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hardware firewall/ wireless router


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6 replies to this topic

#1 wkid

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:26 AM

current system:
Dell inspiron 531s
Windows XP Home SP3
AT&T internet service (their slowest DSL option)
Motorola modem (supplied with internet service - Model number needs to be researched if necessary for answers)

I am attempting to gather information for the purchase of an additional computer for home use. The time window is about six months; so I have ample time to make good decisions for both the system and peripherals. I am a relative newbie, with less than a year of serious computer usage experience. This limits my understanding of some of the information gained during research. I am in hopes that a somewhat dumbed down explanation can be provided for me, while including all the information I need for an intelligent buying decision.

Details of the new system are in the making right now and somewhat flexible. In a nut shell: it will be faster than the AMD LE1300 based processor on this machine, use Windows 7, and have multiple monitors. I will supply more information if requested, but don't believe it is necessary at this point in time. My desire is to connect the two machines via wireless router. Faster internet service will be included when the new system comes on-line. There is no gaming consideration here, but we do view streaming video of some television shows.

This may be the long way around, but I anticipated some probable questions. Some of my research suggests employing both a hardware and software firewalls. My questions are divided into two categories:

  • simplified explanations
    • How does a hardware firewall work?
    • How important is it to provide security? (Some of my research sounds like it may be overkill.)
    • Is a wireless router used instead of or in addition to a modem?
    • From a functional standpoint, how does the combination of hardware firewall and wireless router work?
  • minimum and best bang-for-the-buck specs
    • If the modem is retained, is an upgrade necessary?
    • What style or features/specs should I consider for a hardware firewall?
    • What style or features/specs should I consider for a wireless router?

Any useful guidance will be appreciated.

wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:04 AM

At the current time I haven't studied Firewall hardware yet. I do know that they are usually overkill for a home user unless you have some serious information that you need protected. You will still need the modem if you have a wireless router, that is unless your modem has wireless built into it. Are you looking for some recommendations on a new system as well as the firewall questions? If so what is the primary use of the computer?
Chad Mockensturm 
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#3 wkid

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:57 AM

Hi Sneakycyber,

Thanks for your reply. It seems that my analysis of information I have gathered is correct in the fact that a hardware firewall would be overkill for our proposed home set up. As for configuration of the new machine, I'd like to gain a little more knowledge about some of the long term projects I have in mind before trying to lay out the intended use. I may find that it is not practical for me to pursue some of these tasks after I have researched them a little more. -- OR -- I may find that I need to redirect my goals.

The only things that are etched in stone at present is that I don't want to find it necessary to "go inside" the computer for hardware upgrades or additional hardware installations for a period of at least three or four years to keep up with near term technology improvements, and I wish to have multiple monitor capability. Some of the areas I need to explore are pros and cons of multiple processors and 64 bit versus 32 bit because some of the programs I wish to continue to use are designed for 32 bit systems. Part of this decision process involves interactivity with the present system (which has a 64 bit processor, but runs on 32 bit OS and programs).

As I learn enough to ask intelligent questions, I will start posting them.

Thanks again,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:39 AM

Just of the top of my head. The most bang for the buck would be an AMD phenom Quad core black edition processor, 2 Gigs of ram, and a moderately priced Nvidia Geforce card.


Processor

Mother board

Memory

Graphics Card I already have the card and its running 2 19" dell flat screens. (very nice)

That is the exact system I am building in the spring. Only I am opting for water cooling

Edited by Sneakycyber, 23 October 2010 - 10:42 AM.

Chad Mockensturm 
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#5 wkid

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:10 PM

Hi Sneakycyber,

Your reply contains an example of where I need to improve my understanding. The processor link included:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

in the description.

I have no idea (yet) how to compare speeds of single, dual, quad cores to each other -- OR -- how they operationally differ in the user experience. I understand that the larger the Ghz number, the faster the speed, but what limitations are imposed by other hardware which effectively prevent the processor from providing maximum efficiency and speed for example? Are there problems associated with inadequate buss(?)capabilities or capacities? Are two hypothetical processors:
  • single core, 2Ghz
  • dual core, 1Ghz
equal in speed and performance?

These are the type of details I desire to understand. Additionally I think I may wish to have more RAM.

My need to stay focused on the malware training in Study Hall make the studies of computer hardware and configuration remain in the longer term of about six months I mentioned in my first post. If things go according to plan I may be able to afford a "hot rod" computer.

Thank you for your recommendations. I will definitely keep them in mind while I continue to increase my knowledge base in computer hardware. Further input will be appreciated, but not on a high priority basis. The proposed time window is my friend here.

regards,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#6 hamluis

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:06 PM

FWIW: In six months...the current hardware landscape will have totally changed, with the only thing that can be counted on being...today's touted components will be considerably cheaper and more scarce on inventory shelves.

I keep catalogs which I receive from Tiger Direct, Dell, and others...and compare them from a "then" and "now" perspective. Things change rapidly, as far as pricing and availability, as well as marketability.

You've given yourself plenty of time to put Google to good use :thumbsup:.

Louis

#7 wkid

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:20 AM

hamluis,

Thanks for your reply. Google search results are a vehicle I have used to gain information. My original post in this thread was prompted by information I found about the topic of this post "hardware firewall/wireless router" (as individual topic searches) and attempts to find comparison/contrast articles. I have found recommendations to use both, but as I understand it this seems to be overkill.

The intent of my query is to gain an understanding of how both work, both individually and in conjunction with each other. Information gained to date has not provided me with that level of understanding. My desire is to provide adequate security, reliability, and performance without including unnecessary redundancy or overkill. Back in my hotrodding days I applied a similar mindset to have cars which were faster, quicker, and more maintenance free than my friends' cars. I'm hoping the same mindset is applicable to speccing out a computer system.

Thanks again,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin




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