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Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...

by waltlopus / March 29, 2004 12:36 PM PST

I am connecting to the Internet via a wireless access point/router? Does the AP/router act, in fact, like a hardware firewall eliminating the need for a software firewall like Zone Alarm? I would go with Zone Alarm over Norton or McAffee because the latter two apps are just too big and onerous.



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Re:Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by Stan Chambers / March 29, 2004 1:37 PM PST

Hi Walt:
I,m certainly not an expert on firewalls, but I do run Zone Alarm with a broadband connection. Just a couple of days ago while surfing, I receive several alerts that ZA had denied access to my system from an outside source.
As I said, I don't know a lot about firewalls, but I would recommend that you run one, just to be safe.
I,m sure that someone, with more knowledge than I, can shed some light on this subject.

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Re:Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 29, 2004 5:15 PM PST

You didn't note the OS.

In the case of Windows 98/ME, there is no known exploit if you don't install a "server", trojan and have run Windows Update.

In the case of Windows NT/2000/XP/2003, you could use the TCP/IP security settings (could be named ICF) to block all ports except what you need.

In Linux, denial is as simple as not having services enabled that you don't want to expose.


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Re:Re:Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by waltlopus / April 2, 2004 12:09 AM PST

Thanks, Bob.

The O/S is XP Home.

TCP/IP notwithstanding, do I need a software firewall if I'm running through the wireless access point/router. It's a Linksys BEFW11S4.


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For XP, yes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2004 1:35 AM PST

But then ICF alone can be enough. You can simply add what ports to allow. If that isn't enough, then who writes it isn't needs to write why...

This is the rough part of the firewall discussion. Defining the firewall. To one extreme we have those that insist nothing less than STATEFUL PACKET INSPECTION will suffice. At another end, the removal of any software/service will do nicely.

There is much "inbetween" from using ICF or TCPIP Security settings to installing software like Zone Alarm.

All your choice as to the effect and definition you want.


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Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by dawillie / April 5, 2004 8:47 AM PDT

I too am running XP behind a wireless router AND a software firewall known as Kerio Personal Firewall v 2.1.5.
the nice thing about a software firewall that is rule based such as Kerio, is that you can add to the default rules, a specific rule to block ports 137-139 both directions all applications.
you can also enter other specific ports if you like for specific trojans and vulnerablity probes.
this will negate your having to play around with TCP settings and the like.

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Re:Re:Re:Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by RSnyder / April 18, 2004 3:20 PM PDT

According to Linksys (, the BEFW11S4 includes a built in hardware firewall, as well as the ability to provide WEP based encription capability between itself and all of your network's wireless adapters. It sounds like the BEFW11S4 has both ends covered, although I still like to use a software based firewall behind my hardware firewall, as they tend to trap any unauthorized outbound packets (spyware, etc.) and they typically do a better job of alerting me to the activity, so I can eliminate the source.


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Re:Do I Need A Personal Firewall If...
by waltlopus / April 15, 2004 3:41 AM PDT

I downloaded and am using ZoneAlarm and really like. It is easy to use and seems to be effective. No apparent slow down of the system. And it's free...

I have Norton Internet Security, but have uninstalled it due to the unbelieveable amount of system resources it hogs and how much it slows my fast system. Even after you try to fine-tune it.

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