wall v.s. electronic fire wall

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William44

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Jul 1, 2004
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This is my first try at asking questions on the net so please bare with me.
I was using a "dial up" and now I have ComCast Broad Band. After I picked up the cable modem I then purchased a "D-Link" router. My understanding is that the router is also a "hardware fire wall." If this is true, then I need to know if I still need my Norton Personal Firewall. Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
May 23, 2004
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I'd like to add a router to my own system. My understanding of firewalls and security is that the hardware firewall will protect you from incoming problems, but not against stuff that you allow to get in, such as a Trojan Horse program. You thus need a software firewall to block the Trojan's outgoing signal until you have the opportunity to clean it from your system. With a permission-based firewall such as ZoneAlarm this is easy; an alert pops up stating that x program wants access to the internet; if you can't determine what the program is, you simply deny permission. You should be aware, however, that clever Trojans masquerade as innocuous programs that you would likely grant access to, thus their name.

If you use Windows XP a primitive software firewall is part of the Operating System, you can turn it on and configure it without going to another program. I am told that Windows XP Service Pack 2 will upgrade this firewall. There are good free software firewalls out there, I wouldn't spend money on one.

The other security advice you have received is good. I would add only that you should keep all of these programs updated, and Windows, also, using the Windows Update feature. Don't click on ads, especially gambling or porn ads, and you will have a good chance of not picking up too much in the way of spyware.
 

William44

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
2
For a first timer I recieved some very good responses. Thank you all very much. (y)
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
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Oct 19, 2002
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106,432
FWIW, I've run for years with my router as my basic protection against incoming threats. I have virus scanners on every machine, and I regularly run spyware scans with SpyBot Search-N-Destroy and AdAware . Finally, I use Spyware Blaster and Spyware Guard to block many of the incoming spyware threats. Other handy tools if you get infected are HijackThis and CWShredder.

Finally, if you have a dial-up line, you can order this Free Microsoft Critical Update CD and apply most of the security patches without waiting hours for downloads over a slow dial-up.
 
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