Two Firewalls?

Fred44

Member
I was just reading the Security chapter in the "Tweaker's Guide Tweakers Companion for Vista" and the author says it's not a good idea to use 2 firewalls simulatneously. I've read conflicting opinions on this. I have my Windows firewall and the McAfee firewall both enabled and it hasn't caused any noticable problems. Can the two firewalls interfere with each other and somehow diminish your level of security? Should I use just the Windows firewall?
Fred
 

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PainlessTorture

Official Best Member
Vista Pro
Yes...two firewalls can fight each other and create a bigger security risk than having one firewall alone. You should only use one firewall at a time unless its a front-end and a back-end firewall protecting something like a network. But never have two firewalls on a stand-alone as its not really a good idea :)
 

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Everlong

To xor or not to xor
Vista Guru
I might be wrong, but I think two third party firewalls will mainly cause conflict. The Windows firewall just "sits back" while you run McAfee. I've never had any conflicts or problems running Windows Firewal and Comodo Firewall.
 

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PainlessTorture

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I think windows firewall can cause conflicts...its still a firewall. In the security center it says under it two firewalls running together can conflict. It doesn't say that windows firewall is exempt. However maybe your right EverLong18, but if COMODO is protecting your computer anyway why take the chance that your creating a security hole?

If you were really worried about a hacker to have 2 firewalls...install about 3 and keep disabling 2 and enabling the third. It will be very hard for a hacker to get enough time to find a vulnerability to penitrate it before you switch.
 

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Fred44

Member
Any opinions on which I should use? I just disabled the Mcafee.
 

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PainlessTorture

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Well I use COMODO as well as EverLong18 so im guessing its not bad ;).

I also had issues with McAfee...it was blocking port 443. What kind of stupid firewall does that?
 

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Ayporos

know-it-all
Member
The idea of running multiple firewalls itself is not a problem.

In theory it can work, and back in my old days when I was very adamant about computer security I ran FOUR consequitive firewalls at the SAME TIME without issue or even noticable lag on internet connection.

I also ran lots of security tests on sites (that try to probe/access your computer and then give you the results of what they could/couldnt do) and it turned out that my 4x firewall combo worked against EVERYTHING those sites could throw at me.

Ofcourse I said 'in theory' because it is always possible certain firewalls will conflict with eachother.

The firewalls I used back then btw were: windows firewall, Sygate personal firewall pro, zonealarm pro and F-secure.
 

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PainlessTorture

Official Best Member
Vista Pro
The idea of running multiple firewalls itself is not a problem.

In theory it can work, and back in my old days when I was very adamant about computer security I ran FOUR consequitive firewalls at the SAME TIME without issue or even noticable lag on internet connection.

I also ran lots of security tests on sites (that try to probe/access your computer and then give you the results of what they could/couldnt do) and it turned out that my 4x firewall combo worked against EVERYTHING those sites could throw at me.

Ofcourse I said 'in theory' because it is always possible certain firewalls will conflict with eachother.

The firewalls I used back then btw were: windows firewall, Sygate personal firewall pro, zonealarm pro and F-secure.
... :huh:
 

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Ayporos

know-it-all
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what's that supposed to mean Fmjc001?... you mocking me? :P
 

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PainlessTorture

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what's that supposed to mean Fmjc001?... you mocking me? :P
It means why the hell would you need 4 firewalls :p

I'm shocked they didn't try to kill each other to be honest :geek:
 

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Ayporos

know-it-all
Member
well, back then I was a security junkie. I ran every piece of security software I could on my computer... god knows why.

Nowadays it seems I'm the complete opposite, having only windows firewall to defend me from the harsh world of TEH INTERWEB. no AV, no other firewalls, no nothing =D

But yes surprisingly enough all 4 firewalls ran perfectly fine.

Funny thing was when I would launch a new online application (like a game) I would get a popupwindow from firewall Nr1 asking me to allow/block it, and after I pressed allow id get a popupwindow from firewall nr2 asking the same thing etc etc ^^

Was quite funny to see to be honest
 

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Dwarf

The Contemplator
Vista Guru
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It is not advisable to run more than one SOFTWARE firewall at a time, which is what most people do. What many people don't realise is that if they are using a router, they will already be using 2 firewalls since most routers already have one built-in to the hardware. However, because this is self-contained on the router, it cannot conflict with the software version on the PC.

The problem with running more than one SOFTWARE firewall is not so much conflict (as is the case with AV software), rather it leaves your system open to attack. This is because communication over the Internet is done via ports, which can be open (access) or closed (no access). This is automatically carried out by most firewalls, and can also be manually configured. Here lies the rub. If you are using multiple firewalls, and you forget to ensure that they are all set identically, i.e. leave a port open on one which is closed on the others, then you can end up with a leak.
 

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