I am wavering on the the need to use a firewall on my home PC. I have multiple layers of security starting with registry protection all the way up to the best A.V. and A.T. programs. Questions: 1) Are firewalls overrated? I think so. 2) Do I really need one? We will see. 3) How vulnerable will I really be? We will see. 4) Aren't most of the real threats going to come through e mail which has nothing to do with the firewall? 5) How paranoid can you get and is the web about paranoia? If you were kicking back at the park on a sunny day with your shirt off watching betty's rollerblading by in their bathing suits all while surfing the net are you going to be as paranoid as couped up in your jail cell where your PC presently is docked? I think not. 6) If you back up your data who cares if you lose a drive. HD's are cheap these days and who knows maybe it would be a good thing to lose a drive now and then to remind you that it's just another material object that can go poof. I just lost my main drive due to nothing more then wear and tear. No worm or virus or 16 to 45 year old hacker brought my system down. My two slave drives ended up being just fine. I replaced my 20 gig main with an 80 gig HD that is newer and faster and better. Then I added more ram while clearing out the spiders living between the modules. My wife was not happy with the event as she was precluded from surfing and checking her e mail etc. and I did not back up her favorites so she will have to re invent the wheel somewhat. I was very bummed initially as I had backed up less then more and in hindsight I would would back up different things like pictures and documents rather then the OS and programs that I have already replaced. Oh well live and learn. Back to the topic. I am blowing off a firewall and going with multi level security with strong e mail protection, I don't use Outlook and in fact uninstalled it, and moving on. I'm sure people will raise a few dozen eyebrows but I see the need to lose a few pounds of paranoia. Out of the jail cell and into the park I go. If I disappear again for a couple of weeks that probably means I got nailed by a worm, virus or hacker and I am out searching for a newer bigger and better HD again!!