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Hardware Firewall (old PC) vs. Software vs. Router





Donutey
I have an old Pentium PC laying around that I could make into a dedicated hardware firewall (using Smoothwall etc.) between the router/dsl modem and our PCs.

My questions are:
Will this firewall work better/worse/same as the firewall that the router has or the McAfee one I have on my PCs?

If I have the hardware firewall setup, will I still need firewall software on each computer? Or would a combination of the two be better?

Finally, Could this computer be setup in some way as a combination Network Atached Storage (NAS) sort of setup and as a firewall? Or is that asking too much from the trusty pent'? Rolling Eyes

Thanks in advance.
prongs_386
depending on what you want to do with the firewalls, different options may need to be considered.
My connection has an adsl wireless router which has the firewall onboard. This is a very strong protection and is fairly easy to setup the way you want it. However, on some of my friends routers there aren't many optinos like port forwarding etc. So you'd want to make sure you got a router that had proper firewalll options. <- This would be the simplest method I feel. A full system can be harder to setup and maintain but in the long run it will keep upto date and you would have more control. If you have any more than 4 or 5 computers i would suggest using a pc firewall instead of a hardware one.
The only reason I use a software firewall any more is to block certain applications from my pc getting to the web which is much simpler than blocknig the ports on the router.
Donutey
well, my router/modem has a port forwarding feature (that i've configured) and has a firewall...

In theory, would having a pc firewall and a router be better than one or the other?
djclue917
Donutey wrote:
well, my router/modem has a port forwarding feature (that i've configured) and has a firewall...

In theory, would having a pc firewall and a router be better than one or the other?


A Router, in the context of being used in an ADSL connection, is already a firewall in the sense that it masquerades the IP addresses of the computers connected to it.

A PC firewall, router, or software firewall do not really have clear advantages of one another. The effectiveness of the firewall is solely dependent on the configuration of the firewall.

However, there are advantages and disadvantages when looking at these three "types" of firewall at a different perspective. For instance, a PC set up as a router would be consuming more energy than an ADSL bridge/router. Likewise, the software firewall would definitely need hardware (PC) to run from, and, eventually, would also consume much greater energy than an ADSL bridge/router.

Another consideration is the level or degree of customizability. Most ADSL bridge/routers have a fairly simple firewall configuration. Some don't even have one since the effect of IP masquerading is already a firewall in a sense. On the other hand, a PC firewall or software firewall would most likely offer a higher degree of customizability as compared to an ADSL bridge/router.

I hope that helps...
airh3ad
My router conflict to our network which means he distribute dhcp sometimes attacking to our firewall
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