personal firewall

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Hi folks,

   what exactly is the need for a personal firewall???
   the following link says that it is a snake oil????

  well to what extent this is true.....????
 (please note that i am not an expert on security matters,so any
meaningful explanation is
  always welcome)

Re: personal firewall writes:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

First, it's worth noting that page was last modified in March of

To an extent I agree with the premise in the article that software
firewalls should not be the first thing you buy.  If you're on
broadband, by all means spend $60 on a little home firewall router
thingee such as the venerable Linksys BEFSR41 or WRT54G if you're in
the mood for wireless.   That will largely prevent the bad guys from
getting in on a network level.

Personal firewalls or  software firewalls are both redundant to the
functionality of these devices and they are also complimentary.

They're redudant in that they too implement packet filter or stateful
packet inspection on the computer--the same sort of thing the little
$60 box is doing on your network perimeter.

However, where software (personal) firewalls actually add useful
protection is in application level network access.  If you download
and unwittingly install a program that wants to access the network (to
phone home, or whatever), a software firewall can potentially alert you
to this, which is very useful.

In addition, on a laptop machine, it's nice to have the packet or SPI
filtering of the firewall when you wander into unfriendly networks
like hotels and airports and such.  It's also useful to protect your
individual machine from other machines on your home network if/when
they get infected with something.

Best Regards,
Todd H. /

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