Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Using a firewall is an important first line of defense against network-borne threats to your computer. This section covers questions and answers relating to both hardware and software firewalls, why you need one and when you might not.
For a virus to infect a smart phone, it would have to be written specifically for that smart phone and poses little danger to your network system. But what kind of protection do you need for (and from) her laptop?
Firewalls are a critical component of keeping your machine safe on the internet. There are two basic types, but which is right for you?
Routers and modems perform different functions and often come combined in one unit. I walk through the functions of a router and how you can tell which one you have.
Most routers both do, and do not, have a firewall. The good news is that the protection offered by a router's firewall is often exactly what you need.
Internet security is normally about keeping us safe from the internet - but what if the risks and threats are in our home and on our own local network?
Changing your router's password is important, but the steps aren't always obvious. I'll walk through changing my router's password.
Connecting to a VPN can introduce risks as you expose your machine to others on that same VPN. Fortunately it's easy to increase your personal security.
Firewall tests can be useful to identify any holes in your security. Rather than relying on simple Pass/Fail, though, examine the results carefully.
Internet Connection Sharing allows you to share the internet connection of one computer among several others. There are risks if not set up properly.
I agree with you that this is somewhat unsettling. One of the things malware does is corrupt the firewall on your system in order to allow other malware to get on board.
Many software firewalls will alert you on suspicious outbound connections. The biggest problem is that if correct, by then it's too late.
Firewalls can do a good job protecting you from internet threats, but having too many of the wrong kind can cause conflicts.
It's typically not necessary, or even desirable, to disconnect your modem when not in use, but there are steps you should take to stay safe.
My real concern here is the fact that you can't turn the Windows firewall on. That's bad!
You do need a firewall and particularly if you aren't behind a router the Windows Firewall is one option.
It's not at all uncommon for random attacks to reach our computers and try to break in. That's why a firewall is needed.
Any device sitting on the internet is subject to a constant stream of "internet background noise". It's why you really want to be behind a firewall.
A firewall is critical to keeping your internet-connected computer safe. We'll review what a firewall is and the two different types of firewalls.
A firewall will prevent malicious and other messages from reaching your computer, but it won't stop your computer's software from listing for them.
For various reasons firewall vulnerability tests can be alarming. Issues they report can be actual problems, or not, depending on your situation.
Firewall software can help protect against remote intrusion attempts, as well as outgoing attempts. 192.168 addresses give a clue as to the source.