Do I need a software firewall?

I recently deleted Trend Micro PC-Cillin which had a firewall built in (the folder was over 5 gigs!!! It would not delete the old updates and there were over 1000 in there before I happened onto the folder size by accident). I have installed Nod32 as my virus-protection. I have a router and the firewall that comes with XP. Do I really need a software firewall or is the above enough?

I ran the recently released AOL utility

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and it states that my firewall protection is excellent and that is without a software firewall.

Your thoughts, please? Also, where do I go to make sure the XP firewall is engaged?

Thanks, Mark

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You already have a software firewall - the XP one.

You seem to have a very decent protection from threats coming from the outside. You've also got a decent anti-virus (don't put too much trust into anti-virus products, though).

You seem to have some important technical defenses in place. The rest is more or less up to you. Some will claim that you definately need another personal firewall to also control outgoing connections. I disagree to that. It does'nt make sense, does'nt work reliably and therefore also does'nt provide any real security.

Instead be continuosly aware of what you do - and go by the rules (keep your system patched, don't open e-mail attachments, don't run questionable programs, don't use IE - or at least use it in a secure way, don't click yes to anything you bump into.. etc. etc. . the usual good manners. I guess you know them).

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B. Nice

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> and it states that my firewall protection is excellent and that is

You don't give us enough to know if you need additional help with security.

What type of Internet access do you use?

Do you have a Router that provides NAT for your internet barrier device?

Do you take your computer to other networks - like a laptop being moved around between your home and clients network?

Do you want a firewall that can give you a chance to see what is inbound and outbound or do you only care to block inbound and not really care about what you MIGHT be able to detect outbound?

Do you have a good quality AV product?

Do you share files with others?

Do you visit questionable websites/servers and download things without clearly understanding what you are doing?

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Start -> Control Panel ->Windows Firewall (or Security Center)

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High-speed cable.

I don't know. This is the one I have:

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Keep scrolling...

No, I have a desktop. Btw, the wireless router I have has had the antenna removed and the wireless ability has been disengaged within the software.

Again, I am not sure how to answer that. Obviously, I want to block hackers and things like that, but I imagine knowing what is also going out would be beneficial. Your thoughts?

I just deleted Trend Micro PC C-cillin Internet Suite as the folder size was almost 6 gigs, not megs, but gigs! Everyone said that was way too much and for some reason when it was downloading the latest updates, the old ones were staying there. I always thought that a latest update would include everything up to that moment. I downloaded the trial version of NOD32 and my computer is much faster, I have noticed that.

Sometimes I use Limewire and because of the old music I like, seldom, if ever, does anyone download my music.

No. I really don't understand about the server thing, but I never download anything without it being from a reputable site, such as or a major company offering a trial of some sort (Pogo or some good game site). I NEVER go to online casinos, p*rn sites, or anything that either requires or asks you to download a file. Also, I run Adaware, Spybot, and Evidence Eliminator on a regular basis, especially after having done on-line banking. I just feel safer that way.

If a software firewall would be a added benefit, or in order, what do most consider to be the among the best. free or paid, or based on the above information, is the router and XP firewall sufficient?

Lastly, on the link above for the firewall I have, to the left of that page is a link to the .pdf manual. Could you take a look at it and see if it a good router or just basic and let me know if there are things that should or should not be checked, or should be setup in a certain way to maximize its protection? If it is not a good router, I may buy a better one. If that is the case, what things should I make sure the new one has or can do?

Thanks to everyone for your help.


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What I use is Flashpeak's Slimbrowser and uses the IE engine I am told, just a slimmer and faster version.

I know only too well the attraction of FireFox and would love to use it. However, When I go to (game site), I cannot get it to allow the pop-up window to open where the game appears. Plus I really have a hard time with the scripts buttons at the bottom (allow or dis-allow) I can never tell when it is off or on and often do not know for sure what it should be.

----------------------------------- Well, I just went and downloaded Firefox and installed it. The latest version seems different in that the scripts bar at the bottom no longer seems to be there, just an arrow or something in a window and when I click onto it, the ad or whatever appears. I even got Pogo to work! So from this point on, I will use Firefox.

Again, thank you for all your help. I REALLY DO appreciate you taking the time to help me. It's people like you and others within these NG's that help those of us who need it, people you do not even know but are willing to help, that makes "Interneting" so much fun...and safer.

Fondly, Mark

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