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Should I Get A Firewall???

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Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I have no experience with firewall in a Router. I put a lot of faith in Gibson and his web sites though. That is where I learned about ZoneAlarm. Steve Gibson seems to be pretty trust worthy.

One thing that ZoneAlarm does that I don't know if your Firewall will do is this. With ZA every time a new program tires to access the internet it will ask if you want this program to access the net. Therefore if you get a Trojan by email and don't know it. (A firewall will not stop that) When it tries to "phone home" ZA is going to ask you before it lets it access the net.

When I installed ZA I found 2 programs that were accessing the net and have no idea what they were. I have also found programs such as Real One Player that try to access the net even when it wasn't running.

I don't know if ZA will work with you router but I think I would try it.
 

Joe Sloan

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
For all you Zone Alarm happy campers, there are quite a few folks out there who downloaded the free version only to have it shut us out of our high speed connection as a result.

I too have the Linksys Wireless router and all of my computers continued to access the internet except the one I had loaded ZA on. I hired a techie to come out, because at the time I didn't know if it was my computer, ISP, router or what. He found some error message and looked it up on Microsofts tech site, (on one of my other computers). He asked me if I had installed ZA and I told him yes but thought I had uninstalled it. He went in everywhere he could, and found fragments of it, rebooted and everthing worked fine.

Best money I ever spent but have also heard since then of others with the same problem.

Gotta go.

Joe Sloan
 

BigBlueGA

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
ZoneAlarm hasn't impressed me.. I think this thread contains the first positive comments I've ever heard about it. The vulnerabilities that you are talking about don't necessarily mean there is a problem with a firewall, there are other security issues such as cookies and your browser that could have to do with that.

If it is a problem with the firewall on your router, it may be that your ISP left open a few ports for certain functionalities. For example, a lot of popular programs such as ICQ, IRC, FTP, etc. will not work correctly behind a firewall if the correct ports aren't opened. Check with your ISP on this one.

Also, you really don't have to worry about somebody getting in through a firewall (or without one) and installing trojans or anything. A trojan is a virus, and you will be the one that installs it. It will either be in something that you download or in your email. Just make sure you have an up to date virus scanner and you should be good to go.
 

Jim Robinson

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
http://www.tinysoftware.com/home/tiny2?s=9...r=W&pg=products

Although Zone Alarm works, it is resource intensive on the computer. Most $100 routers (Linksys) are packet filtering routers/firewalls. This means that someone can certainly hack your computer if you initiatate the conversation (a website for example). Most higher end firewalls are stateful filtering which provide much better protection than the router you're using, but these are 5x's as expensive. So, a router and antivirus are great; however, spend the money on on good program like the link above, Tiny Software Firewall for your computer. Am I late on this conversation or what?
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Jim,
No, not late. I'm still debating what to do. I've pretty much decided I need to get a software firewall, but haven't decided which one. Who is Tiny Software? I've never heard of them. What makes them good...better than, say Norton, or ZA? Thanks for your input!!
 
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