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  1. #1

    Question Double Firewalls - Router Questions

    I'm fairly new to wireless networking. I've picked up a book to enlighten myself a bit on how it all works. In the meantime, I am trying to decide on which wireless router I should buy? I am looking at the following two:

    -Rosewill RNX-G400
    Specs:
    Standards IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g
    Security Hardware- Base Encryption/Decryption Using 64-, 128-Bit Wired-Equivalent
    Privacy (WEP) Keys, WPA and WPA2 are also supported
    WPA/WPA2 WPA2
    Ports 1 x 10/100M WAN; 4 x 10/100M LAN
    LEDs Link/Activity, Wireless Transmit, CPU, Power
    Data Rates Up to 54Mbps
    Operating Range Indoors: Up to 100 meters
    Outdoors: Up to 300 meters
    Modulation 802.11b: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (PBCC, CCK, DQPSK, DBPSK)
    802.11g: Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
    Frequency Band USA, Canada(FCC): 2.412GHz-2.462GHz
    Europe(CE): 2.412GHz-2.472GHz
    Japan: 2.412GHz-2.4835GHz
    Antenna SMA type Omni Antenna (2db)
    Channels USA, Canada(FCC): 11 Channels
    Europe(CE): 13 Channels
    Japan: 14 Channels
    Transmitted Power 54 Mbps OFDM: 15dBm +/- 2dBm
    11 Mbps CCK: 16dBm-18dBm
    Interface Ethernet Port
    VPN support VPN Pass Through
    Power Input DC 9V, 1000mA


    -LINKSYS WRT54GL
    Specs:
    Standards IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g
    Device Management Web-Based
    Security Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall, Internet Policy
    Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), WEP, Wireless MAC Filtering
    WPA/WPA2 WPA2
    Ports 1 x 10/100M WAN; 4 x 10/100M LAN
    LEDs Power, DMZ, WLAN, LAN (1-4), Internet, SecureEasySetup
    Buttons Reset, SecureEasySetup
    Data Rates Up to 54Mbps
    Frequency Band 2.4GHz
    Antenna External Antenna
    Channels 11 Channels (US, Canada) 13 Channels (Europe)
    Transmitted Power 18 dBm
    Interface Ethernet Port
    Power Input External, 12V DC, 0.5A

    Both have great reviews, with the Rosewill being cheaper in price, however, it does not have a firewall installed.

    My main questions:
    1. Is it crucial for a router to have a firewall built into it, or would a firewall program on the computer itself suffice?
    2. Does a router firewall + computer software firewall = better security?
    3. Which router would be better?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Barnhart, MO
    Posts
    285
    I have used some of the older model Linksys routers WRT54G and they tend to mess up hear and there. You do not have to run the firewall on the router. You can turn it off. Or you can even of course run a DMZ which would be to open all ports to a specific computer.

    I do not like running multiple firewalls. Things tend to get into a mess. I have seen software firewalls like Nortan Internet Security perform updats and then start blocking outlook. Plus you can't ping other computers on your network without chaning many settings.

    I would prefer a hardware firewall overall.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
    Posts
    447
    Most routers come with firewalls. If it has NAT (and I think all of them do?), you're pretty well protected.

    I suggest go with a router that supports 3rd-party firmware (the WRT54GL does). Then load either dd-wrt or tomato firmware (which is much more reliable and offers many more features over the stock firmware).
    If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give us no shade when we are old.
    Lord Chesterfield

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    272
    I have a few WRT54GLs in different locations. I run DD-WRT on most of them, but one runs OpenWRT+Chillispot. Great router for home applications and only ~$65 ... And the firmware options can't be beat.
    ██ HermeTek Network Solutions
    ██ Network design, security, and implementation
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mississauga, ON
    Posts
    377
    WRT54GL hands down. There isn't much you *can't* do with OpenWRT/distros based off it (DD-WRT, HyperWRT, etc); iptables is included in most WRT distros. Very solid routers, I've set up about 15 of them with DD-WRT and OpenWRT, regularly use 3 myself, haven't had a single issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    7,200
    Tomato is also a nice alternative firmware for WRT54GL routers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    64
    I'll put my vote in for DD-WRT.

    And I prefer to steer clear of software firewalls on Windows. They seem to cause more problems than they solve.
    Matt Gorecki
    Go! Elephant Online Backup
    http://goelephant.com

  8. #8
    Thanks to everyone for their great input! I decided to go with the Linksys router due to all the extra advantages. It's up and running with no problems and works great!

    Thanks again!

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