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Are firewalls necessary?


supremespleen
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Okay, what firewall are you behind...?

If it's McAfee, then you have no worries.

If it's Norton... you technically don't have a firewall. At least, in my eyes you don't.

Now in terms of your net privacy, your firewall shouldn't determine that. You do, with your average net activities. If you spend your time downloading roms and music, you may want to have one.

But if you manage to find yourself continuously visiting the same set number of secure sites, day after day, then you don't have much to worry about.

Once again, your firewall shouldn't determine that. Your choice in firewall along with your daily routine online determines that. Not sure if that helps, but I did try.

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If you're running windows, yes you should be behind a firewall. Even if you're only browsing the same set of sites.

Under no circumstances should a Windows box be left wide-open to the outside world, not even for gaming purposes.

I definitely second that. A Windows comp without a firewall is a gateway to the unimaginable. Use protection well, my friend.

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ZoneAlarm is good, if a bit annoying with the prompts.

Vista's firewall seems alright, but I wouldn't know if these things are really helping as my net connection's shared through a NAT router.

Okay, since I've been hearing a lot about NAT routers, what are the greater pros and cons about them and what do they ultimately do? I've only heard bits and pieces about the subject, but no one can honestly tell me what the hell are they exactly.

You seem highly-intelligent and fully incapable of leaving people on "Cliff-hangers". So please give me a quick rundown on this, please.

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NAT, or Network Address Translation, is a process where a router masks your computer's IP address. All home routers do NAT - they share a single connection and a single internet IP with several computers.

You may already be behind a NAT router. Opsn your start menu, go to run, type "cmd" sans quotes and press enter. In the DOS box type "ipconfig" and check your IP address. if it begins with 192. or 10. you are behind a NAT.

NAT blocks connection-oriented protocols - like servers and P2P programs. Two NAT'd clients cannot connect to eachother, but if you're behind a NAT you can still connect to peers who aren't NAT'd themselves, and you can be a CLIENT for servers like FTP and email.

You can bypass NATs through port forwarding. Forwarding a port number makes all traffic on that port go to the computer it's forwarded to. You'll want IP Address reservation or static IP if you want to forward ports. This lets a NAT'd computer act as a non-NAT'd computer.

You can also set a DMZ - A NAT router will direct ALL port-specific connections to the computer set as a DMZ. This basically makes that computer not NAT'd at all.

If you have any questions I'll be glad to clarify any of that.

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NAT, or Network Address Translation, is a process where a router masks your computer's IP address. All home routers do NAT - they share a single connection and a single internet IP with several computers.

You may already be behind a NAT router. Opsn your start menu, go to run, type "cmd" sans quotes and press enter. In the DOS box type "ipconfig" and check your IP address. if it begins with 192. or 10. you are behind a NAT.

NAT blocks connection-oriented protocols - like servers and P2P programs. Two NAT'd clients cannot connect to eachother, but if you're behind a NAT you can still connect to peers who aren't NAT'd themselves, and you can be a CLIENT for servers like FTP and email.

You can bypass NATs through port forwarding. Forwarding a port number makes all traffic on that port go to the computer it's forwarded to. You'll want IP Address reservation or static IP if you want to forward ports. This lets a NAT'd computer act as a non-NAT'd computer.

You can also set a DMZ - A NAT router will direct ALL port-specific connections to the computer set as a DMZ. This basically makes that computer not NAT'd at all.

If you have any questions I'll be glad to clarify any of that.

*sucks teeth* ...Yeah. That just summed up why I couldn't run any p2p programs on this electric brick for a PC. Thank you for clariying that.However, now I need to know exactly do you set a DMZ correctly and what do you have to watch out for if anything should occur?

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*sucks teeth* ...Yeah. That just summed up why I couldn't run any p2p programs on this electric brick for a PC. Thank you for clariying that.However, now I need to know exactly do you set a DMZ correctly and what do you have to watch out for if anything should occur?

You'll have to set port forwarding or DMZ in your router configuration.

Open a new web browser window or tab.

If your IP in ipconfig showed up as 192.168.0.x go to 192.168.0.1 (in the address bar). If the third number wasn't 0, go to 192.168.whatever-the-the-third-number-was.1, for example 192.168.100.1

Once there you'll have to put in a user name and password. Unless these have been changed, there are fairly predictable defaults. The username is almost always "admin" and the password is often "admin" "1234" "" (blank) "linksys" etc. You can Google for your router's default user/password.

Once there you will have to go to the port forwarding menu. Look for things like "Applications and Gaming" or "Advanced" - different brands put this in different places.

This can help you getting there:

http://portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm

Once you've got that menu, you can forward the desired port, or set the DMZ to yourself to completely disable the blocking that NAT does. For the lan/target/server IP field, use the ip you got for your computer in ipconfig.

Once you've forwarded the appropriate port or made your computer the DMZ, you should be able to connect to whatever service/p2p as if you weren't behind a NAT.

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You'll have to set port forwarding or DMZ in your router configuration.

Open a new web browser window or tab.

If your IP in ipconfig showed up as 192.168.0.x go to 192.168.0.1 (in the address bar). If the third number wasn't 0, go to 192.168.whatever-the-the-third-number-was.1, for example 192.168.100.1

Once there you'll have to put in a user name and password. Unless these have been changed, there are fairly predictable defaults. The username is almost always "admin" and the password is often "admin" "1234" "" (blank) "linksys" etc. You can Google for your router's default user/password.

Once there you will have to go to the port forwarding menu. Look for things like "Applications and Gaming" or "Advanced" - different brands put this in different places.

This can help you getting there:

http://portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm

Once you've got that menu, you can forward the desired port, or set the DMZ to yourself to completely disable the blocking that NAT does. For the lan/target/server IP field, use the ip you got for your computer in ipconfig.

Once you've forwarded the appropriate port or made your computer the DMZ, you should be able to connect to whatever service/p2p as if you weren't behind a NAT.

Yay, I learned something in English. :tomatoface: lol. Thanks a lot, Drack.

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