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Web Stalkers
Chapter 9 - Self Protection on the Web

Software Firewalls

The danger with using a software-based firewall comes when the computer it is protecting is using more resources than usual.  This is common when users are playing certain modern games with advanced graphics.  When this happens, performance can become noticeably worse.  When playing video games, the result will be that the action within the game becomes choppy.  Someone listening to digital music will hear it skip or stall.  This is one of the biggest drawbacks to software firewalls.

One of the strengths of software firewalls is that with laptops, when using the laptop somewhere outside the home, they remain protected by the firewall.  This is especially important when using wireless connections, whether inside or outside the home.

Recommendations for Firewall Safety

First and foremost, it is important to use a firewall.  Do not fall into the trap of thinking that company or personal information is not valuable enough to bother protecting.  If a user has any “always on” Internet access like DSL or digital cable, they are at risk and should have a firewall.  Cleaning up after someone has stolen an individual’s identity is not a fun experience.  A firewall can make that a less likely problem.

Sometimes it will make sense to use a hardware firewall for home use and a software firewall for use on a mobile computer.  To increase performance, users might want to adjust the settings for the mobile computer when using it at home to run a lower degree of protection.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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