Newbie to firewalls - do I need one?

I am thinking of upgrading from dial up to broadband. I am worried about the threat of viruses etc this always on situation. What would you recommend as a good freeware firewall (if there is such a thing around)?

I also use the following freeware progs:

1)AVG as a free antivirus checker (2) Spybot (3) Ad-Aware

Would these provide effective protection in a broadband environment?


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You need a firewall even with dial up

I can't remember the name, but there is a particular virus (trojan, whatever it's called) that will randomly scan the 'net for open ports... and if you don't have a firewall and you are dialed up via modem, you have open ports

I know 'cause I got infected and had to wipe my drive to install everything fresh

John Thomas Smith

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John Thomas Smith

Define effective. To me that wouldn't be effective.

If you connect your PC to the Internet directly, insure you disable File and Printer sharing and the "Client for Microsoft Networks". Just use plain jane TCP/IP. This will protect you a bit more. Also don't leave your machine running 7/24. Shut it off when you're not using it.

As others have mentioned, it's best to have an external Hardware Firewall located between your PC and the Cable/DSL/Broadband modem (

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Not-My-Real-Name (Seeker) confessed in news:15e0bbff.0501200935.48c7eb17

No, you need a firewall to block malware at the gateway to your home/office LAN, i.e., at the border router.

So, when you add broadband, insist that you get a router (or a WiFi hub) that contains built-in firewall functionality utilizing "stateful packet inspection". Properly configured, these firewalls can protect your home system from bugs that attach to the Windows file sharing and other system service ports.

-- ipgrunt

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Even with dial up you should have a firewall. If you can't spring for a router then consider one of the free firewalls like Zonealarm...

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Woody (Seeker) wrote in news:

Firewalls do not stop viruses and worms, as they are always delivered by trusted apps or in something you downloaded. The best use of a software firewall is to alert the user to connection attempts from inside out. A firewall is no substitute for safe computing and being security minded.

I am using Sygate (free version) and am very happy with it.

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