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Importance of Firewall while using Router

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  #1  
Old 23-08-2012
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Importance of Firewall while using Router
  

Firewall is a bit irritating sometime. Especially in Windows when you are trying to connect to a LAN game and you receive a popup to unblock the process. This result in game crash sometime. I had faced this issue quiet commonly so disable the Firewall. On the same hand I have a nice internet security pack which comes with the Antivirus suite. It is quiet nice compared to Windows Firewall. Manual configuration of a Firewall is not easy for everyone. Ample of users does not know how a Firewall works and does it is needed. A Firewall is nothing just a blockage. It does not allow untrusted incoming connection to your computer unless you allow. That is the reason we have an Exception list provided in Firewall settings. It does not matter if you are working on a small or big network you have to ensure maximum security. Basically I had seen people not using Firewall when they are working through a router. Now the confusion starts here. I have a Router configure Firewall on hardware Level. Also I have a Firewall enable through an antivirus software or operating system. This two things looks like more safety precaution but there can be issue with internet surfing. A number of people have asked me that do I need to install software level Firewall if it is turned on at hardware level i.e. via Router.

To some extent yes. When you configure Firewall through Router you stay safer from outer network. No virus, Trojan, spyware can enter your system. Even if you download an infected file, the Firewall will block the access. Now the other side of coin says that you can get affected due to outbound traffic. If there is no Firewall at software level, and accidentally you had virus in your system through USB or any other media, then they can stay in your system and infect other files. What matters is proper configuration. You have to understand, which is the most secure option for you. When a Firewall is configured through Router it will block external connection. This is not good for companies. As many people who are not in the network or trying to connect from outside will blocked. This also affects online multiplayer gaming. Second the software Firewall blocks untrusted application. This sometime also affects a number of update services which are beneficial.


Another most common issue is conflict between Router and Software Firewall. Your internet connection may suffer. Before playing with the settings or managing Firewall connectivity it is recommended that you understand the need of a Firewall. On that basis you can choose whether a software level one is beneficial or a hardware level. Firewall simply limits access to your computer. No untrusted connection can establish. This is mostly done by virus. They download more files to completely damage your system and data. If you are on internet or web, a Firewall is prime requirement. It must be turned on. Now you might be wondering about the type of Firewall support. Well it depends on the type of internet connection and usage. When you apply for an internet connection you receive a small box which is called as a modem. Some of you receive direct cable connectivity.

Modem is the device which acts as a mediator between your computer and servers to load web pages. A Router on the same hand is a device that offer you additional connectivity and NAT support. Now if you receive a device which is a modem + router with NAT then you are secured. They are already configured with Firewall which blocks all untrusted connections. So this is quiet a good news. To find that your internet connection has NAT or not you can do two things. First contact the service provider and ask him. Second you can check the specification of device which is configured at your home. If that shows you NAT then you can stay worry free.

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Old 23-08-2012
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Re: Importance of Firewall while using Router

Requirement of software Firewall:

Windows comes with Firewall which is turned on by default. Whenever you run a setup or connect to any LAN game you can see a popup of Windows Firewall. You can block or unblock the connection on your need. If your Router is configured with Firewall then you do not require turning this on. On the same hand when you install an antivirus in your system, it comes with inbuilt Firewall support. It automatically turns of Windows Firewall and use its own giving you secures access. You can turn that off also from Antivirus settings. There are number of third party programs available on web which offers you a good Firewall services, but I would not recommend that. If you stick with the most basic and available solution then your job is much easier. Whoever works on internet needs a firewall. It can be on software level or hardware level. It should be turned on atleast from one source. Somehow the software level Firewall is recommended as one of the most intact and reliable solution. The better antivirus suite you have the powerful Firewall you can use. You can download a separate software also just for this purpose. A Firewall also plays a vital role in protecting wireless network. There are different mediums through which a virus can simply enter your system. But if a Firewall is active on software level it will give you instant warning of the infection. The antivirus on the same hand will act and take necessary action. The software level Firewall is capable of filtering incoming and outgoing traffic. That is the reason it is termed as effective. A Router is nothing but a bridge between your computer and internet connection.

Software Firewall provides you a reasonable solution at minimum cost. If you plan to implement the same on hardware level you will need to add one or more monitoring devices. Software Firewall are recommended as one of the ideal solution to deal with untrusted connection. Somehow this is managed automatically with the software itself. Advance Firewall tools monitor your connectivity actively. It generates a report and notify you if some app is trying to connect to some unknown sources without your consent. To some extent just getting a good antivirus is not at all enough. You have to stay hidden from various web threats. Attackers design the virus or malware in such a way that they open up a backdoor. This door is used to populate information from your pc over web or download and spread virus among similar network. Router Firewall is intact solution. It is for a isolated network which is mostly used by corporate. Today we have ample of solution that help us to encrypt our network and made it a beneficiary solution for many.

Limitation of Router Firewall:

There are number of limitation in Router Firewall. It is secure but not completely. First a Router Firewall protects your form incoming traffic, but it lack support to track what is outgoing from your computer. So it will protect your computer from a virus directly entering in your computer, but if somehow there is a virus which enters through an usb drive or any mode, it cannot stop its outdoing connection. The Router Firewall is capable of monitoring outbound connections but there is no way by which it can indicate an alert of suspicious connectivity or simply block it. Everything depends on the router configuration. It act silently but there are chances that outgoing connection can be ignored by it. Compared to them software Firewall are quiet powerful. They filter the data and block suspicious. You can find a popup on your screening about blocking and unblocking a connection. It is recommended that you keep Windows Firewall on and ignore the settings inside a Router. There are some unique Router models but they are far more costly compared to the one which you buy traditionally.

There is another important thing a Router Firewall lack. On software level there are some powerful tools which check your data route. It ensures the data source and destination. Also some of them offer you software level scanning of files or data before it is accepted by your computer. Router does not have this feature. It did not find or collect information that the data you are sending is going to the right computer. Also there is no alert option available in it. Software level Firewall is easy to configure and has tons of fresh options. You can collect new updates and manage it easily. No one really likes to mess with Router and modem configuration. A good antivirus tool simply blocks any information or connection which is carried by a virus. The main objective of a Firewall is to block threats that are entering to your system through LAN or Internet.

Conclusion

So in short the articles speaks clearly that a Router Firewall is not effective to some extent. If you need better protection then get a good antivirus suite that has powerful Firewall support. You can download some third party software’s like Comodo Internet Security, Bitdefender, Zone Alarm, Norton Internet Security, McAfee, Trend Micro, etc. There is tons of software on web that you can go for. It is recommended that you must buy them instead of relying on the free edition. Free edition gives you limited support. When you signup for a license version you are eligible to get additional benefits. If still you are looking for a better solution under free category then go for Comodo. I found this antivirus as a better solution for web security. It gives you active information on different inbound and outbound connections. You can terminate as per your need.
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