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Firewall Help

By prestwood_32 ·
I am looking for a firewall for my personal laptop. Please understand that I am new to the "firewall scene" and really know nothing about them or really, their purpose on a computer. I was told that I needed one after a bad virus attack.

Anyone care to fill in a newbie?

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Software firewalls

by tkensc1 In reply to Firewall Help

I have used two software firewalls- the free version of Zone Alarm and the current Windows XP firewall that comes with SP2. If you have WinXP, either choice presents a fairly good level of protection- and you can't beat the price! Zone Alarm also comes in the rpfessional version that you can pick up at your nearest office supply or electronics store. Cost ranges from around $40 and up, depending upon the versions and the "add-ins" that come with the package.

I have had excellent results with both free firewall products. Zone Alarm gives you a bit more control over how you want to protect your computer, but is a bit morte involved to set up. Both have kept my system protected thus far. I had read some fairly negative reviews about the WinXP firewall, so I tested it after I installed SP2 on some x-rated sites notorious for carrying viruses and other malware infectors. It performed just as well as the Zone Alarm did on its initial tests.

You might also want to install some adware/spyware protection on your LT. I've used SpyBot, a free product from Europe that is easy to install and use, and is updated regularly. I have also heard some good reports about AdAware as a spyware preventitive. Both are free to download. Just type the name of the product in a Google search and you'll be able to get to their websites. Also, Microsoft has recently released a "beta" test product for spyware protection. I have been getting accimated to this product, which we have on one of ten servers on our network. All 3 require keeping the definitions updated regularly- just like your antivirus product.

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software / hardware

by colony In reply to Firewall Help

We are a small business (1 server 8 stations). We have Norton firewall. Would it be wise to purchase a router/firewall or is this just a waste of money?

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It depends.

by deepsand In reply to software / hardware

Is the server simply a LAN server, or is it used for site hosting?

By what means do you connect to the i-net?

Do all stations have direct i-net access, or is access via a shared node, such as the server?

Do you have/use a VPN?

Of what value are the data on your system?

How sensitive are such?

Are you storing data for which minimum security criteria are dictated by 3rd parties? E.g., if you store client/customer credit card information you are subject to the operating rules & regulations of the various card associations.

Who administers your system? Is/are such competent enough to maintain software firewalls, given that they require user control?

Without knowing any of the above, one cannot make a recommendation for your specific needs.

However, I can say that having 1 hardware firewall is much easier to maintain than 8 or 9 software ones.

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if . . .

by apotheon In reply to software / hardware

If you have a wireless LAN and/or Internet access for your network, I'd say yes, you should definitely invest in some kind of hardware firewall, even if it's just an $80 network appliance you picked up at CompUSA. Having your firewall functionality on the same computer you're trying to protect removes a couple layers of protection, and if something happens to hose up your firewall it becomes a lot more difficult to fix it when it's on the same computer as data you're trying to protect.

I don't trust the Norton nework security suite, anyway. It's just not up to snuff.

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Never a waste of money

by jdclyde In reply to software / hardware

For security, a layerd approach is best.

A hardware firewall between you and the internet is a MUST! Esp in a business situations, this is not an option.

If you have home systems you don't mind reloading every now and then because they have been pooched that is one thing. To lose your companies information, down time, and secure information getting out into the public will cost you your job.

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by svarn In reply to Never a waste of money

I personally use Norton products, and have been most satisfied. I even turned on the parental control to test it's effectiveness. Works great. Well worth the money spent. Gives you the option of allowing or disallowing access to your computer.

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Norton Internet Security

by Info-Safety, LLC In reply to Norton

Without question, NIS 2005 is one of the best integrated A/V-firewall-spam filter security products, although it does need to be supplemented by a good spyware tool, such as Webroot Spysweeper. For spam filter, however, I greatly prefer Mailfrontier over Norton Antispam, and also prefer Zonealarm Pro over Norton's firewall. For those reasons, Zonealarm Security Suite is also one of my favorites, as it has Zonealarm Pro firewall and Mailfrontier spam filter integrated with CA's antivirus. Depending on your priorities, you can't go too far wrong with either product.

Craig Herberg

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