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Thread: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

  1. #1
    randeemo Guest

    Default Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    I have DSL internet service, and I connect through a westell router/modem. Do routers serve as hardware firewalls? Or do I need to get a seperate one? Also, I went to the Shields Up site, and it reported that my system is responding to pings. I'm assuming that it is my modem that is responding, and not my computer, since I have ZA set to not respond to pings and I received no alert from ZA.But does my modem's responses to pings make my system in any way more vulnerable to a hacker if that hacker deliberately wanted to attack my system(suppose he had a grudge)? Any relevant information would be most appreciated. Thanks very much.

    Operating System:Windows 2000 Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:6.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    No. Provided your router does NAT (Network Address Translation) you are behind a hardware firewall. The IP address of the computer should be in the range 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255. Note though that the router's firewalling can be bypassed so make sure your PC has NOT been placed in the router's DMZ.

  3. #3
    randeemo Guest

    Default Re: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    Thanks Frereop.

    I checked, and according to my internet connections diagnostic page, my modem's ip address is within the range you mention, but my computer itself has an address outside that range.

    How do I check if my computer is in the DMZ?

    And does my modem's response to pings increase my vulnerability?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    <blockquote><hr>randeemo wrote:
    Thanks Frereop.

    I checked, and according to my internet connections diagnostic page, my modem's ip address is within the range you mention, but my computer itself has an address outside that range.
    ><hr></blockquote>
    This can't be right. Addresses within that range 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 are not valid on the Internet, only on local area networks. Are you sure that was the IP address of the modem? Go to Stay Invisible and see what addresses it gives for your "LOCAL IP" and your "REAL IP".

    <blockquote><hr>
    How do I check if my computer is in the DMZ?

    And does my modem's response to pings increase my vulnerability?

    Thanks again.
    <hr></blockquote>
    If its in the DMZ, the local IP address will be static, and it will be listed in the DMZ page of your modem's configuration pages.

    Pings per se don't increase your vulnerability but they do confirm that there is live Internet connection which they can then proble for open ports. Even if they find one, this is not a vulnerability because they still need a server running on your machine that is listening on that port in order to respond. In your case, they would need to get through a hardware firewall (in the router) then through ZA (on your PC). Then ZA would ask you to authorise the server on your machine to access the internet to send out its information. Its not impossible but its not likely.

  5. #5
    randeemo Guest

    Default Re: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    I went to the StayInvisible site and it's giving a 192.168.x.x(not literal x, I'm just using that as variable) address as my Local IP address. It gives a real IP starting with 68 and that same address is my proxy address. Underneath, it has a section "Related Environment Variables" and has an entry for REMOTE_ADDR which lists the same ip address as my real ip address.

    The diagnostics page for the modem agrees with the StayInvisible website about my ip address. However,the local IP address on the site is nowhere mentioned on my diagnostics page, and the diagnostics page is giving a modem address in the 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255 that is different(and nowhere displayed on the StayInvisible website).

    Yes I'm sure that the address listed as my modem address is within that range(192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255). However it is listed underneath a heading entitled "Local Network" if that makes the difference.


    What do you make of this?

  6. #6
    randeemo Guest

    Default Re: Do I need an additional hardware firewall for a DSL router/modem internet connection?

    I've discovered that indeed my local ip never changes. Apparently my isp(bellsouth) refers to my modem-router only as a modem, even though the sticker underneath labels it as a DSL router. I was told that the local ip that I have is the one that almost all bellsouth users with the westell modem have. I don't think I can place my computer out of the DMZ with that particular model, as the diagnostics page has no options relating to DMZ, and the tech support guy didn't know of any way to do it. I think that maybe I ought to go ahead and get an additional router between my computer and the westell "router" just in case.

    As for the discrepancies in IP addresses that I mentioned earlier(the ones between stay invisible and my modem page, I can only guess that the home office of my isp is acting as a go between between my pc and the sites I surf, but I just don't know)

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