Poll

Is it really necessary when using a hardware router firewall to add a software firewall?

An Absolute Must!
0 (0%)
Important
6 (60%)
Somewhat important
3 (30%)
It's not a necessity
1 (10%)

Total Members Voted: 0

Author Topic: Router Firewall  (Read 16424 times)

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Culpeper

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Router Firewall
« on: December 04, 2004, 08:19:00 AM »
I'm using a wireless router with a built in firewall (Motorla 850g). The firewall passes ALL the comprehensive tests through Sygate, Shield Up!, and so forth. One PC is hooked via Ethernet line and the only other PC is wireless via wireless card. I see no reason to add a software firewall if the router firewall is passing tests. I've tried using the Sygate free firewall in addition and I get moot messages like Windows XP using the multicast IP 239.255.255.250 and so forth. Based on my own limited research on the subject I'm not finding a whole lot of information that suggests that using two firewalls, one hard and one soft, is a must for security. But I would like to get a consensus on the subject.

lee16

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2004, 12:49:08 PM »
Its 'Somewhat important'

Mainly because with both you have a two way protection, hardware firewalls only block incoming, while software firewalls block both ways, of course a hardware firewall is safer for incoming in my opinion, but having a software one for out going protection (Trojans and such) couldn't go a miss.

--lee
« Last Edit: December 04, 2004, 12:49:40 PM by lee16 »

Offline DavidR

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2004, 06:57:15 PM »
Not all hardware firewalls provide outbound protection.

So if that is the case with your hardware firewall then you should install a software firewall.

There shouldn't really be any additional processing effort required. Your hardware firewall should catch harmful inbound traffic (anything getting past the hardware, may be picked up by the software) so, no double processing of data traffic.

Your software firewall should hopefully catch outbound traffic. So, even if your hardware firewall did have outbound protection, the software firewall would be a first line of defence and the hardware firewall wouldn't see it since it had already been blocked.
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Culpeper

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2004, 12:19:02 AM »
Setting up a software firewall I found the following problems.  Actually, not problems but I need to setup the software firewall to accept the MAC addresses for the other PC and the router for each machine.    Both incoming and outgoing traffic from these MAC addresses.  Otherwise I get blocking messages when booting each machine.  I need to do this to share files and printers.  Isn't this a little vulnerable and defeats the purpose of adding a software firewall to begin with?

Well, I guess it could still prevent something from using either machine for denial of service attacks and so forth.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2004, 12:24:07 AM by Culpeper »

inthewildteam

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2004, 01:19:13 AM »
Your "intranet" machines will have ip addresses in the range of 192.etc which are not public so it's safe to allow traffic between the connected machines and the router if n.a.t. is enabled.

1 thing, if you use a web based programme to access and change settings on your router, make sure you set your own password for it and don't leave it set to the factory default.

Culpeper

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2004, 01:57:24 AM »
Yes, I have NAT enabled, changed the user ID and password for the web based router settings, added trusted IPs and MAC addresses for each network machine within the software firewall settings.  I also allowed traffic between the different MAC addresses for each machine as well as the router.  I guess this is okay.  Everything is working okay.  I'm not getting anymore blocked traffic messages between network machines from the software firewall (Sygate free version).

The router firewall seems to be sufficient protection for incoming traffic from the internet and I suppose the software firewall is a little added insurance or protection from unwanted outbound traffic.

Training Mrs. Culpeper about noticing unwanted outbound traffic messages from the software firewall is another story.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2004, 02:04:34 AM by Culpeper »

inthewildteam

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2004, 02:04:11 AM »
Yes, I have NAT enabled, changed the user ID and password for the web based router settings, added trusted IPs and MAC addresses for each network machine within the software firewall settings.  I also allowed traffic between the different MAC addresses for each machine as well as the router.  I guess this is okay.  Everything is working okay.  I'm not getting anymore blocked traffic messages between network machines from the software firewall (Sygate free version).



Other than someone sitting on your front lawn trying to grab some wi-fi net access for free, I guess you've got as secure a system as you can!   ;) ;D

Culpeper

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2004, 02:06:23 AM »
You know that is another good reason installing a software firewall to log traffic.  I'm not sure the router keeps traffic logs.

Offline Eddy

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2004, 02:17:06 AM »
I am not gonna vote since the correct answer isn't in the options. It depends on what hardware router/firewall you have and on the setup of the network (if you have it).

inthewildteam

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2004, 02:23:06 AM »
You know that is another good reason installing a software firewall to log traffic.  I'm not sure the router keeps traffic logs.

 ;D Mine does ....... a cheap and cheerful Belkin.

Culpeper

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2004, 02:30:50 AM »
I am not gonna vote since the correct answer isn't in the options. It depends on what hardware router/firewall you have and on the setup of the network (if you have it).

How about just being hypothetical.  Anyway, all basic router firewalls block predefined incoming packets only.


conazus

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2004, 03:49:37 AM »
not sure how I feel about this one.   I have a new Belkin router, and it does keep logs..    I check them now and then and never see anything out of the ordinary there.    Ive had Zone Alarm installed for longer then i remember and the only hit its ever reported is from when I went to connect to this pc from another in the house and had not yet set it up to allow it access.    Actually Zone Alarm is only active when Im using the computer...   when the other half uses it I disable it ..     it (ZA) annoys him   lol

Culpeper

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2004, 04:25:00 AM »
not sure how I feel about this one.   I have a new Belkin router, and it does keep logs..    I check them now and then and never see anything out of the ordinary there.    Ive had Zone Alarm installed for longer then i remember and the only hit its ever reported is from when I went to connect to this pc from another in the house and had not yet set it up to allow it access.    Actually Zone Alarm is only active when Im using the computer...   when the other half uses it I disable it ..     it (ZA) annoys him   lol

Look at inthewildteam's post above about setting up the local IPs for each machine on your network with ZA.    

But this is why I posted this thread.  I'm of the opinion that for basic security protection the router firewall should be sufficient.  The router firewall should at least pass the popular online firewall tests.  However, redundancy is always best for safety (especially always on broadband) so setting up a software firewall behind your router firewall should be best.  Once you have all the settings right on the software firewall.  If setting up a software firewall behind your router firewall is a major pain in the butt than forget about it.  It's more trouble than it's worth.  You at least have the router firewall.  Basic router firewalls are as effective or better than the firewall that comes with Windows XP.  Not state-of-the-art but effective nonetheless.

Mine is just a simple two computer network.  I put up a software firewall and listed the trusted local IPs of each machine and the router in the software firewall.  I also allowed the local MAC addresses for each network device like the router and wireless network card.  This opens up the channels between network computers but uses the software firewall for internet traffic.  Especially outgoing internet traffic.  Even with the software firewall, I'm not getting any messages when running online firewall tests because the router firewall is blocking all those incoming packets.  Of course, the online firewall tests are just incoming packets anyway.  Leaktest has a simple outgoing firewall test that will generate a message from the software firewall asking for permission to send packets outgoing.  I don't know of any other firewall tests that use outgoing packets.  Maybe someone else does.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2004, 04:35:23 AM by Culpeper »

conazus

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Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2004, 05:01:49 AM »
Culpeper....    took care of the IP setup many moons ago  :)    
 

Culpeper

  • Guest
Re:Router Firewall
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2004, 05:08:04 AM »
Culpeper....    took care of the IP setup many moons ago  :)    
 

okie dokie :)