Turn on ALL firewalls in Network?

By CrashDummy
Oct 3, 2006
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  1. I have 2 wired desktops and 2 wireless laptops on my network. All are working ok but not sure what firewalls should be ON. I assume that the router acts as a firewall, so is it best just to leave the firewalls turned OFF on the wired desktops, and turn ON the firewall for the wireless laptops? Thanks.
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Your router blocks incoming traffic and it is more secure than software.

    Software firewalls have the ability to block outgoing traffic. If you do use them for incoming traffic, they give you more details about what's going on and are more convenient I suppose... But they are easier to compromise.

    Should you use just your router? Yeah, you'll be fine doing that. If you want to make sure things are tight though, software firewalls are a good 2nd step.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    You can do this, but you have to consider some things:
    - Do you trust all your computers? Without firewalls, a worm can spread to the other computers in a matter of seconds. All it takes is a careless user on one of your clients or an infected guest laptop.
    - It takes a mere hour to crack your wireless WPA security. A second line of defense can be useful against wardrivers and suchlike. Remember, there will be no firewalls between the wireless intruder, the access point and your wired PCs.

    These are not serious threats, and if you have a reason to remove the desktop firewalls, then it's OK to do so. A firewall on a Linux/BSD desktop would probably be an overkill too in a home setting.
  4. CrashDummy

    CrashDummy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for all the good info.... Opinions seem to vary just slightly, but is it safe to say that my router is providing "good" protection, BUT it would be even better IF i can leave the firewalls turned on for ALL of my computers (desktops and laptop) and only turn firewalls off if it causes a problem?
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I would consider that correct. Your router's firewall offers good protection against intruders on its own. If something gets past your router's firewall, then your software firewalls are a good 2nd defense. There will be no problems running both.
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