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Do i need a third-party firewall if i'm behind a router?

By flowerpower ยท 17 replies
Jul 8, 2007
  1. I'd like to address this question since i was told by several people that that i don't need to have any third-party firewall installed (Win XP firewall is the only thing i need) if i'm behind a router. I was told that all routers have a NET Firewall built into it and it is all the protection one would need. I must also mention that i'm not connected to a router directly, my dad's pc is the one that's actually hooked up to it, but his router allows me to go on the web. I guesss this is like a network, a friend of mine did all the work and ran all kinds of wires between our pcs to make it happen. My dad's pc does have a McAfee firewall installed already, but perhaps he doesn't need it and should just stick to Xp and router firewall. Anyway, can someone if this is true, would a router firewall be sufficent?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    You are pretty safe. Lots of people get carried away with firewalls and security and will tell you you should. But it is really a matter of how much you want to inconvience yourself. Every layer of security you add on makes tasks harder than they were without it. With the router and XP's firewally things won't be getting through if they aren't supposed to, a 3rd party firewall will give you the added "benefit" of not letting things out.

    As you likely already know, if someone is skilled and dedicated enough they can get through anything.

    I've got 6 computers, at least 3 run 24/7 and are connected through a router and I'm not running antivirus or firewalls (except built in) on any of them.
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Routers do have hardware firewalls. However, the statement that a router is all the protection you need is not correct. Any system connected to or directly through the router will benefit from that- but I say that with caution because I am not sure what the extent of 'all kinds of wires' is. If cable have been run connecting your system directly to a router port, then you will benefit from the security.

    But that is not a blanket protection. Each computer connected still needs the software ant-virus program and 2 or more spyware/adware programs. Additionally, a software firewall like McAfee has or the Windows Firewall can be used.

    Set the firewall to log if you can, then check the logs occasionally and see if there have been attempts to access that the firewall stopped. Ideally a properly configured router will make the IP of each machine 'invisible' on the Internet.
  4. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    So this is true, then? I used to have Sunbelt Kerio Fierwall, but after my yearly subcription ran out i switched to built in XP firewall because of the people who told me to stck to it. I do use AV and AS, both are from AVG, and i have them siting in startup and the shield is on to prevent things from getting in. i also use AdAware 07 and Spybot with its Teatimer addon that detects changes to the registry and I have had very few viruses and trojans getting into my system. I do, however, get i good deal of spyware cause i d/l a lot.

    You are, of course, right about a fact that a dedidicated hacker can get through anything, i don't really have any sensitive info on my system, so it may not be worth it to bust in. i only use my dads pc to pay bills online but we hadn't had any trouble so far. so i guess i'll stick to using XP fiewall and not get any third-party utilities, thank you for your answer.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Never think a hacker wouldn't be interested in your system because you don't have any 'sensitive info' on it! The 'sensitive' part is the system itself! When an attack is launched that will ultimately shut down a site causing a Denial of Service, it is caused by thousands of computer system trying to access that site at the same time.

    The way this is done is by the crackers accessing systems and leaving code that can be activated by them at a specific time. No, you won't blow up and chances are you won't know it was done. But the value is sometimes not what's on a system but the system itself!
  6. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    I agree with what you say, fortunately i don't get attacked much at all, at least the firwall doesn't tell me that i have been. So you think i'll be ok with my current protection: XP Firewall, router firewall, AVG AV and AS?
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Any router using NAT will make the IPs of the individual computers not visible to the outside.

    Bobbye is the perfect example of what I'd hate to see happen to my computers. I don't want to be running a software firewall (outside of the Windows one) and don't want an antivirus and 2-3 spyware scanners. Right there you have 4-5 software packages running or needing to be ran just to keep your system 'safe'. To me it is a waste of resources both computationally and of my time.

    My setup on this computer is Windows Vista Home Premium with its firewall on, behind a router. I use gmail for email (and another online for work) rather than outlook or outlook express. I use Opera for internet. Opera doesn't get hit with fantastic exploits like IE, and gmail and my work can for viruses server side so I'm safe there.

    If you use IE and Outlook or OE and download stuff (programs, zips, ect) from P2P then perhaps you should do what Bobbye does. But for me it is a huge inconvience to do so.
  8. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    I do use IE 7, but i don't use Outlook for email, i have a yahoo and aol accounts. i only have 3 additional security programs that are running all the time (sitting in startup) AVG AV and AS and Spybot Teatimer, that's it. I do have a couple of other AS but i just use them to scan for spyware from time to time so they don't take up resourses all the time.

    As for IE, it does take a lot of resourses, i'm actually considering uninstalling it. Would you recomend a better browser that is light of sys resourses and more secure? Is it Opera or Mozilla or something else?
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    In my opinion it is Opera. There have been a few threads with arguments for Opera and those for Firefox too.

    Every argument for Opera or Firefox can be countered by the opposing side so I don't want to get into it too much here.

    But to paint everything with a broad brush, I'd say use Opera if you want a well polished browser that does a lot of things right out of the box. Use Firefox if you want a minimalist browser that you can individually add (download) features to (for).
  10. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    Thanks for your help! I'll try Opera and and see how it works for me, the only thing i'm not sure about if i can get rid of IE 7 for good.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    The is no need to get rid of it. Just have Opera set as your default browser (it will probably ask the first time you launch it).
  12. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    Oh, ok, i didn't know that it worked like that. Well, thanx again for your help.
  13. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    I've been using Firefox since it was first released to the public- going on three years. IE6 remains on my system, but I rarely encounter a site where I am forced to use it. Since IE is a bundled Windows components, it's easier to leave on.

    As for the security programs, I have an AV program, 3 spyware/adware programs, have the Windows firewall on and a router. I don't like security suites- when something goes wrong, it's difficult to find the cause in a suite. My systems aren't 'bloated' because I have carefully chosen my software programs.

    My systems are safe, well-maintained and clean. Each of us chooses what types of security we think is best for our systems. SNGX1275, it may not be "your" way and that's okay, but to insinuate "my" way is in some way "bad" is unacceptable.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Unacceptable? Unacceptable for what?

    Before you entered the thread I had already stated there would be people like you that disagreed with my approach. I then used you as an example. I never said it was "bad" I just stated why I didn't do it, I don't need that bloat on my systems.
  15. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    "Bobbye is the perfect example of what I'd hate to see happen to my computers."

    So I shouldn't take this statement 'personally'? Perhaps you shouldn't have used 'me' as your example!
  16. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Bobbye, he didn't mean anything of it! I pretty much run my Vista machine in the same manner he does with NO virus problems as all. While my friend down the street thinks he has to have 2 firewalls, multiple AV etc. running all the time. Its just a matter of preference I guess. Don't take it personally! :)
  17. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Thanks halo71. I usually don't. But it seemed in this case it was.

    By the way, tell your friend only one firewalll and only one anti-virus program. Multiple spyware/adware programs are OK.
  18. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Yes, I know this. But some people can not be convinced. That was my point.
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