firewalls and AV's

  Kegsy 09:54 11 Dec 03

I've read the recent discussions on the pros and cons of having a firewall, but not being particularly computer literate I wonder if someone could explain to me in laymans terms what a firewall does and how this differs from AV.
Thanks in advance

  Stuartli 09:59 11 Dec 03

To save a lot of typing on my part go to:

click here

You'll also find that this website is a superb location for finding out just how anything on the planet works..:-)

To check out your system and realise why you need a firewall, go to:

click here

and use the ShieldsUp and PortsUp checks.

It could open your eyes.

  Jester2K II 09:59 11 Dec 03

A firewall is like a doorman. It only allows programs to connect to the net you want to and also prevent programs connecting into your PC. Also has the capability to "hide" your presence on the net in a basic way so casual hackers can't see you.

Only needed if on broadband...

  Stuartli 10:04 11 Dec 03

There's also a link to Computer Viruses on the first link's page.

You can get the excellent ZoneAlarm firewall's free version at:

click here

Jester2K II:

I feel a firewall (I use ZoneAlarm) is necessary even with dialup....:-)

Prevention is better than cure.

  Kegsy 12:49 11 Dec 03

Thanks a lot Stuarti and Jester, will have a look at all those sites

  Jester2K II 12:52 11 Dec 03

Also look at Sygate Personal Firewall click here

  snaptoppy 14:01 11 Dec 03

The need for a firewall would be based on HOW LONG you were connected to the 'net, not by what means.

  Stuartli 14:04 11 Dec 03

A lot of people use 24/7 dialup such as AnyTime - I have DayTime Plus with Tiscali and quite often am online for two hours at a time before the cut off.

I can, of course, then immediately reconnect....

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