August 11th, 2004, 03:37 PM
Which firewall and router to use
Well i've been reading these pages for what nearly a year now and feel that i have a far better knowledge of security issues than i did, but i am still far from being an expert in many areas, just more knowledgeable in some, anway the reason for this post is that for the first time in my life i have my own computer that is not using someone elses network to access the internet. It is straight on on its own.
I have been doing all the things to try and make it secure that i can think of. The first thing i did format it as i was changing OS to XP, then i put Zone Alarm 4.0 on it and then a couple of weeks later got enough money for a virus scanner (good job as in just 2 weeks it had picked up 253 viruses!!!) I have since found that when zone alarm is running my internet connection is noticably slower, and a lot of the time i have to refresh a page before it appears.
So my first question is how come? Has anyone else had issues that they have solved, or is there a better more reliable firewall out there. Please bear in mind i am a home user with no money!!!
Secondly soon i am having someone else move in who has there own PC and would like the internet. (Also we're gonna want to play games between the two) I already have an 8 port hub so the games are fine, but i was thinking that it would probably be best to get a router to connect both to the broadband modem.
So the second question is what is the best router, again bearing in mind that money is extremely limited. I have had a look already and i like the look of the NETGEAR RP614 Broadband Router. But i'm not really sure what i'm looking for. I would quite like the router to have a firewall in and be able to connect at least 4 PC's but other than that i don't know what to look for.
So any suggetions or pointers would be good
Thanks in advance for any help
August 11th, 2004, 03:59 PM
You say you are running Zone Alarm 4.0. Is that the free version? If so, I know the free version is up to version 5 now so you may want to upgrade as there are probably a number of bug fixes in there.
Also, you went 2 weeks without a virus scanner, that is VERY dangerous. Even though you didn't have the cash to purchase one at the time you could have installed a free product such as AVG, and if I'm not mistaken McAfee and Norton offer short term trials of their AV products as well. It is a moot point now because you are protected.
The nice thing about buying a router is that there is typically a built-in hardware firewall. I think 95% of them come with built in 4 port switches too. If you ever needed extra ports you could always uplink the hub into as well. I use a Linksys home router and have never had a problem with it. I keep the code up to date and only ever open ports when I need them for a reason. It was a bit pricier than some of the others, but for the stability I've had I think it was worth it. My friend cheaped out on a DLink brand home router and has had on and off problems with it, although I have no idea how he configures it, he just complains a lot. Obviously 1 of each product is not reflective of the market either. I think whatever product you go for will do you. You can typically find review on site that sell hardware, such as ncix.com. Regardless of what you settle on keep the code up to date and keep it fairly locked down and you should be good. Best of luck.
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August 11th, 2004, 04:20 PM
mmm well... for a software firewall get a copy of outpost/kerio/any other one you feel like - plenty of people will come up with recommendations but TBH if you have a look through the older posts you'll find plenty of suggestions.
as regards a router... yes getting one for broadband would be much, much, much better than using a hub. As for the best one... down to personal preference really, all home products are fairly similar these days... I have friends who like linksys and d-link... and they are good products... personally I have a netgear RP614v2 which as well as NAT does have a basic SPI firewall - really is up to you, what features you want and what you can afford. Might be worth having a look at the router section here
 oh yeah... regarding stability... mine has never given me a problem but I have heard stories of stability problems with linksys, d-link and netgear... I guess its just luck of the draw sometimes.
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August 11th, 2004, 05:39 PM
I myself am a home user with not alot of money, and i to use a netgear router, i find that they are reliable, and somewhat cheap. however the rule of thumb for everything is that you get what you pay for.....
right now (being in the same spot as you are) i have managed to set up a secure wireless network for about $130 (includeing cards, router). and because i am living in an apartment complex with nabors i found that MAC address filtering is a huge pluse..... however i don't stop there, i also use my routers hardware SP1 firewall, and zonealarem on my computers........
um.... 253 viruses did you say??? do you keep your system regularly updated by windows update??? that is quite a big number of viruses, but it is not uncomen........
if you wish i can tell you a little more about my network, the spisifics on hardware, and software, price ranges, whatever. just let me know.....