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Hardware & Software Firewalls

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Hardware & Software Firewalls

Hi all,

Just a few questions, just to help put my mind at ease and clear up a few things for me.

I have a router with a built in Firewall, do I need to run a software firewall as well, and can this be done?

It's just that I want to tighten up on security a bit, I am going to try a new browser and email client (Firefox & Thunderbird) seem to come highly recomended, however why not just use Mozilla? or am I being stupid here Shockedops: .

I use Antivirus software and Spamilator a great freeware antispam package, however I have just moved over to PlusNets Antivirus and Anti Spam package. I have noticed that my incoming emails are stamped virus free (like AVG) however I have not noticed any reduction in Spam, are PlusNets spam filters any good or just basic?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hardware & Software Firewalls

Quote
I have a router with a built in Firewall, do I need to run a software firewall as well, and can this be done?


Depends on what kind of firewall it has. If you care to say what it is we will have a better idea. FYI there are two basic types of firewall; NAT - Network Address Translation, which is an incoming only firewall (it only blocks incoming connections to your router), and SPI - Stateful Packet Inspection which is a configurable both way firewall (it can block connections in either direction). Clearly SPI is the better of the two.

You can run a software firewall as well as a hardware one and this will give you a second line of defense. Also running a software firewall does allow better protection should your PC become infected as they often restrict/allow access based on applications rather than ports that the hardware firewalls would block.

I run both a hardware firewall on my router (NAT) and software firewall on all my PCs (ZoneAlarm). There are many other firewalls around and links to some can be found in the following tutorial: General: Essential Security software

Quote
It's just that I want to tighten up on security a bit, I am going to try a new browser and email client (Firefox & Thunderbird) seem to come highly recomended, however why not just use Mozilla? or am I being stupid here Shockedops: .


I guess it's a matter of preference. You can run them individually or as I do as part of Mozilla itself. Having separate components does allow you to only install those bits you need so you may use firefox for your browser but another app for email and another for news. Or you just stick with Mozilla for all your needs.

Quote
I use Antivirus software and Spamilator a great freeware antispam package, however I have just moved over to PlusNets Antivirus and Anti Spam package. I have noticed that my incoming emails are stamped virus free (like AVG) however I have not noticed any reduction in Spam, are PlusNets spam filters any good or just basic?


Can't comment on how good Plusnets spam filter is as I don't use it. Previous posts here suggest there may be some tweaking to do by PlusNet but it's always difficult to keep on top of all the new stuff coming out. There is a complete revamp of anti-virus/anti-spam in the planning so maybe it will improve. For now I suggest you stick with your spam filter apps.
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Hardware & Software Firewalls

I would tend to run a software firewall as well. Hardware firewalls only protect against incoming intrusions. They will not stop outgoing data.
So, if you get a virus that sends out data, a hardware firewall will not stop it but a software firewall will indicate it so it can be stopped and cured.
chino
Grafter
Posts: 446
Registered: 27-06-2007

Hardware & Software Firewalls

If you are after a software firewall kerio from www.kerio.com is notbad had no problems at all.............

cUnDaLl
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Thanks

Thanks for the respones guys,

I have a Netgear DG814 and as far as I can figure out it has a NAT firewall, so I will install a software firewall as well, I never thaught about outbound traffic.

And Mozilla is it then, once again all thanks for responding, it just gives me that extra bot of confidence to have a go.