Firewalls - Hardware and Software

  Gary 22:14 26 May 2003

I am going to buy a modem/router which includes a firewall. I currently have a software based firewall installed on my computer. Can anyone tell me - will I still need the software one installed once the router is in place? If it is not a necessity, would it offer extra protection to leave it in place or is it just redundant?

  jazzypop 23:09 26 May 2003

My advice is to use both.

A hardware firewall can have different 'strengths' or levels of protection, but it is broadly true to say that they are only interested in whether a PC has permission to communicate or not.

By contrast, a software firewall is concerned with whether a program has permission or not.

It is perfectly possible for a program / virus / trojan on a PC behind a hardware firewall to initiate an unwanted line of communication. Most hardware firewalls will simply recognise that the 'internal' PC initiated the communication, and therefore will allow the 'external' PC permission.

The two types of firewall just operate at different levels - use both for the best all-round protection.

  spuds 23:48 26 May 2003

jazzypops is correct, but be a little cautious as to what you have, and what is being provided by your ISP etc.

A friend of mine is having a little problem at present with his firewall set-up.BT who provide is line, Freeserve provide is broadband.It would appear as though Freeserve provide a firewall in their package, and he as ZoneAlarm, which I installed. It would also appear that he as in his XP Home a firewall. Somewhere between the 3, their is a confliction. Freeserve are running test on his broadband line at present, as his computer keeps crashing. BT/Freeserve think the firewalls are the culprits.

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