I have only one PC connected via cable modem to Comcast. I have Norton's Internet Security Professional 2004 installed as my firewall. I just read a thread suggesting I should get a router/firewall and I've never heard of this for a home PC. Can anyone enlighten me?
SOHO (small office/home office) routers have built in firewalls and generally a 4 port switch.
Linksys makes a good router, as well as D-link, which are both found in excess in any chain store that sells computers.
The hardware firewall stops attacks before they get to your computer, while a software one stops attacks when they're beating on your computer. The hardware will keep them off your network, the software keeps them off your computer.
Using both, if the hardware is breached, they have another one to get through.
If you purchase a wired router, 20-60 dollars, you just put that in between your modem and PC. You can also do wireless, 50-70 dollars, and do the same thing.
They're very easy to setup and instructions included do a very good job in explaining what needs to be done.
If you have 1 PC, a wired router is a good thought unless you plan to expand further.
I run a DLink DI-604 I got for $40 years ago and also Norton Internet Security firewall.
With broadband, a hardware firewall is safer and cheap.
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Depending on how secure you want to get, you may want to take a look at the HotBrick products.
At my home we have a Hardware VPN firewall and its doing a great job, the Linksys routers that say they have a firewall in them are nothing compared to a standalone firewall.
We used to run a Linksys router/firewall at home but it was compromised and we had a back door put on one of our 17 computers, it was living hell to find what computer was infected.
Once we installed the HotBrick we could see in the logs how much it was blocking and it was amazing…
Sorry to post this but, Norton's solutions are so overly bloated that I would almost pay someone to remove norton from thier machine,
My current favorite solution is
TrendMicro Internet Securities 2006
(Need to manually configure Antispyware and Firewall)Trend Micro SpamPilot 3.5 (Free but to use it you have to turn off all other antispam software including the one included in Internet Securities 2006)
I also recommend:
F-Prot Antivirus: (Expensive but one of the best, Only AV that can detect rootkits)
E Trust: (havent used this yet however mycustomer base has told me that they have improved so much within the last year they are not second rate anymore, additionally they recieved a US goverment contract enough said)
Zone Alarm 6.0 Pro: ( Perfect for the no brainer types, warning this software has a memory problem with program that use large amounts of concurrent connections aka BitTorrent, the resident memory useage will continually increase untill you restart)
Agnitum Outpost Personal Firewall Pro: (Well on its way to dethroning Zone Alarm for the no brainer) (And without the memory problem too wow!?!)
Kerio Personal Firewall 4 (still free for the next 30 days)
Free AV: (Warning slower updates less configurable, but NOT outdated)
My personal combination for the 2005-2006 year is:
Using Opera 8.51 Browser
TrendMicro Internet Securities 2006
Spam filtering Disabled, Firewall Disabled
AV ON, Wireless Intruder Detection ON, Spyware Detection ON
TrendMicro Spam Pilot 3.5 for Outlook All setting on, medium filtering
Agnitum Outpost Personal Firewall Pro 3.0
Opera 7.XX when able
Internet Explorer 6.0 patched
Norton Antivirus Pro 2004
Zone Alarm 5.0+
Cool Web Search variant J: (took 20 hours to hand remove from the registry from the date of discovery, took 3 months later before automated tools were created to remove it)
Random strange popup DLL installed (took 2 hours to locate and remove)
2001 NetScape 6+ when able
2002 Opera 6.xx when able
Internet Explorer 5.xx
Kaspersky Antivirus Pro
Tiny Personal Firewall verison 3
Zero Infections for 3 years and running, and I frequently visit very questionable sites that have pushed content.