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  1. #1
    Dead Man Walking
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Multiple software firewalls

    Okay I am still fairly new to security so i have question to ask. I have a windows xp box on cable. I have bothe zone alarm pro and nortons personal firewall. Sometimes norton will pop up alerts and othe times it will be zone alarm pro. My question is are the two programs running as two layers. I mean does the trafic have to go through one before it hits the other?
    Does it actualy do me any good to have 2 firewall programs running? I have heard running a firewall will slow down your connection but even with two running this comp still fly's through downloads and stuff so it doesnt seem to be hurting anything. Any input would be greatly apreciated

  2. #2
    Purveyor of Lather Syini666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    As far as I can tell, its actually a bad thing to run two firewalls on the same machine, as they can inhibit the functionality of each other, making matters worse insead of better. The Similar Thread feature brings up a useful thread -> http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hreadid=232041 which discusses this very concept, you might want to check it out, could have a better answer to your question.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Helsinki, Finland
    Syini666 could you please join the lines in your signature... :/

    ZomBieMann77, using two software firewalls don't actually give you much extra protection and only make things more difficult and complicated... Using a hardware and a software firewall on the other hand is a good idea or at least that's what I personally do, although the main function of my hardware firewall is just to act as a router. Hw-firewall prevents your computer from being visible to the internet at all and a software firewall prevents "internal extrusions" (as an opposite to external intrusions), meaning that they stop spyware-proggies from calling home.
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  4. #4
    Dead Man Walking
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    so wich one should i leave running zone alarm or norton? I like some of nortons interface better than zone alarm but wich one offers better security?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    " My question is are the two
    programs running as two layers."

    Agreed if you run multiple intrustion detection software (including antivirus
    and anti-trojan kits) you will kill your resources. Which firewall is a matter
    of taste and personal experince with if your happy with Zone Alarm ok
    if your more happy with Norton great some people are happy making there
    own firewalls out of used Pc's (Netbsd/Openbsd/Freebsd/Linux Fresco/
    Devil Linux cd) the best way to be secure though is to have good
    computing habits watch like what you download, don't trust exe files
    from strange sources, don't allow friends to put there cd's and
    floppies in your computer without scanning them or asking first,
    disconnect your computer physically from the Internet at night
    or when your not there (I do this myself every day) change
    your passwords.


  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    As said before using both a hardware and a software firewall is your best bet if you are wanting that much security. Using two firewalls not only uses up more resources but can cause software conflicts between the both of them, not to mention keeping track of the settings will be nothing but a pain. Using a hardware firewall which is built into most cable/dsl routers and a software firewall together though doesn't create these conflicts, and routers are going way down in prices. You can pick up a 2 port cable router now for just a little more than 25 bucks. Most router firewalls are set with pretty good settings from the factory and you won't even notice the firewall unless you want to change its settings, which is done usually by a web interface by typing a certain IP into IE. As for which one of the two software firewalls is the best, I would go with the interface you like the best. Since Norton and Zone Alarm are two of the most known firewalls around, if a hacker can bypass one most likely he can bypass the other just as easy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    For info: 2 firewall running on the same cpu should be avoided for performance pbs & rules annihilition (as said Syini666 into that very thread).

    But I have to disagree with many poster here that are debating about hardware or/& software firewall.
    I mean that the unique difference between the two solution is performance in term of throughput (frame per second analysis cpapability), gigie & latency.

    casacding frw can bring only benefit indeed a firewall hole (or exploit) could be cover by another one. But be aware that firewall should run on different platform.

    ZomBieMann77 you said that the protected machine is ur home PC, therefore I guess you wouldn't spend all your money on external devices...
    My advice is to remove one of ur firewall (I'll personnaly keep Norton since ZoneAlarm is free & therefore not maintained like Norton frw can be!!!), and to complete ur frw protection thanks to another old PC (even a 486) with a free sw frw, the best in my opinion will be a linux box running Iptables that u'll b able to complet with snort later on.
    If u don't have an old spare PC Norton will just be fine. u'll part of the 20% elite internet users that use a protection on their home PC!

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