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Windows 7: Software or Hardware Firewall?


30 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 64 bit build 7600
 
 
Software or Hardware Firewall?

Do you guys think that a software firewall is better (ex: zonealarm, pc tools free firewall, etc) or a hardware firewall? (built in router)

I think hardware firewall is better but im all open to your opinions!
(this thread is not intended as an insult to the argument I had earlier with igster)

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30 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I believe that a software firewall is a great addition to an already existent hardware firewall in a router.

A software firewall will allow you to easily monitor any outgoing connections. Programs trying to connect to the Internet will be shown to you by a software firewall and you can either allow or deny access to the Internet.

You will also be able to shut down any malware that may be on your system and trying to call home quite easily with a software firewall.

A hardware firewall is great for incoming connections, but a software firewall is a neccessity for outgoing connections and allows you to have full control of your system.
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31 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hardware based firewall is better against somebody trying to gain access inbound to your systems. It's better to stop them before they can even hit your computer.

Software based firewalls are better for protecting you from yourself. A hardware based firewall (NAT), does very little, actually nothing, to keep bad things from happening to you...if you have established the outbound traffic yourself.
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31 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 64 bit build 7600
 
 

And you couldn't be clear earlier on that other thread......sigh....
What I wanted to say was that a router can also monitor outgoing connections just like a software firewall. While a router firewall doesn't give you a readily accessed user interface, you can configure the rules for outbound connections on the router page. A router will block any outgoing connections that it inspects and violates one of the rules. In addition, a router's firewall will override the settings on a firewall.

Router's settings could be easily changed by virus. Router is a firmware data firewall and cannot easily be changed. To update the router firewall, all you need to do is update the router's firmware.

Basically, an overview of how a router does it is this: Most outbound connections leave through a specific port in the network. This port is monitored not only by a router but also by windows. A router will most likely block any other attempts through any other ports. This single port, is monitored by windows, not only firewall, but by other security features. Thus, this gives you a complete picture of a system guarded by a hardware firewall.
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