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Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Luzern
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Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Recently I read a magazine statement that NAT firewalls were 10x more effective than any software firewall. The inclusion of a nice neat number such as 10 makes me think, perhaps that the author was just giving an unresearched opinion out of his personal prejudice.
Am I too sceptical, or is there some truth in what was said? If there's some truth, is it sufficient to make a firewall like ZA redundant?
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
9 REPLIES
David_W
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Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

I think the general consensus is to always have a software firewall, as well as a router with a firewall.  Having a local software firewall should help prevent viruses from connecting to the internet, as well as keeping bad traffic out, say for instance you get infected with a nasty botnet, your software firewall should pick that up and block the outgoing traffic, I may be wrong but I think a firewall on a router only inspects incoming traffic?
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

I'd agree with dg. I use both a software and a router firewall to keep me safe for the very same reasons that dg has pointed out.
Software will block outgoing and theoretically provides a last line of defence if a hacker gets past the router while the router provides the first line of defence against an external attack. The theory with the router is that it is dedicated to very few tasks unlike a windows machine and therefore has less vulnerabilities and more resources to defend against an inbound attack.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Using the NAT firewall in the router is generally your best form of defense - as it's a dedicated 'box', running very few programs on it, it has a much lower attack surface.
That being said, there are vulnerabilities found in routers occasionally.  However, doing basic tasks such as changing the default password usually mitigates the majority of these.
Using a software firewall is better to block outgoing connections.  This can alert you to whether a local program is attempting to access the internet without your knowledge.  NAT firewalls are generally configured to allow all of these by default.
B.
198kHz
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Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Zone Alarm, and presumably other software firewalls, also alert one to the fact that an application is seeking permission to act as a server.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Luzern
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Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Thanks guys! Smiley As I thought sweeping statements like the one referred to in the OP usually need not to be taken at face value, often needing severe qualification Roll eyes
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
scootie
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Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

runing a nat firewall and software firewall togther is 20x* more effective than any stand alone nat firewall or stand alone software firewall on there own.
*stab in the dark figure
paulby
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Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

A software firewall is also essential on a laptop if you use it in places other than your home network (such as wi-fi hotspots).
Luzern
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Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Quote from: ASBO
.... 20x* more effective ......
*stab in the dark figure
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Opinions on routers' NAT firewalls vs. software firewalls

Quote from: lucerne
Quote from: ASBO
.... 20x* more effective ......
*stab in the dark figure

lol
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!