Norton Antivirus and Norton Personal Firewall question

Discussion in 'Networking and Security' started by gotta_trade, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I use 2 computers. A Dell desktop with XP Pro and a HP laptop with Win 98.

    I also use a Linksis router.

    I am about to purchase the Norton AntiVirus software.

    They have a package deal where I can also purchase the Norton Personal Firewall.


    Is it necessary for me to purchase the NortonPersonal Firewall too?

    Will it complicate things for me? Will I run into problems with my stock trading software and data feeds?

    I realize that the problems could easily be taken care of by someone who is familiar with this stuff. But I'm not to sharp when it comes to computer technology. (figuring out how to use SnagIt and post the charts on EliteTrader was a HUGE technological accomplishment for me)

    So, I'm sure that I'll benefit from the Norton AntiVirus software, but do I need the Norton Personal Firewall too?

    Here's the link for the Norton stuff.

  2. gnome


    I'm not a security expert, but I've heard them say that a firewall is equally necessary. I run Norton AntiVirus and Firewall on my W2K machine, and Norton Antivirus + Zone Alarm on my XP.

    I get the sense that Norton Firewall is more protective. Not only does it do the "regular" business of a firewall, but it also lets you make a list of data to protect... trading accout numbers, bank account, credit card, passwords, etc. Then, when some computer asks for that info, Firewall warns you and asks if it's OK. (I find fairly often that some computer is requesting my phone number.)

    Zone Alarm is used by many and well liked. Wouldn't be a bad idea to check it out too.
  3. trdrmac


    I added the Linksys Router after I had the Norton Firewall and Anti Virus. A computer friend of mine told me that the router serves as a firewall.

    What I have done is leave the firewall up with the router and turned on the XP firewall. Speed is fine and I have not had any hits on my firewall since I went this route. I used to get at least one trojan a day before the router.

    Im sure the MD Dmv wishes they had been as cautious.

  4. 1) What's a trojan?

    2) Would you recomend that I turn on my XP firewall? Are there any disadvantages to turning it on?

  5. I'm not familiar with the "firewall" situation. I don't know anything about them. I'm just trying to figure out what I should do.

    But if my Linksys router does the same thing and serves the same purpose, then maybe that would be good enough? Or are there other benefits to using ZoneAlarm, Norton Firewall, or the Win XP firewall over the Linksis router?
  6. A Linksys router is not necessarily a firewall. It may have NAT, which does hide your computer somewhat, but that is not a true firewall. Some Linksys routers do come with built-in firewalls so you will want to check exactly what your model has.

    Either of the 3rd-party software firewalls you mentioned should work fine.
  7. trdrmac


  8. Most routers either come with, or can be flashed (updated), with firewalls. This will mask the ip addresses behind them so that only the router uses the IP address with your DSL/broadband provider which can be seen out on the internet. In combination with the Zone Alarm freeware (available on download sites) you are effectively protected. I was told to leave the XP firewall alone -- better than nothing but probably in need of patches like everything else on XP security-wise.
  9. A router with NAT is an absolute inbound firewall. Your inside LAN is completely stealthed and all inbound connections and probes are rejected.

    I'm behind a NAT router and an external port scan of my (outside) IP finds all ports completely stealthed. However, a NAT router does not provide outbound firewall features - if you feel you need them.

    Typically, for personal use, an outbound firewall isn't needed if you're already using virus protection and you exercise basic computer safety.

    The purpose of an outbound firewall is to prevent users on the inside from initiating certain outbound connections (an issue for corporate users, but not typically an issue for personal use - unless maybe you're trying to prevent your kids from using IM or certain other functionality).

    Depending on configuration and the specifics of the situation, an outbound firewall can also contain virii/trojans/spyware from initiating their own outbound connections - thus preventing them from spewing your information or using your computer to initiate further attacks (e.g., a properly configured outbound firewall would stop the MSBlast worm from spreading from your machine if you had been infected).

    Sounds like a good thing, except that MSBlast couldn't have got into you computer if you used a NAT router because the router would have blocked all inbound connections - thereby blocking the attempted infiltration of your system by MSBlast in the first place.

    If you've got a NAT router, virus protection, and a minimum of safety discipline (e.g., don't run a program you download without virus scanning it, regularly check the Windows update and install critical updates, etc.) - installing a seperate software firewall for outbound protection is an additional (but probably unnecessary) precaution.
    #10     Aug 14, 2003