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Is a software firewall necessary if you have a broadband router? Doesn't the wireless router act like a firewall (assuming I set it to reject all incoming connections except for ...
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  1. #1
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    Is a Firewall Necessary?


    Is a software firewall necessary if you have a broadband router? Doesn't the wireless router act like a firewall (assuming I set it to reject all incoming connections except for the ones necessary for web browsing, etc), or am I mistaken?

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    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    Yes, a router acts like a hardware firewall but my thought is "better safe than sorry" and use a software firewall as well on my SuSE and WinXP installs.
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    So kind of like the two condom approach huh? :P

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    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgmeridian
    So kind of like the two condom approach huh? :P
    I guess you could call it that.
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    Linux Newbie DeoXMAN's Avatar
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    i think it is more like building two walls....

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    using two condoms has never been recommened due to the friction and risk of breakage haha. i don't know if i would use that analogy haha

  7. #7
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    i like to think of it more like "jee, if i were a cracker i would probably crack someones box w/ one deterrent instead of two; I'm lazy"
    ha

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    Linux Guru anomie's Avatar
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    Is a software firewall necessary if you have a broadband router? Doesn't the wireless router act like a firewall
    Some people believe a firewall is not necessary period if you harden your system and close ports correctly. However, I don't agree with them - I think it is a stuck up approach that assumes everyone is smart enough to appropriately harden the system. Better to just run a firewall and keep life a little easier.

    Your wireless router is probably no firewall (i.e it is not a packet filter); it is a NAT device. It may help you stay protected from those who would enter from the web. But what about a war driver living in the next apartment or sitting outside? How is the wireless router protecting you from him?

    (assuming I set it to reject all incoming connections except for the ones necessary for web browsing, etc), or am I mistaken?
    Side question: Why do you need to accept any incoming connection to browse the web?

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Flatline's Avatar
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    As a general rule, you don't need any incoming ports to be open unless you're running a server of some kind that others need to access from the internet.

    I usually recommend using a hardware firewall (your router, for example) coupled with a software firewall, especially if you have a wireless network (as Anomie mentioned).
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    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    I've always thought firewall was the key piece after some common sense. A lot of my firends don't run any antivirus on their XP installs. They have tight firewalls and a strict policy of not installing crap, avoiding cruddy sites and not opening bullcrap attachments.

    Although I used to like the idea I did think it was a bit cocky, but hey - 4 years of XP installed and no viruses or unauthorised access.

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