Why is a router important for computer security?

My teacher disabled his anti-virus. He got several exp extension viruses (don’t know what they are either). someone told me that because he didn’t have a router he was more susceptible to them. please help me understand.

9 replies
  1. Craig B says:

    Also, most routers have built in firewalls. I would still ensure that you have a second firewall, like ZoneAlarm which has a shareware version you can get or pay a small amount and get the full version.

  2. Martfuncher says:

    Broadband routers have built-in firewall protection (way better than Windows firewall) but neither does virus protection directly. Tell your teacher to turn his antivirus back on.

    I have been using Antivir/Avira professionally for 7 years (free) and love it.



  3. Clyde says:

    having or not having a router isn’t going to matter either way. what he needs is a firewall and a anti virus program to keep those things at bay. without those you will get infected faster reguardless of how you connect to the internet.

  4. npsf3000 says:

    That is a load of _____. A router is a networking device that is used in certain instances not all. They some-times come with virus protection. However dont go and buy a router to be protected – just keep your anti-virus up to date and enabled.

  5. crunchtime20002000 says:

    I take it you teacher isn’t in the computer science department….
    If he is running windows then he should never turn off his anti-virus software because that is just asking for trouble. As for your question, a router is a device that people use to set up a LAN at home or whatever. Most routers have a built-in hardware firewall which is far superior to a software firewall. I believe that is what your friend was talking about.

  6. DoH says:

    That doesn’t make sense.

    What a router does is divide networks into logical subnetworks based on layer 3 network addressing. In the case of the Internet the protocol used is IP, and IP addressing. That is their primary purpose.

    Routers have expanded their functionality to include stateful firewall functionality and network address translation.

    What the firewall does is prevent something from the “public” side of the firewall initiate a connection with something on the “private” side of the firewall. We call it stateful because the firewall watches what connections are created from the private side and once closed, doesn’t allow something from the public side to sneak through on the socket that was used for the legitimate connection. IP address + application port number = socket.

    NAT, hides your private network from the public network. All computers on the private network have a unique private IP address and share a single public address.

    Virus’ typically come in via a file that you purposely download or inadvertently download, i.e. email attachment. The router doesnt’ pass judgment on what you decide to download. What you can do, and I do this myself, is disable the personal firewall on my anti-virus software because my router has a firewall function. No need to run multiple firewalls, but I do run anti-virus software. This is on a home network.

    You can, for big $, get network based anti-virus devices. Checkpoint firewalls support this capability. Basically what these do is direct every packet coming through the firewall to an separate device that puts the file together, scans it, then forwards it on the destination if it’s virus free. Most of the big anti-virus companies have network based A/V devices that work in concert with Checkpoint firewall. Big company networks would have this, not a home user.

  7. Andy T says:

    Agree that it is a load of ____ but I have different interpretation:

    A Home/broadband “router” is not just a router but an integrated much weaker version of a full NAT, that yes encompasses what a router should also do.

    A NAT chops a network link into two right up to the top level so such connection is fully configurable; if that configuration includes software for security then the line is as equal to fully secure as to have a firewall installed at the workstation. At least it closes ports that helps a lot for security.

  8. sgt_mjc says:

    Network security is best in layers. A router offers two features that help to protect you. The first is many offer a firewall. This is a basic firewall designed to protect you from intruders. The second is NAT or Network Address Translation. Basically this, takes and hides the PCs connected to it by only showing the outside world the IP address of the router. The router would just be your perimeter. The next layer is on your PC. Windows has a basic firewall built in in XP and later versions. This is very basic and can be replaced with a commercially available firewall such as ZoneAlarm. Next you still need and anti-virus and an anti-spyware program. Spybot Search and Destroy is a great free program that will protect you from spyware. I recommend AVG Free for your anti-virus. Its free and is nowhere near the resource hog that Norton is. The last thing you need to do as a minimum to keep your PC safe is to update your OS, AV, and anti-spyware regularly. Now the last line of defense is you, the user. All of the technology and software in the world will not keep you safe if you don’t use them or exercise a little common sense while surfing the net, reading email, or downloading files. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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