router firewall?

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Old 11-14-05, 06:34 PM
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router firewall?

First of all, please excuse my ignorance when it comes to computers. While not entirely illiterate, I definately am in the "beginner" category.

I currently have the free edition Zone Alarm firewall, Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D and AVG anti-viral software installed on my Dell Dimension 3000 PC running XP. As I have a cable hook-up, I worry about security more than I used to.
I recently heard that routers can provide an extra measure of protection (the person I heard was talking about a wireless router, if that makes a difference).
I have a Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL router (model#BEFSR41 ver.2) and was wondering if I could connect the router after my cable modem (even though I'm the only one who would be using the hook-up) and in that way protect myself more?
Would that cause problems with the Zone Alarm firewall?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Dan
 
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Old 11-14-05, 07:13 PM
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if you already have a router, by all means, hook it up. do a little homework/research on using the various settings. If you don't have a router, a good option is the software firewall, which you have.
 
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Old 11-14-05, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for replying, tae!

I was told not to have two A-V programs running at the same time as they might then "cancel each other out". Would the same kind of conflict arise with the use of two firewalls? Would I have to uninstall the Zone Alarm if I hooked up the router? or can I have a software and a hardware firewall?
 
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Old 11-14-05, 08:55 PM
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you can have both. one is hardware, the other is software. shouldn't be any problem.
firewalls aren't antivirus. i have had several firewalls running at the same time before looking for rogue programs.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 04:42 AM
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Don't install the router unless you intend to configure it and use it. Simply connecting it and using the default settings won't gain you much, if anything, in the way of added protection.

This is especially true with wireless routers. Many people take their wireless routers out of the box and simply plug them in and start using them. This is foolish. Until and unless you configure the router and enable the security your network becomes open to anyone and everyone. And there are people out there who drive around looking for open routers. They either snoop into the computers on those systems or they use the connection for less than legal or ethical purposes.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 08:37 AM
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Red face Router

If you install a router most will have a firewall. Be sure to enable the router firewall and you can of course as said before use a software as well.

What I do to check security is go to:

https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

Click on proceed

Answer yes or OK if any warnings come up.

Then click on common ports.

If your system is properly protected you will come up with a stealth rating with no ports open. On my system it states my system is invisable to anyone searching the web and thats exactly what you want.

When you reach that level you have little to worry about. One equally as important thing though is to make sure your version of Windows hass all security updates applied. This should be your first step in securing you system but is only on piece of the puzzle.

A router, and firewall are the other pieces.

Good luck
 
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Old 11-15-05, 08:43 AM
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One word of caution. You cannot check the security of a wireless network by going to a web site and running a test. Someone breaking into your wireless network wirelessly will attack from within the firewall, from your intranet.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 09:47 AM
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Red face Roouter

For your wireless part of your router be sure to use a strong password in the wireless security settings of the router. Try not to use WEP but instead WPA if your router supports this. Make your password strong by using combinations of letters, numbers etc so a hacker will have trouble trying to come in through your wireless connection.

Of course if you live like I do where the nearest house is 3 miles away it is not as serious a concern but still always secure your wireless with a strong password anyway.

The online site I suggested is run by a well known internet security expert and will test the wired part of your router. He tries the same things a hacker would do to see if your system can be accessed.

I also always suggest you make sure you have the latest firmware for your router. I believe you had a Linksys so go to their site and see what updates are there. Many firmware changes in Linksys routers were due to possible hacker exploits so they are as important as any other step in securing your network.

If you need help with the firmware let me know and I will send you instructions.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 12:36 PM
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Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks for your responses tae, racraft and mowfixer.

mowfixer, I went to and used the security testing site you linked to and got a "Stealth" rating with no ports open, without hooking up the router. As that is the case, should I do nothing and "Don't fix it if it ain't broken?"
 
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Old 11-15-05, 01:39 PM
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Wink Router

If you show stealth you have a working firewall protecting you from the web bad guys. I can't remember what you were using. Did you have XP firewall or were you using zone alarm? Whatever the case your safe from hackers if you got stealth on ALL ports (green color and no blue).

A router with its hardware firewall would offer you even more protection and in my Business I always suggest a hardware and software firewall for maximum security on cable or DSL high speed always on internet.

The router is easy to set up. You can google and find detailed steps in setting up the router. As I sad be sure you have latest firmware. When you hook router to ethernet port on your computer open a browser and typ http://192.168.1.1 and it should connect to the router web based setup. Linksys will show the firmware version in the top right of the screen. If you can not connect using what I said above press the reset button on the back of the router and hold for 35-40 seconds. That will reset it to factory defaults. User name admin and password the same. Be sue to change that password as a part of your setup.

Sounds like your doing great based on your test results.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 02:14 PM
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If you are showing stealth, then your zone alarm software is working just fine. However, it's a software firewall, and it does it's job on packets that are already in your computer.

A hardware firewall will do it;s job on the packets before they get to your computer.

The combination of both a hardware and a soft are firewall is considered to be better than either one by itself.

I would go ahead and use your router as well as using the software firewall.
 
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Old 11-16-05, 03:36 PM
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I hooked up the router earlier and thought I followed all the directions that came with it, but, after installing it, was told that there was no connection to the Internet.
The router is probably 2 and 1/2 years old and I assume I would need to update the Firmware but is that enough to cause it to kill the connection?
If I can't connect, how can I update it?

Is there some way I have to adjust the CPU in order for it to recognize the router? (not mentioned in the instructions)

Changed everything back just so I could get on the net.
 
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Old 11-16-05, 05:05 PM
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How does your computer connect to your ISP? Do you need to enter a username and/or password, or does your PC simply connect up to the cable modem?

Did you configure the router properly? The fact that the router is 2 years old means nothing. I wouldn't even update the firmware in the router unless there was a feature I needed.

Can you connect to the router properly?
 
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Old 11-17-05, 04:11 AM
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Router

Hooking up the router can be a little tricky. Many cable modems are setup to only talk to the network card in your computer by a thing called the MAC address, a unique set of numbers that identify your network card from others on a network.

Let me give you a quick rundown on the easy things to do. This is not difficult as it seems.

First select start then run
In the run window type cmd then press enter
You will get a black window with a blinking curser.
at the curser type ipconfig /all then press enter.
You will see a bunch of stuff but one will physical address with six sets of numbers seperated by dashes. This is the MAC address of your computers network card. Write down this number
Then type exit and press enter

Now hook your router up to your computers network card. Do not connect your cable modem at this time. Be sure you hook your computer to one of the ports not the one that says Internet.

open your browser and in the URL window type http://192.168.1.1 and if things are working a screen will come up asking you for a user name and password. Both user name and password are admin

There are two settings in the router required to get Internet to work.

The first screen that comes up when you connect to the router must be set to the option under basic setup that says Internet Connection Type to Obtain an IP address automatically click apply.

The only other thing you neet to do is go to MAC Address Clone. On your router I do not know what tab on the setup screen it is but click around until you find it,When you find it enter the number you wrote down before into the MAC address box and enable it if there is an option. Some routers have an automatic buttom that you click and does this for you, not all. This option fools your cable modem into thinking it is still talking to your computer allowing it to work. Not all cable companies set up your modem this way but I set up routers on Comcast and Charter and this works for both of them.

These steps should get you connected after you reboot your system.


Try this and we will go from here if you run into problems.
 
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Old 11-17-05, 10:53 AM
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Thumbs up Success!

Thanks to all involved.
 
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