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PCBUILD  September 2001

PCBUILD September 2001

Subject:

Re: Firewall - router or software?

From:

Mark Rode <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PCBUILD - Personal Computer Hardware discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 27 Sep 2001 14:51:28 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines)

Your RT314 comes with a very good built in Firewall. There is nothing to
configure other then if you need to port route in order to put up a FTP
site, or something similar. I would recommend you obtain and flash your
RT314 with the latest BIOS Flash and data file. You can obtain these from
the NetGear site. Once you do this, the firewall should run in near full
stealth mode. You can always test your firewall here and see how it is
doing https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2.

The reason your cable modem light is flashing all the time is because the
RT314 and your Cable company server are chattering back and forth at a very
low level.
  Are you there...Yes I am. Are you there...Yes I am. etc etc ...
Mine did this for months and then one day stopped probably because COX
stopped pinging it all the time. I did call NetGear about this which is why
I know what it was doing. NetGear is aware of this and their solution is to
ignore it. Just the other day I noticed my access light is no longer
constantly blinking.

I wouldn't worry about  Norton Personal Firewall warnings. It may be
showing unimportant pinging by your cable provider as attacks. They
routinely ping you looking for web servers or FTP sites which you aren't
suppose to have unless you have a commercial account.

I am not very impressed with Norton Personal Firewall . A few years ago
Symantec bought a very good industrial strength firewall product / company
called CheckPoint and managed to turn it into at best, a mediocre personal
firewall.  If you want a back up firewall then I would suggest you use
ZoneAlarm..free ....or purchase ZoneAlarm Pro $40. These are widely
accepted as the best software personal firewall available. Although with a
hardware router this is really overkill for most users. With the RT314 you
don't need any additional protection from external attack. But these days I
would recommend an anti virus program like Norton Anti Virus running in the
background and checking all downloads and mail.

Zone Alarm will however, protect you from stealth programs ...be it
viruses, applications or advertisers tracking your movement...sending
things OUT from your computer. With ZoneAlarm running nothing will go out
without your permission.

Routers with built in firewalls are very easy to use and set up and offer
very good protection out of the box. In fact there is almost nothing to
setup any more. However for the serious online user who wants to run a FTP
site, Web Server, mail server you are better off using a dedicated Linux
Box as a router, or Win2K ICS with a strong firewall. The big limitation of
personal routers is that they allow so few ports open, and there is very
little configuration  allowed by the end user. But for the average home
user, or small business, that does not plan on running any servers, then
the hardware personal router firewall is the way to go. They can be had for
well under a 100 dollars now.

My recommendation is to use a Hardware Router ( preferably Netgear or
Linksys) , antivirus software running in the background, and some version
of ZoneAlarm.


Rode
The NOSPIN Group


At 09:57 AM 9/27/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm confused about this issue. I bought a router recently thinking it can
>function as firewall besides the ability to have more internet connections
>than assigned. I recently installed Norton Personal Firewall and I was
>surprised to see at least 5-6 attack reports each night. Also, my cable
>modem Data light blinks a lot recently when idle. No download, no upload
>and it's blinking all the time like crazy.
>
>Maybe I need to set up the router so it functions as a firewall. My router
>is Netgear RT314.
>
>Changhsu Liu

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