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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

By SGinSC ·
I use a Linksys 4-port/wireless router to share a cable modem connection with three Win98se PCs and one XP PC. In addition to the router's own internal firewall, I use ZoneAlarm software (free version. I've been happy with its operation, and figured it's good to have the dual protection.

However, I'm considering uninstalling ZoneAlarm to free up some resources and just rely on the hardware-based protection offered by the router. If I risk a lot more exposure in disabling ZoneAlarm, I'll keep it and take the resource hit. But if I have minimal if any reduction in protection, I could use the system resources freed up by removing ZoneAlarm.

Can anyone give me some recommendations and/or background on which way to go? I don't know enough about the differences between hardware and software firewalls to know if one alone is sufficient, or if you should always try to use both.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by B_Pope In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

I would stick with both firewalls since your on a cable modem, but a lot still depends on how & what you use your PCs for. If your not involved in running any P2P apps, that would sway me somewhat to saying you'll be fine without ZA installed. But if you run FTP clients I'd move back to suggesting you keep ZA installed.

Your really going to have to review what your doing with all your PCs as far as the Internet goes & go from there.

One other plus with ZA you don't get with your hardware firewall is the ability to block outgoing communications, which for myself is far more important. The actual odds of you being hacked are quite small.

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by SGinSC In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by SGinSC In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

Thank you...this is pretty much what I suspected, but wanted to have someone confirm it. I have one of the four PCs involved with P2P, so it looks like it makes sense to hang on to ZA. One of the other PCs that doesn't use P2P is the one I would like to free up resources. Do I invite problems ditching ZA there even though it is active on the other one that does use P2P?

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by richard_barsby In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

Hi if the hardware firewall is OK then the only benefit from Zonealarm is it you get a trojan or some program that tries to send data out of you computer to its author then Zonealarm will alert you to this along as it is not using IE to do it.

Rich

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by SGinSC In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by RCOM In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

This is simple, find another way to free up resources. Don't dare remove the zone alarm.

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by SGinSC In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

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Firewalls: Hardware vs. Software

by SGinSC In reply to Firewalls: Hardware vs. ...

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