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software firewall VS hardware firewall (router)

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posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:12 AM
I'm looking for the pros and cons of pitching my firewall (currently ZoneAlarm Pro) and purchasing a router/firewall.

Can anyone give me their thoughts regarding which is a better privacy solution?

I hated NOrton and ZA is a bit of a pain too. I'm tired of firewall interfering with the speed of my computer.
FYI, I am also upgrading and adding 256MB to my RAM, as running WinXP on 128MB stinks to high heaven.
(I found out why the speed went south on my computer: the SP2 upgrade windows offered last year turned 128MB from an okay RAM to a slugish mess.)

Also, any recommendations for which router to get. I have only the one computer, so would only need a 4 port router, wired. (I assume I cannot use a wireless router with a wired system?)

Thanks, guys and gals.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:20 AM
actually i think you can use a wireless router to a wired computer they just gotta be close
cause in the back it has plugs for the cable and 1 of my comps is connected directly the other is upstairs with a booster antenna

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 10:59 AM
A couple of recommendations. Don't get 256mb of RAM, that's too little for a Windows XP machine. I suggest you get at least 512 and if you can afford it maybe 1GB of RAM. Memory is really cheap nowadays and trust me you WILL notice the difference with the extra memory.

As for Routers and Firewalls. I use BOTH a Hardware firewall and a Software one. For software I use Sygate Personal Firewall Pro which provides excellent protection.

As for a good router I can give you a couple of recommendations:

LINKSYS BEFVP41 10/100M Router - Retail
LINKSYS BEFSX41 10/100M Router - Retail
D-Link DI-704P 10/100Mbps 4-Ports Ethernet Broadband Router - Retail
D-Link DI-804HV 10/100Mbps Router - Retail
NETGEAR RP614 10/100Mbps Cable/DSL Web Safe Router - Retail
NETGEAR DG632 10/100Mbps Router - Retail

There you go

If you need any recommendations on purchasing memory let me know.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 11:02 AM
A wireless router will normall have at least 1 - 4 rj45 connections as well as the antenna so you can use a wireless router in a wired network. You will of course need to secure the wireless portion so that your neighbors cannot highjack your bandwidth.
I would suggest keeping the software firewall also as it will provide an added level of security for your systems.
I have no real suggestions for routers as they are pretty much all the same.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:08 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. It gives me something to go on.
As far as keeping the software firewall, I'm getting sick of ZA slowing down
processes. We'll see how it works with the new RAM.
I'll have 128+256, I don't do any music downloads or gaming. If that doesn't do it, I'll buy more.
I think I'd have to remove the 128 and upgradae from there.

As far as memory, I got mine at
They guaruantee the one they sold me will fit my PC. I kept getting conflicting info on what a Dell Dimension 4500 needed, so I decided to not take a chance.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:10 PM
@ Kenshiro~~~

You've lost me.
I don't understnd about securing the wireless portion....

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:38 PM

Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe

I don't understnd about securing the wireless portion....

Setting the SSID to something besides default. Turning on WEP Encryption on the network. And having a preset list of MAC Addresses that are allowed to access the network (probaly depends on the router type, I know my friends cant do this).

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:52 PM
For can plug you computer (4 or them even) directly into the router AND you have wireless capability.

When these people mention securing the wireless...the router will broadcast the signal out so your neighbors could surf the web on your internet connection.

There are 4 steps that resolve it.

SSID (service set identifier) = the network id basically. Say it's called MyNetwork. The router broadcast that out so your neighbor could see that name. You turn SSID broadcast off. Unless someone knows the name...they can't connect.

Part two of this is to give the SSID a unique name from the default. Linksys default is Linksys (which many of my neighbors use). You change yours to MyNetwork or BeerPub or whatever.

WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) = you can set the broadcast to encrypt the signal to various levels.

Finally, you can list in the router tools, which MACs (machine address codes) can access the internet. Unless that specific machine is listed, then no dice. I have my machine, the kids, my laptop, wife's laptop, my playstation and my xbox in there for example. No other machines can access.

As for software firewalls, you will always have machine slowdown. I once read an article by a security expert that said with all the machines out there, your chance of being specifically targeted is less than your chance of being stuck by lightning. Twice.

Anyway...hope some of that helps.

posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 08:02 AM
yup i got a linksys wireless router and never looked back you can enable security with it mines disabled i use avg firewall though and my system seems ok

one prolem i had was the drivers not loading up when windows started and it was only on one computer on the wlan weird anyway have fun

posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 01:34 PM
Don't Tread On Me:

These postings are all good advice to follow when purchasing a router. When I need to buy my next router, it will be a wireless Linksys that can perform in 802.11b or g bandwidth as well as a four port wired capability. Most of these routers have a built-in PIX (Private Inter Exchange) which is Cisco's way of saying they are firewall protected.

PIX added to NAT (Network address translated) on a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) highspeed bandwidth from your ISP such as cable modem with all the other security precautions such as locking down the MAC addresses on wirless and etc, you should not need a software firewall. I have always found software firewalls a pain to maintain. There are so many options that can slow down the processing speed and not add a bit of security.

More importantly will be to keep virus and spyware off your PC. Increase your memory with same as memory to 512 MB. Use a spam blocker such as Spamfighter, Spy blocker such as Spyblaster and a good virus blocker such as Kaspersky.

Speed or the lack-of-speed is due to many things on a PC. Virus and spyware (one-in-the-same) can slow you down to a crawl. If that is not an issue, your ISP can have a marginal signal into your house causing re-transmits. If the processor is fast, say 2 GHz on up and you have 512 MB of memory, your PC should scream and fly.

I know this is a lot to grasp. So, take your time and don't throw money at the problem of a slow machine until you know for sure what you are fighting. Sometimes an upgrade will still equate to a slow PC if other things are happening.

posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 08:32 AM
Wow, I must have have a premonition about this router issue, cuz with ZoneAlarm 6 being very unstable. And having upgraded to it cuz I mistakenly trusted the ZAP folks, I have to get rid of ZAP, if I can. The vsmon.exe runs and eats memory to the point I run out of VM in less than an hour.
The ZAP folks are way too quiet about the problem, I've been to their forum. And no mention of a patch/fix in sight.

(wireless) router, here I come.

One question, do you think I would have any need to block my outgoing stuff with the router in place?
I have plenty of protection for spyware and adware and a good anti virus (Avast!) and also have System Mechanic, whic I can reinstall once ZAP is bye-bye.

posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 09:55 PM

ZA was un stable becouse u did an upgrade not a full uninstall and new install-seriouly.

As for the issue of harware VS software firewall here are some points.
Hardware firewall will make less slowdown of surfing the net and is vastly more detailed and programable, as well as much more expensive (routers vary from $75 to thousands of dollars.
Software firewalls are cheaper generally easier to use for novice and many are avilable for free.

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