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Is a Linksys router with NAT enough?

By swomack ·
We have several small offices with 3 to 6 computers. They have DSL modems and Linksys routers. The routers are the basic model (BEFSR41) and not the model that says it has a firewall (BEFSX41). However, on the Linksys website it says the BEFSR41 has built-in Nat technology that acts as a firewall and protects the internal network. I know what NAT is but wonder if it is enough to protect the internal network from hackers and the Blaster worm going around.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Is a Linksys router with ...

No! NAT is not enough...at least add a software firewall, and preferably a hardware based firewall and consider placing your public servers in a dmz. close all ports but what you need, for example, 110, 80, 25, 21, whatever you need for streaming... also take steps to security harden your os's. see www.cert.org for more info.
nothing is enough to protect you if someone is going after you. but you don't need to be shark bait either. keep your windows updates current, keep virus protection current, have at least one kind of firewall, have public servers in a dmz, disable all unnecessary services on public servers like ftp, telnet, dcom, ...

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by swomack In reply to
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by timwalsh In reply to Is a Linksys router with ...

Sgt shultz brings up lots of points that may or may not apply to your situation.

The real answer is that it depends on your situation.

If you have no servers (or other computers) that need to be accessible from outside your network, a NAT firewall may be all you need. But once you start throwing things like Web servers and email servers into the mix, you may need a more sophisticated solution as sgt shultz suggests.

The NAT box will hide the existance of any internal computers and services from all but the most determined hackers. Unless a hacker can gain control over the NAT box, he has little chance of gaining the information needed to exploit any internal computers.

Having said that, NAT by itself will not necessarily protect you from viruses, trojans, and worms. If anyone in one of the offices opens an infected email that allows such "bugs" to proliferate, then the NAT (nor any software firewall) won't help much. That's why you need to insure that virus definitions and critical updates are applied religiously. You also need to make sure the firmware on the NAT box is kept up to date.

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by swomack In reply to

Thanks. This answer really addressed my needs since we don't have servers at these locations. Good info about the anti-virus and firmware.

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by swomack In reply to Is a Linksys router with ...

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