I have just installed a wireless home network router. The information, and set up page, tells me there is a firewall pre-installed with the router.
Are these built in firewalls good enough to be a stand alone, or do I need back up firewalls on the undividual computers?
All advice would be appreciated.
A software firewall on individual machines that tells you at the application level what program is trying to get out is good to have.
For example, a firewall that pops up with a message that BrowserXYZ is trying to access the internet.
The firewall built in to the router should be sufficient for most people. This should stop almost any unwanted traffic coming in to the network from the internet. Personal Firewalls offer a second level of protection and can be customised to allow only certain applications to network resources. This is not strictly necessary in many cases. If you do not trust all the computers on the network, ie someone on your network my want to hack in to your PC, or my have malicious software installed, then it is necessary as the router firewall only prevents anything coming from the internet side, not internal traffic as well. If you are using Windows XP, I would recommend turning on the firewall as a precaution.
I vouch on the post made by SoftStag. The firewall installed inside the router acts as a hardware firewall. It should be sufficient to protect your Internal network against external attacks. But it wont be of any use if someone tries to attack one of your network computers from within the internal network. So its better you install a software firewall for secondary protection.
hardware firewalls can be set up in many ways, b=standard is to allow your computer access to internet but not allow other computers direct access to yours, it blocks any direct attempts, such as hackers would use. They can also be setup to block certain ports which can intern stop software viruses etc. Software firewallls are good I find if you just want to stop any malicious software such as spyware getting net access, they are not needed for other purposes if you have a hardware firewall.
Thanks for the advice everybody, I know now what to do, and as the 3 networked computers are in my house, I don't need the software firewall.