Routers?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by bulldawgs, Jun 16, 2004.

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  1. bulldawgs

    bulldawgs Registered Member

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    Hi. I have been researhing routers for my computer. I need some help in finding out if that is the safest way to protect my computer. I really have no knowledge in routers or in firewalls, so if what I ask sounds dumb, please be patient with me and kind.

    Does the router keep me from getting virus's, adware, malware and other things that do not belong on my computer, along with me running my virus protectors I have on my computer? I use 2 protectors against virus's, Norton and AVG. I also use CWShredder, Spybot Search and Destroy, Spyware blaster, Spyguard, Ad-aware 6.0, and Mozilla FireFox as my internet instead of IE 6.0.

    What router best supports Windows 2000 Professional on DSL?

    How do I choose the best router to fit my needs at a reasonable price and the brand that I should use for Windows 2000 on DSL?

    If my children are using this computer mostly to surf and use the AOL Instant Messenger, will they also be protected from virus's, adware, malware and so on?

    Is it in my best interest to purchase a router for my computer or just invest in software instead? I am currently trying out Zone Alarm and the IM protector until I can figure all this out.

    Do these routers affect programs that I already have installed on my computer and will my programs still work properly?

    Sorry for the typo's and questions. I really have no where else to turn to get help for I am the only one that really seems concerned about all the things people can see on my computer, the virus's, the adware and malware that can affect computers.

    Thank you very much in advance for all the help and suggestions.

    Nicole
     
  2. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    The firewall in a router filters incoming attempts to connect to your computer a good software firewall such as zonealarm will filter the outgoing request's. There are several good routers available such as linksys d-link and several more. If you are just running a single computer you can get a good router in the $30.00 range. Useing dsl is a good reason to run a router it is a very secure setup along with a software firewall and your antivirus and an antitrojan
     
  3. mVPstar

    mVPstar Registered Member

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    Routers alone cannot protect you from everything.

    A router that explicitly comes with a firewall will protect you from intrusion attacks, worms that go about scanning computers to upload themselves onto, trojan attempts, port scans, etc. They do not protect you from viruses, adware, spyware, or malware. Router firewalls deal with ports and not the actual programs (unless you use a software firewall). You mentioned that you have antivirus software and antispyware software. Those will protect you from such.

    Yes. That is, if your antivirus and spyware software is up to date. Without the router or firewall, they are already protected against viruses and spyware due to the other utilities you mentioned. However, they are still vulnerable to attacks from hackers, etc. Without a firewall, a user from another computer could get into your computer and start messing around with stuff. They could even potentially find some way to shut off all those security utilities you have, thus making them useless. It's a very good thing to have a firewall in this case.

    Both types have their ups and downs.

    Software firewalls have the ability to detect known attacks and intrusions. They can control what programs access the internet so if you happen to have a trojan in your system, a software firewall would stop it. A software firewall alone is good enough to protect your system.

    The disadvantage to a software firewall is that they can be shutdown and they can crash due to normal program errors.

    Hardware firewalls are a bit stronger than software firewalls. Because they are independant from things like accidental shutdowns, software errors, etc.., things that would normally happen to programs on a computer (sort of like if AOL crashes due to too many websites loaded up at a time) would not happen to a hardware firewall. A hardware firewall is extremely stable and will not shut down for any reason unless you tell it to.

    The disadvantages to hardware firewalls are they don't monitor programs that try to access the internet from your computer. They only protect your computer from outside attacks and connections but do not stop trojans on your computer from accessing the internet and downloading more viruses.

    Firewalls will need a bit tweaking to insure that all the programs that really need internet access will get them. If a port such at port 5678 is needed in order for a program to access the internet, you will need to open that port for that program or else it wont be able to communicate with the world wide web.

    Routers w/firewalls, as I said earlier, only monitor inbound connections (other people connecting to your computer). So, program control isn't a problem.

    Software firewalls will usually ask you what programs need to access the internet and will question you when one tries to connect. (This actually depends on what firewall you get) If you have problems where one program is having trouble accessing the net, you can always configure your firewalls to allow that access.

    I recommend using both, however if you can't, you should definitely go for the software firewall first. I currently run both a hardware router (Microsoft MN-500) and a software firewall (Norton Personal Firewall 2003). I haven't been attacked once with this setup.
    Hope this helps!
    mVPstar :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  4. bulldawgs

    bulldawgs Registered Member

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    Thank you very much BigC and mVPstar. I am right now trying out the software of Zone Alarm Pro for my computer and using the IM Protector and all the other things that I listed that I have on my computer protecting it. I check for upgrades every single day and I keep up with my Windows Updates which prompts me when some are released on the MS web site.

    I think I will do both now since y'all have given me so much infomation on having a router and software firewall protectors for my computer. I have been looking at the router's and I just want to get my money's worth so I probably won't do a cheap one (just in case something happens to it).

    Thanks again for such good advice and help. You can never learn enough when it comes to computers or at least I cannot.

    Best Regards!

    Nicole (GO DAWGS) :D
     
  5. Aggressor

    Aggressor Registered Member

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    When choosing a router with firewall, make sure its firewall part is ICSA-certified (ie. a real firewall) ;) You get such routers for less than 100 euros (+- 100$ roughly)...
     
  6. bulldawgs

    bulldawgs Registered Member

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    Thank you Aggressor for the info! Here are the ones I am looking at right now to buy. Linksys EtherFast 4-port Cable/DSL Router BEFSR41, D-Link Express EtherNetwork 4-port Cable/DSL Router DI-604, Linksys Instant Broadband EtherFast Cable/DSL Router BEFSR81 and Linksys Instant Broadband EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall Router with 4-port switch BEFSX41.

    Does anyone know anything about the ones I listed? I printed out all the info on them because I want to go to a store and buy one instead of waiting via internet buying. Are the ones I listed above, compatiable with Windows 2000 with IE 6.0 or Mozilla Firefox?

    Thanks again for all your replies and suggestions! I truly appreciate everyone's input thus far!

    Nicole (GO DAWGS) :D
     
  7. mVPstar

    mVPstar Registered Member

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    Also, make sure that the router has an NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT helps hide your computer's address from the outside. If somehow the firewall is penetrated, the attacker would then have to take an extra step and find your computer inside your network. Also, a firewall with SPI (Stateful Packut Inspection) is pretty good, although not necessary. If you are going to get a wireless router and set up a wireless network, you should get a router with WEP (Wireless Encryption Privacy). This will make sure that only your computers will be able to access your network and no one elses, like your neighbor's, will have access.
     
  8. mVPstar

    mVPstar Registered Member

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  9. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    I'm afraid that is not the most up-to-date position. Most literature I've seen recommends WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) as more secure than WEP, and most new wireless equipment now supports WPA.

    Here's an article on WEP's vulnerabilities.

    Here's an article on WPA.

    Here's an article that claims that WEP has been pretty well patched.

    And my thread on the subject is here:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=36767
     
  10. Aggressor

    Aggressor Registered Member

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    Yes - but ICSA-certified products automatically meet these criteria, by definition :D

    AFAIK none of the Linksys or D-Link products are ICSA-certifiied, at least those affordable to the average layman (which doesn't prevent them from being good products!) - but better double check on that. If you absolutely want to choose between Linksys & D-Link, better go 4 the former. D-Links operate at such high temps that you could fry an egg with all the heat they give out! Needless to say, this entails a shorter lifespan :doubt:

    I've had word that Netgear makes one certified router for less than 100$ (hence my1st post) but I can't recall the reference..
     
  11. bulldawgs

    bulldawgs Registered Member

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    Thanks again for the info. I did see that Netgear on the sites that I was looking for a router. There are so many to choose from. I don't mind paying $100 for a router as long as it works, is dependable, user friendly for all needs, has a support system in case I mess something up, etc... I will go to the links that everyone has posted on my thread and read up about the routers. My husband is going to speak to an IT person and see what they think about the ones I printed off that I am going to go and look at.

    Please keep posting on here to let me know any other suggestions or advice that you have on what my questions and/or concerns are. I totally enjoy reading the post and take into consideration all that have posted here for me.

    Thanks so much for all your help!!! I am so new to this stuff and it is wearing me out!

    Nicole (GO DAWGS) :rolleyes:
     
  12. dwax

    dwax Registered Member

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    You mite want to look at what you buy,if you want a hardware firewall make sure it says firewall and not just a router.I have the Linksys BEFSX41 and Zone Alarm Pro and have real good luck with them.Shows all ports stealth except 113 it shows closed.
     
  13. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    You can make port 113 stealth. Go to the link and use port fowarding and run your test at grc again.

    http://www.2kevin.net/router.html#dmz
     
  14. dwax

    dwax Registered Member

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    Ya I try'd that works good for a while then it made my router reboot to many times so I went back.Waiting for the new firmware.:)
     
  15. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I took the newest firmware off of mine. My dsl kept timing out. First firmware problem I've ever had with Linksys.
     
  16. mVPstar

    mVPstar Registered Member

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    Anyways, back on topic.

    You also shouldn't just rely on the specs of the routers. Also look at the reviews too. They'll help greatly when talking about technical support, router failures, etc.

    Here's a great place to look at reviews for specific routers:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Networking/4502-3257_7-0.html?tag=dir.rout

    mVPstar
     
  17. bulldawgs

    bulldawgs Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link mVpStar. I will go and take a look at it. Hopefully, I will make the right choice in choosing one for my computer. I am still a bit overwhelmed with all this stuff. I just want to be able to feel a little better about my computer when my children, myself or even my husband is on here. My kids have no idea what not to look at in fear of something getting hi-jacked or understanding how important it is to just stick to IMing without downloading.
    I am teaching them not to touch anything and run to me if something appears! I think I am freaking them out over all this firewall and router stuff.

    I will let you know what I will choose and get your opinion on it if you have one or know of someone that is using the router I choose.

    Thanks again!

    Nicole (GO DAWGS)
     
  18. mVPstar

    mVPstar Registered Member

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    Oh, don't worry. I feel the same way and I'm only 14!! But, after setting up my system's security to max, I'm more relieved and confident that my computer is truly safe. This is what I have:

    1. Router w/firewall - Microsoft Mn-500 Wireless router ($80)
    2. Software Firewall - Norton Personal Firewall 2003 ($40, can get with rebate now a days)
    3. AntiVirus Software - Norton AntiVirus 2003 ($40, rebate)
    4. Spyware Prevention - Spyware Blaster (freeware, http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html)
    5. Spyware Prevention #2 - Spyware Guard (Freeware, http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html)
    6. Spyware Scanner - Ad-Aware 6 (Freeware without watching feature, http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/)
    7. Spyware Scanner #2 - SpyBot (Freeware, http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html)

    Now that I have these programs, I feel more relaxed about having my parents use my computer. BTW, what OS do you have running? If you have either Windows 2000 Pro or XP, you can set up user accounts for your family and set them on restricted access (no installing programs, etc.). This will be sort of like an added on security and would make you feel a bit more relaxed knowing that your children won't be able to accidentally install programs on their own.

    Hope this helps !;)
    mVPstar
     
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