Re: Firewalls

From: Lionel Fourquaux (no.spam_at_dummy.invalid)
Date: 07/14/03


Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 14:08:14 +0200


"Clo" <cloclo1941@yahoo.com> a écrit dans le message de news:06f701c349fa$dbb2b6c0$a401280a@phx.gbl...
> Two computer experts (one that owns a shop - sells,
> builds and repairs) are both telling me that I should not
> install a Firewall cuz it slows down computers. And in
> any case when I go in web sites or receive or send e-mail
> I'm giving permission to come in anyway. They are
> telling that firewalls are useless and as long as I have
> a good anti-virus it's enough. What do you think?

Maybe they are no so "expert"...

Firewall block most of the network traffic between
to outside and your computer (or a whole network).
So, a well configured firewall will block everything
except the connections you request (e.g. http and
https for web browsing).

Firewalls are not the ultimate solution in security: there is
no such thing. You can secure a computer without
using a firewall (by stopping all unnecessary program
listening for connections). However, firewalls have two
big advantages:
 * they offer a pretty good security against unwanted
incoming connections
 * they are usually easy to setup for maximal security
(i.e. block every incoming connection), even for non
expert users.
Moreover, they become even more useful if you want
to protect a whole network (using a dedicated firewall
box).

As far as speed is concerned, I didn't notice any
difference, and I don't believe it is really important: most
of the delay is caused by the network, not by whatever
processing is done by the computer.

So, don't hesitate to install a firewall: it's good for the
security of your computer.

On the other hand, you shouldn't believe some noisy
firewalls that keep telling you that your computer was
protected from an attack: most of these incoming packets
are rather harmless. And remember that security is _not_
just running a firewall and an antivirus. You should first
keep your eyes open and try to understand the security
implications of what you do.