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Do I need more than the Windows firewall...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Oct 3, 2005.


  1. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    ... to be safe while using my "always on" cable internet connection?
     
  2. I've never had any problems.

    But, I run Spybot, Ad-Aware, and Spyware Blaster...

    ...Just to get rid of unwanted junk.
     
  3. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    Do you have the cable modem plugged directly into the PC, or is there a router in between? Is there a home network, or just the one machine?
     
  4. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Straight from the wall to the modem to my laptop - I'm the only computer using it.
     
  5. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    The windows Firewall will offer you some protection. Not ideal, but as long as you are not sharing files, have ALL the MS security patches, you are as reasonably safe as can be expected. Which is not ALL that safe...
     
  6. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    just have zone alarm take the place of windows firewall. its amazing.

    but if anyone can help me,

    when my computer comes out of standby or hibernation, my internet connection wont connect. only after i shut down ZA does it work. i made sure the internet lock and whatnot were off. anyone know wassup?
     
  7. best bet is to get a router, its helps with NAT translation. It hides your IP address from the outside world. Software is ok, but hardware firewall is best. Wireless router also frees up your laptop to go all around the house. Very cool. Enable wireless security though, just in case, that opens up a local security hole otherwise.

    Randy
     
  8. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    The traveling-laptop benefits of wireless only mean so much when you live in a one-bedroom apartment. :D It would be pretty swanky to have wireless, though, and a few guys at work mentioned the added protection of a router.

    If I wasn't so honest, I could have the internet for free. There are at least three open wireless connections in my building at any given time. If these people aren't smart enough to password-protect their wireless connections, they probably wouldn't be bright enough to notice me on their connection.
     
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I don't know what's causing your problem (sorry) but I can tell you that ZoneAlarm was my first firewall because I read many good reviews at www.download.com. After some time of using it, I could notice that it's very effective, but it's also a HUGE RESOURCE HOGGER. So I uninstalled it but first I started a quest for a good firewall (at least as good as ZA) but more resource-friendly. The answer? Sygate Personal Firewall. No further comments. I just suggest you to replace ZoneAlarm for this one and you'll notice the difference. Also comes as a pro (shareware) version.

    BTW, Windows Firewall is crap (as most native Windows utilities).

    Well... maybe not crap. Let's say "underdeveloped".
     
  10. kserg

    kserg

    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Yes...


    firewall yourself though zone alarm... anything but windows firewall works
     
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I use ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm.

    You could also look into a router with a built-in hardware firewall. I bought one of those when I wanted my PC and Xbox to connect to the internet simultaneously. The hardware firewall made my computer even stealthier according to the site linked just below.

    I'm not a huge expert, but there's lots of cool information at this site:
    http://grc.com/lt/leaktest.htm

    See the sidebar on that page regarding Windows XP Firewall. There are also some tests you can run to determine how safe your PC is.
     
  12. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    I'd like to point out that I also use Zone Alarm. Easy to use, seems to work, price is right. Only thing I know about Windows Firewall is that I turn it off when I set up a new PC. It's a hassle to use compared to ZA.

    But I stand by what I said earlier, that you'll be REASONABLY safe with Windows firewall, all security patches, and no sharing.
     
  13. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Hardware firewalls are the only way to go. By the time any software firewall running on your machine is able to act on an incoming packet stream those packets have already reached you computer, by which point they can already have done damage regardless of what kind of protection software is present on the system.

    The entire point of a firewall is to stop bad stuff BEFORE it gets to your computer. It is entirely too easy to compromise a system in ways that a software firewall will never detect, and once that is done you are virtually naked.

    Zonealarm and Windows Firewall are better than nothing, but not by a whole lot.
     
  14. Knavery

    Knavery

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Those are the same EXACT three I run. Every day, I run the updates, and these three programs. Gotta keep the machine running up to snuff.
     
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ummm, most home owner hardware router/firewall boxes are just small Linux machines. There is nothing special about a hardware router, except that it is not running windoze :D

    I would recommend a wireless router for you laptop. I would *also* run a firewall on the laptop! Make the firewall as restricted as possible, and only open things up as you find you need them.
     
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I got a relatively inexpensive Netgear 4-port router so I could run my Xbox and PC online at the same time. I had tried a hub, but while that would've worked for multiple PC's, it didn't work for PC plus Xbox. The router has a firewall built in. Once installed, I achieved a much better security rating from grc.com than with software firewalls alone. That's what I was referring to by "hardware firewall", anyway.
     
  17. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    That and the fact that its not running on the same machine you are trying to protect, which is way more important really. I suppose a windows firewall running on a an XP box equipped with ICS would fit the bill too, assuming it had everything network related turned off, and assuming I trusted windows security further than I can throw Bill Gate's moneybin.

    I remember back in the day when home firewalls were BIG linux machines and NAT was something you had to recompile your kernel for. Damned kids don't know how easy they've got it now.
     
  18. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That probably just means that the default firewall settings on the netgear are higher than the default settings on the software firewall.

    Don't get me wrong, for most users I would recommend a router over connecting your PC to the net, no matter how good your firewall software is.
     
  19. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    interesting stuff...

    FYI, to all w/ the software vs. hardware, the only reason i still like using a software firewall is cause i travel often, and look for hotspots where ever i can find 'em. thus, a personal firewall is a must.

    also, at home i am running a netgear wireless router which has SPI and NAT firewall protocols.