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Firewall question for dummy

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Jules, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Jules

    Jules
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    I know very little about firewalls and how they work, but I have a question.

    I have BT Broadband and my PC is protected by Norton Firewall.
    However, I've just replaced my internal PCI ADSL modem with an external modem/router (Thomson Speedtouch 530), which apparently has a built in firewall of its own.
    So, do I not need Norton Firewall now?

    Also, since installing the Speedtouch modem, my PC takes about 2 minutes after switch on before it will allow me to launch my web browser.
    Its quite annoying. Any way I can stop this happening?
     
  2. pcdoc

    pcdoc
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    although routers have a basic firewall you will still be better protected by having a software firewall on you PC(s)
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Firstly with your router, go into the config page and make sure that NAT is turned ON, you may also have an option to turn on/off SPI, make sure this is also ON if there is an option for it.

    Where there are options for inbound and outbound services, it should already be set to ALLOW ALL OUTBOUND and DENY ALL INBOUND services.
    If it isn't set up like this, do it.

    A NAT/SPI firewall will offer full protection, and you shouldn't need to be running a software firewall as well.

    You can always run both, but if you check the logs on Norton you'll more than likely see it hasn't blocked any inbound traffic since you installed your router..

    Once you've got the Router firewall configured ( they usually come configured by default anyway) try turning off norton and see what effect this has on IE Opening.....
     
  4. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    If you have a properly configured hardware firewall, the only real benefit of a software firewall is that it can alert you if some mysterious program (like spyware) is attempting to access the internet unexpectedly. A hardware firewall may allow these outbound requests through, unchallenged.
     
  5. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks fellas.

    Disabling Norton doesn't seam to prevent the delay I'm experiencing with IE.
    But leaving the modem switched off until the PC has finished booting does.

    I can work with Norton and I trust it, so I think I'll stick with it. I also like to see the alerts.
    However, I still don't know how to configure the hardware firewall properly.
    All this talk of NAT's, SPI's etc..... probably means as much to me as
    DLP, CRT and THX means to a non HC fan.
     
  6. The Dude

    The Dude
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    It's actually a lot easier than it sounds.. there are only a few options to configure ( the ones listed ) and they're either on or off basically..
    TBH i'd be suprised if they weren't already configured, but worth checking just in case..

    If you've got NAT enabled on your router your PC/Network is pretty much bulletproof other than the occasional piece of spyware which may try to install itself from webpages, but your AV should pick these up if it's kept up to date.

    Fine to use both by all means, but IMO software firewalls just get in the way of legitimate outbound traffic more than anything else..
    Too much configuration required just to use your PC the way you want.. ;)
     
  7. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    NAT stands for Network Address Translation, and this just means that the IP Address of your PC is different from the IP Address used by the router for internet access, so that your PC is not directly visible to the whole internet.

    SPI stands for stateful packet inspection, and just means that the router checks the incoming/outgoing packets for validity given prior requests, and blocks anything else.
     

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