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-   -   Does a firewall need to be updated? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=334132)

zev_steinhardt 09-09-2005 10:08 AM

Does a firewall need to be updated?
 
A while back I bought a Dell computer. It came with a firewall and virus protection (McAfee) built in.

I renewed my virus protection, as I know that there are constantly new viruses being created. Now, however, I got a popup from the McAfee application informing me that my firewall needs to be renewed. Now, even though my subscription to the firewall service is expired, the firewall is still working.

However, does a firewall need to be updated constantly (as a virus protection program must be)? Or is this just a way for McAfee to make a few bucks?

Zev Steinhardt

Mr. Blue Sky 09-09-2005 10:14 AM

I use Zone Alarm Pro and it calls for updates about every 2-3 months. I'm sure that hackers find ways around firewalls all the time. I use the McAfee Security Suite, but don't use it's firewall. It was annoying to use and I already had Zone Alarm.

rjung 09-09-2005 02:55 PM

Firewalls simply keep a list of what ports to enable/disable (to oversimplify things a bit); they only need to be updated if you have a new program that needs to communicate with a port that isn't already open. Otherwise, there should be no need to perioidically update your firewall.

ultrafilter 09-09-2005 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky
I'm sure that hackers find ways around firewalls all the time.

That and bugs get fixed. Since ZoneAlarm's updates are free, I check for a new version every so often.


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