Help for novice with ICF, Router h/w Firewall and McAfee s/w Firewall

From: Mike (
Date: 02/23/04

Date: 23 Feb 2004 14:53:27 -0800

I have XP and a DSL connection for internet. Up until recently I have
used the standard free issue Alcatel Speedtouch DSL modem via USB for
a dial up connection with ICF active for protection. However, I'm now
using a an Ericsson ADSL Router (HN294d) set up for PPPoA (connected
via an Ethernet card) so that additional PC's in the house can be
connected to the internet via my broadband service.

If not obvious already I am a pretty dumb user so apologies now for
stupid questions but ....

1. What is simple terms is the difference in protection between ICF,
the hardware firewall of a Router and the software firewall of
something like McAfee's Firewall 3 package.
2. Is my Internet connection (via the Ericsson Router) still
protected by ICF - it doesn't show in my Connection Settings as a
Dialup Connection but rather as an Internet Gateway.
3. Does the Router offer better protection than ICF anyway. (I have
activitated the default "medium" level of protection and activated
Intrusion Detection again with default settings). Any guidelines on
why non default settings may be desirable,
4. I also have a copy of McAfee Firewall 3 but have not loaded this.
Is there any point in loading this given the use of ICF and the
Ericsson Router. What if any additional protection can this provide.

Thanks for any advice.