No firewall?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Gullible Jones, Sep 4, 2009.

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  1. Right now I've got no firewall running. At all. I locked down my system with various hardening tools and SRP (thanks Sully!), installed Avira, and closed all my ports... But no firewall. However, I'm behind a NAT router at the moment, so no major problems.

    But when I get back to college, there won't be a NAT to hide behind.

    So... Is this setup - no firewall, but no open ports - safe? Or is anything better than nothing at all? On the one hand, software firewalls may contain exploitable bugs; on the other, there may be vulnerabilities in the WinXP network stack... Which risk should I go with? ;)
     
  2. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    have u disabled windows firewall as well?
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I have not used anything except xp firewall for some time now. Or even that is disabled much of the time. This is behind a router. I don't see the need for a firewall as I know what is installed. It could be argued that without an application aware firewall, you won't know exactly what is going outbound.

    If you are going to be online with no router/NAT between you and the world, you probably should use a firewall. Whether or not XP is good enough maybe Stem could tell us. It is inbound only, but that is all you really need at a basic level. Well, if you trust what will be going out anyway.

    Sul.
     
  4. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    I would want some outgoing control, so something is better than nothing. BTW I use a router too.
    @Sully I like to see my outgoing connections.
     
  5. Yeah, Windows firewall is also disabled.

    Re inbound/outbound control - anyone know how Softperfect Firewall is? I used that for a while, but I noticed it hasn't been updated in over a year - did Softperfect go under? If so, are there any good, simple, and free alternatives?
     
  6. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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  7. Isn't Ghostwall unmaintained? Last I checked Ghost Security had gone belly up...
     
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I love SoftPerfect firewall. It is not actively worked on, it was only updated to comply with Vista. It is a very simple firewall, of course no application awareness. But it has a very small footprint, and its driver is actually very well behaved. I have never seen a BSOD with this firewall, and every other one I have tried has done that at one time or another. I always install it, but don't have it start except to use as a trouble shooting tool.

    The only bad part of that firewall is that when you are in learn mode, and it pops a prompt to ask what to do, all network activity is shut off, even for approved rules.

    It is old, it is basic, but it is fast and small and well behaved. That is why I like it. I have tried more firewalls than you probably know existed. I scoured the web for the last 6 years or so. I found some old versions on ftp sites, found some that are only alpha stage and even some that were only class projeckts for universities etc. IMO it is the best firewall of it KIND, meaning there are other firewalls similar to it in features. Of course there are other options too. For example, I used to use Outpost Pro v2.0 (my favorite version) and made just two rules, allow and deny. Then whenever a new program started, my choises were very easy indeed, allow or deny. This still allowed me to see logs as to what was happening, view open connections and have control over whether or not a specific program could be granted yes or no. It worked well.

    Lots of ways to approach this.

    Sul.
     
  9. Thanks.

    BTW, how's Filesclab Personal Firewall? Looks kind of cool, but the source code being for sale sets off some alarm bells in my mind...

    Edit: N/M, looks like Filesclab may be untrustworthy. Softperfect it is.
     
  10. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Yes, but for XP it works fine. Many people still use Kerio 2, which is orfan since 2002 (?) more or less and still does the job. Ghostwall is so simple in its functioning that doesn't need maintanance. It's been out for a long time before Ghost Security went belly up and hasn't required an update for quite some time.

    I 've used it many times when i was in a "go light" mood.
     
  11. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Filseclab is legitimate company (my antivirus is from them), but the firewall is "abbandonware" for many years now, so if you have a problem with that... Personally i 've tried it, didn't like it and in p2p it spikes in CPU.

    Rising free is light also. I wouldn't go completely naked around. At least turn Windows firewall on.
     
  12. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Filesclab is useless IMO. Right up there with R-Firewall. Some good concepts but overall not worth the effort.

    Ghost is a nice little firewall, no doubt. I have never cared for it's interface much at all. But it is an okay firewall. I much prefer the logic in SoftPerfects layout.

    But then, I also believe that a main reason to choose a firewall is the user interface. For me it makes or breaks the deal. If it is a pain in the rear to navigate or make rules, why should I wish to use it. For my tastes, the old Outpost still has the best UI I have ever used. To me, it is very logical and makes understanding and using it a breeze. SoftPerfect is much the same.

    There is another one you might check into, I think it was called A3. It is similar to SoftPerfect. But I will warn you, install it in vmWare or have an image handy. If memory serves, it is rather hard to uninstall. But it works well enough. I did not like the layout as much as SoftPerfect though.

    If you are up to trying some other types of firewalls I can give you a list of some that you can still find around.

    Sul.
     
  13. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    I still have a copy of Kerio 2.1.5, and also LnS license. However, I have recently installed a couple of AV only applications; Avira free and Avast Home.
    I just used the Windows XP firewall. I am behind a NAT router.

    If I were to go to a stand alone AV I think I would settle for the Windows firewall. Others ask about outbounds but it is always one of my applications. In 10 years of computers (not all that many compared to most of you, and I have less knowledge) I have never had an infection, and have not needed an outbound firewall.
    In the past I found Kerio 2.1.5 and LnS light and easy to use. I never used any special settings.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  14. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    It is pretty much the same for me. I started using firewalls like tiny and zonealarm when they started out. I have not been infected, and also have not seen anything wish to go out that I did not start myself or expect because of what I had started. Firewalls taught me a lot, but I don't really see the need anymore. Some people just want to know, and it is fine. Others perhaps have habits that really do require an outbound firewall.

    I would however use one if I was live on WAN and not behind a router.

    Sul.
     
  15. dallas7

    dallas7 Guest

    For years I ran only Windows firewall and my ZyWall router. Redundant, yes. But Windows did pop up with a warning if something opened up a server port. And odds are if you wanted to use that, you needed to tweak a port or two on the router.

    But I went on to use a personal firewall early last year after I began noticing all the connections opened by apps that weren't necessarily network apps. Divx, Adobe and several others all "phone home" on a routine basis even if you have their "check for updates" turned off. After an upgrade to a high dollar video editor, I noticed I got a service that connected to their server farm every time I opened the app, even if it was to work on a local file.

    And with things the way they are on the Web, I allow only ports 80 and 443 in Firefox and now I get alerts if a site is trying to connect to buyourcrap dot com on port 44587, or worse. And, of course, that Flash port 1935 that's become so popular with the big time video sites.

    Just for grins, I block connections to 127.0.0.1 in apps that think they need to be servers.

    Finally, even if you run all the latest and greatest anti-whatevers, a good firewall can't hurt.

    Cheers!
     
  16. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Err...you protected by a firewall...your router!
     
  17. PROROOTECT

    PROROOTECT Registered Member

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    And me - I closed all ports on the house ... I do not like drafts.


    PROROOTECT


    PS. ... and disabled Windows firewall already, you know.

    P.
     
  18. cqpreson

    cqpreson Registered Member

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    In my opinion,only closing ports,can't you protect your computer completely.Ports which are closed are permanent,but people are active.They will use different ports to connect your computer in order to know if your computer is alive.So I think installing a firewall is worthy.
     
  19. HKEY1952

    HKEY1952 Registered Member

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    Sure you can hide behind NAT at college in your dorm room.....

    Just plug the Ethernet Cable supplied in your dorm room into the WAN Port of your router and allow the router to obtain an IP Address automatically (just as you are now).
    This will give you an mini network within your dorm room.
    Also find and read the college campus policies on networking within the dorm room.


    HKEY1952
     
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