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Old 08-05-2003, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Midway between a Beehive and Centennial
Is a Linksys router considered a firewall?

I have broadband cable internet access. To allow multiple PCs access I bought and installed a Linksys 4 port switch. I have left the Linksys with the factory default settings for security, except the admin password. With it's current setup can this router be considered a firewall? As a precaution I have also installed Zone Alarm on my PC. Is Zone alarm overkill?
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Old 08-05-2003, 06:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can consider your router a type of firewall. It will block all packets, that have not been requested, that try and gain access to your network.

I would not consider Zone alarm overkill because it will stop applications from accessing the internet from your PC without permission.
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have used Zone alarm with my linksys router before. If you have newer firmware, or have purchased the router within say the last year, the linksys router will partner/talk with zonealarm.
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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firewalls pretty much stop everything from connecting, while the router serves the purpose to block incoming, so my suggestion would to be use both.
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes it is and according to TechTV, It's a real good one.
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Excellent, thank you.
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Houston, Tx
Make sure you update the firmware on the router. Linksys are well known for fixing the bugs within there software.
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The linksys routers are not firewalls persay. They only do something call NAT, or Network Address Translation. It is basically the simplest form of a firewall. If you are worried about security, use both the linksys router and zonealarm as the user above stated.
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Old 08-05-2003, 02:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Alexandria, VA
Technically, it's not a firewall. It does Network Address Translation to route connections from the external IP address to various internal connections. As such, only connections you configure can be initiated on the outside (ie: you tell it that you're running a webserver on machine X, so forward traffic for X on port 80 to it).

True firewalls do so much more than simply "block all packets unless specified otherwise", they do stateful packet inspection, etc. NAT is a poor-man's firewall, I suppose.

Running ZoneAlarm or any other software firewall is an excellent idea, even with the NAT solution.
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