Software Firewall vs. Hardware Firewall

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by mismis29, Aug 27, 2004.

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  1. mismis29

    mismis29 Registered Member

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    I was just wondering what the difference is between a software firewall and a hardware firewall. Do I need both?

    I have a dial-up connection and currently using ZoneAlarm 4.5.

    Thanx :)
     
  2. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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  3. BlitzenZeus

    BlitzenZeus Security Expert

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    The fact is most hardware firewalls will not use a dial-up modem, and hardware firewalls are just packet filters. Software firewalls are very useful for controlling which programs can use the internet, etc... Even if you have a hardware firewall its still good to use a software firewall even if your only filtering what applications can use the internet.
     
  4. Slovak

    Slovak Registered Member

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    Personally I would recommend both for the best security set-up. Read up on hardware firewalls as there are many of them and they all do not perform the same or have the same features. Here is an excellent site to review things like routers http://www.practicallynetworked.com/
     
  5. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    If the choice was between a software firewall or a hardware one, I would advise going for the software firewall since it can restrict Internet access by application (hardware ones can only work by port or address) and this is an important feature due to the amount of malware (trojans, spyware, etc) that tries to send data out. A well-configured (configuration is critical here) software firewall can block this and alert you to the attempt.

    However a hardware firewall will continue to provide protection in the event of a Windows system crash, is very unlikely to be disabled by malware running on your machine and, by blocking incoming probes, can reduce the amount of work (and subsequent CPU load) of your software firewall. It does therefore make an excellent first line of defence.
     
  6. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    So true, I was really amazed how my hard drive almost went silent when I got behind a router w/firewall, when I was not using the machine. Yes use both if the opportunity comes your way. I know some people have tighter budgets then others. ;)
     
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