Wireless Router Firewall

  AlanHo 09:38 09 Mar 2006

I have a Netgear wireless router which is in line with my Telewest cable connection and broadband Modem to enable internet conection by both my desktop and laptop.

The router has its own hardware firewall.

I also use the Windows XP firewall on both computers - am I sufficiently protected and do I really need a third firewall like Zone Alarm.

  Jdoki 10:29 09 Mar 2006

Many will argue that a 'belt and braces' approach is needed so would recommend Zone Alarm.

Personally, I have the Windows firewall turned on to avoid Windows moaning about not having one activated!

I perform regular virus and malware etc scans and have never had a problem.

  Jdoki 10:30 09 Mar 2006

By the way, I should mention that I use wireless as well to connect three PC's on my home network.

  AlanHo 15:30 09 Mar 2006

I suppose my question was intended to ask how effective the hardware firewall is - and whether a software firewall is really necessary in addition. I use the XP firewall because it is there - and never see any firewall activity when using the computer.

  absent 15:37 09 Mar 2006

XP firewall does not prevent outgoing traffic, for example if a nasty wants to call home,so is in effect not much use. I would use zone alarm and the hardware firewall.

  absent 15:38 09 Mar 2006

If you do use ZA make sure you turn the WinXP firewall off or it may cause conflicts.

  Jdoki 16:12 09 Mar 2006

A hardware firewall blocks incoming problems very effectively and with minimum or no user configuration, but does not (usually) deal with outgoing problems unless you manually restrict ports you do not use - and as there are 65000 or so ports to look at that's not recommended! :)

As previous poster mentioned the Windows Firewall does the same thing - it only looks at incoming problems.

If you donwnload a dodgy program, attachment etc, there's nothing to stop it sending details out; so you could argue that using Windows Firewall with a Hardware Firewall is pointless, as neither is blocking outgoing nastyness.

It depends on your vigliance really whether you use something more robust than Windows Firewall. Personally I'm confident I don't open dodgy attachments, and have up to date virus/spyware protection which will catch problems before they manage to log my bank details and send them to some shadowy figure who sits all day stroking his cat and laughing like a maniac while plotting world domination...

I found Zone Alarm was a bit of a pain to deal with as I play a lof of games and often it was difficult to unblock certain games/apps (Half Life 2 deathmatch for example) - but that was as much a fault of the game as Zone Alarm.

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