How important is a firewall?

Discussion in 'Security' started by EdenSB, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. EdenSB

    EdenSB Member

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    I've never really used one beyond Windows Firewall and the hardware one built into my router (which I'd turn off if I could).

    How important do people feel a firewall is? Do I still need one if I'm careful about what I download?
     
  2. ozadin

    ozadin Member

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    I never really knew what the Firewall was for. I disabled it for a long time and barely got any viruses, but I currently have it enabled because the notification was popping up too much.
     
  3. quark

    quark New Member

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    If you don't have any firewall at all either on your computer or router, hackers can easily look at everything you're doing. If we take a keylogger, it needs to send information over the internet that your firewall can stop. I'm not using a firewall either on my computer, but I do have one enabled on my router. I'd strongly advise you to have a firewall enabled somewhere, either your computer or your router.
     
  4. Hotsumaro

    Hotsumaro Living Encyclopedia

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    assuming you aren't behind a NAT and your computer is directly connected to the interwebs. All the services listening on any port on your machine can be compromised. And traffic can freely flow in both directions.
     
  5. ozadin

    ozadin Member

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    Interesting. I never knew there was a firewall for a router. Is it enabled by default or do you have to turn it on? Also, isn't firewall like another antivirus, or is it different?
     
  6. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Member

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    I haven't paid much attention to my firewall in years. I just use the one built into Windows. The only time I really use it is when I am trying to block a specific app from "phoning home" for updates. I would imagine any type of malware that is written would include some code to bypass the firewall as well.
     
  7. Hotsumaro

    Hotsumaro Living Encyclopedia

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    I'm sure as you no firewalls to do not prevent malware. So if you do get compromised in someway. Many firewalls allow outbound connections. So the malware on your computer can easily "phone home".
     
  8. EdenSB

    EdenSB Member

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    It's enabled by default and often they can't be turned off, but exceptions can be made. It's different from an anti-virus, but I'll leave it to someone else who understands better to explain the specifics.
     
  9. daenerys

    daenerys Member

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    I honestly don't think you do if you at all know what you're doing with computers. If you use a good browser (like not IE) and you're not dumb enough to click insane links in spam emails and on horribly sketchy nsfw sites, I think most people will be fine. I disable my firewall on the PC, but I don't do anything except play games on there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2018
  10. PurpleGuardian

    PurpleGuardian Member

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    Definitely very important. You wouldn't hackers to steal passwords or make your computer a zombie hacker would you? You have to have a firewall or else you'll be weak against hackers and theives. Although, it all depends, because some people know how to keep there computer safe without a firewall.
     
  11. debtheweb

    debtheweb New Member

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    It's important especially if you have a PC, there's just so much out there if you don't know how to take care of your computer often. Usually you should clean out your harddrive once in a while, maybe even reformat. But many people don't want to bother with that, that's why Macs are so good.
     
  12. quark

    quark New Member

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    If the router has a firewall (which it usually have) it's probably on default. A firewall can not scan through your system and check if you have any infected files or viruses. What a firewall does is blocking ports which stops other users/programs and such around the globe to connect to you via that port.
     
  13. mikelouis

    mikelouis Member

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    Firewalls help to keep hackers and crackers out of your system. These guys are very malicious and when they get the opportunity to your system they can damage important files and documents.
     
  14. ENO1986

    ENO1986 Member

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    Having your firewall enabled is very important like Mike stated it protects you from hackers you should never disable it if your firewall is protecting you from something you know it's safe from like a game or something then manually allow programs through your firewall.
     
  15. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    Personally I thought that a firewall was complete nuisance used to consume system resources and block all those programs that one is certain that are safe, but the firewall doesn't.

    So to make long story short, I deactivated the firewall for about a whole decade and never had any hacker attack, virus issue (and I didn't use antivirus either) nor intrusions but sporadically and briefly a lost bot getting into and leaving immediately.

    Today I changed computer and since it seem that Windows 8 is not causing the system hogs that previous operating systems caused me, I have not disable the firewall yet, not sure if I will do sometime later though.
     
  16. ENO1986

    ENO1986 Member

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    I have never disabled my firewall, but it could maybe speed up your computer a tad bit for some people I guess it would be OK not to have those active, but if you share a computer or let someone use it I would consider turning them on then.
     
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  17. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    Never though of this but makes sense to me now that you mention it.

    Once I lent my computer to my sister with the confidence she wouldn't do something wrong with it, but she likes to download cracked software and not that I'm recalling the incident, I guess she got me some spyware or malware that slowed down my old computer terribly, but I thought of a fresh OS reinstall that corrected the problem then.

    Will keep you advice in mind from now onward :)
     
  18. themarksquared

    themarksquared Member

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    Whilst having a firewall can take up some of your computers resources, I personally believe that a firewall should always be enabled. It is your first line of defense against malicious attacks from the Internet. It's better to be safe than sorry. Prevention is always better than the cure.
     
  19. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    And now I'm running over a new computer that, coming with Windows 8 installed, came with the Firewall activated.

    I didn't realize it because it runs smoothly and without system hogs like in the past, so I believe this time I won't turn off the firewall as I used to do in the past.
     
  20. thebeardlesswonder

    thebeardlesswonder New Member

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    You should always run a software firewall on your PC. Especially if you have a laptop that you use to get on random wireless access points. If you dont have a firewall running someone can use their PC to try to hack into yours pretty easy. When you are using your home network your router should have a firewall function enabled on it by default. This helps to protect you from incoming connections from the internet.
     

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