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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Hi Mates,

Could anyone advice me whether it's advisable to have both firewalls activated from my Windows XP-Pro and Zonealarm.

I've been using Zonealarm for a while now without any hick-ups and am wondering if i should activate my Windows Xp's standard firewall for further safety.

I have 2 networked computers operating from a DLINK 504 broadband router.

Thanks mates

Tim
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Zone Alarm, when used properly will be enough security for your machine.
Windows' own firewall is prone to causing problems and Microsoft don't have a very good track record when it comes to security products.

Chris
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Basically no its not advisable, as chris has said. It would work with a hardware fire wall and a software firewall, one set up for inbound and the other for outbound traffic.
But your suggestion is basically to use two bits of software designed to do the same job one far superior than the other .The potential is there for them to actually compete against each other rather than work together. There would be no way of controlling which packet was dealt with which piece of software and which product is monitoring first. Errors would then occur in port scans programme logs etc.The windows firewall would get in the way.
Far better to ensure that your operating system is up to date with all the security updates, designed to address specific vulnerability issues and run a tip top top antivirus.(like Kaspersky). Wink
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Thanks for that. Trick question.

If you need to get FTP server up and running I don't think Zonealarm can produce the goods.

Now Zonealarm is requested to be used by PlusNet and I do worship the product but you will not get Windows XP-Pro to upload any FTP files from your server to any other PC without Windows firewire activated with Internet information services running on your system.

This is still a little vague to me, although what is the use when you have 500MB of webspace to play around which is given to you by PlusNet unless you are operating on a dedicated network then you have to use your own server and storage.

It does get a little complicated when you try to burn the candle at both ends but hey I'm experimental and enjoy drinking Castle lager and eating walkers crisps whilst my brain goes into overdrive.

Post any opinions if you will.

Thank-you PLEASE!

Tim
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Hi Tim,

I have never heard of anyone having a problem with FTP and Zone Alarm before - It certainly works for me. What problem have you seen happening?
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Hi Ian,

The thing is this. Am I correct by adding that Zonealarm will only work on Peer-to-peer networks and not Client-server networks.
ie. If you are going to use a FTP server which is different to just having the FTP software for uploading and downloading.
The question arrizes is that zonealarm will not excell Windows XP's firewall when setting up a FTP server.

Am I wright or wrong?

Thank-you please!

Tim
Eserim
Rising Star
Posts: 376
Thanks: 17
Registered: 01-08-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

On a similar topic what about software Firewall (I currently use Zone Alarm on my dial up) when I buy my Wireless Router for Broadband 0- as I will be getting the Netgear DG824M (http://www.adslguide.org.uk/hardware/reviews/2003/q2/netgear-dg824m.asp) which has hardware firewall built in.

Is was planning on removing ZoneAlarm - is this not a good idea?

CHawke
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

There are major differances defining how and when you can and can't have multiple firewalls in use.

  • Multiple software firewalls

    This is not a very good idea what-so-ever.

    The API (internal methods for allowing the firewall to function) are not designed to handle more than one firewall.

    They will likely conflict heavily, or not function and render your system unusable.

  • Multiple hardware firewalls

    There are two types on hardware firewall, one better than the other (Intergrated into DSL modems, the other is a dedicated device).

    This part is applicable to both.

    These types with likely function without conflict, though can be harder to maintain. As you need to configure multiple points.

    Dedicated units are the best, though very advanced (not for the faint hearted, trust me).

    intergrated are basic, but do there job well. These hardly require nor configuration as all.

    Most desktop users will require nor more than one intergrated unit.

  • Mixed software and hardware environment

    These can be very good, and produce the best results.

    Most intergrated firewalls, are designed to prevent external attacks gain internal access. Wha they don't do, is prevent internal attacks getting out.

    This is not to say you can't DDOS people, more prevent the affects of trojan horses, sending out data.

    Your hardware firewall, will prevent the external access getting internal access.

    Your software firewall - zonealarm - will allow you full control over which application gain internet access.

    If you also ever need to forward a port to your computer, Zonealarm will help manage that access control.


In otherwords.

Option 1 is a No-No
Option 2 is very advanced, and can provide too much headache, but is the best overall.
Option 3 is very strong and can help protect against silly mistakes that render you insecure.

However. Security isn't all about firewalls.
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

i run an integrated, with no problems i also run blackice, to ensure that no one is trying to use teh exploits in the program i use which access the internet, this work very well and i have not since suffered more that one attack.
example of a user using 2 firewalls Smiley

marc
Eserim
Rising Star
Posts: 376
Thanks: 17
Registered: 01-08-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Whilst I don't have a problem with it, could some explain/point me to page/forum which expands upon

"Now Zonealarm is requested to be used by PlusNet"

cheers

CHawke
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

I don't hink +Net would request any such thing from the customer.

Customers are simply asked to pay there monthly fee and abide by the rules, as defined in the contract.

Any else is upto the customer.

However, I can see support recomending Zone Alarm as a firewall, seeing how it is the defacto standard for desktop firewalls.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

PlusNet do recommend it, and indeed supply and suport it as part of the Security Services Packages that they offer.

They would never make it mandatory for all customers to use and wouldn't be able to enforce this.

Chris
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

Do +net supply the "pro" version of Zonealarm or the "free" version.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Can you have 2 firewalls running?

I think it's only the free one, you are basically paying for the support of the program.

Chris
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Can you have 2 firewalls running?

You have tom rember that all firewalls slow down your conection to some degree as they are filtering packets. I f you are using a router you will basicly only have ports open that you have started as the rest will be hidden by NAT.

Most of the firewalls stop stuff going out very well and this can be more important than stuff coming in some times. If you have anything on you pc like a virus it may open a connection out which will then pass through the router. If I tried to get to port 80 on your pc it would go noware unless you had forwarded ports. If the virus was on your pc and sent a request out on port 80 it would open a route.

So it is often better to stop stuff going out than coming in.