Yay! I finally got my ADSL again! Should I buy a router with firewall now?

FINALLY, after being in my new home for a year and with no broadband, I finally got my beloved ADSL back. 1.5MB for $21.95CDN. I ain’t ever going back to dialup again if I can help it…

ANYHOW, I’ve never really paid much attention to Firewalls in the past. Even when I had DSL, I never (knock on wood) had a problem. However, is a Firewall a “necessity” now?

I understand that WinXP has a built in Software one, how good is it? I have freinds that use Software ones (Zone Alarm, BlackIce, etc) but I am leaning more to a hardware solution if I bother at all. Is there much of an effective difference between a hardware or software solution?

I like getting a router/hub combo. You can plug multiple computers in, don’t have to run goofy PPPoE software, and there’s no chance of having stuff attack your PC because they’re all hiding from the internet.

There’s also no chance of it being accidently disabled.

Are you going have multiple computers sharing a single Internet connection? A router for just a firewall isn’t worth the expense IMO. I’ve used the free version of ZoneAlarm for a couple years now, had no problem. Of course, maybe nobody even tried to hack me…

What Xpav said. Make sure you enable wan blocking, you will be invisible to the outside world. However follow Revtim’s advice, because there are apps that can “dial home” and give someone the info they need to compromise your computer. A hardware firewall on the router is great for stopping incoming, and Zone alarm free is great for stopping and monitoring outgoing.

I use a Speedstream 5861 router here at work and other than AmeriCr@p tech support telneting in and screwing it up, I haven’t had any problems.

No, people have tried to hack you. I logged all the port scans coming into my DSL connected machine once and it was pretty much a constant every few hours scan.

A firewall isn’t really usefull or necessary for most users. Disable any unnecessary services you may be running, make sure you don’t install any trojan horse programs, and don’t do anything crazy like run Microsoft IIS and you’ll be fine. It’s EXTREMELY rare that anyone actually gets “hacked,” in reality someone will just access a trojan horse program that a user has been tricked into running. If you don’t have any of these programs running, then malicious people can probe you for them all day long and nothing will happen.

I’ll be getting ADSL as well in a couple of weeks.

Any advice for Mac users? (I’m in the process of upgrading from OS 9.1 to OS 10.2.)

Those aren’t necessarily hack attempts. Somewhere on the ZoneAlarm site there’s a good description of all the things those might be, and a hacker is only one.