Hardware firewall vs Software firewall

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by alant, Aug 9, 2007.

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  1. alant

    alant Registered Member

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    Hi all,
    I've been trying different software firewalls for quite a while now looking for what works best. With so many different brands and versions of software firewalls, I'm really tired of investigating. Every one has pros and cons to the different software firewalls. I've just read that hardware firewalls are the way to go. Has anyone had better experiences with using hardware firewalls than software? Do they bloat your system like software does? If you think hardware is best, what are the names of some? I wouldn't know where to begin investigating hardware. I am connected to dsl using an old outdated Westell Wirespeed modem. I don't believe the modem has any firewall protection. Don't know what to do. Any advise is appreciated.
    Thanks, Alan
     
  2. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    If you are set on a hardware firewall AND you have an old DSL modem you migt want to consider moving to a DSL modem router. These often have a firewall built in but you need to check these out carefully to find one that, unlike simple Internet sharing NAT routers, is a true firewall, using stateful packet inspection to defend against hacker attacks.

    Can't advise on any myself but you should find a number if you Google 'DSL modem router'.

    Good luck.:D
     
  3. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    hello alant,
    a hardware firewall has its own CPU and memory so the computer will have less processing to do.
    i havent had a single alert from my software firewall since id had a hardware firewall.
    even if your software firewall isnt loaded the hardware firewall is always ready to protect you.
    lodore
     
  4. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello alant. Are you using Windows? Windows firewall will give the same level of inbound protection as any router w/firewall. Neither will give outbound protection, and if you need that, you would still have to use an application firewall or a HIPS.
     
  5. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    Software firewalls protected me with 100% reliability for nearly
    a decade of direct connection to the Internet. Can't get better
    than that. Having said that, my new DSL connection came with an
    SPI firewalled router/modem supplied by the ISP. It tested 100%
    stealth, and now my software firewall is on, but essentially sits idle.
    I rely on HIPS/IDS for anything that might get past either one, but nothing
    ever has.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  6. fce

    fce Registered Member

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    so there is no problem if i will install firewall in my computer and if i use router with firewall.

    no conflict between software and hardware firewall? will it slowdown my internet speed if i have tha two firewall?

    i also used my computer in other area with Wi-fi so i really need to have software firewall.
     
  7. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    I am not a technical person, only a user. However, I just ran a
    test by downloading a 15.6 Mb file.

    With both SW fW and HW fw on, the download took 2 min, 37 seconds.

    With SW fW turned off, and only HW fW turned on, it took 2 min, 40 seconds.

    Essentially, no difference.

    Did not try it with HW fw off, as I would not ever do that.

    YMMV, depending on what software firewall you are using, and how your
    hardware firewall is working. Someone with more knowledge than me
    will probably have a much better answer.
     
  8. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Speeds will vary with different firewalls and routers. I guess it all depends on what you do online, ie gaming, filesharing etc. Some are better than others. If you have a router and are not the only computer connected to the router, then you should use a software firewall to protect your computer from the others in case they are infected. If I'm wrong about that, then somebody please correct me.

    I personally use a cheap ($27 US) but decent (Dlink DI-604) wired Nat router hooked to my one an only computer. This is my very first router ever and it was very easy to setup. My software firewall has been quiet since, but I keep a software firewall for outbound protection just in case something slips by my security programs and me :shifty: .
     
  9. fce

    fce Registered Member

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    geeez there's spyware :rolleyes:
     
  10. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Not sure what you meant by this o_O As for speed, I'm still reaching my max speeds during speed tests with my hardware and software firewall combo. I couldn't tell you about downloading large files as my isp severely throttles connections after 20MB of downloading.

    I always have had a software firewall and just recently added my router. I opted to spend the money on a router rather than other security programs. A router comes highly recommended so i didn't question that. I was running Comodo FW at the time and I immediately noticed that the inbounds were not getting to Comodo because the router stopped them cold. I'm now using Online Armor 2 (HIPS and FW) which I totally enjoy with my hardware firewall. They are only 2 layers to my multi-layered protection setup. Is it needed? I don't know, that's why I keep it. I'm just a slightly advanced newbie with a pretty darn good inbound protection setup. YMMV

    Cheers, innerpeace
     
  11. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    After your first post, there was a spam post that was removed by a mod.
     
  12. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Ok, thanks FadeAway :).

    Sorry fce, your post appeared right after mine and I thought that you might be referring to my post o_O I'm blaming the mods :D .

    Cheers
     
  13. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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  14. alant

    alant Registered Member

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    What is a HIPS?
     
  15. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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  16. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    The day I bought a router was one of the best days of my computing life.. It allowed me to drop the software firewalls that I had spent so much time fooling with, never finding one that was entirely bug free with good features etc.. The hardware approach takes the load off the PC completely which is also nice. It's always on, always there, so you needn't worry any longer if you're protected or covered at any time. In general, it's just so much easier and trouble free. If you still need outbound control there are other approaches like HIPS for example. In a nutshell, I'd highly recommend going with the hardware approach..
     
  17. Arup

    Arup Guest

    I am fully with Kerodo, not only does the router save my resources on the PC, its also good peace of mind, hardware firewalls can't be tampered by end users on your PC as well. You can always supplement hardware firewall with a good quality HIPS like PS, makes it as formidable as you need.
     
  18. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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