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Old 09-09-2005, 11:08 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 6,923
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
Old 09-09-2005, 11:14 AM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Up there, waiting
Posts: 17,203
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.
Old 09-09-2005, 03:55 PM
rjung rjung is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fifth corner of the Earth
Posts: 17,034
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.
Electric Escape -- Information superhighway rest area #10,186
Old 09-09-2005, 07:12 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: In another castle
Posts: 18,988
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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