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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    So, here's a question that has been puzzeling me for quite a while....

    1. We all agree a firewall is needed.
    2. We all agree that the "standard" firewall built into Windows (especially XP) is pretty lame.
    3. If you are using a "modern day" router as part of your networking configuration, there is most likely a firewall built into it.
    4. Let's assume that router-based firewall is activated.

    Question: Is a separate hardware based firewall, such as Watchguard, SonicWall, etc., needed or necessary? What *security* features do they bring to the table that a router-based firewall does not? [Let's disregard the built-in features of some of the such as AV protection, anti-spam, VPN, 2nd "walled garden" subnet, etc.]

    I'm thinking mostly about small/medium businesses, but this question applies to a home network as well.

    Curious minds want to know .......


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  3. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    A cultural area in SW England
    Thanked 109 Times in 103 Posts
    A hardware firewall, such as the one in your router, is essential as the first line of defence. It filters out Stuff which software firewalls do not. A software firewall is a useful additional facility, but less necessary.

    You appear to be talking about an additional hardware security appliance. Is this necessary? Depends on your degree of paranoia, or whether you have Very Important Stuff to protect (as you might do if you are a business). If you are just an average Joe or Jane, I can't see why you'd need this...

    Dear Diary, today the Hundred Years War started ...

  4. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Thanked 112 Times in 97 Posts
    Hi Jim,

    I am in complete agreement with BATcher on this. For home users a router firewall is completely sufficient. As far as small to medium size business, I would think it depends on the number of computers involved and the nature of the business. The router firewall should be great for a small family business.

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #4
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 231 Times in 219 Posts
    What BATcher said.

    cheers, Paul

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