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Thread: Question About netgear home router and zone alarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Question About netgear home router and zone alarm

    I have a netgear router with its own little firewall... im so happy.
    My question is, do i need to also run a firewall on my box (eg. zonealarm) or with this just be like putting two virus scanners on one computer?

    I am running a home network with 2 computers off the dsl modem.

  2. #2
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    I have a similar setup. I have a Netgear cable / DSL router, but I also run ZoneAlarm Pro on my computer.

    I don't know about newer equipment- my router is about 2 years old- but the router basically just does packet filtering based on ports. It isn't a high-tech application or circuit-level gateway and does not even do stateful inspection.

    If you are hit somehow with a Trojan or backdoor (through email or malicious web page, etc) and your computer initiates the connection out or tries to access system services your router port blocking won't help you.

    Zone Alarm will watch and let you know when a program is trying to talk to the Internet or access a system-level service. The newer version also blocks pop-up and pop-under ads on web sites and a slew of other things.

    My recommendation is that you run both- defense in depth. While you don't want to kill your resources and bog your computer down running 20 different security applications, I think it is wise to have an updated antivirus software and an updated personal firewall application on your system as well as using whatever firewall functionality is in your router.

  3. #3
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The only benefit to the software firewall that I can see over the standard DSL/Cable routers/firewalls is their egress filtering and their logging ability.

    Yes you can place egress filters on the dsl/cable routers but it is really only in blocks and is not very configurable.

    As to the logging their is a nice little package out there that can capture snmp trap log messages put out by these little hardware firewalls but it is another $30 you have to lay out and some may not have that.

    If you are blocking all inbound and therefore don't care about the logging and if you are careful about where you go and what you do on your computer then these disadvantages shouldn't bother you.

    For example: I have a network of 650 users with Firewalls, NIDS, HIDS, critical server eventlogs, Web logs and SMTP logs and I log everything. I have strict egress filters at the firewall to ensure that only given things can do certain stuff. OTOH, I have a linksys at home and log nothing and use no egress filters
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    I use a NAT router which masks your computers and network behind 1 single Hardware IP. I also use McAfee firewall. Symatic and ZoneAlarm are good firewalls too.

    You can tell lot about a person by how they handle these 3 things: Rainy Days, Lost Luggage, and Tangled Christmas tree lights

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