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OceanBlue 2009-06-02 18:42

Firewall Testing
I want to test how secure my computer is so I can decide on whether to go with purely a router firewall or both that and my current software firewall. I've used GRC's and Audit My PC's, and I want to know if there's another one I should know of.

WanderingKnight 2009-06-02 19:24

If you have any Linux boxes available, or a friend that has one, nmap is a great choice.

Either way, I would highly suggest getting a router.

OceanBlue 2009-06-02 19:27

Well, I already have a router, and if I can avoid using my software firewall without any problems, then I would do it.

WanderingKnight 2009-06-02 19:34

A hardware router is a great way of narrowing down the ports that stay open to the outside world. In most home use cases, no port stays open for incoming requests. If you use BitTorrent, you would probably want to open a high-number random port in order to enable inbound peer requests.

But yes, a router in most cases nullifies the need for a software firewall, since ports are already blocked at the out-facing IP address.

SaintessHeart 2009-06-04 04:04

Since you have a router I would suggest that you just install an antivirus of your choice (Avast, Norton or AVG) and clean up your computer on a regular basis. That should help you avoid some devastating losses caused by hackers and random acts of malice.

chikorita157 2009-06-04 19:50

Another note, most free anti-viruses except Avira have poor detection rates and high false positive rates, so I advise avoiding them. Also, most common cause of malware installation is the user is using a administrator account (Firewall won't help in this case) which makes malware installation alot easier and can be prevented by not using a administrator account.

Software firewalls are usually cause more trouble than not using them since it becomes pain in a neck when you start using p2p programs or downloading off IRC. This is because you must manually set these ports and they are usually unnecessary when you are connected to a router. Software routers are more useful if you hooked up directly to a dsl/cable modem because you are directly connected to the internet.

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